Bunkie was born in Detroit, Michigan on April 30, 1919, the daughter of John W. M. Bunker and Helen Crawshaw Bunker.
After attending Northampton School for Girls and Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, she graduated from the Nursery Training School of Boston (now Eliot-Pearson) and taught at the Perkins School for the Blind.
In 1940 she married Richard P. Curtis, a native of Marblehead. Bunkie and Dick lived in Marbleheadtogether for nearly four decades until Dicks death in 1979. In 1986 Bunkie married Dr. James D. C. Gowans, and together they moved from Marblehead to Amelia Island, Florida. After Jims death, Bunkie lived in York, Maine before moving to Connecticut in 2010.
A devoted mother who loved caring for babies and children, Bunkie taught Pre-Kindergarten for several years at Tower School. She was gifted at sewing and knitting and was an avid and artful gardener, a hobby she enjoyed even beyond her ninetieth birthday. At various times she worked for two venerable Marblehead shops: the Garden Spot and Marblehead Handprints.
Bunkie was pre-deceased by her two sisters, Helen B. Ross and Barbara B. Finney; by her husbands, Dick Curtis and Jim Gowans; and by her first child, Richard P. Curtis, Jr., who died in 1949. Bunkie was dearly loved and will be missed by her four surviving children: David A. Curtis of Marblehead and his wife, Joanne; Jonathan G. Curtis of Reston, VA and his wife, Sandy; Margaret A. “Peggy” Chappell of Guilford, CT and her husband Phil; and Susan B. “Sukie” Curtis of Cumberland Foreside, ME and her husband David Heald; as well as by her five grandchildren: Nathan Curtis; Gretchen Harding Curtis; Rebekah Curtis-Heald; Anna Curtis-Heald; and Hannah Chappell.