Bernice Shultes Bunzey

Bernice Shultes Bunzey


GUILDERLAND — Bernice Shultes Bunzey, formerly of Berne, died peacefully on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, at the Our Lady of Mercy Life Center in Guilderland. She was 98.

Born Jan. 11, 1924, the daughter of the late Verni and Mertie (née Barber) Shultes, she grew up on their family farm in West Berne. Her loving husband of 59 years, Kenneth R. Bunzey, died before her.

Mrs. Bunzey was a 1940 graduate of Berne-Knox High School. She worked as a secretary to the high school principal shortly after graduation and later worked for the Hartford Insurance Company and General Electric.

Bernice and Ken Bunzey were married in 1943, while he was in the Army and before he went overseas. After his discharge, they purchased a home in Berne, in 1947, where they raised their family. After giving birth to two daughters and a son, Bernice worked for Hannay Hose Reel Co. in Westerlo as a receptionist and switchboard operator for 35 years until her retirement.

“Bernice was a gregarious person, loved going to parties, picnics, camping, boating, and loved to travel,” her family wrote in a tribute. “While their children were growing up, the Bunzeys owned a camp on Great Sacandaga Lake and enjoyed years of boating, swimming, and water-skiing.

“Some of Bernice’s many hobbies included cooking, reading, solving crossword puzzles, gardening, quilting, and bowling. She had an average of 160-plus and bowled until she was 85.

“She and her husband traveled to Hawaii and Bermuda and toured seven countries in Europe, as well as going on several cruises. After retirement, they spent winters in Summerfield, Florida for nearly 30 years.”

Mrs. Bunzey was a lifelong member of the Helderberg Evangelical Lutheran Church in Berne and an associate member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Summerfield, Florida.


Bernice Shultes Bunzey is survived by her two daughters and sons-in-law, Barbara and Steven Rivenburgh of Middleburgh, and Karen and Charles Viviano of Ravena, and by her son and daughter-in-law, Kenneth and Karen Bunzey of Berne.

She is also survived by her nine grandchildren, Kevin Krause and his wife, Stephanie; Todd Krause; Brenda McDermott; Bonnie Foland and her husband, Joseph; Bradley Bouck and his wife, Vicki; Kendall Kirsch and her husband, Timothy; Bryan Viviano; Kelly Viviano; Lee Carr and spouse, Cary; also 16 great grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Her parents, Verni and Mertie (née Barber) Shultes, died before her, as did her husband, Kenneth R. Bunzey, and her siblings, Charles Keith Shultes, Millard Shultes, and Margaret “Peg” Hayden.

The family extends “a special thank-you to Pastor Jeff Silvernail for his supportive visits, as well as Pastor Doug from Hospice, and the staff of Our Lady of Mercy Life Center and the ‘Angel’ Nurses from Hospice and Palliative Care Association, for their kindness and exceptional care at the end of Bernice’s life.”

There will be no calling hours. A graveside committal service will take place at Woodlawn Cemetery in Berne in the spring.

Memorial messages may be left at

Memorial contributions may be made to: Helderberg Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1728 Helderberg Trail, Berne, NY 12023; Helderberg Ambulance, 978 Cole Hill Rd, East Berne, NY 12059; or Hospice and Palliative Care Association, 119 Washington Ave Suite 302, Albany, NY 12210.



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