Patricia Joyce (Parks) Kunard

patricia (parks) kunard

June 3, 1934 ~ April 15, 2023

Born in: Cushing, Oklahoma
Resided in: Asheville, North Carolina

“Everyone who knew her, loved her from the start”

Patricia Joyce (Smith) Parks Kunard passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 15, 2023 at the Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community in Asheville, NC.

Pat was born on June 3, 1934, in Cushing, Oklahoma, the only child of Emmett and Veloice (Carter) Smith. Raised in Cushing, and a 1952 graduate of Cushing High School, she attended Oklahoma A&M College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education in 1956. In later years, she continued her education studying Interior Design at Oklahoma State University, honing a keen sense of style, a skillset she put to use throughout her life.

She married Donald David Kunard, also of Cushing, on February 24, 1956, eloping after a long romance dating back to high school, thus beginning a lifelong partnership and adventure spanning more than 67 years. Pat was the exemplary wife of a career Army officer, creating loving homes in 15 different locations in Europe and the US. With each new Army posting, as well as the ensuing retirement years, the family collected countless friends, traveled extensively, and created unique experiences and lifelong memories along the way. Recognized as an elegant hostess, entertaining was second nature to Pat as she planned and hosted memorable gatherings for colleagues, friends and family. She will always be remembered as a dedicated mother to her two daughters, Kim and Kris, who to this day strive to emulate her effortless grace in all situations.

Pat was a person of many interests with a passion for excelling at each. A skilled chef who had Cordon Bleu training, one of her notable creations being the SNTT (Subtle New Taste Treat) – a term for her creative dishes and meals which spanned the culinary gamut and never disappointed. She was active in a wide range of civic and social organizations including Chi Omega Sorority; 15 years as a docent at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History; 6 years with the Friends of Mount Vernon, 3 as Co-Chair; 3 years as a Director of the Fluvanna (VA) County Historical Society; an inductee to the Order of St. Barbara; and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. As a Master Gardener, Pat loved growing beautiful flowers and plantings that would serve her other outdoor passion, bird watching. She had a way of making beauty wherever she went and every day spent with Pat was a special day.

Pat is survived by her husband Don; daughters Kim Everett (Dave) of Saluda, North Carolina, and Kris Kunard-Blevins (Larry) of Kirtland, Ohio; granddaughter Kaitlin Blevins (Jacob Ribnik) of Poway, California; grandson Nathan Blevins of Brooklyn, New York; and great-granddaughter Hazel Ribnik of Poway.

Memorials in recognition of the care and support that Pat received may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of Western NC, 31 College Place Suite Doppler 103, Asheville, NC, 28801; and/or the Four Seasons Hospice Foundation, 211 North Main Street, Hendersonville, NC, 28792.

Services will be held at 11:00 AM Wednesday, July 5, 2023 at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian, 72 Long Shoals Road, Arden, NC, is assisting the family.


Funeral Service: July 5, 2023 11:00 am

Arlington National Cemetery
1 Memorial Avenue
Arlington, Virginia 22211


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  1. She was always there for me and all her friends and family, with a smile, a laugh and if lucky, an SNTT.
    Be at peace, Cousin Pat.

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