Edward Joseph Hunkeler

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Edward Joseph Hunkeler
Bishop and Archbishop emeritus of Kansas City
In office1951–1969
OrdinationJune 14, 1919
by Bishop James Joseph Hartley
ConsecrationMay 1, 1946
by Archbishop Amleto Giovanni Cicognani
Personal details
Born(1894-01-01)January 1, 1894
Medicine Lodge, Kansas
DiedOctober 1, 1970(1970-10-01) (aged 76)
DenominationRoman Catholic
ParentsAnton and Philomena (née Durst) Hunkeler
EducationUniversity of Dayton
Alma materPontifical College Josephinum

Edward Joseph Hunkeler (January 1, 1894 – October 1, 1970) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who served as bishop of the Diocese of Grand Island, Nebraska (1945–1951), and Bishop and Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas (1951–1969).


Edward Hunkeler was born in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, to Anton and Philomena (née Durst) Hunkeler. He and his parents later moved to Dayton, Ohio, where he attended the parochial school of Holy Trinity Church before enrolling at the University of Dayton. He completed his studies for the priesthood at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Worthington. He was ordained by Bishop James Joseph Hartley on June 14, 1919, for the Diocese of Omaha, Nebraska.[1][2]

Hunkeler served as pastor of SS. Philip & James Church in Wynot, Nebraska until 1927, when he was transferred to Blessed Sacrament Church in Omaha. In 1936, he was appointed rector of St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha. He was named a Domestic Prelate by Pope Pius XI in 1937, and became vicar general of the Diocese of Omaha in 1944.[2]

On March 19, 1945, Hunkeler was appointed the third Bishop of Grand Island by Pope Pius XII. He received his episcopal consecration on May 1, 1945, from Archbishop Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, with Bishops James Hugh Ryan and Stanislaus Vincent Bona serving as co-consecrators, at St. Cecilia Cathedral. During his tenure in Grand Island, he ordained 16 priests, and oversaw a large increase in the construction of new churches and other religious institutions in the post-World War II era.[2]

He was named Bishop of Kansas City, Kansas, on March 28, 1951. When the Diocese of Kansas City was elevated to the rank of an archdiocese on August 9, 1952, Hunkeler became its first Archbishop. He attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council.[2][3][4]

Hunkeler resigned as archbishop for health reasons on September 10, 1969. In 1970, while returning from the installation of Bishop Kenneth Joseph Povish, Hunkeler's car was involved in an automobile accident near Crookston, Minnesota. He died two days later, on October 1, at age 76; his death was ascribed to a cardiovascular respiratory condition rather than to injuries sustained in the accident.[2][4]


  1. ^ Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who. XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Bishops". Diocese of Grand Island. Obituary of Hunkeler reproduced from Nebraska Register, vol. 46, no. 41, October 9, 1970. Retrieved June 12, 2017. Archived November 15, 2016.
  3. ^ "Archbishop Edward J. Hunkeler". Catholic Diocese of Dodge City. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "A Brief History". Archidiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Bishop and Archbishop of Kansas City
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Grand Island
Succeeded by