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Bunce, Kenneth LeRoy – Obituary

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Baker City, Oregon

Kenneth LeRoy Bunce, 79, of Baker City, died Aug. 22, 2003, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

There will be a Celebration of Life service at 2 p.m. Thursday at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Pastor Robin Harris of the Cornerstone Baptist Church at North Powder will officiate. Friends are asked to join the family for an ice cream social at Settlers’ Park Assisted Living Facility, 2895 17th St., after the celebration.

Visitations will be from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday at Gray’s West & Co.

Ken was born to Vern C. Bunce of Canada and Margarett Bonwell on Dec. 14, 1923. He was a graduate of South Kitsap High School at Port Orchard, Wash. He married Alice Cunningham in December 1942. He soon left to serve his country during World War II. His memories and experiences in the Army during that time were left behind when he returned home to his wife and daughter.

Ken had a passion for horsepower. He logged with his team of horses named Babe and Platterfoot. He then worked at and retired from the Bremerton naval shipyards. He worked on nuclear ships and submarines.

When he retired from civil service he purchased and operated his own “Pa ‘n’ Ma” corner business. They operated the small grocery store, service station, automotive repair shop, chain saw shop, and wrecking yard at Gig Harbor, Wash.

They sold the business in 1974 and came to Baker City. He could not be idle and soon was working at Cliff’s Saws and Cycles. He retired from Cliff’s about 1993. He continued his relationship there by bringing doughnuts to Sally and the guys every week for quite some time.

Quiet by nature, small in stature, Ken was noted for his strong hands and strong will to finish what he started, from crocheting toys, mittens, hats, and slippers for his grandchildren to his latest mechanical venture.

Ken enjoyed the outdoors: camping, hiking, hunting, boating, and fishing (even ice fishing in a local lake when the temperature dipped to minus 10 degrees). Ken worked his way up the chairs while in the Eagles Lodge at Port Orchard, Wash. He was an enthusiastic bowler.

Though his hands were made of iron, he was quick to laugh, and would cause a little mischief with a twinkle in his eye. He wouldn’t hesitate to start a food fight to bring some attention his way.

When Ken moved to Settlers’ Park, he acquired a new extended family, which loved and cared for him, just like their own “Grandpa.” His colorful language and the uncommon nicknames he doled out gave him a permanent spot in the “Settlers’ Park Hall of Fame.”

Ken Bunce will always be remembered for his quick wit, strong will and devotion to family. He was the father of five children: Alice Saul of Baker City, George Bunce of Indiana, and Vickie Culver, Lisa Bunce, and Leslie Bunce all of Washington. He had 11 grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren.

His father, mother, brother, sister, and wife all preceded him in death.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Research Alliance of Oregon through Gray’s West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, August 29, 2003
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor

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