MAXINE VIRGINIA BUNKER was born on December 5, 1926, the 5th of 12 children born to Carl and Clara (Rosel) Severson on the farm near Erwin, South Dakota. She grew up on the farm and helped with farm chores. She also helped care for her siblings and do other household duties. She attended Erwin Public School. She was united in marriage to Archie Lloyd Bunker on September 3, 1946 in De Smet, South Dakota. After their marriage they lived in several places including Esteline, De Smet, Lake Preston, and Beresford, South Dakota, Lester, Iowa, Hills, Beaver Creek, Ihlen, Jasper, and Pipestone, Minnesota. Throughout her working years Max worked as a CNA at the County Home near Luverne, Minnesota, the Mary Jane Brown Home in Luverne, the Ashton Care Center in Pipestone, and the Good Samaritan Village in Pipestone. She also continued to work part time in Home Health Care after her retirement, and enjoyed her time at the 2nd Edition Clothing Store in Pipestone as well. After Lloyd’s death in 2014, and when Max’s health began to decline she became a resident of Ridgeview Estates in Pipestone and then the Good Samaritan Communities of Pipestone. She moved down to Parkview Manor in Ellsworth, Minnesota in April of 2017 where she passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 2, 2020 at the age of 93 years and 27 days.
Max was a member of the Jasper Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jasper. She enjoyed gardening, both vegetables and flowers, canning, reading, and spending time with her grandkids. She could play harmonica and accordion by ear and loved to sing along with her sisters in her youth. She will be remembered for her amazing chocolate chip cookies and for fresh baked bread as an after school treat. On Saturdays she made homemade soup with buns and Sunday was always fried chicken day. She was an amazing cook! Through the years Max wrote many poems about her family. She has been heard saying that it is better to have wrinkles from a smile than a frown and she certainly followed the old time phrase, “Cleanliness is next to godliness.”
She is lovingly remembered by her children, Mary (Marlin) Boom of Ellsworth, Minnesota, Barbara (John “Jack”) Ockenga of Flandreau, South Dakota, Patricia Frick of Hugo, Minnesota, Susan (Bernie) Uilk of Pipestone, Larry (Paula) Bunker of Rapid City, South Dakota, Michael (Rosanne) Bunker of Surprise, Arizona, Jeffrey (Connie) Bunker of Arlington, South Dakota, and Terry (Brenda) Bunker of Thornton, Colorado; 28 grandchildren; 89 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; one sister, Helen Himrich of Madison, Wisconsin; and two sisters-in-law, Jackie Severson of Arlington, South Dakota, and Marcene Severson of Volga, South Dakota. She was preceded in death by her husband, Lloyd Bunker; one grandson, Tob Ockenga; one great-granddaughter, Kaylon Metzger; her parents; and two sons-in-law, Donovan Fey, and Steve Frick.