Richard Eugene “Dick” Bunner, 94, a resident of Trinity County for many years, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family on Feb. 11, 2020.
Richard was born in Long Beach, Calif., on Oct. 27, 1925, at the height of the “Roaring Twenties.” At the age of 6, during the Great Depression, he traveled from Long Beach to Junction City in a Model T Ford, where his family worked in the mining camps. He soon moved to Helena where his mother, Olive Bunner, ran the hotel and post office.
It was in Helena that Richard learned to hunt, fish, raise animals and be self-sufficient in order to survive the “hard times” of the Depression era.
He attended Cox Bar Elementary School, Junction City School, and Trinity High School.
After Pearl Harbor, Richard and his best friend, Pat Smith, enlisted in the Navy. After training in Farragut, Idaho, he served aboard the U.S.S. Hill DE (destroyer escort) in the Atlantic fighting the Germans.
After the war Richard returned to Weaverville and except for two years working in San Rafael in construction, lived in Weaverville the rest of his life. He worked as a butcher for Moon Lee and then at the Sawmill for 40 years until he retired.
His life was long and well-lived and can be summed up best by a remembrance from our Cousin Bill:
“He often spoke of ‘his area’ where he lived almost his entire life as ‘God’s Country’ but this was no mere expression for him. His chosen path would be a slight deer trail up or down a mountainside or following a trickling stream deep at the bottom of a canyon rather than a much wider and easier road somewhere else. With well-thought footsteps he would proceed as someone in communion with everything around him – he traveled the streets of Weaverville in the same way.”
Richard was preceded in death by his loving wife of 53 years, Joan Bunner, and daughter Virginia Cruz. He is survived by his daughters Victoria Phillips of Weaverville, Cheryl Smith of Shasta, and a son Gene Harrison of Camp Verde, Ariz. He had 10 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. He will be missed.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 21, at the Trinity Alps Funeral Home and a celebration of life will follow from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Golden Age Center, 201 Browns Ranch Road, Weaverville.