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George Hunkins July 5, 1927 – January 27, 2024

George Hunkins 96 years of life held many interests. He was born and raised in Breckenridge, MN close to the North Dakota border. He worked at Stanley Iron Works as lead draftsman. George was a regular Episcopalian church member, proud of his English ancestry and enjoyed sharing his historical knowledge.

George was very patriotic. He was a tail-end (1945) WW ll vet. He went into the navy, basic training, US naval base, Lake Michigan, near Chicago. After the war, George was part of a color guard at Ft. Snelling National Park for veteran’s burial ceremonies; gun salutes and American Flag presentations to the families. George led a number of Veteran’s Day hikes, with flags, approximately two miles, from the Veteran’s building through downtown St Paul and back receiving lots of approval, cheers, thumbs up, greetings from the downtown people. He annually led a St Paul Hiking Club walk to honor Charles M Kuhlman, a medical corpsman in WW ll and former SPHC member, who died in action at the age of 27. George was a longtime active member of the 4th District American Legion.

George liked sports: He enjoyed attending Twins, Vikings and Gopher games. He was a longtime member and past president of The Original St Paul Baseball Old Timers Hot Stove League.

George was a 50 year loyal and dedicated member of the St Paul Hiking Club. He served on the SPHC board of directors in the 1980s and 1990s. George liked to use public transportation, several times he had the SPHC meet at 46th and Hiawatha and take the new train to downtown MPLS and back. Geroge ran eight MSP marathon’s and also shorter races. George talked about running a lot. He talked about training for the Boston, New York and Duluth Marathons. He loved running and did it into his senior years. George met his wife Nella in the SPHC. He enjoyed having the SPHC as well as other hiking clubs in his life. He liked to take special car trips, Cooperstown NY. major league baseball hall of frame, hiking highest points in MN and nearby states, MN, ND, SD, Iowa and other remote destinations to hike. George led many hikes for the SPHC, would always take time to introduce himself welcome and talk to new members in the hiking club. In 2023 George was presented with a Lifetime Honorary Membership in the SPHC for his 50 years of contributions and to recognize his invaluable service in WW II. Everyone that has hiked with George will fondly remember his stories and have their own ‘George Stories’ to tell. May he rest in peace.

Article in the Star & Tribune, March 7th, 1979:
You might call George a baseball’s fan baseball fan. In fact, that’s what other Save the Met members called him when he showed up to tote a sign at the Capitol. Hunkins is the kind of guy who lives and breathes baseball, who works 40 hours a week as a draftsman so he can go to baseball games, who divides his life into two seasons, baseball season and the off season. He took a half-day off from his job at Stanley Iron Works, without pay so he could lobby against the domed stadium proposal.
“Baseball is very important to me.” he said. “I’ve been a fan since I was 6 years old and I’m 51 now so that tells you something. I guess you’d say baseball is my prime hobby.”
For George, the stadium issue is simple, The Met is a good stadium, no domed stadium could be better. So he’s against a dome.

Article in the Star & Tribune, May 31. 1992:
George Hunkins of St. Paul has run eight marathons, and his best time was 3 hours, 37 minutes at Boston in 1984. As he strode briskly down the sidewalk, the sun dropping behind a hillock on his left, he conceded that hiking lacked running’s immediate excitement. “But I still enjoy this (walking),” he said. “You get to see things. Running, you don’t get a chance to really see them. You’re just fixed on running.

A sincere thank you to Robert Tholkes and Dave Baker, longtime friends and fellow hikers of George Hunkins, who supplied the information for this memorial.

 Long time St. Paul Hiking Club member and hike leader, George Hunkins, organized and led a St. Paul Veterans Day hike.

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