Dee was a member until 2002. Her family is also steeped in the history of the community. Her father was Somers’ postmaster from 1945 to 1959.
“They have been both lifelong Somers residents,” said Village Trustee Gregg Sinnen.
They met in the ninth grade at Washington Junior High School shortly after Dee moved to Somers from Sturtevant. But Bunky had already noticed her.
“I may have ridden my bike by her house a few times,” he said.
Serving their community
Bunky served in the Army from 1951 to 1953 and was stationed in Germany as a tank driver during the Korean War.
Both he and Dee have been involved in the Festival Foods Heroes Cafe where Bunky is a member, and she helps out.
Dee has been one of the chief election inspectors for more than 13 years and helped out counting the especially large number of absentee ballots this year.
“She is one of our best poll workers,” said Somers Clerk/Treasurer Tim Kitzman.
On Oct. 7, 2020, Bunky and Dee celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. This was to be a special year for the couple as they each celebrate their 90th birthdays, but the COVID-19 pandemic canceled their plans for a family gathering.
“We couldn’t have them come here and get sick,” said Dee.
Friends and relatives from all over the country took it in stride and sent cards to Bunky and Dee’s daughter’s house and made videos congratulating them, surprising the couple during a small social-distanced event.
“It was good,” said Dee beaming.
Lawn tractors collection
Bunky has collected garden tractors including special edition patio tractors, all John Deere.
“I always like John Deere, and when they came out with a new model, I had to have it,” he said as he stood in the barn where he keeps his extensive collection and memorabilia.
“I would go out to the barn, and they just multiplied.” Dee said with a chuckle. “There is an assortment of everything out there. We call it the museum.”
For many years on the Fourth of July, they would enlist family members to drive Bunky’s personal collection of lawn tractors, which was nicknamed “Bunky’s Deere,” in the Somers parade.
“I think we had 23 garden tractors at one time,” he said unsure of the exact number. “We have only about 13 left.”
As Bunky lingered behind in the museum, Dee headed back to the house, passing the home where Bunky grew up, she added softly that its was probably the secret to their successful marriage, he being occupied with his tractors and she tending to the house.
“We haven’t killed each other,” Dee said laughing out loud.