Pastor Paul Bunkowske

pastor paul bunkowske
Paul Arnold Bunkowske, 78, Fargo, ND passed away on Sunday, February 25, 2018 at Sanford Health in Fargo. He was born on February 23, 1940 in Faulkton, SD to Walter A. and Ottilie S. (Richter) Bunkowske. He attended St. Paul Junior College, graduation in 1960 with an Associate’s Degree. On August 24, 1962 he married Ruth Kohl at Zion Lutheran Church, rural Claire City, SD. He became ordained into the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod after graduating from Concordia Seminary in Springfield, IL. His first call was to Redeemer Lutheran Church in Lisbon, ND, where he served from 1964-1968. He then served at Mt. Calvary in Huron, SD, from 1968-1973, Zion Lutheran in Edgeley, ND from 1973-1989, Redeemer Lutheran in Menahga and Christ Lutheran in Wolf Lake, MN from 1989-1996. Paul retired in 1996 and moved with his wife to Fargo where he worked for Friendship Inc. in the vocational center for a time and at Paul Davis for 3 years. He was kept very busy in retirement filling pulpit supply throughout the area. Paul has enjoyed golfing, working on puzzles and reading. He thoroughly enjoyed watching all of his grandchildren grow up. Paul had the joy of baptizing and confirming all four of his children. He also performed the wedding ceremony for his daughter, Lorrie and son-in-law, Kevin as well as his son, Tim and daughter-in-law, Tracy. Paul also had the joy of baptizing 7 of his 12 grandchildren. Among those 12 were two sets of twin girls. Paul and Ruth celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on August 24, 2012. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Ruth; children, Lorrie (Kevin) Grunewald of Fergus Falls, MN; Timothy Bunkowske of West Fargo, ND; Heidi Bowen of Kennebeq, SD; son-in-law, Wade (Jill) Swenson of West Fargo, ND; brother, Eugene (Bernice) Bunkowske of St. Paul, MN; grandchildren, Abbey, Shelby, and Zachary Grunewald; Maggie, Grace, and Ben Swenson; Lindsey Bunkowske, and step-grandchildren, Jordan and Jenna Machart; Ruben and Esmee Bowen and Lyle Halvorson. He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Pam Swenson; brother, David Bunkowske; and sister, Marilyn Leiner. There will be a visitation from 5-7:00 PM with a prayer service following at 7:00 PM on Friday, March 2, 2018 at Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo. The memorial service will be at 1:00 PM on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Fargo with a visitation one hour prior.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Sending thoughts and prayers to all. I remember as a kid he was the minister at our church in Edgeley. Was a great man. May he Rest In Peace.

  2. Our heart felt sympathy to the family. His soft spoken, heartwarming, thoughtful ways will never be forgotten! I was so blessed to visit with him at Marlene Brandenburg’s funeral. We need more people like him in our world! May your memories help you in your grief! He is now with his Savior! God bless you all.

  3. My thoughts and prayers to the Bunkowske family. Pastor Paul was a great guy. I taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School under his direction, and also printed the weekly program for him for several years. He will be missed.

  4. So very sorry to hear of Pastor Paul’s passing. So many memories we have with your family being such good friends with my parents. Justin so enjoyed seeing you at Beautiful Savior church. Thoughts and prayers to you Ruth and your family.

  5. Sorry to hear of Pastor’s passing. I was a young member of Mt. Calvary Lutheran in Huron when Pastor served there. My folks thought the world of Pastor and are now rejoicing with him in heaven. “I am less because he is no more, but I am more because he was part of my life.” Prayers for all of you at this difficult time. Sharon Schnathorst Jones, daughter of Alvin and Agnes Schnathorst, all members of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church at Huron.

  6. Pastor Paul was a great inspiration to us. We looked forward to seeing him at the worship service at Beautiful Savior and really enjoyed his sense of humor. Ruth and Paul were such a nice couple to visit with. He will be missed very much

  7. The Bunkowske’s have always been such a great and loving family. My family prays for your family in this time of need.

  8. Dear Ruth, I’m so sorry to hear of Paul’s passing. I was blessed to know you both when you were living in Menagha. My husband, Keith, was serving his 1st parish in Akeley. You were both so welcoming & encouraging to me as a new young bride & pastor’s wife. God be with you & your family, Ruth. Love, Sheila Brustuen

  9. Sending thoughts and prayers to Ruth and Family, Pastor Paul was a great guy, He and Ruth were always so welcoming when I came to bible study at Beautiful Savior.

  10. I enjoyed Paul as our pastor in Lisbon.This was his first church as a pastor.He also served us after retirement on certain Sundays.I enjoyed seeing him o those Sundays. Bob & Karen Huether.

  11. My deepest sympathies to the Bunkowske family. Pastor Paul has been there to support my family through many happy and sad times. He served his congregations well and I have many good memories of his time as pastor of our church in Edgeley. He was a faithful and good spiritual leader. God has welcomed him as a good and faithful servant. God’s peace and strength to you all in the coming days.

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