Bunges honored in North Morristown

By: 
Lisa Ingebrand, LifeEnterprise

Helen Bunge and her son, Peter, have been named the grand marshals of this year’s Fourth of July Celebration in North Morristown. Helen and her late husband, Howard, taught at Trinity Lutheran School for nearly two decades. (Photo courtesy of Peter Bunge)

Former Trinity Lutheran School teacher Helen Bunge and her son, Peter Bunge, will reign as grand marshals of North Morristown’s Fourth of July Celebration this Sunday.

While neither Bunge no longer resides in the area, Helen and Peter still consider North Morristown “home” and are faithful attendees of the community’s annual celebration.

“What an honor this is for Peter and me,” stated Helen, who resides in Mayer. “We always have our picture taken with the (North Morristown) grand marshals each year! For many years, they were the parents of the pupils we taught in school. And now—it is the next generation!”

Helen and her husband, Howard, moved to North Morristown in 1964.

Howard, a Korean Conflict veteran fresh out of Concordia College in River Forest, Illinois, had accepted a job teaching grades five through eight at Trinity Lutheran School in North Morristown.

Helen smiles thinking about those early days in the small, rural parish.

Having married in 1963, the parish-owned house where the Bunges resided served as the couple’s first real home.

“Howard and I both grew up in farm homes in Iowa, so we felt right at home living in the teacherage,” she stated.

Over the course of the next 19 years, Howard’s role at Trinity Lutheran evolved to include school principal, hot lunch program coordinator, athletic director, and janitor.

Helen, who had multiple years of experience teaching in Lutheran schools prior to their move to North Morristown, immediately stepped in to fill a vacant teaching position, educating students in grades one through four, and also became the church organist and choir director.

“I had 26 pupils in the ‘North Room’ with wall to wall desks,” she recalled of her first year teaching at Trinity Lutheran. “There were 10 fourth graders, plus grades one through three to teach. What fun!”

According to Helen, their first winter in North Morristown was a doozy—one filled with...

To see more on this story pick up the July 1, 2021 print edition of the LifeEnterprise. 

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