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Planner shared skills with beloved hometown

| Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, 10:24 p.m.

Frank Bunda of Versailles spent nearly a lifetime in public service, having last been elected to office at 80.

“He was devoted. He loved the borough, and the borough loved him,” said Emerson Fazekas, president of Versailles Council and a lifelong friend of Mr. Bunda.

Frank Bunda, a longtime council member and retired chief planner for the Allegheny County Redevelopment Authority, died on Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, in the Palms at O'Neil assisted-living facility in White Oak. He was 84.

Born in Versailles, Mr. Bunda was one of seven children of Mary and Andrew Bunda. He was a 1948 graduate of McKeesport High School and a 1958 graduate of Penn State University, where he received a degree in landscape architecture.

Mr. Bunda served in the Army in Germany during the Korean War and was later a member of American Legion Post 939.

His passion, however, was public service, said his son, Jerry Bunda of Moon.

“His expertise was local government, planning and zoning. That's what he did in his work for Allegheny County,” his son said.

The elder Bunda was equally enthusiastic about his hometown.

“His heart was in Versailles Borough. He was born and raised in Versailles. Except for college and the service, he never lived anywhere else,” Jerry Bunda said.

Starting in the early 1970s, Mr. Bunda was a member and sometime-president of the borough's council. He served in various positions on the borough's planning commission and as a member of its zoning board.

“Frank was a good guy. He was intelligent and knew how to get things done. He wanted to put the borough in the 21st century. You could ask him anything, and he'd give you a good answer,” Fazekas said.

Mr. Bunda was last elected to council in 2010.

He was a member of the Croatian Fraternal Union Lodge No. 146 and Versailles Volunteer Fire Department.

In addition to his son, Jerry, Mr. Bunda is survived by his wife, Myrna Bunda of White Oak; daughters, Stephanie Bojanowski of Erial, N.J., and Rebecca Smith of Greenville, S.C.; his sister, Margaret Kubis of Monroeville; four grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

Family and friends will be received from 2 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in Daniel F. Bekavac Funeral Home and Crematory, 4504 Walnut St., Versailles, where a blessing service will be held at noon Thursday. Burial will follow at Mt. Vernon Cemetery in Elizabeth.

Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or rwills@tribweb.com.

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