Helen Bunte Profile Photo
1925 Helen Bunte 2024

Helen Bunte

November 29, 1925 — March 16, 2024

Bastrop

Helen Bunte passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus at age 98.  

Helen was the eldest of 5, born in Beaumont, Texas, to Leroy & Hazel Templeton.  The family built a home and settled in Lumberton.  Helen graduated from Silsbee High School in 1943, having been a twirler and flag bearer for the school.  From there, she received a Diploma from the Chenier Business College in Beaumont for her studies in the Comptometer Department (the first commercially successful key-driven mechanical calculator a/k/a a free-standing “adding machine”). Afterward, she began working as a secretary at the shipyards in Orange, Texas.

Helen would travel by bus from her home in Lumberton to visit family in Alum Creek, a small community between Smithville and Bastrop.  One time in particular, when the bus arrived in Bastrop, she asked at the ticket window the best way to get from there to her aunt & uncle’s home in Alum Creek.  The young man at the counter knew exactly where she was trying to go and instructed the bus driver where to drop her off.  Turned out, the handsome, young gentleman at the ticket counter would be the man she would later marry.

Sure enough, Helen married and became Mrs. Granville Bunte in September of 1944.  They would go on to build their home in Alum Creek and raise 6 children.  They were both actively involved in serving at the First Baptist Church in Smithville and, for many years, the church recognized Helen on Mother’s Days for having the most children. (They say Bunte’s (bunnies) multiply rapidly… LOL!)  And Helen, the devoted wife and mother that she was, somehow managed to get herself, Granville and all 6 children ready for church every Sunday morning – with only 1 bathroom!  

Helen enjoyed writing and for a while authored the “Alum Creek News”, a weekly social column in the local Smithville Times newspaper.  Occasionally, she would recognize her own children’s accomplishments and would address them as “this writer’s son” (or daughter) for having done one thing or another.  Helen felt blessed to have been able to stay home with her children during their school years, with her only outside involvement at the time being the PTA.  

In 1970, however, in Helen’s words, “A friend of mine asked if I’d be interested in having her train me as a clinic nurse so she could enroll in LVN school.  After 2 weeks of on-the-job training I decided it could be one of the most rewarding jobs a person could have.  I’ve never regretted my decision.”  Helen began working at the Smithville Hospital as a clinic nurse and was also trained in the lab, x-ray and EKG departments.  Helen was also responsible for printing and distributing a monthly newspaper referred to as “The Brain Scan”.  She held her final position as Purchasing Director until her retirement 17 years later.

Helen was also Chapter President of the local “T.O.P.S.” program in Bastrop during the 70’s, encouraging herself and others to “Take Off Pounds Sensibly.”  T.O.P.S. was, no doubt, a precursor to the never-ending weight loss programs available today.

Those who knew Helen describe her as a kind and gentle soul.  Many have commented how they can’t remember ever hearing her say anything unkind about, or to, anyone.  She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, coworker and friend to many.  She was always content with whatever she did, or didn’t, have and loved the simple things in life - her plants (inside and outside!), sitting outside in her swing, completing word search puzzles, playing Upwords, Boggle and other word, card and domino games, watching Wheel of Fortune, documentaries and travel shows, and she had a radio on in just about every room of the house - including her potting shed outside!  Helen also spent her most recent days playing games at the Public Library in Smithville and participating in sing-alongs while her daughter, Diane, played the piano at the nursing homes and Senior Center in Bastrop.  

Mrs. Bunte had “her seat” near the aisle at First Baptist Church and loved to tell people, “I have 3 canes, a walker, a wheelchair, a golf cart and can still drive* but I love holding hands the best.  And I’ve held a lot of hands!”  *Helen took a written and car test to renew her license, and even passed parallel parking, when she was 97…!

Helen was preceded in death by her husband Granville Bunte and daughter Linda Doiron, her parents Leroy & Hazel Templeton, and her younger siblings Gladys Bowers, Ann Kendrick, Bo Templeton and Bobby Templeton.  She leaves behind a legacy of love through her remaining children: Diane Gordon, Bill Bunte, Charles and Kathy Bunte, Tommy and Carol Bunte, and Carol and Jay Georgi; grandchildren, Jarrett Bunte, Carissa & Thomas Cassatt, Jason Bunte, Jordan & Samantha Bunte, Jeremy Bunte, Justin & Kacy Bunte, Nick Hatcher, Andy Hatcher, and Kristina Garcia; great-grandchildren, Gracie Cornelius, Trevor & Alexis Cassatt, Lauren & Olivia Bunte, Joel, Jackson & Jensen Bunte, Mary DeMetz-Hatcher, and Ava Romero; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives and many, many good friends.

Those who knew Helen well know how much she loved her plants and flowers. Unfortunately, not all of her children inherited her green thumb!  With that in mind, flowers would be appreciated (especially pink ones!) but please feel free to instead make a donation in Helen’s memory to the First Baptist Church in Smithville.

A celebration of Helen’s life will be held at the First Baptist Church, 300 Hudgins Street, Smithville, Texas 78957 on Saturday, March 23rd with visitation beginning at 9:00 a.m. and service to follow at 10:00.  A short graveside service will be held at Oak Hill Cemetery, then a light lunch in the fellowship hall of the church.  If you’re able to join us, please consider wearing something pink in Helen’s honor!

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helen Bunte, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, March 23, 2024

9:00 - 10:00 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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Graveside Service

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Oak Hill Cemetery Smithville

473 State Hwy 95, Smithville, TX 78957

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