November 16, 1923 – February 5, 2018
Sister Mary Margaret (religious name Theodore) Bunck, OSB, 94, a Benedictine sister of Mount St. Scholastica, Atchison, Kans., died Monday, February 5, 2018, at the monastery. The vigil service will be Sunday, February 11, at 7:00 p.m. in the monastery chapel and the Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated there Monday, February 12, at 10:30 a.m.
Sister Mary Margaret was born in Everest, Kan., on Nov. 16, 1923. She attended a country school and Everest High School before entering the Mount community in 1945. On her personnel file, she listed work experience before entering as “farmer’s daughter: drove the tractor, harvested crops, milked cows and many other activities.” She made her monastic profession in 1946. After earning a B.S. in education from Mount St. Scholastica College, she was a beloved and creative primary teacher for 42 years in Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa, making every child feel accepted and involved. She later did varied services in the monastery including gracious and cheerful chauffeuring for sisters unable to drive.
Sister Mary Margaret was preceded in death by her parents William and Anna Hrenchir Bunck, by her brothers William, Jr., Albert and Edward Bunck and her sisters Amy Bunck, who died at birth, Alma Cavanaugh and Jeanette Gronniger. She is survived by nieces, nephews and her monastic family. Becker-Dyer-Stanton Funeral Home (www.beckerdyer.com) is in charge of arrangements. Memorials may be sent to Mount St. Scholastica or made online at the Mount’s web site (www.mountosb.org).
Sister Elaine Gregory, OSB | February 11, 2018
On behalf of Sister Esther and the community, we offer sympathy to the nieces and nephews, and family of Sister Mary Margaret Bunck. Tonight we read from the book of Sirach, “Faithful friends are a steady shelter; whoever has found one has found a treasure; they are beyond price.”
We come to celebrate and to give thanks for the life of Sister Mary Margaret, a faithful friend among us. Mary Margaret was born November 16, 1923, to William and Annie Bunck. At four days of age, the precious baby was taken to St. Joseph Parish Church in Everest, Kansas where in Baptism she became a special child of God, a temple of the Holy Spirit, and a member of the church where she prayed and worshipped with her parents. She grew up on the family farm with her parents and brothers Albert, William, and Edward, and with her sisters Alma and Jeanette.
Often Mary Margaret in her thoughtful moments recalled one of the joys of her childhood. Near their farm home were a woods and creek that became a place of fun and discovery during the late spring and summer. She and her sisters could find wild gooseberries and blackberries. They picked up black walnuts and discovered wild violets. They waded in the clear water of the creek looking for pretty rocks or trying to catch minnows. At these times she experienced the stillness and silence and the wonder of nature. This sense of wonder of childhood exploration was a precious memory that ran through and influenced her life.
As Mary Margaret grew older, gentleness and love of beauty, her faith and respect for persons and nature were important for her. As her older brothers and sisters left home, Mary Margaret, being the youngest child, was a big help for her parents on the farm until at age twenty-two, she entered the Mount community where she lived for seventy three years. It was difficult leaving home. Her father lost not only a ‘farmhand’ but also the presence of his darling daughter.
For forty-two of these years, she was a dedicated primary teacher, patient, gentle and humorous and much loved by her students. With joy she led the little ones to know Jesus, and over the years prepared at least a thousand children to receive their First Holy Communion.
During the years following retirement from teaching, Mary Margaret was involved in various works of service in the community. She was an excellent driver, gracious and generous to those who needed transportation. During vacation times, she and her sisters Alma and Jeanette enjoyed traveling extensively in the United States and Canada.
Finally, in spite of the suffering in her declining years, she kept her great sense of humor, her love for her family and community and her unfailing love for prayer and the Eucharist. She remained sensitive to others, and in difficult times she could say ‘I love you’.
With St. Paul, “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these. Keep on doing the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”
At the last Mary Margaret heard Jesus call, “Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest…For my yoke in easy and my burden light.” May the stillness and silence of death enfold Mary Margaret in the wonder of resurrection. Be at rest, dear friend.