Wayne Reynolds Bunnell; Telecommunications Director

Wayne Reynolds Bunnell, who served as director of telecommunications for County-USC Medical Center, has died in Mission Hills. He was 49.

A resident of Sylmar, Bunnell died Sunday of pneumonia, said his father, Andrew Bunnell.

Born in Burbank, Bunnell was raised in the San Fernando Valley and moved to Gorman as a teen-ager. He rode a 120-mile round trip each day on a school bus to attend Antelope Valley High School in Lancaster, where he graduated in 1958.

Bunnell worked as a salesman for California Water and Telephone Co., which later became GTE California Inc. He earned an associate of arts degree in advanced electronics from a Southern California community college and in 1967, he was hired by Los Angeles County to work in the telecommunications department.

As director of telecommunications for the hospital, he was active with the 1984 implementation of the 911 emergency telephone system countywide and traveled around the state encouraging other counties to adopt similar programs, said Oscar Tandog, assistant director of telecommunications. Bunnell also was involved with creating an emergency backup telephone system for County-USC Medical Center, Tandog said.

Bunnell was a member of the Elks Lodge No. 1919 in Gardena and a group called Clean Campgrounds Always. For the past three years he dressed up as Santa Claus and visited patients at Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles.

He is survived by his wife of eight years, Lydia Bunnell; a son, Loren Bunnell of San Diego; a daughter, Dana Smith of Porterville; parents, Andrew and Avon Bunnell of Lake View Terrace; and a sister, Patricia Suzanne Moat of Kagel Canyon.

A memorial service will be held Friday at 8 p.m. at St. Didacus Catholic Church, 14339 Astoria St. in Sylmar. The Neptune Society in Burbank is handling arrangements. Contributions can be made in Bunnell's name to the charity of the donor's choice, Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles or the Elks Lodge No. 1919 in Gardena.

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