Walter “Leroy” Hunziker (85) of Kahoka, Missouri, passed away at 10:20am, on Wednesday, August 10, 2022, at the Clark County Nursing Home. Leroy was born on August 14, 1936, in Clark County, Missouri. He was one of 7 children born to Walter and Ella Hunziker and grew up on the family farm working with his dad and helping as a logger and operating the sawmill.
Early on Leroy developed a passion for archeology, collecting many arrowheads and artifacts as a child and later cataloging them and studying his finds as an adult. Leroy never stopped learning and he was always available to share his knowledge with anyone who was interested. A fast walker and quite a talker, Leroy loved to experience life as an adventure and took up many hunting, trapping, and tracking skills that would define his adult life. Leroy took up archery from an early age and loved to compete in marksmanship contests. It was during one of these competitions that he came across one of his greatest discoveries, Miss Geraldine Lish, who was competing at the same tournament in the girl’s category. They were married on July 21, 1962, in Quincy, Illinois and together they raised their family of three children in Clark County. His children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were the joys of his life, and he loved sharing time and stories with them and just being present.
His entire life was hard work and a deep love of the outdoors. Leroy farmed much of his life but also worked for the State of Missouri for a time painting bridges. He was an avid sportsman and loved hunting anything of any description from deer to elk, racoons, turkeys, coyotes, pheasants, mushrooms and even salvage scrap in his later years. Leroy was a gifted tracker and guide and loved going with his friends to Idaho, New Mexico, and Colorado. Even in his retirement, Leroy never stopped immersing himself in the natural world and kept bees and grew blueberries. He was past president of the Hawkeye State Archeological Society. His collection of Native American arrowheads, axes, and pipes earned him a place in the Who’s Who Book of Indian Artifacts: Volume #5. Leroy meticulously cataloged and recorded all his finds and studied everything he could about the objects and their purposes. He read a great many books and retained so much information he would share with others. He takes with him in his passing an enormous wealth of knowledge.
Leroy is survived by his devoted wife of 60 years, Geraldine; his daughters, Rosanne (Richard) Bonebrake of Quincy, Illinois, and Rhonda (Keith) Gates of Kahoka; son Rusty Leroy (Carmen) Hunziker, also of Kahoka; grandchildren, Lizzie Richards, Catherine (Mark) Baker, Breckan Yates, Hayley (Cody) Nelsen, Kristy (Dasan) Justice, and Kelcey Yates, Autumn (Brandon) Dochterman, and Arron Hunziker; great-grandchildren, Elaina, Kayden, Carver, Corrie, Cooper, Dallas, Parker, and Hollyn; sisters Lavon (Robin) Hood of South Carolina, Linda Plenge of Kahoka, Norma Toering in California, Neva Brunk, of Hannibal, and Karen Donahue from St. Louis.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Leland Hunziker.
There was a public visitation from 4:00pm – 7:00pm on Friday, August 12, 2022, at Wilson & Triplett Funeral Home in Kahoka. Graveside service took place on Saturday, August 13, 2022, at 2:30pm at the Kahoka Cemetery. Pastor Keith Ehresman from the Madison Park Christian Church in Quincy officiated.
Memorials in Leroy’s memory may be made to the Kahoka Cemetery, The Hawkeye State Archeological Society, or the Nutrition Site Senior Center. You are invited to share your memories of Leroy and leave a condolence at www.wilsontriplett.com