Gene Bertram Kuntz

March 17, 1931 ~ April 16, 2021 (age 90)


Gene B. Kuntz, 90, passed away peacefully on April 16, 2021. He was born on March 17, 1931 to Roy Kuntz and Alma Kuntz in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

Gene is survived by his daughter Terri D. Kuntz, his son Tracy G. Kuntz, and niece Sali D. Moore.   He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Patricia D. Kuntz, his brother-in-law Stanley G. Moore, and daughter-in-law Lori L. Sturgess.

Gene earned his Degree in Trumpet Performance along with additional Master’s Degree hours in Music Education from the Manhattan School of  Music. He studied privately with the principal trumpet chairs of the Pittsburgh Symphony, the NBC Symphony, and the New York Philharmonic. His first professional orchestral position was with the Pittsburgh Symphony at age eighteen. His resume’ grew quickly, as other opportunities soon followed: Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, the Fred Waring tour, two weekly television and radio broadcasts in NYC while in the U.S. Army, seventeen years in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in NYC, followed by the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. Once transplanted from NYC to NM with his family, Gene again played with the SF Opera Orchestra and the Santa Fe Symphony, also serving on the boards of each. Further, he served on the boards of the Santa Fe Concert Association, the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce, and was Chairman of the Santa Fe Arts Festival. Gene was modest about having played under the batons of Arturo Toscanini, Igor Stravinsky, and Aaron Copland. Gene’s work is a part of numerous professional recordings under the direction of one or more of these masters.

Gene was also the proud co-owner and operator - along with his wife Patricia (“Pat”) Kuntz - of four retail businesses in Santa Fe: two Hallmark Card & Party Shops, Case and Crystal, Territorial Editions (rare and Southwest U.S. antiquarian books by catalog), and Editions Gallery in downtown Santa Fe. Beyond his consummate professionalism and many accomplishments, Gene enjoyed gardening, his beloved wife’s gourmet cooking, the humor of both Carol Burnett and the Muppets, and was a devoted NFL fan!

A private family memorial will be held. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Santa Fe Symphony, or any other music or fine arts organizations. These non-profit have always required support from the public not only to survive, but to thrive. “Mr. K” (Gene) was himself a passionate supporter of the arts; and could not imagine a world without them. He would have so appreciated any assistance which would to allow the arts to recover and continue, especially in light of the recent damage caused by the COVID pandemic.


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