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It was always great to run into Bill while he was out walking . I'll miss seeing him on the hottest days of summer.
~ Patty Nitcher - March 8, 2020
JoAnn, Bill Jr. and Sandy:
After knowing Bill over most of our lifetime he was always a loyal friend and a true gentleman with a pleasant and cheerful disposition. While always displaying stability, he communicated with ease with his own natural and unique style (usually added with a touch of humor). He took great pride in any job that he had whether it was running the City of Topeka, the State of Kansas or taking care of his yard. He will be missed as a long time neighbor and a very close and loyal friend. Please accept our deepest sympathies.
~Bill and Gerry Haynes
~ Bill & Gerry Haynes - March 6, 2020
JoAnn and the entire Bunten family: Faith joins me along with the entire Greenwood family in expressing our deepest sympathy in the passing of a wonderful human being Bill. Growing up with this great Bunten family since the late 1930's, how well we remember the wonderful times spent with Bill's parents, his brothers, and JoAnn. The service was beautiful and so meaningful to those of us who remember the past. Bill will be sooo missed.
Jack, Faith, Jim, and Nancy Greenwood
~ Jack Greenwood - March 6, 2020
I had the privilege of working with Mr. Bunten when he was a member of the Kansas House of Representatives. I was employed by the Research Department.
He was always so kind and considerate. He made all of us staff members feel like we were extremely important.
He was a genuine statesman; an officer and a gentleman. The citizens of the City of Topeka and the State of Kansas were served well because of his leadership.
~ Chip Wheelen - March 5, 2020
JoAnn , Met Bill when I came to Topeka in 1973, we were Basketball Players at the Y Honor to have him as a friend, he was a Grand Person! thoughts and prayers Craig
~ Craig Woodbury - March 5, 2020
The Honorable William Bunten was my Boss, Mentor and Friend. But then he managed many, mentored hundreds and was a friend to all.
~ John Mugler - March 5, 2020
condolences to the Bunten entire family, we are very sorry to hear of Bill passing My dad work for his dad for over 40 years at the Kaw the Bunten men was the Best people to know and to work for.. later on in my life I found out my father-in-law went to school with Bill at Topeka High Bill on the white basketball team and Sam on the black basketball team.. Bessie (snoddy) Moore
~ Bessie Moore - March 4, 2020
Elena and I extend our deepest heartfelt thoughts, prayers and condolences to Mrs. Bunten, their Son & Daughter and all of his other family and friends.
Bill was a true public servant and one of the biggest cheerleaders for our community. He was a statesman and above all a true gentleman. His style of leadership was the calming force that our city need after a turbulent period. His policies helped lay the groundwork for many of the betterment we all can enjoy today and for the future.
Not only do we thank him, but thank his Wife and Family for sharing him with our State and City.
Mayor Bunten, may you Rest in Peace, Sir.
~ Pete Jr & Elena Tavares - March 4, 2020
I worked closely with Mayor Bunten in 2005-2006 as the City of Topeka transitioned forms of government. He was a great story-teller and was always grinning. I learned a lot from him - one of the best pieces of advice was to keep things simple, three bullet points, three themes, one page at the most. He loved Topeka and wanted the best for this community and he gave his best for Topeka. Thanks, Mayor.
~ Neil Dobler - March 4, 2020
Dear JoAnn and family: It has been so good to be able to visit with Bill as he walked down to exercise at the track. His conversations with us were always pleasant and gave us good feelings about people and our neighborhood. We enjoyed reading of his wonderful work and attitude about life and family. David and I send our sincere sympathy and are honored to have known him.
~ Olive Ubel - March 4, 2020
Having served as Topeka's city manager while he was mayor, I have the upmost respect for his role in making Topeka the best city it could be. I am sure he will be missed. His family is in our thoughts and prayers.
~ Norton Bonaparte - March 3, 2020
Bill and I became friends when we both competed for the mayors race. I lost and am glad I did.
You can blog with me on the web too at
~ Myron Holter - March 3, 2020
I remember what great neighbors you were to us in Briarwood. After I left home, every time I would come visit Mom & Daddy, Bill or you JoAnn, were out in the yard, you both were so friendly to visit with. That seems like such a long time ago, but the memories of knowing such wonderful people still exist. Bill will be missed by so many.
~ Susan Wilson Bisel - March 3, 2020
Bill was a great friend. I worked for Bill for two sessions while he was a Kansas Senator and it was a wonderful educational experience. His sense of humor was infectious and he always had a smile. His dedication to public service was what he was all about. He’ll be greatly missed by family and all his friends.
My heart goes out to JoAnn and their family.
~ Patty Mills - March 3, 2020
I have such fond memories of Bill stopping in my Senate office to see his lovely wife, JoAnn, who was my assistant. He always had a big smile and was such a ray of sunshine when he walked in any room. He was so admired for his dedication to public service. Bill just wanted the best for everyone. He was the consummate gentleman. He will be missed by all his family and friends, but we all can know that his was a life well-lived.
~ Sandy Praeger - March 3, 2020
My memories of Uncle Bill started in the 60’s when he sponsored me as a page in the state legislature. I was in awe and over-whelmed being a Kansas farm kid in the “big city” of Topeka.
Thanks Uncle Bill!
~ Mike Heyka - March 2, 2020
Really going to miss you,and the great stories you told us at the barber shop.we shared our stories during the 15 plus years you honored me as your barber. We also share dog,and step dog stories.Honoring you with our contribution to our helping hands humane society,whom blessed our home with 2 wonderful,playful obedient furry babies.
~ Jan Hudson - March 2, 2020
I met Bill when I had an office on the same floor at the US Bank downtown. He always had a smile and wave. I became a visitor to his office on occasion, to hear his views on the issues of the City and the World. He had some really AWFUL jokes, but he told them with such laughter, that no matter how silly they were, it was always funny at the punchline. He was my friend and listened to and helped me when my father passed away. When I retired in 2009, he graced me with his visit at my retirement party at the bank. I know how much his family meant to him, and I am sure he will be missed. I know his family will keep many memories close, as he was an awesome man. Topeka did well having him as the Mayor and the State of Kansas as their Senator. God Bless
~ Diana Doak - March 2, 2020
Bill was a fine man and a very dedicated and responsible legislator. No matter the situational challenges, he was always a gentleman. We need more like him! My condolences to you JoAnn.
~ Dee Likes - March 2, 2020
Bill was a friend and mentor. A great Kansan and Topekan who will be missed by many. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, RIP Bill...
~ Clark & Bobbi Trammell - March 2, 2020
When we lost Billy Bunten, we lost one of the good guys!
He was the consummate public servant!
He was a loyal friend for 45 years and his sense of humor was never ending.
He was the rare breed of politician that we are so lacking today, he knew how to compromise for the benefit of the state of Kansas and the city of Topeka.
Our prayers and thoughts are with Joann And the Bunten Family.
~ Mike Hayden - March 2, 2020
Stan and I want to offer our condolences on your family's lose of Bill. We became acquainted with Bill and Bob when both families had dehydrating companies. Thompson Dehydrating began in 1945. Obviously Stan was too young to be part of that in 1945, but over the years we enjoyed the friendship of both Bill and Bob Bunten. It wasn't unusual for one of the brothers to come to our plant in Topeka, seeking the advise of W.T "Ted" Thompson and later Stan. Both Ted and Stan were K-State mechanical engineers and loved to share with other plant owners how to improve their plants. They would even loan equipment when something broke down. Fond memories and friendships grew with all four of these men in their respective alfalfa dehydrating businesses.
~ Stan and Julie Thompson - March 2, 2020
I met Bill at the Marine Corps birthday party at the Macnish house in Topeka. We shared our Marine experiences each year there. A wonderful man dedicated to serving others. Semper Fi, Marine. Proud to know you.
~ Lawton Nuss - March 2, 2020
We will miss seeing Bill walking in our neighborhood and always stopping to visit and give our dog a treat. We also appreciated the help he gave our grandson Chase Ford on his History Day project on Dean Smith. He was dedicated to Topeka and was a wealth of information about the city he loved.
Julie and John Ford
~ Julie Ford - March 2, 2020
Steve and I send our love and deepest sympathy to all of the Buntens.
~ Karen Quartano - March 2, 2020
There are a lot of sad hearts over Mayor Bunten's passing, and mine is among them. He was a great Mayor and he worked very hard at it. He had a six day work week--and full days at that. He definitely didn't do it for the money, he did it because he loved Topeka and its people, and he served them. People like him are rare in politics today.
He loved his family and spoke often of them. His face would light up when he would talk about them, which he would do often. His wife was the love of his life, and he credited her for his success.
There is a such a vacuum with him gone, because he was so rare.
He also had the greatest sense of humor--he was always telling a funny story. He was a person who made you a better person, just by spending time with him.
God bless you Mayor Bunten and God bless your family.
~ Celeste Benton Miller - March 2, 2020
It is an honor and privilege to have experienced the loveliness of Bill Bunten. He was so loyal, loving and generous to his family, friends and classmates. What a wonderful man who will be remembered with a smile.
~ Joan Barker - March 2, 2020
Oh, this makes me sad... I lived in Briarwood West and enjoyed my visits with Mayor Bunten whenever I saw him walking the neighborhood. What a nice gentleman he was. May the Lord bless your family and comfort you during this sad time. Dawn Lindner
~ Dawn Lindner - March 2, 2020
My condolences to JoAnn, to Bill's family, and to his many friends. Bill and I became Westboro neighbors in 1932 and started kindergarten at Randolph together in 1935. We remained friends until the end. I will miss him very much.
Charlie Crawford, Florida
~ CHARLES CRAWFORD - March 2, 2020
Over the last 50 years Mr. Bunten had worked tirelessly to improve the City of Topeka and the State of Kansas in one capacity or another. He was a true statesman and a Topeka institution. More importantly, he was humble, honest and cared deeply about his family, friends and animals. In recognition, the City should seriously consider naming a park and/or even a "Clean-up" day in his honor.
Mrs, Bunten, Sandra and Bill...my thoughts are with you.
~ Michael Haynes - March 2, 2020
We extend our sympathy to all of Bill’s family. We will miss his positive smiling presence in our neighborhood. He made it a better place to live! We noticed his walks and would often exchange neighborly greetings with him. He truly was a friend to so many of our neighborhood dogs. Certainly he had a strong career, but perhaps his smile and his kindness are what made this neighborhood a better place to call home. Blessings to you as you grieve and heal.
~ Eva Brown - March 2, 2020
Our condolences to the family.
~ Marilyn Murphy - Director of Sunshine Connection - March 2, 2020
So much love & admiration for this man. So much good done for so many. You will always be remembered as one of Topeka's treasures.
~ Jim Cates - March 1, 2020
Bill was our neighbor for the last 24 years. He came over often and gave treats to our puppies. He was checking on our well being and asked about our family often. Bill was as genuine as they come. We will miss him. RIP Bill, Rock Chalk!
~ Keith Horinek - March 1, 2020
To the Bunten Family:
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Bunten for 50+ years, as I’ve been friends with his son, Bill Jr since kindergarten. When I think of Mr. Bunten, his genuine smile and gracious demeanor are the first thing that come to mind. One of my favorite memories is when our block party would roam the streets until we came to the Bunten’s house so we could serenade our beloved congressman/Senator. Seeing Mr Bunten smiling with his family on the front porch as we sang The National Anthem, was a true Norman Rockwell moment!
R.I.P Mr. Bunten
~ Scott McFarland - March 1, 2020
Uncle Bill was always talking about Kansas, Topeka, or family. I remember playing basketball with him at the YMCA when i was in Middle School and introducing me to Alf Landon when i was in high school. He arranged a tour bus of Topeka at a family reunion because he was so proud of his hometown. The bus had a microphone which he controlled and there was a story about someone or Topeka history at every turn and every block along the route. Uncle Bill, you will be missed but always loved by many.
~ John Bunten Jr - March 1, 2020
JoAnn and family,
I am so sorry for your loss of Bill, one of my most enjoyed persons from my years as Senate President. When Bill joined the Senate we quickly became allies and friends. He had a great attitude and great knowledge. We had a couple of troublemakers at the time and Bill’s presence balanced them out and made the whole place function better. I will always remember him in the most favorable way.
~ Dave Kerr - March 1, 2020
To Bunten Family,
I'm sorry to hear about Bill. Prayers are with you all.
I use to clean house for the Bunten Family.
Mrs. Lucille Gomez
~ Lucille (Lucy) Gomez - March 1, 2020
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