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DR. CLARENCE E. BUNKER - ESSEX JUNCTION - Dr. Clarence Edward Bunker ("Bunk"), 82, of Essex Junction, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, following an extended hospitalization in Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington. He was born on March 17, 1929, in Howland, Maine, and was raised by Nora and Clarence Bunker in Brewer, Maine. As a youth he began his lifelong interests in photography, astronomy, music, and sports. He would later entertain his family and friends with countless hours on the piano and guitar. He was active in scouting and served in W.W.II as a civil air patrol spotter. Bunk was a man of inexhaustible intellectual curiosity, which served him well in the classroom and throughout his life. He graduated magna cum laude from University of Maine in 1951, with a degree in engineering physics. He then worked for Eastman Kodak for a short time and moved on to Pratt-Whitney where he was project engineer in the aircraft nuclear engine lab until 1957. His love of learning and thirst for knowledge led him into the field of medicine. He attended UVM medical school where he met his future wife, Dawn Kolodziej, and graduated cum laude in 1962. While there, he was awarded the Woodbury Prize as the top ranking second year student, and earned honor society memberships in engineering, physics, and medicine. Clarence then served a six year surgical residency at Stanford University, where he started his family. He returned to Vermont and began his surgical career as assistant professor in the Dept. of Surgery at UVM and also as attending surgeon at the Fanny Allen and Medical Center hospitals. He became Chief of Surgery at Fanny Allen and held that position until 1982. Throughout his long medical career he touched thousands of lives and will be remembered fondly by all. Even in retirement, Bunk never tired of learning or passing his knowledge on through teaching. He taught at the University of Saba Medical School from '99-'02. The students who worked with him have been permanently enriched by his example. Throughout his life, he was an avid reader, and in retirement he satisfied his intellectual appetite at the computer and with countless books. His love of golf spanned 60 years with two holes-in-one to his credit. Time spent on the links with his "laddies" was top priority and good medicine. Bunk considered his children and grandchildren his treasure. He invested his life in them and the gifts given were for their heads and their hearts. He cherished his halcyon summer days spent with family on Lake Galway swimming, sailing, and stargazing around the campfire. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Dawn; his son, Stephen with wife, Jessica, and children, Scott, Stephanie, and Kathryn; his son, Christopher and children, Samuel, Marguerite, and Lillian; his cherished daughter, Sarah with husband, Joe Perrotto, and children, Maxwell and Anna; brother, Glendon Dupille; brother-in-law, David Kolodziej; brother-inlaw, Timothy Kolojay with wife, Sandra, and children, David, Shannon, and Julie; niece, Ruth Brown; nephew, Donald Sylvester and wife; and many beloved friends. His family expresses enormous appreciation to the staff in SICU and on Baird 6 for their diligent and loving care and bright smiles. A memorial service (Liturgy of the Word and Words of Remembrance) will be held on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012, at 2 p.m. at Holy Family Church in Essex Junction, followed by a reception at the Inn at Essex. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dr. Bunker's name to Spectrum Youth & Family Services, 31 Elmwood Ave., Burlington, VT 05401.

Published in The Burlington Free Press from Feb. 16 to Feb. 17, 2012
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