At ILT, we called him Doctor Bunkowske. Sure, sometimes a few would call him Gene, but because he was Board President and because of his seniority, we usually would say "Doctor Bunkowske said this" or "Doctor Bunkowske said that". He was so cheerful and down-to-earth, he of course said, "Call me Gene," but we didn't fall for it.
Dr. Bunkowske passed away Tuesday, March 27, 2018. He served the Lutheran church for more than fifty years as a missionary to Nigeria, Bible translator, a former professor at Concordia Theological Seminary, director of mission institutes. In addition to his earned Ph.D. from UCLA, Dr. Bunkowske was awarded several honorary doctorates and was the Fiechtner Chair emeritus professor of Christian outreach at Concordia, St. Paul. His beloved wife, Bernice, pointed out to us that he had stated he was wanting to see two things happen in the last few years, that World Mission Prayer League transitioned well under the leadership of a new director and that ILT achieved accreditation. Both happened.
His loss was great to us. His knowledge and leadership guided our ship. With Bernice, his daughter, and all of his family, friends, colleagues and former students, we would simply like to say we miss Doctor Bunkowske greatly and shall never forget him and are eternally grateful to God for giving us Gene as a partner in our pilgrimage on earth.