Memorial services for Homer resident John Patrick Bunce, who died in Nome on September 1st as the result of an accident, were held this past Sunday at the Yurt Village in Homer, an event that was attended by many who knew him.
Born on November 13, 1985 in Portland, Oregon, John Patrick Bunce was someone who lived a life as diverse as many hope to be able to. He worked in construction, with computers and as a deckhand, he helped Nomad Shelters build their yurts, he helped his family operate their restaurant, and most recently, he worked up in Nome as a gold dredger and was even featured on the reality show “Bering Sea Gold” as a deckhand and a diver for “The Clark”, which is captained and crewed by several of his childhood friends.
Although he moved to Alaska in 1993, he and his family kept travelling and according to his mother Noqah Elisi, during his teenage years when they lived in South Dakota she wanted to move somewhere that would provide him with what he wanted and left the decision in his hands, a decision that did not take long as he wanted to return to the land that he would ultimately call his home.
"Without nmissing a beat, he said ... I want to go to Alaska and I want to go to Homer, Alaska," said Elisi.
Memorial services for John took place in Homer on Sunday the 11th, a service that drew many of his friends, family and loved ones from the area to meet, share stories, provide words of comfort to those who needed it and to talk about who John was and what he meant to them.
Also, speaking from a personal standpoint, I would like to say that John happened to be a friend of mine. I may not have known him as well as some, but what I do know about him is that he was someone who had a great wit, a sharp mind, a wonderfully wry sense of humor, a deep commitment to his friends, and that he is someone who will be missed by many.