Richard Fry Bunting, 80, who grew up in Salem and graduated from Andrew Lewis High School, died peacefully at his home in Charles City, Va., on March 20, 2010, after a 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s. Survivors include three children and five grandchildren, Strother Sharp and husband, John of Charles City, Richard St. John Bunting and wife Lizeth, and children Douglas and Mymie of Williamsburg and Liza Potts and husband Keith, and children Jacob, Lia, and Allyn, also of Williamsburg. He was preceded in death by brothers Pete and Bobby and his sister Mymie, as well as his first wife, Julia St. John, also of Salem, who was the mother of his children.
Richard had fond memories of having attended St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where he was awarded a prayer book and a cross for his service as an acolyte. He graduated from Andrew Lewis High School from 1943 to 1947 where he excelled in sports.
He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a football scholarship, taking the place of All American halfback Charlie “Choo-Choo” Justice on the Carolina teams and competing in the 1948 Sugar Bowl and 1949 Cotton Bowl. His senior year he was co-captain with All American Huck Holdash. He remained an active member of the Carolina Alumni Association and enjoyed attending football reunions. In the U.S. Air Force he was a test pilot for for three years for the F-84F Thunderstreak, in Texas and Japan.
Dickie completed an organic chemistry class at Roanoke College and entered the University of Virginia Medical School in the fall of 1954. He specialized in ophthalmology, and after an internship and residency, embarked on a long professional career first in Richmond, and then opened the first ophthalmology practice in Williamsburg in 1970.
He was a member of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Williamsburg and sang in the choir. “Dr. B” retired from the practice of medicine in 1999, the same year he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He was able to remain at his Charles City home where he enjoyed gardening, golf, water sports, and his beloved dogs.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 10, at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 1333 Jamestown Rd., Williamsburg VA 23185. Memorials in his name may be made to the church or the Alzheimer’s Association.