Monday, December 6, 2021



Submitted Photo | Dr. Clinton R. Bunke

Dr. Clinton R. Bunke passed away Tuesday, May 26, leaving behind his wife of 26 years, Dr. Patricia Bunke, and five children, Shannon Bunke (Brian) of California, Heather McCarthy, Dawn (John) Nicola, and C.R. Bunke, all of Colorado and a stepdaughter, Bridget Dearborn of New York. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, a sister, Myrtle, and three brothers: Robert, Wilton, and Stanley.  

Clint was the youngest of thirteen siblings. At the age of 6, he lost his father and one of his brothers on the same day. This tragedy produced a family unusually committed to helping each member succeed in life. As a high school student, he published his poetry in national journals, he participated in all sports, music, drama and original oratory. His oratory entitled, “The Peacetime Potentialities of Atomic Energy” won the Minnesota State Oratory Contest. He was a jazz trumpeter and vocalist who won a national contest and a trip to New York where he auditioned for Ted Mack and Arthur Godfrey. 

Dr. Bunke is a member of the West Point Association of Graduates Class of 1959 and served as an officer during the Vietnam War. Following his military service, he was selected as a National Defense Fellow. He received his Master’s Degree in Analytic Philosophy and a Doctorate in Advanced Research and Foundations at the University of Iowa. With the granting of his Doctorate, he was recognized as one of the outstanding Big Ten Doctoral Graduates. 

He was employed as a seniorlevel graduate professor at Illinois State University with over 30 honors and awards for his teaching, service and research, including an Outstanding Educator in America and the Robert G. Bone Distinguished Teacher Award. During his time as a professor and beyond, Dr. Bunke was a national Educational Reform specialist with over 4,000 keynote presentations, workshops clinics, and seminars to his credit throughout the United States. Upon leaving the University, Clint and his wife Pat owned and operated Nutri System Weight Loss Centers in Illinois, Missouri, and Kentucky. Upon selling their business, they moved to Marco Island where they built a home and lived since 2002. 

As a resident of Marco Island, Clint was a member of the Marco Island Men’s Club, the JW Marriott Golf Club (Members Club of Marco) which includes the Rookery and Hammock Bay.  

Throughout his life, Clint pursued what he called “the urge to make sense” directing him in a constant quest for answers about life, meaning, and purpose. He was a lifelong learner always pursuing new studies and interests, including futuristics in science and the humanities. He taught himself to speak Spanish and produced incredible writing, computer art, and at the time of his death, was working on a book. He was a true Renaissance Man who can never be replaced in the hearts and minds of his family.  

Due to the Coronavirus, no services are planned at this time. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. 

For additional information or to send condolences, please visit In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the charity of your choice. 

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