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OH137 Shirley Bunch Oral History

Shirley Bunch Oral History

Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project - Lifestyles

Series Number: OH137B

Interviewee: Bunch, Shirley

Interviewer: Bill Peyton

Date interviewed: 1979

Processed by: Tara Marcum

Date processed: November 10, 2011

Description: 2 sound discs (92 minutes)

Abstract: Shirley Bunch describes attending segregated schools from elementary to high school in Paducah, Kentucky during the 1940s and 1950s. She recalls that African Americans began attending Paducah Junior College in 1955. She discusses her career, travels and marriage. She recounts places of employment, offices held and professional and community achievements she acquired during her lifetime. She mentions the medical practices administered at Paducah's Lourdes Hospital during the early 1970s. She also describes mentoring black children struggling with segregation issues.

Biographical / Historical note: Shirley Bunch was born on June 22, 1940. Her parents were Leola and Matthew McCally. She attended Rosary Chapel Catholic School from elementary to high school. She was the first and only student to graduate that high school in 1958. After high school, she attended Paducah Junior College. Her husband, William Bunch, became the first African American police deputy in McCracken County in December of 1969. In 1973, she attended the Paducah Tilghman Trade School and afterwards worked at Lourdes Hospital. She then took a leave of absence in 1976 to return to Paducah Community College to finish her degree. Following graduation she worked at Brookport Elementary School in Illinois. In 1978, Bunch worked as the first black female deputy at the McCracken County Police Department. She was a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the first female president of the Paducah Association for Motivation Progress, Education and Rehabilitation (PAMPER) and a board member on of the Paducah Community Center.

General information: No user access to original recordings. Use audio user copies, digital derivatives, transcripts, and/or tape indexes. This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code). Permission for reproduction must be requested from Murray State University.

Subject Headings / Descriptors:

Bunch, Shirley, 1940-

Rosary Chapel (Paducah, Ky.)

Paducah Junior College (Paducah, Ky.)

Paducah (Ky.) – History.

McCracken County (Paducah, Ky.) -- History.

African Americans – Kentucky – Paducah.

African Americans – Kentucky – McCracken County.

African American police – Kentucky.