Mark Bunda
Mark Bunda
Mark Bunda
Mark Bunda
Mark Bunda

Obituary of Mark Leland Bunda

Mark Leland Bunda, our beloved husband, father, papa, and friend, passed away peacefully at home on April 15, 2024. He was 66 years old.


Mark was born on October 2, 1957, the fourth of six children to Santiago Bunda Sr. and Esther Miguel Bunda in Wahiawa, Hawaii. Growing up, Mark enjoyed the beaches of Oahu and, in second grade, moved to Germany for one and a half years as part of his father’s military duties before returning home to Hawaii. After graduating from Leilehua High school in 1975, Mark went on to study at Leeward Community College while also performing in the evenings at Benihana restaurant.


In 1977, Mark chose to follow his true passion, music, and joined the Up With People youth empowerment performing group. Over the course of his four years as part of UWP, Mark was both a performer and a vocal coach. Through UWP, Mark had the opportunity to see the world, something he was both grateful for and very proud of. He loved regaling friends and family with tales from his travels and had an incredible memory for the many friends and hosts he met along the way. One of Mark’s proudest musical moments was his opportunity to perform with UWP at the Superbowl. 


Through Up With People, Mark met his first wife and, after 4 years on the road, and a year in Hawaii, they settled in her hometown of Olympia, Washington. In 1987, the couple adopted an eight-month-old little boy, Kalani David. 


After settling in Olympia, Mark began a career at Twin County Credit Union, a place where he formed lifelong friendships and had the opportunity to serve his community. Mark eventually transitioned to work with Aflac Insurance. He enjoyed the flexibility of his work, which gave him more time with family. He retired in January of 2023.


An incredibly talented musician, Mark chose to share his gift with the world through worship and church leadership. Mark was a vital member and leader of the worship team at First United Methodist Church of Olympia for more than 35 years. His beautiful voice, guitar melodies and kind smile will be deeply missed on Sunday mornings.


In 1993, Mark met the love of his life, Kristi. Mark and Kristi met through mutual friends as part of the Celebration Singers at church and immediately bonded over their love for music. On August 10, 1996, Mark and Kristi married in the presence of friends and family. In marriage, they joined their young families and together raised their three children, Kalani (Kelsey), Brea (Nathan) and Trenton (Hannah). They traveled, played, built a beautiful community, and made music together, but mostly they just enjoyed each other’s company. Mark was always Kristi’s greatest fan, and she his.


Mark was the ultimate cheerleader, always supportive of any activity that interested his wife, children, and grandchildren.  He spent countless weekend mornings watching soccer, volleyball, basketball, and baseball games, and attended many (surely sub-par) musical concerts and recitals. If Kristi wanted to watch a chick-flick on a Saturday night, he was the first to cuddle up on the couch. He loved nothing more than an evening spent around the table playing scrabble, cribbage, or Yahtzee with his family.    


Mark was an avid and talented golfer, but his golf partners remember him for his humility, positivity, and constant encouragement. In his first year of retirement, Mark proudly golfed more than 100 days, mostly at the Tumwater Valley Golf Course with a golf community he loved dearly. In 2011, Mark proudly volunteered with the rest of his siblings at the Sony Open golf tournament in Hawaii, and on Sunday had the privilege of marshaling and walking alongside the players. 


Ohana means family in Hawaiian, and to Mark, Ohana was everything. One of six children, he thoughtfully fostered relationships with all his siblings. He cherished days spent with his brothers and sisters, as well as his many cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews. 


Of all his titles, Mark was most proud to be called Papa. His grandchildren were truly his life’s greatest joy. Mark was a playful, kind, silly and engaged grandfather to his grandchildren. He would gladly jump at the opportunity to babysit and would sit on facetime for hours just to talk to the kids and be part of their day. He enjoyed making up games, playing the ukulele, riding bikes and flying kites with Ryan, Nora, Petey and Avery and was anxiously awaiting the arrival of his newest granddaughter in June. His grandchildren will know without a doubt that they were his favorite people on earth.


Mark was preceded in death by his parents, Santiago Bunda Sr., and Esther Miguel Bunda, and his grandparents Maruicio and Restituto Bunda and Matias and Lorraine Miguel. 


His memory and music will live on in his beloved wife, Kristi Bunda; his sons, Kalani David Bunda (Kelsey) and Trenton Fluetsch (Hannah); his daughter, Brea Seaburg (Nathan); his grandchildren, Ryan, Nora, Petey and Avery; his brothers, Robert Bunda (Gail), Santiago Bunda Jr. (Sue), and Paul Matias Bunda (Joyce); his sisters, Tonilyn Nalani Bunda and SandiLee Momi Minimishin (George); as well as countless loved and cherished aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews. 


Gone far too soon, we are comforted knowing he spent his last day on earth doing the things he loved most, spending time with Ohana, enjoying golf and good food, and sharing the gift of music. He never missed an opportunity to tell others he loved them and valued their time together.  We can all learn from how freely he shared his love, remembering that each day is a gift. Mark will be deeply missed by his family, friends, church family, and all those who ever had the pleasure of hearing his voice.


A celebration of life will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Olympia on Saturday April 27, 2024, at 2:00 pm.


In lieu of flowers, Mark would have loved to know that donations were made in his name to help others access the activities he enjoyed most in life. Donations may be made to the First Tee program, providing children access to the game of golf, or to Up With People.  


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