Denny was born in Ogden, UT on October 20, 1954. Raised on the small family farm, he was the middle child of 3 boys to Milford Jr. and Darlene Kunz.
When Denny was a young man, he wanted to be a calf roper. He worked for Country Boy Dairy and sold golf balls and lemonade to the golfers at the nearby golf course. He saved his money to purchase bottle calves from the dairy and cobbled together an arena to practice in. Nonetheless, calf roping took more money than he made. Fortunately, he found his talent for riding bucking horses.
Denny competed in bareback and saddle bronc riding and occasionally bull riding during the slow season.
Hard work and determination made him one of the top bucking horse riders in his day. From 1977 to 1985 Dennyâ€™s rough stock accomplishments included these and more:
- Eastern Utah Rodeo Association: All Around Champion
- Rocky Mountain Rodeo Association: All-Around and Bareback Champion
- 1979- NCA Bareback Champion
Denny â€˜s rodeo career didnâ€™t end when he retired from riding broncs. He became a rodeo pick-up man working for the Cowboyâ€™s Rodeo Commission, Rocky Mountain Rodeo Association (RMRA) and Broken Heart Rodeos. He was consecutively named Pick-up Man of the Year and at the RMRA Finals from 1986-1997.
Denny was a horse trader. He learned to â€œBuy fair and every now and then, reach down and pick up an acornâ€â€™ from Archie Anderson. Denny rented the coliseum to buck the horses as practice for young riders. He was an excellent mentor and teacher, helping many cowboys reach their rodeo goals. In recent years Denny provided roping stock for the RMRA.
Denny ranched with his family running ~500 head of cattle on the Goshute Reservation near the Utah/Nevada border. Riding through blistering heat, freezing blizzards and dust storms, the days were long in the saddle. Even so to Denny quitting wasnâ€™t an option. His determination and character defined what true grit was.
Denny was married 28 years to Donna (Gussie) Palmer and together they have a daughter, Stephanie, and son, Dennis Kincade.
â€œDenny Kunz didnâ€™t start out with the traditional cowboy raising, born on a ranch, working cows from dawn to dusk. Yet in his life he did all those things. Starting from a self-made roper, rodeo rider, pick up man, stock producer and ail-around friend of the cowboy and horse community. â€œ(Vicki Woodward)
The rodeo, western, and ranching community lost a truly unique and unforgettable champion with Dennyâ€™s passing on April 30, 2021