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1929 Harold 2023

Harold Rubert Muncie

December 4, 1929 — December 27, 2023

Harold Rubert Muncie (Hal; Monk; Buppy; Papa) went to be with the Lord December 27, 2023, at 1:06 PM peacefully at home in Gardner, Kansas. Hal was born December 4th, 1929, in Madison, IN to Emery Ozro and Eunice Pauline (Teaford) Muncie, during the great depression. He was the youngest of three children, including his sister, Mary Eunice, and brother, Emery Teaford. As a child he enjoyed his two dogs Prince and Chum, playing second base in softball, center in basketball, high jump in track, and serving as a lifeguard at the Madison public pool where he saved a little girl’s life. He enjoyed listening to the Kentucky Derby and Indy 500 on the radio and sitting on the banks of the Ohio River watching the Madison Regatta boat races. Hal recalled the Ohio River flood of 1936-1937 where he and his dad floated on a little boat through the water-filled halls of the Madison schools, forever remembering there was, “No school for seven months!” Hal became a New York Yankees fan at the age of eight when he applied to be a Yankee bat boy. He saved Wheaties boxes with famous NYY players on them and still spoke of the day his mom used his Lou Gherig box for cardboard and ironed over it. Music caught his interest at a young age, and he enjoyed singing throughout his entire life.

Hal graduated from Madison High School in 1948, and often spoke with a smile of his high school basketball years wearing #7. He the pivotman, and his team went on to the state championship. After graduation he was off to DePauw University in Greencastle, IN where he joined Lambda Chi Alpha, was part of the athletic basketball program, and coached the freshman basketball team before graduating in 1952 with his Bachelor of Arts. Later Hal went on to Indiana University to receive his Master of Science in Education in 1959.

In September of 1952 Hal was drafted into the 3rd Infantry division of the Army and set sail for 34 days from New York through the Panama Canal to Japan. He was a Corporal in the Korean War, serving for two years in the US Army Signal Corps as a teletype communications operator. While serving, Hal met the newly married Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe when they came to entertain the troops. The military wanted him to stay on and become a sergeant, but he wanted to come home and start the next chapter of his life.

After accepting the position of Head Basketball Coach at Tyner High School in September of 1954, Hal moved to Northern Indiana and rented a boarding room at Koontz Lake. Shortly thereafter, Carole Holmquist, the previous year’s drum majorette, came to see him at the lake boarding house under the guise of, “returning the band whistle,” and the rest is history. That lucky whistle is still tied to Hal and Carole’s wedding album. They were married the next Spring, on June 5th of 1955. Hal went on to coach and teach at Tyner High School for nine years, becoming the principal from 1963-1965. Hal also spoke with excitement about meeting Jesse Owens while serving as President of the Marshall County Teachers’ Association. During this time, he and Carole adopted a son Robert Kevin and daughters Karla Marie and Kristine Joan. In the Spring of 1965 Hal was appointed the Principal of the Walkerton High School. In 1968 a new high school was built, and that fall Astronaut John Glenn was in attendance for the dedication ceremony for the new John Glenn High School. In June of 1972, Hal was named Superintendent of PLJ School Corporation. He oversaw the merger of PLJ with North Liberty, which became John Glenn School Corporation, and he served as Superintendent for an additional 12 years.

In April of 1985 Hal was named Superintendent of the Western Boone School Corporation, in Thorntown, IN where he served a very successful seven years. In late 1985 parts of the movie, “Hoosiers,” were filmed on location nearby. Hal granted leave for the student body to participate as extras and he got to meet actor Gene Hackman along the way. Hal and his family attended Lebanon Bible Baptist Church. In 1990 his wife of 35 wonderful years, Carole, passed away suddenly from illness. In 1992 Hal retired after serving 38 years in the field of education.

Hal was introduced to Pat French through a mutual friend in early 1991. There was an instant connection, and they were married on October 5, 1991, in Springfield, MO. After Hal’s retirement, they moved to Springfield to be closer to Pat’s children and grandchildren. He and Pat regularly attended the Missouri State Lady Bear Basketball games and worked in Branson, MO at the Osmond Family Theater. They were members of the Sycamore Baptist and Park Crest Baptist churches in Springfield, MO. Pat preceded Hal in death on June 27, 2008. Hal remained in Springfield and volunteered at Mercy Hospital until 2013 when he moved to Gardner, KS.

Hal loved spending time with his family and on the lake, driving boats, and playing card games and basketball with his kids. Hal’s love of music and singing would shine through when he would regale us with Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Amazing Grace, and God Bless America, and he even loved crooning Moon River in the shower with his strong, booming baritone. He had a strong interest in History: teaching; reading; visiting historical sites and cemeteries; researching genealogies, wars, and biographies; and collecting newspapers from specific days in history. He will forever be remembered as a kind, gentle man with a warm heart, and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He was very social, encouraging, patient, sometimes teasing, and had a smile that warmed the room. He was a devoted NY Yankees fan who loved his country, friends, family, and the Lord.

Hal was preceded in death by his wife of 35 years Carole (Holmquist) Muncie.

Three children: preceded in death by son Robert Muncie; survived by daughters Karla Muncie and Kristine Pardue (husband Jonathan).

Seven grandchildren: Michael Jay Cummins; Randon Cummins (wife Kathy); Kara Lading (husband Joshua); Krista Cummins; Justin Muncie; Nicholas Pardue; and Phillip Pardue.

Thirteen great grandchildren: Alyssa Cummins; Vivian Elliott; Allison Knox; Michael JR Cummins; Regan Cummins; Grace Cummins; Leah Lading; Kaylabelle Lading; Alisabeth Lading; Adelay Lading; Alanna Muncie; Bentley Muncie; and Chloee Muncie.

Preceded in death by second wife Patricia French Muncie. Survived by two stepchildren, Kevin Cummings (wife Lynette) and Tricia Throgmorton (husband Farron).

Seven step-grandchildren: Katie Seamans; Erin Cummings; Nate Cummings; Allison Hart; Aubrey Hart; Bryce Hart; preceded in death by step-grandson Adam Cummings.

Two step-great-grandchildren: Parker Halverson-Hart and Leo Halverson-Hart.

Community service through the years: Served as Chairman of the Council of Ministers for the Tyner United Methodist Church; member of the Gideons; President of the Walkerton Lions Club; served on the Board of the Directors of the Walkerton Chamber of Commerce; served on the Election and Membership Committees for the Superintendent’s Association; volunteered at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, MO; taught Sunday School for many years; Veteran of the Korean War.

Church affiliations: Member of United Methodist Church, Madison and Tyner, IN; Lebanon Bible Baptist Church, Lebanon, IN; Sycamore Baptist and Park Crest Baptist Churches in Springfield, MO; and Grace Baptist Church in Gardner, KS.

Visitation will be held on Friday, January 12, 2024 from 11-1pm at the Tyner United Methodist Church,4503 French Street, Tyner, IN 46572.

Funeral services will immediately follow with Pastor Cathy Wesolek officiating.

Burial will follow in the Woodlawn Cemetery, Walkerton with military honors rendered by the U.S. Army Funeral Honor Guard.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to: Global Orphan Project 3161 Wyandotte Street Kansas City, MO 64111 or to Goproject.org Please notify the family of your donation, so they can say thank you!
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