Former Central Ohio SPJ President James Hunkler passes

Sad news for the Central Ohio journalists and communications professionals.

Jim Hunkler

James R. Hunkler, former communications director of and employee of Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus for more than 40 years, died Wednesday, April 26.

He was 88.

Hunkler served as president of the Central Ohio Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for 1969-1970.

He was awarded the Chapter’s Distinguished Service Award in 1977.

According to his obituary printed in The Columbus Dispatch, Hunkler was active in several community and professional groups, including the Columbus Urban League, Columbus Area Leadership Program (and its Leadership Columbus alumni group), Gypsies Travel Club, LifeCare Alliance Meals on Wheels, Central Ohio Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists/Sigma Delta Chi, Press Club of Ohio, the West Virginia University Journalism Alumni Association, the University District Organization in Columbus, and the International Visitors Council in Columbus.

In addition to his SPJ honors, he was a recipient of the Columbus Area Leadership Program’s Columbus Area Leadership Award in 1990 and the Press Club of Ohio’s Hambone Award in 1991. Hunkler was a a longtime member of St. Christopher Church in Columbus.

He was the only child of James M. and Geneva (Phillips) Hunkler, both deceased, of Wheeling, W. Va. According to his obituary, Jim leaves no immediate family, but is survived by many cherished friends in Columbus, Wheeling and various parts of the world.

He requested no visitation. His funeral Mass is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 2,  at St. Christopher’s, 1420 Grandview Ave., Columbus. Burial is to follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Wheeling. In lieu of flowers, friends are asked, if they wish, contribute to the charity of their choice.

Read the full obituary from the Dispatch.