October 27, 2017

Kuntz shares father’s legacy

By John Shaughnessy

William “Bill” KuntzThere are moments in life when the past, the present and the future come together so beautifully, making a person think about the blessings in his life.

William “Bill” Kuntz experienced that feeling on the evening of Sept. 19 when he was surrounded by family and friends as he was honored with the CYO’s highest award. And the feeling intensified about six hours later when he welcomed his fourth grandchild into the world.

“They’re all so special,” Kuntz says about the birth of another grandchild. “I get goosebumps just thinking about it.”

His voice also fills with emotion as recalls receiving the St. John Bosco Award. After all, the CYO has been a constant thread through his life since he grew up as the son of Bill Kuntz, Sr., one of the leading figures in the history of the organization in the archdiocese.

The son remembers being a boy, “hanging out with my dad as he would visit gyms and ball fields on weekends. I learned so much by watching how he treated people, always making people feel good about who they were and what they did.”

He also recalls playing CYO sports, and participating in the one-act plays and the talent shows. And he glows about all the adults who touched his life during those years.

Then he thinks about his own tenure as a volunteer—as a groundskeeper, a coach, an official, the CYO’s president.

The CYO has been so much a part of his life that he expected to be calm during the awards ceremony. But then CYO executive director Bruce Scifres talked about the tremendous legacy of Kuntz’s father, and Scifres added that “the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Like father, like son.”

Kuntz’s calm was washed away by emotion. He thought of his parents, including all the years of support from his mom, “Hank.” He thought of his wife of 42 years, Martha. He thought of their three kids, their grandchildren, his siblings and all the people he has met through CYO.

He also thought about the impact the CYO has had on so many lives.

“At the end of the day, what are we here for?” says Kuntz, a member of St. Jude Parish in Indianapolis. “What is the Church trying to teach us? We’re here to live the Gospel, celebrate the sacraments, and share our God-given talents in service to others. And the CYO does that as well as any organization on the planet.”

The bond between a father and son runs deep. †

 

Related story: Archbishop salutes CYO honorees and ‘teams’ that support them

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