MISSOULA ~ Deborah Lorraine Kuntz, 64, of Missoula, Montana passed away on Thursday, March 31, 2022 at Providence Saint Patrick Hospital, surrounded by family.
She was born on June 18, 1957 in Glendive Montana to Jack and Beatrice Birch, where she
grew up with her brother Mike. She attended Dawson County high school where she
participated in jazz band. She played baritone saxophone and clarinet, and graduated with the
class of 1975.
Shortly after graduating, she shared a short union with Dave Kirkpatrick, blessing her with her
first daughter, Sara. A few years later, she began her nine year marriage to John Kuntz, during
which her other two daughters Tracee and Jillian were born. In 1990, John's job at BNSF
transferred them to Alliance, Nebraska. In the early nineties, Deb was a caregiver at Highland
Park. Through hard work and dedication as a then single mother, she went on to attain her
nursing license in 1993. It was her true passion to be the best caregiver to her patients or to
anyone in her life who needed it. She thoroughly enjoyed every minute as a night shift LPN at
Box Butte General Hospital, where she made many lifelong friends over her nearly 20 year
career. In her spare time, she enjoyed sewing, baking, gardening, crafting, music, bowling, stock car racing with John, attending the Annual Deadwood Jam, and suntanning with baby oil, and a large fountain Coke.
In 2002, her first granddaughter, Nyah was born in Missoula. In 2004, change was calling, and
she and her daughters followed Sara to Missoula, MT, where she continued her nursing career
at Community Medical Center. She was overjoyed by the birth of 4 more grandchildren: Sylas,
Stella, Raylon, and Sylvia. Her family, and being a part of their everyday life, was the most
important aspect of her life. She enjoyed the eclectic art and music scene of Missoula. She
loved attending concerts, the Saturday Farmers Markets, events in Caras Park, funky
boutiques, and the diverse food culture. Family barbecues, and holidays with family, were
always something she loved. She never missed an event that involved her children or most
importantly, her grandlittles. Due to the onset of health concerns, she retired early from nursing
in 2018. Even though she didn't want to, it allowed her to slow down, and appreciate all the
important pieces of her life. Deb single handedly, and whole heartedly cheered on all of her
daughters and grandchildren through successes, picked them back up through failures and
hardships, and remained humble through the rest of her days with her best furbaby, Akiko kitty.
Deb is preceded in death by her grandparents, her parents Jack Birch and Beatrice Clapp,
many dear Aunts and Uncles, and her ex-husband and friend John Kuntz.
She is survived by her brother Mike Birch, niece Dani Roland, and great niece Lily Roland of Alliance NE, her beloved daughters Sara Bond, Tracee Kuntz (Ryan West) and Jillian Kuntz, her grandchildren Nyah Kaylor, Sylas DeBusk, Stella Bond, Raylon and Sylvia West of Missoula MT, her lifelong best friend Wendy Denby of Alliance NE, Aunt Yvonne Kasalek of Bismarck, ND, and other friends and family too many to mention. And her dearest furbuddy, Akiko.
In lieu of flowers, we would like friends and family to make a monetary donation in my mother's name to Animeals in Missoula.
There will also be no services at this time. We will hold a celebration of life for her sometime in the upcoming warm summer months.
Arrangements are under the care of Sunset Memorial Funeral Home and Crematory in Missoula.