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Rodney Gordon Bunke

1931 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Rodney Gordon Bunke Obituary

Age 86, of Riverside, California, passed away peacefully at his home on October 26, 2017. He was born in Orange, CA on January 10, 1931 to Leo and Irene Bunke.
He grew up in Orange, served 4 years in the Air Force during the Korean War and afterwards started in 1955, along with his brother-in-law John Gould, Gould & Bunke, a successful poultry business, partnership and friendship that would ultimately last 58 years. Rod married Naomi in 1959 and Gould & Bunke was moved to Riverside County by Lake Mathews and expanded to include citrus.
Rod was happiest when taking on the challenges that ranch life presented, from fixing tractors, inventing automation systems to collecting eggs, wiring buildings and creating an entire system of reservoirs, pumps and piping to irrigate the groves from runoff water. Rod's ingenious solutions were always practical, never pretty but always beautifully unique in function if not form. Work on the ranch never ended but Rod and John found time to build two houses for their families, Rod designing his own, true to his nature. He also learned to fly, quietly, not wanting to be seen as impractical, purchasing a 1947 Aeronca Champ for $3500, and getting his private pilot's license and soon Rod and Naomi were flying, camping and touring all over the United States, up to Alaska and into Canada.
Rod will be missed as a husband, a father and mostly as a role model as someone who did things his own way, with a never faltering work ethic and sense of practicality and for being forever true to his own unique creative vision.
Rod is survived by Naomi, his wife of 59 years; twin sister Charlotte Gould; brother Art; daughter Karen Reither and sons Carl and Eric.
A memorial service will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Riverside on December 9 at 1:00pm followed by a reception at the church.
Published in Press-Enterprise from Dec. 2 to Dec. 8, 2017
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