Andrew Buni

June 21, 1931 ~ February 12, 2012 (age 80) 80 Years Old


Buni, Dr. Andrew, Professor Emeritus of American History at Boston College, died on February 12, 2012. His wife and two of his children were at his bedside. A graveside service was held on February 16, 2012.
Andy was born on June 21, 1931, in Manchester, N.H., the youngest of eight children of Ukrainian immigrants, Nicholas Bunie and Cecile Makar. Following graduation from Manchester Central High School in 1949, Andy went to work with his older brother at Granite State Packing until he enlisted in the Army in 1952. He served during the Korean conflict in Hokkaido, Japan, where he instructed fellow soldiers in Defense Against Chemical Biological and Radiological Attacks (CBR). Upon discharge in the spring of 1954, he returned to Manchester and work at Granite State Packing. At the urging of his boss, he took advantage of the G.I. Bill and enrolled at the University of New Hampshire that fall. At UNH he enjoyed fraternity life, played lacrosse under Coach Whoops Snively, and met his future wife, Joyce Kelly. He earned a Bachelors' (1958) and Masters' (1959) in American History. After two years teaching and coaching at the Hatch School in Newport, R.I., Andy attended the University of Virginia, where he pursued research in the experience of blacks in American history. He earned a Ph.D. and continued teaching, first at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Va., then in 1968 joined Boston College's Department of History as their first specialist in Black History.
At Boston College, Dr. Buni was an early and persistent voice for diversity among faculty and graduate students. He worked to bring black faculty to BC and strengthen Black Studies. He fought to make the hiring and tenuring of women a priority. He advocated for gay and lesbian faculty. His curricula emphasized the popular American experience from immigration, to urban and ethnic history, the history of American film, sport, environmental studies, and music. His favorite students were often found in BC's Evening College, where he taught the popular Boston's Neighborhoods course. He was involved as an advisor and teacher of BC's student athletes. In addition to his work at Boston College, Andy taught history at Walpole Prison and at the Concord, Mass., correctional facility. He is the author of his published dissertation, The Negro in Virginia Politics, 1902-1965; Robert L. Vann of the Pittsburgh Courier; Boston City On A Hill, with Dr. Alan Rogers and Sharlene Voogd Cochrane; and Paul Robeson: Years of Promise and Achievement, with his co-author and friend Sheila Tully Boyle.
A lifelong athlete, Andy refereed prep school and college lacrosse, coached his children, and ran many, many, marathons, the first being Boston, in 1969, at the age of 38. He continued road racing into his 70s when aortic stenosis brought him to a halt.
Diagnosed with fronto-temporal dementia in the summer of 2005, Andy retired after 38 years of teaching in June of 2006. In his final years, Andy enjoyed his children and grandchildren, friends, neighbors, and former students. He participated in Interfaith Peace Demonstrations on the Needham Common. He embraced Needham Senior Center activities, including yoga, a current events discussion group, and weekly movies. He danced, walked, made fires to relax by, traveled, rooted for the Red Sox, and witnessed the election of President Barack Obama. As his illness progressed, Andy participated in an Early Stage Support Group, at the Mass./N.H. Alzheimer's Association under the leadership of Dr. Paul Raia. Later still, he was gifted with participation in Great Days For Seniors, a day program at Hebrew Senior Life. In his last months he received dedicated care at the Bedford Veterans' Hospital.
Andy leaves a loving family: His wife, Joyce Kelly Buni, and their four children, Jack and wife Tracy; Catherine and husband Bill; Jim and wife Magdalena; Nick and wife Eileen; eight precious grandchildren; and his sister Hazel Ann Schultz. He was predeceased by his sisters and brothers Mary, Frank, Kitty, John, Doris, and Charlie.
Donations in Andy's memory may be made to the GRECC Unit 62, CD North, c/o the ENR Memorial Veterans Hospital, 200 Springs Rd., Bedford, Mass. 01730, or to Food For The Poor, Inc., 6401 Lyons Rd., Coconut Creek, Fla. 33073.

A Memorial in appreciation of Andy's life will be held at Boston College, Gasson Hall Room 305 on Saturday, April 21st at 10 a.m. , followed by refreshments. All are welcome.
Attendees can enter at the Main Entrance on BC's Middle Campus ( off Commonwealth Avenue) where parking will be permitted. Just tell the guard that you are attending Andy Buni's Memorial.

  • A Memorial In Appreciation of Andy's Life

    April 21, 2012
    10:00 AM

    Gasson Hall Room 305

    Boston College
    Chestnut Hill, MA

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