Debert Kuntz: a man full of surprises

by Angela Hayden

 

Delbert (aka “Del”) Kuntz was born March 23, 1928 (making him 91 years old) in Gentry Lane, Idaho. As a child, his parents inspired him the most. His dad and uncles had a cattle ranch; his mom was a primary school teacher at Haas school. They were an inspiration to him because they grew up during the Great Depression. Despite the hard knocks of the time, his parents were able to live and to raise a family of five. 

 

Kuntz was the oldest of five siblings, with three sisters and one brother, all of whom graduated from Weiser High School. After graduation, he enrolled in the Army at 17 in 1945. He served for a couple of years during which he completed one year of post-high school education at the University of Utah then moved to Weiser. He spent the next 37 years working in the post office. 

 

In the 1950s his wife, Clara Kuntz, square danced in Weiser. She knew how to square dance and liked doing it, but it wasn’t until a few years after Delbert retired in 1985 that they square danced together. There are different types of square dancing; the couple did a type called Plus square dancing, which is an advanced version of the regular kind. They were in a square dancing club in Cambridge, Idaho, but they traveled to places including Arizona, Texas, and Mexico to dance for others. They were going to dance in Canada, but that never happened. They never competed, rather, Kuntz said, “It was for entertainment.” He recalled one time in Texas when they danced before a show of Jana Jay, a ballerina from Fruitland, Idaho. He was widowed a few years ago.

 

Kuntz has lived in Idaho all of his life, recalling that Meridian used to be smaller than Weiser, but he loved Weiser the most. He said, “It’s been a pleasure to live my life in Weiser, Idaho.” People can find him walking his rounds along Pioneer Road from W. 1st Street to W. 7th Street. He tries to walk twenty minutes every day but usually ends up stopping to talk to people in the neighborhood. That’s one of the reasons that he loves walking; he likes getting to know his neighbors. He’s really appreciative of the Weiser Senior Center and takes the bus there to eat. He said that he loves Weiser because it’s full of friendly people and is a desirable place to live.