Kathleen “Kitty” Hill Kunz passed away in her home surrounded by loving family on May 27, 2021, after a 10-year battle with cancer. Kitty was born in LaGrande, OR, on December 1, 1953, to Burton and Ilene Hill. She was the fourth of six children and the oldest daughter. A daddy’s girl through and through, she was raised to work hard on the family farm in Cove, OR, and to care for everyone around her. At 16, Kitty moved with her family to Pocatello, ID, where she attended Pocatello High School. She had a beautiful voice and loved to sing as a member of Gate City Singers. Upon graduation, she attended Rick’s College. She met Kent Kunz at a Latter Day Saint Institute dance at Idaho State University. They quickly fell in love and were married on December 8, 1973.
Kitty became a wonderful wife and mother, truly devoting herself to her family. She and Kent had five children in the span of seven years while living in Pocatello. She was an active volunteer for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in primary, young women’s, and as the bishop's wife for many years. She was able to return to gainful employment when her youngest children went off to school, working as a school librarian and secretary at Tendoy and Ellis Elementary Schools, respectively. Kitty was very politically active as well and served in many capacities throughout the years. This led to a career in public and political service where she worked for three Congressmen, ran numerous campaigns, and served as an attaché at the Idaho State Legislature. The progression of Kent and Kitty’s political careers prompted a move from Pocatello to Boise in 2005. She was active in Republican groups both in Pocatello and Boise over the years, serving for a decade as the secretary of the Idaho Republican Central Committee, then as president of the Idaho Federation of Republican Women. She was also a devoted charter school advocate, helping found the Connor Academy in Pocatello, which is named after her grandson, and up until the end served as a member of the Idaho Charter School Commission.
Kitty had a caring heart and made every effort to serve those she loved. She found great happiness in her own children and true joy in spoiling her 16 grandchildren. The family often joked that when grandma got bored, the grandkids got lucky, and grandpa got poor. She made every effort to attend sporting events, concerts, recitals or plays, and her house was always stocked with any need or desire a child could want. At family gatherings, she was accused of being the “food police,” always interested in making sure everyone was fed and taken care of. She was an accomplished seamstress, sewing everything from wedding dresses to quilts. She had a green thumb, finding much joy in the garden, with a particular love of growing red roses.
Kitty was always ready for an adventure. She loved road trips, days on the lake in the boat, or a trip up the canyon for a picnic. When she was diagnosed with her slowly progressing yet incurable cancer, she said she wanted to get a red Mustang convertible and visit as many national parks as possible. Since then, she and Kent have visited almost every national park in the western United States. Her cheerful disposition, smile, laugh, and hugs will be treasured memories.
Kitty is survived by her husband Kent Kunz; children Mickey Main, Bud (CharEl) Kunz, Annie (Jason) Dixon, Joe (Gretchen) Kunz, and Katie (Landon) Ladwig; and 15 grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, Burt and Ilene Hill, her daughter Michelle Kunz Main, and her grandson Connor Scott Dixon.
A viewing will be held Tuesday, June 1, from 6:00-8:00pm, at Relyea Funeral Chapel, 318 N. Latah St, Boise. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, June 2, 11:00am, at the Boise West Stake Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Building, 3700 S. Maple Grove Rd., with a viewing from 10:00-11:00am preceding the service.
Services will be held in Pocatello, Idaho, to include a viewing on Thursday, June 3, from 6:00-8:00pm at Wilks Funeral Home. Graveside services will be held Friday, June 4, 11:00am, at Restlawn Memorial Gardens, 2864 S. 5th Ave., Pocatello.
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