William Louis (Bill) Punkoney Jr.
Bill Punkoney – nicknamed “Tex” and “Boss” by his friends – passed away July 10, 2007, in Grand Junction after a long illness. He served his country proudly in the Pacific theater during World War II, and was a true cowboy.
He was born Dec. 5, 1920, to Mamie Lou Harris and William Louis Punkoney Sr., in Slaton, Texas. Shortly after the war, Bill married Elizabeth (Liz) Hayward Wessman. They lived in Boulder for a short time and then moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in 1949. They ranched at Sopris Creek, Prince Creek and Katherine Heights, and managed the Howard Kent ranch operation in Snowmass from 1956 until 1970.
Bill’s true love was horses. He helped organize the Standard Quarter Horse Association in the 1960s. After leaving the Roaring Fork Valley in the 1970s, Bill moved to Deming, N.M., to manage a Beefmaster ranch for Tom Ellinwood. In 1978, he married Carol Anne Pinnt. Bill was well respected as a fine stockman, rancher and cowboy. Anyone that met him instantly recognized his extraordinary work ethic. He was an inventor and a man of many talents.
Bill is survived by his wife, Carol Anne; daughters Julie (Ken) Spooner, Luana (Dave) Erickson and Wendy (Willis) Carr; son William L. Punkoney III (Laura); and stepdaughters Bonnie (Pinnt) Kline and Katherine (Pinnt) McNutt. He is also survived by eight grandchildren: Laura Spooner (Peter) Muller, Andrea Erickson, Elizabeth Carr (Josh) Davis, Emily Carr Herbert (Randy), William L. Punkoney IV (Sarah), Stephanie Punkoney Rockwood (Jared), Anthony and Stephanie McNutt; and nine great-grandchildren: AJ, Jessica Littrell (Muller), Demetrius and Devin Davis, Isabelle and Randy Herbert, Tyrel Rockwood, Elaina and Cole Erickson; and one sister, Curley.