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Obituaries
 
Philip 'Joe' Bunge, 78, Brown County

Lifelong Brown County resident, Philip Richards “Joe” Bunge, passed away suddenly Dec. 4, 2013. Philip spent his last day outdoors, as he loved to do, working to clear a fallen tree from his property just west of Helmsburg. A problem with his heart resulted in a trip to the hospital, yet God called Philip home before the recommended surgery could be performed.

Philip will be remembered as a humble man, who consistently and generously gave his time and talent to his family, his community and his church. The third child of Chester and Hannah (Richards) Bunge, Philip was born June 17, 1935, in Helmsburg. He enjoyed playing basketball for the Fighting Tigers, and graduated with the Helmsburg High School class of 1953. A double-date with friends turned into a two-year courtship, and he married his high school sweetheart, Guylia L. Smith, Jan. 2, 1955. Together they built a new home for themselves, started a family and began their own construction business. Their union lasted a short 58 years, but stands as a testament to a marriage based on love, trust and Christian principle.

It is estimated that Philip built more than 100 homes during his career, with most of them being in Brown County and the surrounding area, but he also built several houses in Florida, too, where he and Guylia enjoyed spending the winter months. Philip was skilled at all aspects of the home-building process, and many times illustrated his vision of the work to be done by simply sketching it out on a 2x4 at the jobsite. Of the many accomplishments attributed to this quiet man, one of his most visible was the construction of the beautiful Unity Baptist Church. Beginning in spring 1998, Philip worked six days a week alongside his fellow church members to build the new building on ground across the road from the original church. Through the generosity of several, and the combined manpower of many, “This Church Called Unity” was completed in the spring of 2000, totally debt-free. Philip’s 55-year membership at Unity Baptist Church involved serving as deacon and trustee, as well as sexton for the church cemetery.

Philip Bunge let his light shine in communities other than his own, as he answered the call to help rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. August 2013 found Philip assisting with tasks such as pouring footers and remodeling the group homes of the developmentally handicapped residents of Rainbow Acres in Arizona.

Philip and Guylia enthusiastically traveled throughout all 50 states, and ventured to Alaska five times. Camping in the back of their Ford truck and cooking over an open fire as they made their way across the USA are counted as some of the best times the Bunges enjoyed through the years. While not one to spend endless hours in front of the television, Philip nonetheless never intended to miss an IU basketball game, “Jeopardy” or giving his nightly greeting to the co-host of “Wheel of Fortune” with a friendly "Well, Hello, Vanna!" Philip realized his longtime dream of owning and refurbishing an antique auto with the purchase of a Ford Model A several years ago, and he fired up this car and happily cut a couple laps around the barn lot just days before his passing.

Among those who will miss Philip the most are his family left behind to remember and celebrate his life: wife Guylia; daughter, Loretta Kay (David) Woodrum of Morgantown; son, David Michael Bunge and daughter, Robin Lee (Tim) Nolin, both of Brown County. Also sharing the loss are his sister, Mary Jo (Mike) Renihan of Martinsville; one brother, John A. (Ann) Bunge of Indianapolis; two sisters-in-law: Wanda Bunge of Greenwood and Patricia Bunge of Cocoa, Fla.; brother-in-law, David (Dorothy) Isley of Lubbock, Texas; eight grandchildren: Amanda, Adam, Austin, Adrian, Andrew, Hannah, Bahia and Zion; and 10 great-grandchildren, Clay, Abby, Alyssa, Luci, Logan, Bryce, Cooper, Ryder, Rocson and Claire.

Philip was preceded in death by his parents, Chester and Hannah (Richards) Bunge; two sisters, Dorothy Jean Young and Sue Lynn Isley; and two brothers, Kenny Bunge and Frank M. Bunge.

Friends and family were invited to share hugs and memories during visitation at Unity Baptist Church Tuesday, Dec. 10 from 3 to 8 p.m. The funeral service will take place at the church Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 10:30 a.m. The church is at 7361 Spearsville Road in Brown County. The Revs. John Parsley, Jeff Tryon and Lee Snyder together will conduct the funeral and burial service, with interment at Unity Baptist Church Cemetery. Meredith-Clark Funeral Home Cremation & Personalization Center in Morgantown has been entrusted with arrangements.

Memorial contributions can be made in honor of Philip Bunge to the Unity Baptist Church Memorial Fund, 7361 Spearsville Road, Morgantown, IN, 46160.

Expressions of caring and kindness can be made to the Bunge family at www.meredith-clark.com.

 

  • April 25
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • April 25
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • April 25
    Wildflower foray slated at historic site
    TC Steele State Historic Site, 4220 T.C. Steele Road, Belmont
  • April 25
    Indiana Wine Fair returns to Story Inn
    12:30 to 7 p.m. Story Inn, 6404 State Road 135 South
  • April 25
    Chamber of Commerce to host ribbon cutting for BC Community Foundation
    2 p.m. BC Community Foundation, 209 N. Van Buren St
  • April 25
    Art classes set for fourth Saturdays at winery
    3 to 5 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, Coachlight Square, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • April 25
    Women invited for free day of pampering
    10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hope for Hearts Farm, 1005 State Road 45, 1 mile west of 135/Bean Blossom
  • April 25
    Grand opening of gun, sporting goods store slated
    10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Buck Shot Sporting Goods, 175 S. Jefferson St.
  • April 25
    Youth art show award presentation
    1 to 5 p.m. BC Art Guild, 48 S. Van Buren St.
  • April 25
    Plant sale planned at state park
    9 a.m. until all sold Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • April 25
    Craft fair to support Brown County 4-H
    9 a.m. to 3 p.m. fairgrounds
  • April 25
    Johnson County REMC annual meeting
    10 a.m. Franklin Community High School, 2600 Cumberland Dr.
  • April 25
    Annual library plant sale
    9 a.m. to noon Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • April 25
    Morel Mushroom Festival at music park
    9 a.m. to midnight Bill Monroe Music Park, 5163 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • April 26
    County history center dedication slated
    2 p.m. Brown County History Center, 90 E. Gould
  • April 26
    Wildflower foray slated at historic site
    TC Steele State Historic Site, 4220 T.C. Steele Road, Belmont
  • April 26
    'McFarland, USA' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • April 26
    Morel Festival gospel service at music park
    10 a.m. Bill Monroe Music Park, 5163 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • April 26
    Southern gospel quartet at Gnaw Bone church
    9 a.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East
  • April 26
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    Noon to 2 p.m. Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • April 27
    BC Alcoholic Beverage Board
    11 a.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • April 28
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • April 28
    BC Convention & Visitors Bureau
    8:30 a.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • April 28
    BC Area Plan Commission
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • April 28
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • April 29
    BC Board of Zoning Appeals
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • April 29
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • April 29
    Lake Lemon Conservancy District Board
    6 p.m. Benton Township Senior Center, 7606 State Road 45, Unionville
  • April 29
    BC Sheriff's Merit Board
    4 p.m. Sheriff's Office, Law Enforcement Center, 55 State Road 46 East
  • April 30
    Go Club at the library
    4 to 6 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • April 30
    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • April 30
    Gospel jam & sing at Gnaw Bone church
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East
  • May 1
    Bingo
    5 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • May 1
    Antique tractor, engine and machinery show at the fairgrounds
    7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Brown County 4-H fairgrounds
  • May 1
    'Back to the Future' at the Playhouse
    7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • May 2
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • May 2
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • May 2
    Morel Mushroom sale & festival at state park Nature Center
    10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • May 2
    Antique tractor, engine and machinery show at the fairgrounds
    7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Brown County 4-H fairgrounds
  • May 2
    Spring Blossom Festival dance planned
    6 to 10 p.m. The Seasons Lodge, 560 State Road 46 East
  • May 2
    Spring Blossom Parade and food drive downtown
    11 a.m. downtown Nashville
  • May 3
    Read to a dog at the library
    2 to 3:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • May 3
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    Noon to 2 p.m. Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • May 3
    'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • May 3
    Antique tractor, engine and machinery show at the fairgrounds
    7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Brown County 4-H fairgrounds
  • May 5
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • May 5
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • May 6
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • May 7
    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • May 7
    Gospel jam & sing at Gnaw Bone church
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East
  • May 7
    BC photography club
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • May 8
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • May 9
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • May 9
    Open house conducted at New Song
    9 to 11 a.m. New Song Mission, 7202 Keith Donaldson Road, Freetown
  • May 11
    BC Election Board
    2 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • May 13
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • May 14
    Local Coordinating Council
    8 a.m. Comm. Corrections Office, Suite B, lower level of Veterans Hall, 902 Deer Run Lane,
  • May 16
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • May 16
    Rock & mineral club
    6 p.m. Extension Office, 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • May 16
    Historic site hosts outdoor art contest
    7 a.m. to 4 p.m. TC Steele State Historic Site, 4220 T.C. Steele Road, Belmont
  • June 20
    Pollinator Awareness Day at state park Nature Center
    9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)