Deanna Bunch

Deanna Sue Bunch, 70, passed away June 29, 2024, at her home in Durant, Okla. Deanna was born January 2, 1954, in Denison, Texas, to Jim and Peggie Prince. The oldest of five children, she grew up in Garland, Texas.

After graduating from Garland High School and spending some years working as an insurance executive for CNA, she met her husband, Mark Bunch. The two were married November 18, 1988, and welcomed a daughter in 1990. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Durant, where they attended church at Victory Life and Deanna began working as a teacher at Victory Life Academy. In the years to come, she would earn a Bachelor of Science and then a Master of Education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Deanna served as a teacher at VLA for over two decades, and then an additional seven years at Durant Middle School before retiring. Though she taught many subjects over her years, she was always involved with English and Language Arts. She had an unparalleled desire to see every student develop a love of reading and learning so they could reach their full potential. She also possessed a unique gift for encouraging them to do so.

Many, many students in the Durant area will remember her as Miss Deanna. She spent hours tutoring those who needed it, and was quick to praise those who thrived in her classroom. She also spent many dollars out of her own pocket to ensure “her kids” always had the supplies they needed. Both figuratively and literally — thanks to a certification earned from the Center for Early Childhood Professional Development — she was a Master Teacher in every sense of the term.

After leaving the teaching field in 2022, Deanna occupied her time growing plants, preparing world-class meals for her family, watching her beloved redbirds, and occasionally tutoring — often the children of her former students. Not long after, she was diagnosed with bile duct cancer, which she fought with courage, dignity, and prayer. In June of 2024, she passed away in her home with her husband and children at her side.

Deanna is preceded in death by mother, Peggie; stepfather, James; father, Jim; and brothers, Kevin and Kyle.

She is survived by her husband, Mark; daughter, Brandi; son, Jeff; goddaughter, Andrea; grandson, Ryan; sister, Dallas and brother, Kerry.

The family asks that those wishing to honor Deanna’s memory donate school supplies to local students or make a donation to cancer research in lieu of sending flowers. And remember her whenever you see a redbird.

A Celebration of Deanna’s life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 6, in Brown’s Funeral Home chapel with Pastor Lee Armstrong officiating.

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