Delwyn Shunk, 90 of Chappell, Nebraska died early Monday morning, November 11, 2013 at the Miller Memorial Care Center in Chappell.
Funeral services will be held at 2:30 P.M., Thursday, November 14, 2013 in the Chappell United Methodist Church with Pastor Ezekiel Koech officiating, where Delwyn has been a member since 1936. Burial will follow in Chappell Cemetery.
Friends may call from 2:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Wednesday at the Holechek Funeral Home in Chappell.
Memorials have been established to the Longs Peak Council of the Boy Scouts of America, P.O. Box 1166, Greeley, CO 80632.
Delwyn was born in Chappell on March 19, 1923, the son of Cecil and Murna Shunk. After a childhood split between his hometown and a homestead in northwestern Colorado -- where his family lived from June 1931 until October 1933 -- he graduated from Chappell High School (then known as Deuel County High School) in 1941, receiving his diploma from the same school from which his mother had graduated.
He enlisted in the Navy in December of the next year, and two years later, he earned his wings and became a naval aviator tasked with training other American and Allied pilots. He served until October 24, 1945, and then he returned to Chappell with his wife Phyllis Jo Groshart, whom he’d married on December 25, 1944 while on leave, to enter the family farming partnership. The couple built their house in Chappell and had three children -- Sandra Jo (born 1946), Susan Jo (born 1950), and John Karl (born 1961) -- who all graduated from Chappell High School, carrying on the family legacy.
A lifelong devotee to the Boy Scouts, Delwyn joined Troop #95 in 1935 under the leadership of Reverend Harold Sorter, who took the boys to Yellowstone National Park that same year. Del would later reach Eagle Scout rank under Scoutmaster Byron Nelson, and he returned to scouting after World War II, earning his Wood Badge Award in 1956. He served the organization for 25 years.
During his farming years, Delwyn and his father made cow caps (dentures), a distinction that earned Delwyn a trip to New York City, where he appeared on the TV show What’s My Line.
He retired from farming in 1997 at the age of 74.
Delwyn is survived by his wife Phyllis; three children Sandra Ashley (Lincoln, NE), Susan Primmer (Carson City, NV), and John Shunk (Denver, CO); five grandchildren David Ashley (Loveland, CO), Justin Primmer (Carson City, NV), Tanya Primmer (Reno, NV), Laura Shunk (New York, NY), and Adam Shunk (Denver, CO); and one great-grandchild Lily Primmer (Carson City, NV).
Holechek Funeral Home and Cremations in Chappell is serving the Shunk family.