Burnice Stetson

Burnice Stetson

1924 – 2012

Burnice “Bunni” E. Stetson was born to James Harold and Auda Rollins Young on January 11, 1924 in Windsor Twp., MN. She grew up in Newaygo, MI and after high school she took stenographic training in Grand Rapids, MI.

She served in the Navy as a WAVE from 1944 to 1946. Bunni graduated from Adrian College in Adrian, MI with a BA Degree in 1949 using the GI Bill. On August 26, 1949 she married Kirk Stetson who entered medical school in Rochester, NY a month later. During this time, she earned her diploma in Practical Nursing and then went to work to help support Kirk through medical school and residency.

Following Kirk’s graduation, the couple departed for Africa as medical missionaries at Mt. Silinda Mission Station in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). They served there from 1956 to 1973 interrupted by two furloughs back to America. Two children went with them to Africa: Charlinda Sherry (1952) and Eric Richmond (1954). A third child, Lorrin Paul, was born to them in Africa in 1957.

After they returned permanently from Africa in 1973, they settled in Flagstaff, AZ where Bunni earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling at Northern Arizona University. She set up a Christian counseling service in Marriage and the Family. In 1992 they moved to Cottonwood where Bunni was a member of Verde Baptist Church.

Kirk Stetson

Kirk Stetson

1925 – 2012


Kirk R Stetson was born September 26, 1925 in Rochester, New York, where his father Paul was an engineer at Kodak and mother Lois looked after the family. He grew up involved in Soap Box Derby racing, Boy Scouts (Eagle Scout) and church life.
He became an engineering student in 1943, was in the Naval ROTC, graduated in 1945 and was commissioned in the Navy where he served in the Pacific until 1946. At this time Kirk met the love of his life and future wife of 63 years, Burnice Stetson.
Kirk taught mathmatics from 1946 to 1948 at Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey. During this time he became interested in medicine. In 1949 Kirk and Bunni were married and he entered the University of Rochester Medical School, graduating in1953. Daughter Charlinda was born in 1952 and sons Eric in 1954 and Lorrin in 1957.
After internship Kirk and Bunni signed up to serve on a mission station in Rhodesia, Africa, where he ran the hospital at Mt. Selinda from 1956 to 1973. During this time he positively affected the lives of thousands of Africans, both physically and spititually. They are lovingly remembered by these people to this day.
After returning to the USA in 1973, Kirk set up a medical practice in Flagstaff, AZ, where they lived until retiring to Cottonwood, AZ in 1992. In retirement, serving others remained his life’s work and they returned to Africa for two years. Kirk worked with Indian Health Services in Arizona, and in Cottonwood at the free clinic at Old Town Mission.
After letting his medical license go, he joined Gideon Bibles and Habitat for Humanity until he fully retired in 2004. Life remained busy and full. Throughout his fulfilling life his Christian faith and his drive to help others have been his guiding lights.


Argyll-Etkin 2020.03 – Auction No.45 David Feldman 2019.06 – Spring Auction Series Corbitts Corbitts Stamp Auction – November, 2016 Corbitts Stamp Auction – June, 2016 Corbitts Stamp Auction – February, 2016 Corinphila The Rhodesia Besançon Collection (part II) – November, 2021 Gartner British Africa – June, 2019 Grosvenor British Empire and Foreign Countries – April 2017 British Empire and Foreign

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