|Margaret Smithdeal Bounce
Published in Baltimore Sun on Aug. 18, 2020.
Margaret Smithdeal Bunce
Betty Smithdeal Bunce died Sunday, August 9, 2020
at the age of 99, at her home in Oak Crest Village,
Born in Washington D.C., the second of three
daughters to William Franklin Smithdeal and Effie
Betty is survived by her children, Richard Bunce and
Donna Freund, and their spouses, Deane Bunce and
David Ross; four grandchildren, Noah and his wife
Kristina; Cody and his wife Marina; Toby and his wife
Jessica; and Emily. She is survived by five great-grandchildren: Sophia, Soren,
Conner, Eddie and Emery.
Betty grew up in Washington DC, where her father was a building contractor, her
mother a homemaker.
A graduate of Eastern High School (1939) in DC and then Wilson Teachers College
(today's University of the District of Columbia), Betty had a distinguished career in
education. She taught elementary school in Baltimore and in New Orleans, where she
embraced the historic opportunity to teach on the first day at the first integrated school
in New Orleans (McDonough #19). This was a transformative experience for her and
was just one of the many ways in which her life represented a commitment to social
justice, and to living her faith – a faith that was forged in the power of love. Deeply
devoted to her family, Betty was committed to the work of the church wherever she
lived, at Faith Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, where she served as a deacon and
taught Sunday school, and more recently she served as secretary for the Protestant
Faith Community church where she worshipped at Oak Crest. Her talents and interests
included an early love of dancing – she taught dance to earn money in high school,
during the depression. She learned to sew at a professional level – she was always
known for her sense of style and impeccable taste. A voracious reader, Betty had a
great appreciation for literature and poetry, keeping a very thick book of the hundreds
of titles she had read over the past 20 years. She summarized her own values in her
autobiography with these words from Hamlet: "To thine own self be true, and it shall
follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man."
A cascade of words describing Betty, flowing from many people in the days since her
death, include: resilient, treasure, titan, gentle, role model, gracious, champion,
courageous, a bright star, a second mom, accepting, non-judgmental, compassionate,
and in every case, "amazing." What came through is the gratitude so many people felt
for the chance to walk in this world beside Betty Bunce.
Her beloved husband E. Donald Bunce "Don" predeceased her in 2009.
In memory, donations may be made to Faith Presbyterian Church, 5400 Loch Raven
Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21239