The Passing of Charlie Bunch

I had the pleasure of meeting Charlie Bunch for the first time while we were fishing the Sapsuk in 2021. Charlie left a lasting impression on me. He had a knack for bursting into song while we were out on the river, much like myself, and he shared my love for music. His kindness, infectious sense of humor, and expertise as a seasoned spey fisherman in the Alaskan waters were truly remarkable. I was eagerly anticipating our next fishing expedition in September, but tragically, he unexpectedly passed away last month. Charlie, you will be dearly missed.

Anchorage Daily News  04/07/2024

Charlie Bunch   Sep 28, 1939  December 22, 2023 

Beloved father and  grandfather, though feared by all fish, Charles Floyd Bunch, 84, passed away unexpectedly surrounded by family and loved ones from complications during surgery on Friday, Dec. 22, 2023, in Anchorage, Alaska. Charley was born on  Sept. 28, 1939, to Floyd and  Ether Bunch in Central Oklahoma. He received  both a bachelor’s degree in general studies and a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas – go Rock Chalk, Jay Hawks! Charley enlisted  in the United States Army in 1959, as a Private, and retired as a Colonel after a decorated and enigmatic career. A veteran of the Vietnam War, he served his country as a paratrooper, Field Artillery Officer, and Special Forces Officer. His awards include the Purple Heart, Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, multiple Air Medals and the Order of St. Barbera. He lived in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Washington before settling down in Alaska. He spent the greater part of his life in Anchorage, where he  enjoyed fishing, more fishing and the beauty and vastness of the state. When the snow melted he liked driving his vintage Porsche and dinners with his family  and friends. He was in great health and his last words were a little joke, which is just the way he would’ve wanted it. Charley was preceded in death by his  Parents;  his wife of 41 years, Karen Bunch; and grandson, Jack Hasse Duran.  He is survived by his children, Melissa Bunch, Chris Hasse and Scott (Bethany Flammia) Hasse; daughter in-law, Candace Hasse; and grandchildren, Ariel (Adam) Hasse-Zamudio, and Kyle Hasse. He is also survived by his sweetie, Florence Carroll, and her children, Kyle (Moon) McMillan and Carrie (Paul) Meredith. He also lives on through his sisters: Theda (Spike) Mitchell, Ruby (Bunky) Larive, Judy Vail and Imajean McCarter. Charley’s light shines on through the hundreds of  people he has transformed into family through his 84 years of life. Although life will never be the same without him, he’d say “Stick with me kid, and you’ll be wearing golf balls as big as diamonds” and he will always be with you at your favorite fishing hole.  In lieu of flowers, memorial  contributions may be made to the Kenai Watershed Forum or he would love it if you were to pick up some trash from your favorite fishing hole.  A celebration of life will be held in Anchorage on Sunday, June 23, 2024, at 4 p.m., at the Hotel Captain Cook.

Zippy and Charlie Together Again

7 thoughts on “The Passing of Charlie Bunch

  1. Very nice tribute to Charlie. I’ll miss his humor and friendship. He was obviously one of a kind. I plan on catching many silvers for Charlie on the Sapsuk this September.
    Captain Kirk

  2. I met Charlie Bunch in late 1969 while in the Army. We forged a friendship that lasted over all the years since we met.

    I truly could go on for many hours with Tales of Bunch in our time spent together in the military and beyond. But I won’t!

    C.B. IS one of the most memorable characters who ever touched my life, and I will miss him a BUNCH.

  3. Thank you so much for writing about Charley Bunch. He was a very special man, and to me he was everything. I am honored to be his granddaughter and I am grateful for every moment we had together.

  4. Lynn and I knew Charley for 44 years. He and Lynn were fishing buddies. He was a kind man. His sense of humor amusing. His sense of honor unsurpassed. Our children grew up together. We were family. He called me his sister. This whole in my heart may never heel. Our children called him uncle.

  5. Beautiful words, Charley became a big part of my life including teaching me to fly fish (have not exactly mastered it yet:) and made me a rod I will cherish always. We miss him everyday.

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