Jimmie Richard “Bunk” Bunker, passed away, April 30, 2015, at the Golden Living Center in Wilson, Kansas.
Jimmie was born November 6, 1939 to Jim & Helen Herber Bunker in Wilson, Kansas. He attended school and graduated from Russell High School in Russell, Kansas. He served in the Kansas National Guard and U. S. Army Reserves for eight years. Being a Drag Race Driver for the Williams/Bunker Racing Team was the “love of his life”. ‘Bunk’ as he was known to many, started driving in 1958, traveling throughout the U.S. and Canada. During his career, he drove, B-Roadsters, Single ‘A’ and Double ‘AA’ Gas Dragsters, Double AA/Altered Roasters, AA Street Racers and a 70% Nitro-Fuel Racing H Octane Indy Drag Racer. He was a member of the American and other Hot Rod Associations. Just a few of the teams racing victories were in Phoenix, AZ; Bristol, TN; Tulsa, OK; Pomona, CA; Denver, CO; including the Winter Nationals, World Championship in Fort Worth, TX; Mid-West Championship, Kansas City, MO and the top-eliminator, Canadian Nationals in Winnipeg, Canada. He also drove in many of the areas local races well into the 1970’s. Over the years he worked for and owned several Auto & Boat, mechanic shops, worked in the oil-fields, served as the Wilson Lake Park Custodian, where his mother Helen Bunker and trusted Yellow Lab ‘ Hugger’ were killed in a tornado in 1993. He settled in Dorrance, KS where he lived for many years. He was a well known and loved ‘characters’ who loved to fish, go black powder hunting for deer and turkey, then cooking for his many friends. He traveled the area on his motorcycle and in his ‘rescued & restored’ camping vehicle with his Labradors ‘Hugger’ and later ‘Twister’. He used his ‘camper vehicle’ for “Jim Bunker Tours of Lake Wilson & The Garden of Eden”. He just had a good time in everything he did and made friends wherever he went. After suffering his first ‘stoke’ six years ago, he has now been released from his earthly struggle to continuing his racing days, the place he returned to in his ‘mind’ these past years. He was proceeded in his death by his parents, grand parents Seymour & Winifred Olds Bunker & Carl & Bertha Hilgenberg Herber. He is survived by his sisters, Jane Bunker Overy and Carolee Marie Peterson, along with their husbands, Carl Overy & Dale Peterson, nephew, Scott Overy and wife Sharon, and niece Tammy Peterson Summers and husband Mike, all of Nevada and niece Dixie Lee Peterson, California, cousins and great- nephews and nieces. The family thanks the staff of Golden Living Center-Wilson and Dr. Ronald Whitmer-Wilson and his staff for their care of Jimmie through the years.
Jimmie’s Great-Grandfather & Great-Grandmother, William & Mary Ann (Williams) Bunker, along with six of their children, settled on a farm along the Smokey Hill River near Dorrance, KS In 1878, after arriving from Cleveland, OH from their home in Modbury,England.
A memorial service to celebrate Jimmie’s life will be held at 10:00 A.M. on Saturday, September 26, 2015, at the Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, Russell, Kansas with Pastor Roger Dennis officiating. Cremation has preceded the service and burial of the cremains will take place at the Dorrance City Cemetery in Dorrance, Kansas, following the chapel service. A lunch will follow at the Dorrance American Legion Hall, immediately following the graveside service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donation be made to the S.R.C.A. Drag Strip Museum- Great Bend, KS or the Golden Living Center-Wilson, KS and sent in care of the mortuary. Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell, Kansas, is in charge of the funeral service arrangements.