Phoebe H. Bunting, 94, died peacefully on October 11, 2022, in her home in Kansas City, Missouri. Phoebe was born January 10, 1928, in St. Petersburg, Florida, to Edwin and Geraldine Hasek. She attended The Barstow School and Smith College.
Phoebe was an accomplished pianist and piano teacher. After graduating from Smith, she had planned to move to Cambridge, MA, to work in the music Department at Harvard University. But her plans changed when she met Henry S. (Hal) Bunting, a handsome young Navy pilot, who had settled in Kansas City after his military service. Phoebe was presented in the very first class of the BOTAR Ball in 1950, escorted by Hal.
Phoebe and Hal married in June, 1951, in Orleans, MA. Together they had two children, Peggy and Bill, who remained at the center of their active lives.
Phoebe was a lifelong member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and served faithfully for many years on its Alter Guild. She was also a generous community volunteer, serving as a member of the Junior League of Kansas City, a docent at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, President of the Smith College Alumnae Club of Kansas City (and Chair of its Antiques Forum). She was also a member of the Westport Garden Club, a Board member of the Kansas City Community Gardens and a volunteer for Kansas City Young Audiences. Phoebe and Hal were active members of the Kansas City Country Club and University Club.
Gracious and refined, Phoebe always welcomed friends and family with warmth and kindness. Using her considerable cooking, gardening and design skills, she loved to bring people together for a meal or social occasion, with a style and sensibility now sadly gone, where people caught up and enjoyed each other’s company. A good day for Phoebe began before dawn with a visit to the City Market to buy fresh ingredients from local food producers and ended with a leisurely meal with loved ones.
She was predeceased by her loving husband, Hal, and her sister, Wendy MacLaughlin. Survivors include her daughter, Peggy Bunting Lyons (Bill), of Mission Hills, KS, and son, Bill Bunting, of San Francisco, CA. “Eema” was deeply loved by her five grandchildren, David Lyons (Lynn), and Natalie, Samantha, Paxton and Paige Bunting, and will be missed by her two great-grandchildren, Phoebe and Paul Lyons.
A memorial service will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 4041 Main St.., Kansas City, MO 64111 at 10 a.m on October 29, 2022.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the Kansas City Community Gardens, or Kansas City Hospice.
The family gives special thanks to Phoebe’s kind and loyal caregivers, Terri Robinson and Donna Roberson. Phoebe survived a physically-disabling stroke in 2007 but continued to live a happy life because of their love and dedication to her well-being.