Posts tagged ‘Daddy…Loving Memory’

Evening Orchid Corvair!

evening orchid corvair '65 - world o' jeff

evening orchid corvair '65 - world o' jeff

I have always said that the right car in the wrong color is the wrong car. No beige 1959 Cadillacs for me, thank you.

A lady named Emily in the store last week casually mentioned that she was selling her 1965 Corvair that she had owned for 25 years. “What color”, I asked, which is always my first question when someone tells me about a car. “It’s called Evening Orchid”, she replied. “It’s kind of a lilac”.

Thank you Jeff and frapper!

I now know that My lavender and white Corvair convertible wasn’t a custom paint job but a real Chevrolet color of the day! Evening orchid. The only difference between mine and this one is mine had a white convertible top and white white wall tires … so it was like the yellow one I posted, but this color! Awesome!

My lavender and white Corvair convertible

Well, it was mine for about 1/2 an hour…

OK, well … it was mine, but I never got to drive it.

It was somewhat like this one:


The difference was mine was kinda a lavendery pink with white leather interior and white convertible, and white white wall tires. It had sat for 2 yrs and the paint had oxidized so it wasn’t shiny. But it was mine! I intended to paint it bright yellow (not pastel yellow like this image here), but bright yellow jacket yellow with black trim. And the Autobots‘s Bumble Bee was NOT even a gleam in anyone’s eyes back in 1971…

Anyway, back to my story … My Dad and a few guy friends went to pick it up somewhere near the Carlisle, PA area. Like I say, it sat for a couple years and belonged to a little old lady. Apparently she had it painted that pinky lavender since I haven’t seen any anywhere that color.

My Dad picked the car up after putting in some gas and it actually started right up! Wow. He and the guys drove it home to the farm in PA where we were staying at the time. And drove it right up the hill, well more like gunned it up the hill, showing off a bit…Well, next thing I know, the car has a cracked block and there’s no way we can fix that. My Dad felt awful…I couldn’t let him feel bad like that so I told him not to worry about it. But it really did hurt as you can imagine. But people are more important than things…

It was so sweet of my Dad to even want to get this cool little car for me for my first car. I will always cherish his love for me and what he did for me in life and when he passed away. Daddy…Loving Memory

I wish I had gotten a picture of that little car before it died…

You are always in my heart Daddy…I love you and miss you so much!

What got me going on this today? I don’t know, we were talking about first cars, and was looking around on the Internet today and came across Keith’s Blog: The Corvair I Let Get Away and just had to tell my story too.

Oh, forgot to mention that my Dad didn’t forget … when we moved back to the Jersey Shore, he got me a Galaxy 500 Maroon/Burgundy with black roof and interior and fixed it up just so…like I mentioned in the postings about my Dad. He was an amazing fellow…

I miss you Pappa

May 1st we celebrate the life of a very precious man, my Daddy, who passed away in 2005.

Daddy would have been 78 tomorrow.

I posted articles about my Pappa on the page entitled:

Daddy…Loving Memory

Until we meet again, Pappa…

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day!

I feel very blessed to have had a wonderful Dad for so many years.

Papa, I love and miss you so much!

Daddy…In Loving Memory

Thought for the Day – November 11, 2008

In Remembrance of All Veterans from All Wars

In Remembrance of All Veterans from All Wars

© Nancy Thiele |

To all the Veterans of all the wars, including my Dad, who was in the Army during the Korean War, I say, “Thank you” for all you’ve done for our country.

November 11, 2008 is Veterans Day in the United States and is coincidentally the 90th anniversary of World War One, which was fought from 1914 to 1918.

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday; “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’.”

Congress amended this act on November 8, 1954, replacing “Armistice” with Veterans, and it has been known as Veterans Day since.

May this day not only a day of remembering our Veterans, but also be the day dedicated to the cause of world peace.

Pictures and .ogg Audio Files on

Yea! The images and .ogg audio files are back on the Klok – Memorial, and the Spring 2006 Blossoms page and on the the following Memorial postings for my Dad: Until We Meet Again and To My Dad .. In Loving Memory.

Please let me know if you run across any other broken links to image or audio files. Thanks!

Until We meet again …

Getting back to everyday living seems so strange after Daddy’s passing … when they talk about a funeral being for the mourners, they really do mean that. Daddy isn’t in that beautiful casket; his physical shell is there, but Daddy isn’t there.

Tribute to Robert Charles Bunker - May 1, 1932 - May 26, 2005

The memorial services were held at the Wrenn-Yeatts Funeral Home in Danville. The Wrenn-Yeatts folks were absolutely amazing. I have never seen such loving care by a funeral home. They cared for Daddy as though he was their own relative, and treated us as though we were their own family and were right there for us whenever they were needed. They did all they could to make our last visitations with Daddy before he was buried the best they could possibly be under the circumstances. I, for one, will never forget what they did for us, and I know that my baby sister Debbie and her husband Dana (who chose them), and the rest of our family will not forget either. There was not only the typical flowers and casket, but in addition there was a large collage of pictures of Daddy and each of us over time as well as some pictures from his military days and his youth. Plus there was a flat screen monitor with a slide show above and to the left of the casket with similar types of pictures to help ease the pain. They even allowed Debbie, her son Caleb, and I to visit the morning they were going to take Daddy down to the graveside.

The Graveside Service was held at the Halifax Memorial Gardens, with the lovely grave site right by the pond with the birds singing and fish catching bugs in the pond — right where Daddy would have wanted to be. It was absolutely beautiful there (we also stopped on our way home to Dendron yesterday to see Daddy and they had the flowers carefully laid on the grave and the canopy was still there to protect the flowers and the visitors from the heat of the sun. It was so peaceful.).

The pastor of Daddy and Mother’s church in South Boston Virginia, Rev. Bruce Hagy, who knew Daddy well for the last few years of his life, gave a moving tribute to Daddy, then his wife sang a beautiful song a cappella. After that, my baby sister Debbie’s husband, who is the pastor of Mother and Daddy’s current Church in Danville (Danville Christian Fellowship), spoke of Daddy, his father-in-law (who felt more like his own Dad), and I will never forget the love he has for Daddy. Richard Allen and another sweet lady, Debra Simmons, from the church sang a song each as well, and we were all blessed by their singing.

Despite the Memorial Day weekend, Taps and the Flag Folding Ceremony was performed and the flag presented ‘on behalf of a grateful nation’ to our Mother. I thank the VFW and Army officer very much for coming to do this for Daddy and our family.

My Jim helped get the nice battery driven PA system ready for the service and collected some songs (with the help of our friend Charlie in Michigan) that we all wanted to hear during and after the service. Jim handled this audio during the Graveside Service as well as making sure the music was available for Richard Allen and Debra Simmons, who each sang a song through the microphone on this cool little battery powered PA system, and also played the music after the service during the greetings and condolence time. In addition, Jim played ‘I Come To The Garden Alone’ (the copy our friend Adam gave us), near the time when the family members placed their roses of remembrance on the casket.

Our sister Berta, brought each of us a copy of the newspaper with Daddy’s obituary in it, and a CD with some pictures of Daddy and the family, as well as some pictures from the viewing for us to keep as momentos.

I know I am forgetting something at this very moment.

In Daddy’s proper style of keeping things lively and providing comic relief in times of need, the folks at the grave site had trouble with a root when trying to lower the casket in the grave (after putting the plastic casing around the casket). I am sure the folks at the memorial park were not happy with the situation, but they need not have worried. The situation provided the much needed time and relief when we really didn’t wish to see the casket lowered so quickly into the grave even when we knew it needed to be. By the time they finally got it past the root, and cut the straps loose (which were now a permanent part of the grave site), and lowered the casket the rest of the way into the grave…by then, we (or maybe it was just me) were ready to deal with it better (at least that was my take on it). We all knew this was just like Daddy … he always got his money’s worth on everything! 🙂

My baby sister Debbie and her husband Dana were totally amazing through all of this .. I was so very proud of both of them. They were the ones who were Daddy’s caregivers since the cancer struck last year right up to the end. Together, they are a wonderful team, and took care of all the details and pulled all the family together in such a loving and beautiful way. May God give them the peace and rest they need after this trying time. I am so thankful to Dana for being there and being such a pillar of support through all of this time to all of us, particularly to his wife Debbie and our Mother.

I am also very proud of my Mother, who handled herself so very well through it all and during the last and most difficult month in particular. As did all our family in this trying time. We are all so thankful to have had an extra year of good quality of life with Daddy because of the surgery last year.

Sunday morning before we went to the Graveside Service, we went to church and Dana and the entire church was so loving and supportive during the service. Also the following was placed in the Sunday Bulletin that was handed out for the service:

Memories Keep Those We Love
Close to Us Forever

To the Family and Friends of –
Robert Charles Bunker

Although words seem to say so little,
We hope they help in some small way
to ease the sense of loss
that you’re experiencing today.
Hold fast to your memories,
to all the cherished moments
of the past,
to the blessings and the laughter,
the joys and the celebrations,
the sorrow and the tears.
They all add up to a treasure
of fond yesterdays
that you shared and spent together,
and they keep the one you loved
close to you in spirit and in thought.

The special moments and memories in
your life will never change.
They will always be in your heart,
today and forevermore.

In Memory of Robert Charles Bunker
May 1, 1932 – May 26, 2005

Daddy and Fran November 2002

Oh, Papa, you showed us how to deal with sorrow, pain and so many things … I will try to be like you and get back to living and enjoying life as you would have wished …

May we have the strength to do that now. I know that time heals all wounds. I know this in my heart and that the waves of sorrow never really leave, but they will become further apart and we will be better able to handle them when they come as time goes on and they gratefully will soften with time. I rest in that knowledge now.

I will keep the wonderful memories of my Dad in my heart just as my Jim did with his Mom when she died 20 years ago. Jim says that this is how we can continue to honor them beyond the grave.

(Jim is playing “I Come To The Garden Alone” quietly in the background as I am writing this.)

Papa, I will not say say good-bye, I will say “until we meet again …”

Memorial Day…

To all the Veterans of all the wars, including my Dad, who was in the Army during the Korean War (and especially today, because my Dad passed away on this date May 26th, in 2005), I say, “Thank you” for all you’ve done for our country.

Many gave much more than others, their very lives. Others suffered great personal, emotional, spiritual, and physical tragedy due to their times in the wars.

We can not allow the stupidity of this war to turn this country sour on our Veterans again. It was a travesty when the Vietnam war ended and that happened and I felt so embarrassed and humiliated for this country’s behavior concerning their Veterans when they came home.

I remember when I was 16 and was in an bad accident and spent some time at the hospital in Valley Forge where some of those brave souls were coming home from the Vietnam War. Many missing limbs and going through rehabilitation while I was in rehabilitation as well learning to walk again. My heart went out to them. I knew what I had been through, and it was nothing compared to the horrors of war.

In the Vietnam war and in this war. Veterans are caught between a rock and a hard place, I think, even worse than the rest of us are in so many ways.

God bless you all and thank you for your service to your country. Regardless of who put them there, or why, that’s the role each serviceman and servicewomen is living out and I thank them for that…it’s not an easy road to follow. Especially for those in areas of battle and potential battle every day. And those who have been through hell and back as war tends to do to people.

Here’s a couple articles to think about. I read them and just went Wow!

Salute to Veterans – Ron Paul – 2008 – Texas Straight Talk –

Most of my efforts on Capitol Hill are focused on reducing the federal government’s size and scope, but I make an exception for a very important group of people. Our nation’s men and women in uniform commit a selfless act of patriotism when they take up arms in defense of our country. As a veteran myself, I salute all those currently serving, or who have served in our armed forces. Our nation owes them a debt of gratitude for their sacrifices, their courage, their time away from friends and family, and the dangers they undertake. This Memorial Day we honor our soldiers and vets, we remember those who never came home, or who have since passed on. Above all, we acknowledge our respect for all who have served in the military.

War Immemorial Day – No Peace for Militarized U.S. – by Bill Quigley –

Memorial Day is not actually a day to pray for U.S. troops who died in action but rather a day set aside by Congress to pray for peace. The 1950 Joint Resolution of Congress which created Memorial Day says: “Requesting the President to issue a proclamation designating May 30, Memorial Day, as a day for a Nation-wide prayer for peace.” (64 Stat.158).

Much more in these articles! They are both on my must read list.

I have been out of sorts all day today, and I didn’t realize why, till my “baby sister” Deb called and mentioned the anniversary of Daddy’s passing today in a voice message and asking how I was doing today, and letting me know that their family was going out on a friend’s boat today.

I knew this day was coming. Realized it was only two days away, the day before yesterday. I think that subconsciously, I even realized it had arrived and that was why I have been out of sorts and feeling so down today.

Daddy, I love you and miss you so much!

EDIT: Added two articles and a quote from each. Thanks Kurt for sending these two articles to me.

To My Dad .. In Loving Memory

I have added a new Category entitled “Daddy…Loving Memory” where all the Personal items that I have written about my Dad will be easily found.

My Dad’s battle with cancer is now over. My family and I hold dear the conviction that he has gone on to a much better place where he no longer struggles with cancer or CMT. Where his legs and hands will now be free and mobile and strong as they once were when he was young and where there is no more pain.

I am really trying to do more celebrating of his life than mourning of his death and that is why I have been going over old photo albums and such … but I guess that will come easier when my own personal, and my family’s personal, grief is not quite so very sharp.

Although words are not coming very easily right now, I do however, wish to honor my Dad’s memory on this day. So maybe through these few pictures that I found while going through some very old photo albums that had some pictures of my Dad, my Mom and me in the very early days, a start can be made. The pictures are very old and not great quality, but I hope they do some justice.

My Dad and me when I was only 9 mos old:

Daddy and me at 9 mos old - pic 1

Daddy and me at 9 mos old - pic 2

My Dad, working with his Dad, on a car and getting unexpectedly caught by a shudder bug (likely my Mother or my Aunt Dottie – my Dad’s sister):

Daddy and Grandpop - 1957 working on a car and caught on camera

My Mother, my Dad and me the same year, 1957:

My Mother, my Dad and me in 1957

These are two pictures of me sitting in the Go Cart my Dad made for me out of an old baby buggy, some tin cans for headlights, an old crate, some paint, a Go Army bumper sticker for the front and an old license plate on the back, and a few other things when I was a little girl in 1962:

Black and white photo of the front end of the go cart my Dad built for me in 1962

Color photo of the back end of the go cart my Dad built for me in 1962

There were many wonderful days that were shared growing up and as an adult with my Daddy, my Pappa. I will try to remember them all.

EDIT (You may need to clear your cache to see some of the pictures again. I changed the names of the files to not have spaces so all browsers can see them. I have added items several times on 5/26 and so far once on 5/27. These ramblings are a work in progress. As I think of things, I am adding them. On 5/27, I added the part about Daddy’s love of mathematics and problem solving and worked on a few clarifications. These are mainly in addition to the previous blog entries on Daddy and I don’t think they repeat anything from the other blog entries.

The memories that I am sharing below mainly are from the very early days of my childhood on Gladney Avenue in Toms River, and some are about Daddy in general that most of our family knows or at least might remember vaguely.

The reason I am sharing the early memories is because I am the eldest of 6 children and there are nearly 5 years between me and the next child down in our family; which just means I might have a few memories of the earlier days that some of my siblings may not know about, or remember because they were too young at the time or not even born yet.)

Some rambling memories…

I remember …

Yes, I was Dad’s ‘Gus’ or ‘Gus Gus’ … it was his pet name for me when I was growing up… and he’d still call me that sometimes even as an adult and I remember how good it made me feel to hear him say it..even though I have no idea what it meant or why he called me that.

Or how as a child he would tease me when I’d run out the door and tell me to come back .. that I had forgotten something, and I’d look all around, and then he’d say ‘your footprints,’ or when he’d tickle my feet till I’d be laughing through tears crying Uncle!, or rubbing his morning beard on my face (yuk!), and so many other wonderful little things … like I’ve mentioned in earlier postings.

As a child, I remember that we sometimes would go to the Western Auto with a bag or box of television tubes and he’d let me test them in the tube tester there. He’d let me watch or help when he worked on things and I’d pester him with questions.

How he built me that go cart with such love and care.

I remember how he’d sometimes take me to Fort Dix with him and out to the ranges, and show me ‘Snoopy’ the tank, or take me with him on runs when he worked for the dry cleaner delivering clothes, or to the Island Heights Yacht Club where he also worked to make some extra money to support our growing family especially after he was ‘Honorably Discharged for Medical Reasons’ when they discovered he had CMT (Charcot Marie Tooth Disease) and that his being in the Army was making the disease progress more rapidly — because of the added physical activities of military life. Because the disability wasn’t nearly enough for a family our size, and because he didn’t get 100% disability for many years, he was always working extra jobs to make ends meet.

How he’d stop and get us ice cream or Stewart’s draft root beer, or drive to Seaside to look at the ocean.

I remember, after all the chores and other things that he wanted to get done for the day were completed, how we’d sit and rest in the evening, or on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and watch old classic movies and musicals, or scifi flicks, or kung fu movies, war movies. He had such a wide variety of interests.

He passed along his love of movies, music, and of the Three Stooges and vintage cartoons. He really filled out my love of music to include so many other types of music besides the music of the day. He also passed on his zest for life, the sciences, electronics, and so much more.

And conversation … always respectful but in a very real sense a camaraderie.

I remember we’d work together building something, or tearing down engines and then put them back together after cleaning and fixing the parts, and tuning the engines till they purred … (“I helped” and always ran to get tools he needed, all of which he taught me to know by name).

He dearly loved to work on car engines, or other mechanical, and/or early electronic devices. It broke my heart to see him have to finally give that up little by little as he just didn’t have the stamina, strength or dexterity to do it any more.

He also loved mathematics and loved to work out mathematical problems. He was a problem solver; it was his nature, and not just in mathematics.

He would say that we can do anything that we set our mind to do. I am sure that my high rating in mechanical reasoning on test scores was entirely attributable to Daddy’s influence. I only wish I could have been as good as he wanted me to be in mathematics as well.

At one point, he actually worked in the Dividends dept on Wall Street and commuted 2 hours a day from the Jersey Shore to New York City.

And oh, boy, the big pots of delicious spaghetti sauce and chili that Daddy would make for the family.

And I will never forget Dad patiently teaching me to drive, to parallel park, and it especially touches my heart to remember when when he drove up with the lane in a beautiful light lavender convertible Corvair with white leather bucket seats that he had secretly found for me as my first car at some farm where it sat for two years before he got it (he had such plans of working over the engine and making it just so), and he was so excited that he pushed the old car a bit too hard and cracked the block on it’s maiden voyage home coming up the hill on the lane in front of the house where we were staying in PA at the time … he was heartbroken and how could I blame him for it, he blamed himself! I was sad about the car, but so touched about his thoughtfulness and his grief at breaking the car. Later after we moved back to NJ from PA, he bought another used car for me, a Galaxy 500 that he worked on till it was ‘just right.’

I remember my Dad’s early CB days, and later when he lovingly called me watermelon on the CB when I was pregnant with my first child and when he talked with his friends — folks we had never met on the CB. (I was mortified! but he didn’t mean it in a bad way … he just always loved to lovingly tease.)

I remember so many things … I remember how Daddy took care of us, and how hard it was on the family when he was still in the military and he went overseas for tours of duty to Germany, Korea. How he and mother would create tapes on a portable reel-to-reel tape recorder (Mother and Daddy had matching recorders that they bought before he left on that ToD) and would send them back and forth instead of writing letters so we could all hear his voice and he could hear ours. It was particularly nice that Christmas when he couldn’t be there for Christmas. I also remember how when Daddy had the opportunity to stopover in Japan on the way home on one tour, he brought back beautiful Japanese Geisha dolls … one beautifully dressed with a lot of hats, another again beautifully dressed with an umbrella and wysteria trailing, and the third was a larger one, a bride groom in the most beautiful costume with long white hair and beard. He brought some other cool things as well such as these cool little thick rubber slippers that were so narrow I could never keep them on my feet and a carved ship.

Speaking of ships … he painstakingly built a ship in a bottle one time and another big ship, with three masts and all the rigging and proper knots and everything, very intricate (that ship sat on the old stero/turntable cabinet) … now that takes some patience!

He loved the water and was an avid swimmer. He loved to fish and actually got his picture in the paper for catching the first Striped Bass of the season (a 14 1/2 lb). The picture also hung in the store of a friend’s shop in Seaside for many years. He also had a small motor boat that he loved to take out on the Toms River in NJ.

I remember … how he wouldn’t give in to CMT (Charcot Marie Tooth Disease), and how he’d keep walking and trying to keep walking with out the cane whenever he could, and kept creating new and innovative ways to do the things he wanted to do when his hands would no longer cooperate as he wanted them to.

I also remember, how his faith in his God kept him strong and helped him get through some of the toughest things a person will ever have to endure.

And I will always remember the great love and pride in his eyes at this daughters’ and his son’s weddings. And in the birth of each of his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I have not even touched the surface of the wonderful memories I have of my Dad. I feel I have not been able to do him justice somehow.

I will always remember my Daddy, my Pappa with great love and admiration.


I recently saw a movie called Ladder 49 where I saw the life of a very dedicated fireman, who was loved and cherished by his family, his station and his friends, die in a terrible fire trying to help people live; and how his Captain during the Memorial service, noting that they would all be strong and brave as he, Jack Morrison had been (when he would go into fires when others run from them so he could help save lives), by not mourning his death, but celebrating his life.

With the emotional struggles our little family are going through right now, with my Dad in the last stage of brain cancer, this movie held some great truths for me to come to terms with in a very real way right now.

I hope we are able to be as strong and brave as my Dad has been through all of this … and that we can celebrate my Dad’s life instead of mourning our loss.

Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers….we really need it right now.

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