Raymond John Kunze

Raymond John Kunze, age 90, of League City, TX, formerly of East Lansing, MI, died on Sunday, November 4, 2018 at home.

Dr. Kunze retired in 1993 as a professor emeritus of Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.  He served as a full professor for most of his career in the Crop and Soil Sciences Department of Michigan State University.

He attended Texas A & M University, College Station, TX, receiving both his undergraduate and master’s degrees there.  He enrolled in the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) and served in the Korean conflict for two years. He received his Ph.D. in Soil Physics from Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, in 1960.

Raymond was the youngest child of Hermine (nee Moerbe) and John P. Kunze of Warda, TX.  In 1951, he and Margaret Ann Rebsch were married at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, La Grange, TX.  They were blessed with healthy children and led quiet yet busy lives.  Raymond was very active in their church, serving in many capacities over the years.

After the death of his first wife, Margaret, Raymond married Evelyn Rhodes of Clearlake, TX, in 1996.  They made their home in several Texas locations and traveled frequently while their health was good.

Raymond was a Texas Aggie fan throughout his life.  He always enjoyed contract and duplicate bridge, whether with his spouse, friends or university colleagues over daily lunchtime games. He was a lifelong competitor, enjoying baseball, golf and bowling, always seeking to improve his own performance.

Dr. Kunze is survived by his wife, Evelyn Rhodes-Kunze of League City, TX; daughters, Mary E. Sober (Stephnie) of Perry, MI, and Ruth A. Schroeder (Paul) of Rochester, MI; stepson, Don Rhodes of Kansas; grandchildren, Caroline Sober-James (Ron), Joshua Sober (Leah), Aaron Schroeder, Luke Schroeder and Jessica Post (Jeff); step-granddaughters, Pamela Rhodes Hill and Jennifer Schmetzer (Michael).  He is survived by great-grandchildren Margaret (Maggie) James, Jack James, Lillian Sober, Elizabeth Sober and Lachlan Sober; step-great-grandchildren, Ryan Hill, Emily Schmetzer and Isabelle Schmetzer.

Dr. Kunze is survived by one brother, Dr. Otto R. Kunze of Warda, TX.  He is survived by a number of nieces and nephews.

Dr. Kunze was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Dr. George W. Kunze, sister-in-law, Flora Kunze, sister-in-law, Elizabeth Hinsley Kunze, his sister, Doris Kunze Teinert, brother-in-law, Herman Teinert and sister-in-law, Alice Kunze.

Arrangements are being made by Crowder Funeral Home of League City, TX.  A memorial service will be held at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 18220 Upper Bay Road, Houston, TX on Saturday at 10 a.m.

A private family burial will be held following the memorial service.

In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be given to the Library Fund of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 69, Warda, TX 78960-0069




  1. To all decedents of Ray Kunze,

    It is with sadness to hear of Dr. Kunze’s passing and forward heart-felt condolences to you’al. Ray was among the five of us soil physics professors at MSU during the 1980s and 1990s at MSU.

    Ray was the Center pin of the mathematical MSU soil physics team. He also was the mentoring professor of Dr. Ghassem Asrar who recently received both the MSU and CANR Distinguished Alumni Awards. Dr. Asrar became the Director of Research for NASA’s satellite program. Dr. Asrar was responsible for initiating at least 16 NASA satellites designed for remote sensing of agricultural crops.

    May God bless the Kunze family as you celebrate Ray’s life during these days following his passing into the Eternity with God, which he desired.

    Alvin Smucker, Professor, Emeritus, of Soil Biophysics
    • Dr. Smucker, I remember you and your wife, Betty, very well from years ago, when you returned from South America. Thank you so much for your kind words. It’s also interesting to hear a colleague’s memories regarding our father’s professional contributions at MSU.
      Hoping this finds you well,
      Mary Kunze Sober (Ray’s daughter)

      Mary E Sober
  2. You are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Wish we could be with you as you celebrate Raymond’s life.
    Susan & David


Leave Your Condolences

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. Basic HTML code is allowed.