Bernita M "Bunny" Zuidmeer

Bernita Mae (Muenscher) Zuidmeer died on October 5, 2019 in Bellingham. She was 96 years old.

Bunny was born on May 7, 1923 in Bellingham, the much-wanted first child of Fritz and Neldia (Hallman) Muenscher. Although christened Bernita, her father began calling her his little bunny and the nickname stuck. She was Bunny to everyone she met. She grew up on the family farm on the Central Road, helping her mother in the house. She learned to cook early on and told a story of her mother setting her to watch a pan on the stove and not let it boil dry. She began to read her library book and completely lost track of her job. The pan boiled dry and her mother was not pleased! In spite of a few missteps along the way, Bunny became a superlative cook and baker. She attended Ten Mile School through grade school and then Lynden High School. When she was a sophomore she began to date a handsome, athletic upper classman, Peter Zuidmeer. She graduated in 1941 and went off to attend Washington State College (now Washington State University). Peter joined the Navy and they kept in touch. Bunny majored in Home Economics and after graduation she got a job teaching at Issaquah High School. When Pete got out of the Navy in 1945, they rekindled their romance and were married on June 8, 1946. They bought a small house in Bellingham and at the end of 1947 their daughter Jane was born. They lived in Bellingham until 1950, when they bought a dairy farm not far from Bunny’s parents. When Jane was two, Bunny was asked to teach at Meridian High School. She taught there until 1958. Their son Bill was born in 1959 and the family was complete. In 1962, the family moved to Montana and in 1966 Bunny got a job teaching at Hellgate High School in Missoula. That job lasted 18 years, with Bunny retiring as head of the Home Ec department. Pete and Bunny moved back to Washington and eventually to the farm where Bunny grew up. They enjoyed traveling and attended many Navy reunions across the United States. Bunny continued to read, play bridge, cook and enjoy a busy social life. She was active in her church, St. John’s Lutheran.

Bunny was preceded in death by her husband of 72 years, Peter, granddaughters Catherine and Chelsea, brother Fred, five sisters-in-law, four brothers-in-law and two nieces. She is survived by her daughter Jane (Verne) Christianson, son Bill (Denise) Zuidmeer, sisters Isabel Covalt (Vail Palmer) and Elinor (Lonnie) Montgomery, grandchildren Jennifer Christianson, Samantha Seholm and Peter Zuidmeer, four great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. 

Burial will be at 11:00 at Ten Mile Cemetery (6268 Metcalf Road, Lynden) followed by a memorial service at 1:00 at St. John’s Lutheran Church (2530 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham). Memorials may be made in Bunny’s name to the Muenscher Scholarship Fund, care of St. John’s Lutheran Church.