Boats 02

William Rodney Bunting

November 28, 1929 ~ November 8, 2021 (age 91)

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William R. “Uncle Bill” Bunting, retired Merchant Marine.

William Rodney Bunting of Millsboro passed away peacefully Monday, November 8, 2021.

Bill was born on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1929, son of the late Olive and Howard Bunting of Frankford, Delaware. After graduating high school, William joined the Merchant Marine Academy. He worked as a Merchant Marine for the Atlantic Richfield Oil Company until his retirement.

Bill married Dolores Virginia Pepper in Frankford, Delaware, May 9, 1953. Early their marriage they moved their young family to Wilmington, Delaware where they raised three daughters. Dolores “Dee” worked as a nurse at the Delaware Hospital. William, as a Merchant Marine, traveled to many countries: Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, and Japan, to name a few. Sometimes he would be gone for months at a time. In addition to many family vacations, the Buntings created many joyful memories at a family beach cottage in Bethany Beach. The 4th of July parties with family and friends were very special to all.

After leaving Wilmington, Bill and Dee went back to their roots, moving to Bay Colony in Dagsboro, Delaware. In retirement, “Uncle Bill” enjoyed boating with family and friends, and gardening. He also was a long-time member of the Lions Club of Fenwick Island and served as Sergeant at Arms at the Delaware State Senate in Dover.

Bill’s loving wife of 49 years passed away in 2002. This was a very difficult time for him. He moved to what would be his final home in Millsboro. At 73 and still full of life, Uncle Bill was truly blessed to meet Mary Lou Murray. Together, they forged a loving companionship that would last until April 16, 2020 when sadly, Mary Lou passed away. This relationship along with friends, old and new, and of course family gave Bill’s life new meaning and carried him to his passing.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Bunting was preceded in death by his wife Dolores, five brothers: Alvah, Dave, George, Horace, and Richard, a loving companion Mary Lou Murray, and grandson Nicholas Pearson. He is survived by his daughters Denise Apple (David), Diane Zaharko, and Dana Pearson (Carl). Also William is survived by grandchildren Kristy Apple Britko, Geoffrey Apple, Zachary Zaharko, and Kelly Pearson Kravchenko. Finally, Mr. Bunting is survived by great grandchildren Zandar Britko, Shepard and Wells Zaharko.

Special thanks go to the doctors, nurses, and staff at both Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Beebe Hospital, and the kind and loving care takers at Renaissance Healthcare.

Services will be held on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, at Watson Funeral Home in Millsboro. Viewing from 11:30am – 12:30pm, followed by a service. Afterwards a luncheon will be held at Grace United Methodist Church in Millsboro.

Memorial contributions may be made in Mr. Bunting’s memory to Grace United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 566,, Millsboro, Delaware  19966. Bill’s relationship with this church and church family was so very important to him. He is eternally grateful for the love and kindness bestowed upon him by all.


Take me to the Ocean

Take me to the Sea

Wash Away my Worries

Let My Soul be Free

Author Unknown

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William, please visit our floral store.


November 17, 2021

11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Watson Funeral Home
211 S. Washington St.
Millsboro, DE 19966

Funeral Service
November 17, 2021

12:30 PM
Watson Funeral Home
211 S. Washington St.
Millsboro, DE 19966



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