Johnny Kuncheff, 92, of Sheridan, passed away on Tuesday, February 14, 2017, at his residence.
Johnny was born July 30, 1924, in Winton, Wyoming, a small coal camp just
north of Rock Springs, now a ghost town. His parents, Chris and Mary Kuncheff, were
immigrants from Bulgaria. Johnny grew up in Winton and graduated from Reliance High
School, class of 1942. His studies at University of Wyoming were interrupted by World
War II. He served as an infantryman with the army engineers in the South Pacific until
after Japan's surrender. After the war, he completed his studies, graduating with a BS
in mechanical engineering. For most of his career, however, he worked as a civil
engineer as a civilian member of the US Army Corps of Engineers. He worked on flood
control projects including projects in Farson and Rock Springs. In June of 1958, he
married Irene Bonella, also an engineer, originally from Hudson, Wyoming, and they
moved to Omaha, where their three daughters were born. After spending a year in
Sheridan in 1965, they settled in Fort Peck, Montana, where he supervised
hydroelectric power production and flood control on the upper Missouri River. Johnny
retired in 1985 as the Area Engineer for the Corps of Engineers. In retirement he and
Irene moved back to Sheridan, where he remained for 21 years.
He was a devoted husband and father, and will be sorely missed by his daughters and
He is survived by daughter Nancy Kuncheff, of Reno Nevada, her husband Bill
Rolshoven , and their three sons John, Nathan and Joey; daughter Mary Barnhart of
Parker Colorado, and her husband Randy Barnhart, and sons Adam and Bryan;
daughter Dr. Patricia Tobi of Sheridan, Wyoming, and her husband Steven Tobi;
niece Chris Veurink, and nephews Johnny, Barry and Val Eklund and numerous grand
nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his younger sister, Mildred Eklund. He cared for his wife
Irene through her struggle with Alzheimers disease until she passed away in 2010. They
shared 52 years of happy marriage.
Johnny loved to sing and dance, and socialize. He loved to fish and hunt and spend
time in the mountains with friends and family. He was frequently to be seen walking
with his little dog Smokey all over Sheridan in recent years.
Memorial donations may be sent to the Sheridan Senior Center, 241 Smith Street,
Sheridan, Wyoming, or Glaucoma Research Foundation, 251 Post Street, Suite 600,
San Francisco, CA 94108
For video of him flying on the trapeze on his 90th birthday, see https://
A Visitation will be held at 6:00 p.m. with a Rosary at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, February 17, 2017, at Kane Funeral Home. Mass of the Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 18, 2017, at Holy Name Church with Father Ron Stolcis officiating. Burial will be held in the Sheridan Elks Memorial Cemetery with Military Honors. A reception will follow in the Parish Hall.
Online condolences may be written at www.kanefuneral.com.
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.