Garry Paul Bunke

Friday, August 26, 2022
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Garry Paul Bunke passed away peacefully in his home in Billings MT. He was 73 years old.

Garry was born to Paul and Adeline (Glenna) Bunke in Beach ND, on May 5th, 1949. He was the only son, outnumbered, loved and tolerated by four sisters. He loved to prove he could hold his own, and as a four-yearold, would spike his cowboy boots and chase his sisters around the farm. On long road trips, when five siblings had to share one soda, Garry spit in the bottle to have it to himself. When confronted, young Garry simply responded with an innocent smile.

Later, the family relocated to Miles City, MT where Garry graduated from Custer County District High School. He attended Miles Community College, earning his bachelor’s degree at Montana State University. He later graduated from Gonzaga University Law School in Spokane, WA and passed the Montana bar exam, becoming an attorney.

Garry was an attorney for 46 years, had a private practice, served as County Attorney for Rosebud, Custer and Prairie counties, Public Defender for the State of Montana and a child advocate in child abuse cases. Being an attorney gave Garry a sense of purpose. He enjoyed the challenges of his career and interpreting the law to obtain the best outcome for his clients. At one time, he also served as an attorney for tribal court. He cherished his colleagues and the relationships he built throughout his career. Garry was not good at retiring. He did it multiple times and failed, consistently returning to work.

Garry was one of those people you instantly liked the moment you met. He would talk to anyone and never gave notice to their status or wealth, demonstrating compassion for all. He was more of a listener than a talker, a non-judgemental man with tremendous patience who will be forever known for his kind heart. Even one of his unsuccessful defendants called Garry, “the nicest prosecutor I’ve Garry was a loving father to Jennifer, Amber, Nathan and Rachel. He encouraged his children to be curious, seek new experiences and create their own path. He taught them the importance of giving back to their community and seeing situations from multiple points of view. Garry loved to laugh. One of the family’s fondest memories is a Christmas Eve spent reading Deep Thoughts and laughing for hours.

Garry enjoyed reading, fishing, watching movies, gummy bears and giving his dog Nacho unlimited table scraps. He embraced technology and was an early adopter of new gadgets and functionalities. When one of the first PCs came out, he proudly showed off his TRS 80 to anyone who walked into his office.

Garry was preceded in death by his son Nathan, parents Paul and Adeline and second wife Coleen.

Garry is survived by his daughters, Jennifer Bunke (Steve), Amber Nielson and Rachel Shepherd (Don); four sisters Betty Bellinger, Sharon Trollope, Sonja Holt (Deroy) and Pam Bunke. He is also survived by his nieces and nephews, Troy, Tonia, Terra, Todd, Sarah, Jeffrey and Paula along with many other extended family members who he loved dearly.

Visitation will be Sunday August 28th, 3-5pm in the Chapel of Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home of Forsyth. Funeral services will be held Monday August 29th at 11am. Following the funeral, a reception will be held in his honor at Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home in Forsyth.

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