Memorial Service for Dr. Don Bunce Set for Thursday, May 1 at Memorial Church
April 16, 2003
A memorial service for Dr. Don Bunce, Stanford's Rose Bowl MVP in 1972 who died yesterday of a heart attack, has been set for Thursday, May 1 at 4:00 pm at Memorial Church on the Stanford campus. A celebration to honor Bunce's life will follow immediately at the Arrillaga Plaza at Stanford.
Bunce, born January 17, 1949, is survived by his wife,Jennifer, son, Cameron and daughter Mikele along with his mother, Carole, his father, Sid, three sisters (Cheryl, Linda and Pam) and two brothers (Gary and Steve).
Bunce received a bachelor's degree in Human Biology from Stanford in 1972 and his M.D. from Stanford in 1977. He was as an orthopedic surgeon in the Department of Sports Medicine at the Palo Alto Medical Foudation, where he had worked since joining the staff in 1982. He also served as Stanford's team physician for over a decade.
Bunce was a native of the Bay Area. He was born in Redwood City, Calif., and attended Woodside High School, where he excelled in all sports. He arrived at Stanford in the Fall of 1967 on a football scholarship. He played freshman ball in '67, was a backup to Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Jim Plunkett in 1968 and '69 before redshirting what would have been his senior year in 1970. He came back for his final season of eligibility in 1971 and led Stanford to its second straight conference championship and Rose Bowl victory.
As a backup to Plunkett for two years, Bunce played sparingly but was impressive when given the opportunity to get on the field. He led the 'Indians' as they were called then to a 35-20 win over Washington in 1968 after replacing an injured Plunkett. Bunce threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in that game. In 1969, he rushed for 129 yards and a touchdown in a 49-0 win over Washington State.
As a senior in 1970, Bunce decided to redshirt the year to make himself eligible for the 1971 campaign. Plunkett went on to win the Heisman Trophy in 1970 and lead Stanford to a Rose Bowl win over Ohio State. Bunce's turn in the spotlight came in 1971.
After leading Stanford to another 8-3 regular season and a second straight Pac-8 title, Bunce was named First-Team All-Conference after throwing for 2,265 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was named MVP of the '72 Rose Bowl when he completed 24-of-44 passes for 290 yards and led the Indians to a stunning, come-from-behind 13-12 win over previously unbeaten Michigan. Bunce completed five consecutive passes in the final 1:48 to move his team from their own 22-yard line to the Wolverines' 14-yard line. Stanford won the game on a 31-yard field goal with 12 seconds to play in the game.
Bunce was selected in the 11th round of the 1972 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, but opted to play for the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League. He played one season in the CFL before enrolling in medical school at Stanford.
Memorials for Dr. Bunce may be made to Athletes In Action, 262 Rutherford Ave., Redwood City, Calif., 94061.