Joy M. Bunkowske

Fri, 12/01/2023 - 8:15am

Joy Marie Bunkowske, 73, of Southport, passed away unexpectedly on Nov. 27, 2023. Joy was born on May 14, 1950 to Herbert Achterberg and Alice (Maier) Achterberg.

Joy graduated from West Vigo High School in Terre Haute, Indiana and went on to graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in physical education from Indiana State University.

Joy and her husband, Larry, met as first year teacher at Bradford High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She and her husband came to Maine in 1976 after she decided that she wanted four seasons during his first Navy deployment from the Brunswick Naval Air Station. She then taught physical education at Bath Junior High School and in schools in Phippsburg, Georgetown, Bristol and Bremen. She also taught aerobic dance at the YMCA.

Joy was old fashioned and loved her time on Southport and in Maine. Her love for Maine kept her and her husband here full time for many years. They were always here in spirit, although they transitioned to part time with winters in Florida and more recently in Arizona by family. This spring they had become full time back on Southport.

Joy was a gentle soul with compassion for animals and nature. She was a kind person and was truly liked by all who knew her. Joy loved her family, friends, and neighbors and of course her pets including 70+ foster dogs. She was always the lady walking a beagle or two around the loop. Joy was on the board of four beagle rescue groups and helped start two of them, Beagles of New England States (BONES) and Beagle Rescue League (BRL). Joy was passionate about many things, but mostly just wanted to do the right thing for anyone she came in contact with.

Always a good sport, Joy joined in with her husband and friends playing golf, square dancing, riding on many motorcycle trips, travel to exotic places or simply just hanging out at home for a game night or old movies. Joy and her husband, Larry, were soul mates and celebrated their 50th anniversary this summer. Recently Joy was diagnosed with Dementia with Lewy Bodies which is a terrible disease and it rapidly took her from this life. Remember Joy by making each moment together a special one.

Joy was predeceased by her parents.

She is survived by her husband Larry of Southport, brothers Gus Achterberg and wife Juanita of Kernersville, North Carolina, Robert Achterberg and wife Nancy of Green Valley, Arizona, mother in-law Helen Bunkowske of Helena, Montana and sister in-law Lyanne Denherder and husband Robert of Helena, Montana.