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Otto Kunze '50 June 25, 2020 2:03 PM updated: June 25, 2020 2:22 PM

Dr. Otto Robert Kunze, Ph.D.
May 27, 1925 - June 12, 2020

Dr. Otto Robert Kunze, Ph.D., 95, of Warda, TX passed away on Friday, June 12, 2020.

Otto was born in Warda, TX on May 27, 1925, the son of John Paul and Hermine Amanda (Moerbe) Kunze. He was baptized into the Christian faith on June 7, 1925, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Warda, TX. He confessed his faith at his confirmation on April 2, 1939, at Holy Cross. He was confirmed by Rev. Paul C. Eifert. His confirmation verse was John 14:23. Otto married Alice Ruth Eifert on August 5, 1951, at Holy Cross. Presiding was Alice’s father, the Rev. Paul C. Eifert. They grew up across the fence from one another in Warda. They picked cotton together as kids. The couple was blessed with four children: Glenn, Allen, Charles, and Karen; proudly all Aggie Engineers.

Otto was of Wendish/German ancestry. He learned English in grade school. He graduated from La Grange High School in 1943 and was valedictorian, class president, and editor of “The High Standard,” the school’s newspaper. Shortly after graduating, he served proudly in the U.S. Army infantry during World War II. Otto fought in the German Theater in Patton’s 3rd Army, 76th Infantry Division. He received two bronze stars for his service. His unit received a Presidential Citation. He was proud to wear his Infantryman Rifle Badge.

After being discharged from the Army, he proceeded to Texas A&M University (TAMU) where he earned a BS degree in 1950. He earned a MS degree from Iowa State University in 1951 and a Ph.D. degree from Michigan State University in 1964. All degrees were in Agricultural Engineering. His Ph.D. research was in Rice Technology. He became a professor at TAMU where he taught and did research for 35 years. He taught a practical electricity course which his students loved. His research garnered worldwide attention and was recognized as an “Outstanding Agriculture Engineering Achievement of the 20th Century.” His defining statement, “The rice grain fissures (cracks) not from drying during the day but from moisture readsorption during the night.” He served as a Rice Process Consultant in India, China, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and Puerto Rico. He contributed chapters to 7 books and over 100 articles to professional journals. He also served 11 years on the Texas Air Control Board with appointments by two Governors of the State. He retired to his family farm in central Texas where he gardened, raised cattle, pursued his rice research, and continued to write.

One of his passions was to write a book of his military memoirs in Germany in WWII. This culminated last year with the publication of his book, “Kunze Up Front!” He was very proud of this memoir and only wished that his wife, Alice, could have shared in his pleasure. He loved his cows and would go out and talk to them every day. He was at home on a tractor and loved to plow the straightest corn rows possible. He loved telling stories and could recall sayings that his dad and grandpa told him from the front porch of their two-story house. He loved improving the land. It was in his blood. He loved tinkering, loved Makita battery-operated tools, loved corn parties, and sausage making. He loved his church and his hymns, singing boldly every Sunday. He is loved by many and will be greatly missed.

He is survived by three sons: Glenn of Austin, TX; Allen of College Station, TX and Charles of Grand Prairie, TX; daughter, Karen (Kunze) Gerdes and husband, Mark, of Hutto, TX. He is also survived by two sisters-in-law; Eleanor Eifert of Pflugerville, and Judy Beck and husband, Hugh, of Austin; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife of 63 years, Alice Kunze; brother, Dr. George Kunze, Ph.D., and his first wife, Flora Kunze and second wife, Elizabeth; brother, Dr. Raymond Kunze and his first wife, Margaret Kunze and second wife, Evelyn; sister, Doris (Kunze) Teinert, her husband, Herman, and their daughter, Jeanette Teinert; brothers-in-law: Rev. Walter Eifert; Rev. Herbert Eifert and wife, Julie; Teacher Martin Eifert; and Pauly Eifert; niece, Laurie Eifert; father-in-law, Rev. Paul C. Eifert and mother-in-law, Ruth (Moerbe) Eifert.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, June 18, 2020, from 11:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Koenig-Belvill Funeral Home & Cremations. The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. A prayer service will follow at 7:00 p.m.

Funeral Services will be held at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Warda, TX at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 19, 2020, with Rev. Dustin Beck officiating. Burial will follow at the Holy Cross Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Holy Cross History Library, P.O. Box 69, Warda, TX 78960 or Holy Cross Cemetery, P.O. Box 69, Warda, TX 78960.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Koenig - Belvill Funeral Home & Cremations, 208 W. Pearl, La Grange, Texas. Family and friends can view and sign the guestbook online at www.lagrangefunerals.com.

VISITATION
Koenig-Belvill Funeral Home & Cremations
Thursday, June 18, 2020
11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Email Details
208 W. Pearl St.
La Grange, TX 78945

In an abundance of caution due to the recent COVID-19 operating procedures, we will be following the recommendations of the Governor and County Judge.

FAMILY RECEIVING FRIENDS
Koenig-Belvill Funeral Home & Cremations
Thursday, June 18, 2020
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Email Details
208 W. Pearl St.
La Grange, TX 78945

PRAYER SERVICE
Koenig-Belvill Funeral Home & Cremations
Thursday, June 18, 2020
7:00 PM
Email Details
208 W. Pearl St.
La Grange, TX 78945

In an abundance of caution due to the recent COVID-19 operating procedures, we will be following the recommendations of the Governor and County Judge.

FUNERAL SERVICE
Holy Cross Lutheran Church
Friday, June 19, 2020
11:00 AM
Email Details
600 FM 1482
Warda, TX 78960

In an abundance of caution due to the recent COVID-19 operating procedures, we will be following the recommendations of the Governor and County Judge.

BURIAL FOLLOWING SERVICES
Holy Cross Lutheran Church Cemetery
Friday, June 19, 2020
Email Details
600 FM 1482
Warda, TX 78960

© 2018 - 20 Koenig-Belvill Funeral Home & Cremations. All Rights Reserved.


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