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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.

 

Obituaries
See Full List »

George R. Osborn, 69, Brown County
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Glenda Leonard, 75, Nineveh
  

Mary Elizabeth Vehslage, 97, Seymour
  Helped establish Happy Hollow Children's Camp in Brown County

  • March 4
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • March 4
    Brown County SWCD
    5 p.m. SWCD Office, 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • March 4
    Nashville Development Review Commission CANCELED
    5 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • March 4
    Woodworkers Club
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 4
    Tour air museum with Vietnam veterans
    6 p.m. Veterans Hall, 902 Deer Run Lane
  • March 5
    Go Club meeting Thursday
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 5
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • March 5
    Gospel jam & sing at Gnaw Bone church
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East
  • March 5
    Nashville Town Council
    6:30 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • March 5
    Bluebird Club
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 5
    Brown County Schools Board of Trustees
    6:30 p.m. BCJHS, 95 School House Lane
  • March 5
    Rotary Club
    7:15 a.m. Artist Colony Inn, 105 S. Van Buren St.
  • March 5
    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 6
    Bingo
    5 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • March 6
    'SpongeBob Movie' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • March 7
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • March 7
    Meet your legislators at County Office Building
    10 a.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • March 7
    Meet 'Wilderness Plots' author at the library
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 7
    Music celebration at the Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • March 7
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • March 8
    'Wilderness Plots'-themed concert planned
    4 p.m. BCHS, 235 School House Lane
  • March 8
    Brown County bridal tour slated
    10 a.m. to 6 p.m. various locations
  • March 8
    'SpongeBob Movie' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • March 9
    Beeline beekeepers club
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 10
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • March 10
    Soil & water conservation district to celebrate 62 years
    6 p.m. Brown County History Center, 90 E. Gould
  • March 10
    Widowed group euchre party
    1 p.m. Sycamore Valley Community Center, 746 Memorial Drive
  • March 10
    Peaceful Valley Heritage meeting
    6:30 p.m. Brown County Presbyterian Fellowship, 602 State Road 135 North
  • March 10
    CSCD Roads, Security commissions
    6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. CSCD Office, 8377 Cordry Drive; CSLOA Clubhouse, 8751 Nineveh Road
  • March 11
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • March 12
    Go Club at the library Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 12
    BC photography club
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 13
    Bingo
    5 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North.
  • March 14
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • March 14
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • March 19
    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 20
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • March 20
    Widowed group
    12:20 p.m. Brown County IGA parking lot, 30 Hawthorne Dr.; St. David's Episcopal Church, 11 State Road 45 at 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • March 21
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • March 21
    Jackson Township VFD yard sale
    8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jackson Township Fire Department, 4831 Helmsburg Road
  • April 9
    BC photography club
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • April 24
    Wildflower foray slated at historic site
    TC Steele State Historic Site, 4220 T.C. Steele Road, Belmont
  • April 25
    Wildflower foray slated at historic site
    TC Steele State Historic Site, 4220 T.C. Steele Road, Belmont
  • 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