Jarrod Kunkel | SteamboatToday.com

Jarrod Kunkel

Jarrod Kunkel was born Aug. 2, 1981, in Salida to Richard Kunkel and Dianna Ponikvar.

He lived in Buena Vista from birth until the age of two when he moved to Jacksonville, Fla.

Jarrod stated kindergarten in Jacksonville Florida then moved to Toronto ,Ohio. Jarrod spent first grade through fourth grade in Toronto, Ohio, where he played T-ball, little league baseball and full contact football in the safety position until he move to Craig with his mother and sister in 1992.

Jarrod attended school from fourth grade through graduation at Moffat County High School in Craig. Jarrod played varsity baseball starting his freshman year of high school and was the quarterback of the Moffat County football team until he broke his ankle.

Jarrod received a college baseball scholarship through Mesa State College in Grand Junction after high school. Jarrod continued to play college baseball through scholarships with the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls Idaho, Bellevue University in Nebraska and Colorado Northwest Community College, where Jarrod also helped coach while recovering from Shoulder surgery.

Jarrod was preparing to play baseball in the minor leagues in Louisiana when he fractured his back throwing a 92-mph fastball during a tournament in Las Vegas, which ended Jarrod's baseball career. Jarrod has a younger sister, Lindsey, whom he also worked with and helped teach the sport of baseball, which earned her a baseball scholarship in College.

Lindsey chose to take a different career path through helping people in difficult times of life and is employed through Lakewood Colorado Police Department.

Jarrod also has a step-sister, Alexis Kunkel of West Virginia.

Jarrod returned to Denver and worked in HVAC until he decided that his love and passion was still on the baseball diamond. Jarrod decide to move to California through a former college baseball colleague to start helping teach children of all ages the game and sport of baseball with X-Factor Baseball Academy.

Jarrod loved coaching his baseball kids and enjoyed going to their games to witness first hand, the progress each child had made and cheer them on.

Jarrod was preceded in death by grandfather John Kunkel, great grandparents Harold and Ledra Clark, and aunt Annie Ponikvar.

A celebration of Jarrod Kunkel's life will be at from 3-7 p.m. Dec. 15, 2012, at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265, 419 E. Victory Way in Craig.