Bernie J. Kuntz

After They Are Gone

When someone we love passes away,
We ache, but we go on;
Our dear departed would want us to heal,
After they are gone.

Grief is a normal way to mend
The anguish and pain in our hearts;
We need time to remember and time to mourn,
Before the recovery starts.

Let's draw together to recuperate,
As we go through this period of sorrow;
Let's help each other, with tender care
To find a brighter tomorrow.

By Joanna Fuchs

Guest Book

A man is not dead until he is forgotten. Go in peace and remember you are not forgotten while I am still on patrol.



Bernie J. Kuntz

Bernie J. Kuntz passed away Sunday morning on October 28, 2018. He died of numerous complications from the Vietnam B-cell lymphoma agent orange. He was born April 4, 1949 in Jamestown, ND to his father and mother Jake and Emma Kuntz.

Bernie went to elementary school through high school in Jamestown. He received his BA in journalism and English at the University of North Dakota in 1974. This was after he spent a number of years in the US Marine Corps. Cpl Kuntz was in the Marine Corps from December 1968 until December 1971. Bernie was a reconnaissance scout, rifleman and radio operator for the 1st Platoon B Company, 1st Recon Battalion, 1st Marine Division in South Vietnam in 1970. Commendations were-Bronze Star Medal with combat V. tow Vietnamese Campaign Medal, Presidential Unit Citation and other ribbons.

Over the years he published a number of articles in the Wyoming Wildlife Magazine where he was associate editor from 1975 to April 1983. He also published articles in Montana Outdoors, Gray's Sporting Journal, Alaska Fish and Game Magazine and other magazines. He wrote a weekly outdoor column for the Jamestown Sun Newspaper for 44 years, retiring the last week of September 2018.

He was predeceased by his mother and father, Emma and Jake Kuntz and his son Ben Kuntz thirty years ago.

Bernie is survived by his daughter Katrina Koerner and Lana, the mother of Katrina and Ben, who lives in Nebraska and his younger brother Jim Kuntz and his wife Shelly. He is also survived by his current wife Laurie Kuntz in Montana.

Bernie was a total hunting and fishing "nut." He hunted all over the northern U.S. and Canada western areas. He also fished salt water in Alaska and many, many years at Amisk Lake in B.C. Canada. He hunted in South Africa one time, bringing back 11 animals. Hunting pheasants was a very popular thing to do for Bernie. He always had one or two hunting dogs. He is one of 160 people in the world who had two "grand slams" on wild sheep...two each of the four species of native sheep.

So-if he is in a heaven of his choice, he can visit with his mom and dad, also with son Ben. And maybe he can do a bit of pheasant hunting, taking turns with his beagles and Labradors. And as Bernie wrote in his last weekly column..."see you in camp at sun down."

Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Nov. 4, 2018

Bernie J. Kuntz


1949 - 2018

Longtime columnist Bernie Kuntz dies

Bernie Kuntz was awarded a Bronze Star for his service with the U.S. Marine Corps during Vietnam. The avid hunter and fisherman, born and raised in Jamestown, lived the final years of his life following a strict, military-like daily regiment that...
Written By: Michael Savaloja | Oct 31st 2018 - 7am.

Bernie Kuntz is pictured with a 10-year-old desert bighorn ram from Nevada's Monte Cristo Mountains, taken Dec. 15, 2012. The ram completed Kuntz's second Grand Slam of North American wild sheep -- the Rocky Mountain bighorn, desert bighorn, Dall and Stone. Kuntz passed away Oct. 28. Sun file photo Click Here for more Info.

Bernie Kuntz was awarded a Bronze Star for his service with the U.S. Marine Corps during Vietnam.

The avid hunter and fisherman, born and raised in Jamestown, lived the final years of his life following a strict, military-like daily regiment that any serviceman could arguably appreciate. Kuntz lost a nearly decade-long battle with low-grade B-cell lymphoma on Sunday, Oct. 28. He was 69. 

"You tell me the time of day, and I can tell you what I was doing with Bernie," said Kuntz's wife of 35 years, Laurie Kuntz, from their home in Bozeman, Mont. "The first thing in the morning was to read the newspaper. He loved that."

Upon completing his service with the 1st Marine Division, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, Kuntz attended the University of North Dakota, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and English. It was in Grand Forks in 1974 when Kuntz first penned what he'd become locally famous for: his weekly outdoors column.

Kuntz came into homes every week via newspaper, enlightening an ever-growing readership of his passion for the outdoors. A majority of Kuntz's artful storytelling evolved from his own personal hunting and fishing experiences, which included harvesting 18 major species of North American big game.

Kuntz's first column appeared in the Grand Forks Herald, where he worked after college, and it later became a staple in The Jamestown Sun. It's estimated Kuntz authored over 2,300 columns over a span of 44 years, bringing such places as Saskatchewan's Amisk Lake and America's Rocky Mountain region to life.

All the while, Kuntz's cup of all things hunting and fishing overflowed. From rifles, scopes and ammo, to knives, lures and lines, no stone was left unturned.

"I have to give him credit," Laurie said. "He was, in my mind, very creative in coming up with an idea to write about every week for, Lord, 40-some-odd years. He was at it."

Kuntz enjoyed to read. He was employed as associate editor of Wyoming Wildlife magazine for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department from 1975-83. Kuntz and Laurie, a native of Massachusetts, married in 1983 and lived in Juneau, Alaska, for three years before moving to Montana in 1986.

Kuntz worked for nearly 14 years as information officer and later information manager, for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks in Bozeman. Along with hunting, Kuntz was a collector of handmade knives and fine custom rifles.

"Bernie did a lot of reading," Laurie said. "I don't know how many books we have in the house. Lots about hunting and fishing, but other historical books as well."

Laurie would accompany Kuntz on many of his hunting and fishing endeavors, which included a hunt in Africa. Kuntz completed a second Grand Slam of North American wild sheep-harvesting all four species: Rocky Mountain Bighorn, Dall, desert bighorn and Stone-in 2012.

"We had a good time with the camping and fishing and backpacking, and all that stuff," Laurie said. "He was very communicative. If he went into the dentist's office he'd be talking with everybody, and most people liked him."

Childhood friend and hunting partner Dale Marks, of Jamestown, was one of those people. A year older than Kuntz, Marks recalled many duck hunting and other outdoor excursions the two shared as high schoolers in the mid-'60s.

"We hunted a lot together. He was a great shot," Marks said. "That was his specialty, guns and ammunition. It's amazing what he knew."

Marks said he followed Kuntz's detail in Vietnam closely. Kuntz graduated from Jamestown High School in 1967 and served in Vietnam in 1970.

"I was glad to see he got back," Marks said. "He was in some pretty tough combat."

Kuntz was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2011, a type of cancer he was told by V.A. doctors could possibly be traced to Agent Orange exposure while serving in Vietnam. Laurie said years of battling the disease took its toll, but Kuntz essentially never stopped writing.

His final column-"Hail and farewell"-was printed in The Sun on Sept. 27, 2018.

Kuntz wrote: "I will miss writing about rifles, shotguns, handguns and fishing outfits. I'll miss discussing rifle cartridges and their development. I will miss writing about old times and new, and stories of times gone by. I'll miss writing about dogs ... I'll miss it all."

Kuntz is survived by wife Laurie; daughter, Katrina (Brad) Koerner; grandchildren Ben and Erin; and his beloved yellow labrador, Oscar. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Ed Johnson of Bozeman, Mont., is photographed with the 10 1/2-year-old dall ram he shot in the Brooks Range of Alaska. The ram measured a quarter inch under 40 inches on either horn. He is the son of Dr. Larry Johnson and Tish Ramsey Johnson from Jamestown. Submitted photo Click here for website.

Email from Bernie Kuntz <>  7/21/2019 at 5:20 PM

To Floyd

HI. Thanks for your note. BUT-----------Bernie Kuntz passed away on 10/28/18----b cell lymphoma....agent orange Vietnam.
So—50 years after the war, the war got him. Could you please take him off your list. Semper Fi. Bernie’s wife Laurie

RIP Bernie

He came this way but once. Yet, he touched our lives in many ways while he were here. We shall remain eternally grateful for his friendship and service. 


I am so sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your family. I will correct the directory and let the members know of his passing. He was in Bravo company with my friend and member, Gil Perez, in 1970 and 1971 so I am copying him on this email. I will create a memorial page for him on the website.

Semper Fi
Floyd Ruggles
Membership Director & Webmaster
1st Recon Battalion Association

Email from Bernie Kuntz <> July 22nd, 2019 11:11 AM


Thanks very much. I miss him every day...and often go around and look at various pictures of him at the house. Laurie