James Burney Munce
January 4, 1943 - July 29, 2020
On July 29, 2020, James Burney Munce, 77, lost his battle with metastatic prostate cancer. He passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family. James, or "Jim", was born and raised in Southern California. In 1960, he graduated from Phineas Banning High School in Wilmington, CA. He attended the University of Southern California as an undergraduate and graduated from Washington University School of Dentistry in St. Louis, Missouri. In June 1967, he passed the California State Dental Board exam and then entered the U.S. Navy. While in the Navy, he was attached to the First Marine Air Wing in the Republic of South Vietnam and achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander. After leaving the Navy, Jim opened his own dental practice in San Diego. During his 53 years of practicing dentistry, he was an active member of The American and California Dental Associations, the San Diego Dental Society, the Council on Ethics of the San Diego County Dental Society, the Council on Peer Review, and the Board of Directors of the Dental Society. Jim had the honor of being selected several times as one of "San Diego's Top Dentists" by San Diego Magazine. He believed everyone deserves quality dental care and loved to see people's smiles. Jim often donated products and services to local charitable organizations and people he met who needed treatment. Throughout his career, he developed a loyal community of valued patients and colleagues who will miss his expertise, integrity, and compassion. Though his practice was recently sold, his dedicated staff, whom he loved like family members, remain committed to honoring his legacy at the dental practice he established five decades ago. In addition to his devotion to the practice of dentistry, Jim lived life to the fullest. With friends and family, he enjoyed water and snow skiing, playing tennis, traveling, sharing a delicious meal and bottle of good wine, and working on different projects at his trailer on the Colorado River. His greatest love of all was family. Jim was a devoted son, husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend. He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Viola June Munce, and his brother Jay. He is survived by his wife Jane, their blended family of five children, James Brian Munce, Jamie Munce Morinaga, Deena Mione Engler, Andrew Mione, and Nicole Mione-Green, their spouses, 12 grandchildren, his sister June, and a large, close-knit extended family. Everyone who knew and loved Jim will miss his patience, kindness, and generosity. The family held a small private memorial service at Miramar National Cemetery on August 18, 2020. They plan on hosting a Celebration of Life in the spring of 2021. A memorial fund has been established in his name at the Geis Dental Clinic at the Veterans Village of San Diego. The family wishes to thank everyone who has sent their condolences and support, as they remember and honor the man they all loved and cherished.
Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on Nov. 15, 2020.