Walter Howard Bunch, age 78, of Fernandina Beach, passed away on Saturday, October 29, 2016 at his residence. Born in Leesburg, FL on September 22, 1938, he was the son of the late Jake and Frances Bunch.
Howard grew up on beautiful Amelia Island and sold the Fernandina Newsleader on horseback as a child. He and his brother Gary ran wild in Fort Clinch and they could pass for Native Americans their skin was so dark from swimming and fishing on the beach. Their mother, Frances, felt comfortable sending them out in the morning and not expecting to see them until afternoon. By age eleven, Howard loved to be in the woods hunting alone and primarily enjoyed seeing the wildlife, hearing the sounds of nature and feeling the tranquility the woods and sea provided.
He graduated from Fernandina Beach High School and loved the Class of ‘57 who have remained close through all the years.
He joined the Navy in September of 1957 and served on the CVA- 61 USS Ranger until his honorable discharge in 1959. Howard cherished the opportunity to explore many post war countries in the Caribbean, South America and Southeast Asia. He often shared many stories of his visits to Trinidad, Brazil, Chile’, Peru, Mexico, Philippines, Japan and Hong Kong with anyone who would listen. Howard developed a great love of photography which allowed him to document his adventures throughout his life.
As a father, Howard was always fishing, camping, boating and dune buggy riding with his family and friends. His family’s hearts are filled with lots of fond memories of the many weekends spent on the South end of the Island and on the Nassau River hanging out together. His children and grandchildren share his passion for nature and the outdoors.
Howard Bunch lived for Drum season. A love he inherited from his father, Jake and brother Gary. He always had a pole in the water and one of his few regrets was not signing up for the Drum Tournament one year in which he caught an 85 pounder. Of course, he would have won!
Howard had a warm heart and a radiant smile he shared with every person in every country he visited and all over this island. He had a genuine interest in each person he touched and prayed for them each day. One of the most significant days of his life was the day Tom and Barb King shared their message of the forming of Holy Trinity Anglican Church where he found peace, contentment and Love. His new found love of Jesus and the wonderful church family ignited his spirit and lit a fire in him to serve the Lord with full devotion which he did lovingly until his last days.
He leaves behind his wife of 40 years the former Pat Cottle, his sons, James and Michael Bunch of Fernandina Beach, his brothers, Jerry, David, and Dennis (Sarah) Bunch all of Fernandina Beach, six grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Services will be at 2:00 PM on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at The Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Fernandina Beach.
Entombment with Military Honors will follow in the Holy Trinity Anglican Columbarium.
The Family will receive friends at the church after the service in the Scott-King Fellowship Hall.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the American Cancer Society 1430 Prudential Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32207 and the Holy Trinity Anglican Church 1830 Lake Park Dr, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034.