Deanne Whiting Kunz passed away June 24, 2017, at her home in Teton Valley, at the age of
78, surrounded by her family. Deanne bravely dealt with Parkinson’s disease for twenty years.
Deanne was born on October 21, 1938 in Idaho Falls, ID to Ronald G. Whiting and Capitola
Carter. She was the third of five siblings--Peggy, Ronald, Sherrie, and LaNae. Her father was a
bus driver and hobby farmer until he and his wife bought the Basalt Store and her mother was
the Basalt postmaster. As a child, she loved to play make-believe games with animals, dressing
them up and pushing them around in buggies. She loved to draw and paint watercolors and
sing, abilities which she continued to develop throughout her life. As a teenager and young
adult Deanne worked summers in Jackson Hole, WY at Jackson Lake Lodge and other
establishments. She graduated from Firth High School in 1956.
She attended Ricks College for two years where she met and dated her future husband, LaRell
Kunz, and waited while he completed his LDS mission. She finished her Bachelor’s degree in
Elementary Education at Brigham Young University in 1960. She married LaRell Kunz on
September 1, 1960 and moved to Logan and taught elementary school while her husband
finished school. They began their family in Logan, having two sons, Todd LaRell and later Kory
Michael. Her husband took a job with the LDS church education system after graduation,
teaching in Richfield, UT for one year and Gallup, NM for two years. While in New Mexico, they
had their daughter Lori Anne.
Deanne and her husband spent ten years in Lawrence, Kansas where he coordinated the
seminary and institute programs in the Midwest for the LDS church. Deanne had a passionate
interest in church history and they loved to travel to church history sites in the Midwest,
especially Nauvoo. While in the Midwest they had daughters Halli, Nicole, and Jodi Rebecca.
In 1977 they moved to Teton Valley where LaRell taught seminary, ran a dairy, and farmed.
There they had the last two of their eight children, Jared Andrew and Joshua Shane. In 1987,
Deanne began teaching elementary school, which she continued for twelve years, teaching in
the Driggs and Victor schools.
Deanne has been very active in the LDS church, serving as president of the Relief Society and
Young Women’s organizations as well as serving many years at Girl’s Camp and in Primary.
She loved music and helped organize and perform the annual production of The Messiah in
She and her husband loved their mission in Leeds, England where they served as CES
missionaries. Deanne taught Book of Mormon, Church History, Eternal Marriage and directed
the Institute Choir. She also liked exploring family history sites while in England.
She loved traveling and enjoyed a CES trip to the Middle East including Israel, Jordan, Syria,
Damascus, and Egypt. She also traveled to Mexico, the Mediterranean and Greek Islands. She
and her husband enjoyed taking cruises with all of their children and their spouses to the
Caribbean and Hawaiian islands.
Deanne is survived by her loving husband of 57 years, LaRell, her children Kory (Suzette); Lori