Sherill Bunetta, a Heart of Broomfield winner and president/treasurer of the Broomfield Council Arts & Humanities, died this past weekend.
On Monday, BCAH Executive Director Keri Dillingham shared a message about Bunetta’s passing to the BCAH community with an emailed message.
“It is with our deepest regret to share with you that Sherill Bunetta, President and Treasurer of BCAH, suddenly passed away on Saturday,” she wrote.
Bunetta, 74, was a friend to many and “a shining light for us all,” she wrote. Dillingham and board members offered their sincerest condolences as the community members who knew her grieve Bunetta’s passing.
Her family said her death was “sudden and unexpected.”
Bunetta is survived by her husband of 54 years Edward Bunetta, daughters Kris Stolle and Pam Padilla, son David Bunetta and six grandchildren.
Bunetta and her husband have been Broomfield residents since December 1967. She was born in Denver, graduated Westminster High School in 1963 and studied science at University of Colorado Boulder.
Bunetta, who was one of six children, was a homemaker until her youngest reached middle school. She worked at her brother’s grocery store in Lafayette, worked at Mail Boxes Etc. in Broomfield and ended her career at Empire Electric Inc., also in Broomfield, where she was a warehouse and parts manager.
His children said Edward was expected to be checked out of the hospital Thursday. Bunetta’s funeral service is planned for 2 p.m. Nov. 4. Family will be at United Church of Christ, but the funeral will be virtual for others because of the pandemic.
Rundus Funeral Home & Crematory is handling the funeral arrangements.
Bunetta’s history with the organization dates back to the nonprofit’s founding in 1973, Dillingham said, and Bunetta’s passionate commitment to this nonprofit, and to those she held dear, was “truly extraordinary and unparalleled.”
“The positive impact and memories she left behind will never be forgotten,” she said.
The family has asked, in lieu of cards and flowers, donations be made in her name to the BCAH, an organization where Bunetta gave so much of her free time because she “wholeheartedly believed that arts, culture and science must be present, vibrant and available to all in every community, especially in Broomfield.”
People can donate at ArtsinBroomfield.org. The family also asks people to forward any photos and stories of Sherill. In the coming weeks, BCAH will create a memorial video of Sherill to honor her life’s story and dedication to this community.
Besides her work with BCAH, Bunetta also served as the chairperson for the Brunner Farmhouse Advisory Committee for years before the current president took over a few years ago.
“The Brunner Farmhouse was her second home and BCAH was her mission — to make sure the arts are accessible,” Dillingham said.
It was important to Buneta that artists and groups looking to share their talents could go somewhere to learn what their first steps should be, she said, and that they received guidance from people who wanted them to succeed.
“She was truly a close friend and a close friend to so many,” Dillingham said.
Since Bunetta’s death, Dillingham recounted the number of emails from people saying Bunetta helped them get their first job or was the first to welcome them to the community.
“She was always behind the scenes, helping somebody be successful and connected to the community. She was always willing to extend a hand.”
Her children said Bunetta was present for all of their activities — from tennis, band performances and PTA meetings to Brownies, Girl Scouts and Job’s Daughters, a youth organization for girls and young women to “foster leadership, charity, and character building,” according to the organization’s website.
Her family said she was proud of her work on Summer Sundays, family events hosted by BCAH, enjoyed Broomfield’s small-town atmosphere and that Broomfield Days was her favorite time of the year.
Bunetta was a generous person who loved to volunteer around town and took joy in spoil her grandchildren — from decorating Easter eggs, buying them presents and playing arcade games with them at Dave & Buster’s.
“She always made a point to visit all her family… anybody she knew,” Stolle said. “If you were in town or she was passing through that town, she was going to call you up and visit you.”
When Bunetta was younger, she played a lot of softball and enjoyed bowling. In later years, she and her husband did water aerobics at the Broomfield Community Center.
Padilla said although Bunetta wasn’t a painter or artist herself, she had a deep appreciation for art and was the type of person who decorated her home for every holiday.
For many years, BCAH was lucky to have Bunetta as its backbone, Dillingham said.
“We are all in a state of mourning at BCAH as we begin to process her absence and find ways to celebrate her life,” Dillingham said.