Olympian, World Champion, National Champion, Scientist, Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend. All titles earned by Danute (Bunki) Bankaitis-Davis in cycling and life. Bunki passed away on January 29, 2021, following a seven-year cancer battle. She was 63-years-old. Bunki's greatest joy was her family, and she is survived by her husband Chip, son Armen, brothers Vytas, Raimundas, Jonas, Saulius and Audrius, and sisters Mirga, Sigute and Aukse. Bunki was the daughter of Lithuanian immigrants, Henrikas and Aldona Bankaitis, both deceased. Bunki was a standout in the Boulder region's talent-rich cycling community. Her career highlights included being named to the US Olympic Road Cycling Team in 1988 (Seoul, Korea) and 1992 (Barcelona Spain - 1st Alternate), and winning gold medals in the Team Time Trial at the 1992 World Championships and 1992 National Championships. She raced for the US National Cycling Team, and top trade teams, including 7-Eleven, Centurion and Look. Bunki earned multiple chemistry degrees, including B.S. and M.S. from Cleveland State University, and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of North Carolina. Upon retiring from cycling, Bunki was a successful translational scientist, specializing in drug and diagnostic development. In 1998, she co-founded Source MDx®, a molecular diagnostics company, headquartered in Boulder. Most recently, she served as Vice President Quality and Laboratory Operations for Scipher Medicine in Boston, MA. Bunki made a habit of tackling every stage in life with spirit, determination, excellence, kindness and good humor. She remains well-loved by all who knew her, and will be profoundly missed. In her memory, please consider supporting the The Bunki Bankaitis-Davis Memorial Scholarship at the University of North Carolina. To learn more and contribute, visit https://give.unc.edu/gift/bdavis
Published in The Daily Camera on Feb. 14, 2021.