John Lyman Bunce

December 4, 1929March 4, 2014

John Bunce, 84, died peacefully at his home in Carmel Valley, California on Tuesday, March 4, 2014. Born December 4, 1929, in Burlington, Iowa, he attended Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, and he graduated from the University of Iowa with BA and JD degrees in 1953. He was an all-state quarterback in high school and played one year on the University of Iowa football team. John worked at Gibson, Stuart, and Garrett in Des Moines after Law School, and joined the US Army one year later where he served as a Lieutenant, stationed in Germany in the JAG Corps. He met Betty Bailey while stationed at Fort Ord in Monterey, California, and they were married on July 20, 1957. After being honorably discharged from the Army in 1958, he moved to Atlantic, Iowa where he was the Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors of Walnut Grove, Inc. He later worked for W.R. Grace in New York City. In 1963, he joined First Mid America in Omaha, where he was First Vice President. After 20 years with First Mid America, he became an entrepreneur involved in a variety of new business ventures. John will be remembered for his irrepressible optimism, quick wit, and deep curiosity. John loved golf, all competitive activities, political debate, and a good time. John loved his family. Survivors include his wife, Betty Bailey Bunce; his children, Jack Bunce of Ketchum, Idaho, Kate Bunce Duhamel of Corte Madera, California, and Bill Bunce of El Dorado Hills, California. He had twelve grandchildren, with whom he spoke regularly and who loved him and will miss him dearly. A private memorial service will be held for John’s family in May.

Arrangements under the direction of The Paul Mortuary, Pacific Grove, CA.


John Lyman Bunce

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January 29, 2015

I was so sorry to learn of your loss. John and I were fraternity brothers at Iowa University. He taught me to play the first two strains of the Maple Leaf Rag, which started me on a life-long love and study of the music of Scott Joplin. He was also very helpful to me when I got out of the Air Force and was just starting law school--he was just graduating. I hadn't seen or talked with John for many years, and I was just trying to get back in touch with him, when I learned of his death. Even without contact for a long time, he was a very good friend, and has been and will remain, in my thoughts frequently. Bob Vollmar 858-454-5817,

Teri Key

March 9, 2014

Betty, Jack, Kate and Bill; My heart goes out to you, losing John. I loved my time in Okoboji with your family. I think my favorite memory of John was him banging away on the piano with the one song he learned. He was indeed a unique man. With love, Teri

Bill Fead

March 9, 2014

Thanks for your Military Service to Our Country.
Past Commander V.F.W.