Dr. Raymond Bunkers

June 28, 1921 - May 8, 2013

Visitation: Visitation will be Friday, May 24, from 5 to 8:00 p.m. at Heritage Funeral Home in Sioux Falls, with a Scripture service beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Service: Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, May 25, at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in Canton.

Dr. Raymond Bunkers, 91, formerly of Canton, passed away Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at the VA Medical Center in Sioux Falls with family present.  Mass of Christian burial will be at 11:00 AM Saturday, May 25, at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in Canton.  Interment will be at Forest Hill Cemetery at Canton with military honors.  Visitation will be Friday, May 24, from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at Heritage Funeral Home in Sioux Falls, with a scripture service beginning at 7:00 PM.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. Francis House, VA Palliative and Hospice Care, or Forest Hill Cemetery Association.

                Raymond B. “Doc” Bunkers was born June 28, 1921 in Colman, SD to Al and Signe (Olson) Bunkers.  He attended school in Colman, graduating in 1939.  He entered the US Army in 1940 and served in the Pacific Theatre during WWII.  He was honorably discharged as a Master Sergeant and was the last surviving member of the 147th Field Artillery Battalion out of Flandreau, SD.  Following his discharge in 1945, he attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls and went on to Northern Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago.

                Ray married Dolores Lendt on September 28, 1946.  Soon after his graduation in 1948, they moved to Canton, where Ray opened his optometric practice.  He retired in 1989 after 41 years in business.  Ray was actively involved in Canton and a tireless supporter of his community.  An active member of St. Dominic’s Catholic Church since 1949, he served on its building committee and was a member of Holy Name Society, Knights of Columbus, and Catholic Order of Foresters.  He was a long-time member   and served as post commander of the American Legion, and VFW, as well as president of Lions Club, and Canton Chamber of Commerce.  He served on the City Commission for 8 years, he was a member of the Forest Hill Cemetery Association for many years, and he was on the Colonial Village Board.  Ray was past president of the South Dakota Optometric Association and the North Central States Optometric Conference/Council. He also served as secretary of the SD State Board of Optometry for several years under the appointment of Governors Kneip, Wollman, and Janklow.  He was an active supporter of Legion Baseball and enjoyed carpentry and building.  Ray was selected as the Canton Citizen of the Year.

                Grateful for having shared his life are his children and their spouses:  Pamela (Bob) Lillibridge, Cedar Rapids, IA; Thomas (Donna) Bunkers, Tucson, AZ; Julie (Jimmy) Franken, Indianola, IA; Signe Espinoza, Centennial, CO; Daniel (Lara) Bunkers, Des Moines, IA, and Paul (Lori) Bunkers, Sioux Falls, SD; 19 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; and brother, John Bunkers, Weston, Wisconsin.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Dode; his parents; one sister, Darlene Sheridan; and three brothers, Don, Phil, and Steve.

                Ray always considered Canton his home, and for the past 6 years since Dode’s passing, had stated multiple times he couldn’t wait to see his “Dodie” again.  God bless the memory of Ray Bunkers and may the Angels lead you into Paradise. andersonandsonsfh.com

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  1. Barbara Ellis DeFalco on May 9, 2013 said:

    Sending our sympathy and condolences to your family during your loss. I have fond memories in 4th grade when Dr Bunkers said I needed glasses and getting pink cat eye frames!

  2. NANCY AND RALPH BRAND on May 10, 2013 said:


  3. nancy lyle on May 10, 2013 said:

    My sympathy on the passing of your dad your folks were some of the first people to welcome us to Canton and St Dominic’s many fond memories of both

  4. Sue Lund, Administrator, Sunnycrest Village on May 10, 2013 said:

    My sympathies to all of Ray’s family. I was blessed to have his cross path mine here at Sunnycrest Village. His quick wit and straight forward manner were traits he possessed; and for me, were refreshing (and most times endearing) to encounter! His wonderful smile brightened many of my days.

  5. Nancy Ellis on May 13, 2013 said:

    I send my condolences to the Bunkers family. Nancy

  6. nancy veenis on May 14, 2013 said:

    my thought and prayers go to doc family

  7. McMurry Families on May 17, 2013 said:

    Family of “Doc” As neighbors there are too many memories to count…know that all of us share in your loss and know that Big John and Doc are fishing in heaven together. A few of us will see you next week. The McMurry families