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Published March 31, 2013, 12:00 AM

Norene R. (Leverson) Bunker

Norene R. (Leverson) Bunker, age 81, passed away on March 26, 2013 under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley.

Norene was born July 11, 1931 in Mobridge, SD to her loving parents Tilford "Till" and Ethel (Moe) Leverson. At the age of eight she moved to Beach, ND where she attended school through the eighth grade. Her high school years were spent in Fargo, ND where she graduated from Fargo Central High School in 1949. She attended Interstate Business College before taking her first job at the "Store Without a Name" which was, at the time, one of downtown Fargo's leading women's fashion stores. In 1955 she moved to Great Falls, MT where she was the bookkeeper for a large lumber company that operated 40 retail lumber yards. Five years later, in 1960, she returned to Fargo and another bookkeeping job with Piggly Wiggly Norland.

Norene R. (Leverson) Bunker

Norene R. (Leverson) Bunker, age 81, passed away on March 26, 2013 under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley.

Norene was born July 11, 1931 in Mobridge, SD to her loving parents Tilford "Till" and Ethel (Moe) Leverson. At the age of eight she moved to Beach, ND where she attended school through the eighth grade. Her high school years were spent in Fargo, ND where she graduated from Fargo Central High School in 1949. She attended Interstate Business College before taking her first job at the "Store Without a Name" which was, at the time, one of downtown Fargo's leading women's fashion stores. In 1955 she moved to Great Falls, MT where she was the bookkeeper for a large lumber company that operated 40 retail lumber yards. Five years later, in 1960, she returned to Fargo and another bookkeeping job with Piggly Wiggly Norland.

On June 24, 1961 Norene was united in marriage to Art Bunker at First Lutheran Church in Fargo, ND. The Bunkers made their home in Fargo for most of their 48 years of married life, also spending many winter months in Phoenix, AZ. They remained tremendous partners until Art's death on Saturday, October 31, 2009 at the Palliative Care Center at Sanford Hospital (formerly Merit Care) in Fargo. Norene continued to live in their Fargo home.

Norene was very active in North Dakota politics, church work, volunteer work and community service. She was the first woman to serve on the Board of Trustees at First Lutheran Church in Fargo, and was past-president of First Lutheran's ALCW. She also taught Sunday School and sang in the choir. She was past-president of the Auxiliary at the Fargo Nursing Home and also worked on the first fund drive for Bethany Homes.

To many, Norene fits into the category of a community do-gooder. She drove for Red Cross volunteers so they could assist in caring for patients at Fargo's VA Hospital. She was a sustaining member of Fargo's Fine Arts Club, a member of Grover Club, League of Women Voters, P.E.O., Sons of Norway and the American Legion Auxiliary. The list could go on and on.

In politics, she served as National Treasurer for the National Federation of Republican Women of the US, also becoming 4th vice-president. She was Chairman of the By-Laws Committee for Republic Women, also North Dakota Status of Women Commission and ND Judicial Commission and the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation.

Norene and her husband, Art, have been tremendous friends of higher education in general, and North Dakota State University, specifically. Their generosity and thoughtfulness has left a footprint on the institution for generations to come. The Bunkers also have made numerous contributions to Concordia College, Mary College, First Lutheran Church, Luther Church in Ahwatukee, AZ, Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation and to many other worthy causes.

Norene is survived by her brother, Glen "Tuck" (Ruth) Leverson, Mercer, WI; sisters-in-law, Genell Brenner, Xenia, OH, and Donna Leverson, Crosby, TX; Art's cousins, Charles "Skip" (Joanie) Gossett, Speedway, IL; and Jeannie (Warren) Gossett, Norris City, IL; along with numerous nephews, nieces, and loving cousins.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Till and Ethel Leverson; husband, Art; sister, Barbara (Arnold) Kupker; and brother, Dale "Nip" Leverson.

A special Thank You to the staff at Bethany Retirement Living and to Hospice of the Red River Valley for the care they have given Norene throughout the years.

In lieu of flowers, the family wishes for memorials to be given in Norene's name to a charity or special cause of the donor's choosing.

Norene's wishes were to be cremated and a memorial service will be planned at First Lutheran Church in Fargo at a later date.

Please feel free to sign the online guestbook at www.hansonrunsvold.com

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