County Clerk Kunkel dies at 58

Lincoln County Clerk Robert Kunkel died unexpectedly last Wednesday at Good Samaritan Health Center in Merrill. Kunkel, 58, had recently undergone heart surgery and died as the result of an apparent blood clot.

A Merrill native, Kunkel was a 1970 graduate of Merrill Senior High School. He worked at the former Ward Paper Mill in Merrill, where he served as a union treasurer, until 1994.

After leaving Ward Paper Mill, Kunkel earned an associate degree in accounting from Northcentral Technical College while working part-time as a bookkeeper for Gordon Brandt’s Fuel Mart. He was elected Lincoln County Clerk in 1996 and held the position until his death.

Kunkel was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Merrill Evening Lions Club and S&S Benevolent Society.

His funeral was held Saturday at Trinity Lutheran Church.

The Lincoln County Board will decide whether to hold a special election to fill the County Clerk vacancy or to appoint someone to hold the office until the next regular election, said county administrative coordinator Randy Scholz. The Administrative & Legislative Committee will meet on Sept. 13 to make a recommendation to the County Board, which is expected to vote on the decision Sept. 21.

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