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July 16, 2012

Bunch honored at funeral

More than 200 people bid farewell to former state representative

CORBIN — By Charlotte Underwood / Staff writer

The sorrowful sound of taps, the rustle of American flags waving in the wind and the echo of shots from a rifle volley could be heard Sunday evening in Williamsburg.

The military honors were for former state representative Dewayne Bunch, 50, who was laid to rest in Highland Park Cemetery following a funeral at Croley Funeral Home in Williamsburg.

Bunch, who was also a teacher, died on July 11 as he continued to struggle with a serious head injury he suffered more than a year ago while breaking up a fight between two high school students.

More than 200 people came out to pay their last respects to Bunch, filling the funeral home to capacity and overflowing into the hallway. Here and there people gathered along the road on the way to the cemetery. With fire truck and police escorts, the funeral procession drove under a giant American flag suspended over U.S. 25W.

Bunch was honored by his Masonic brethren with an official Masonic service conducted by Masonic Lodge number 490 F & AM. It was a somber and touching moment as Masonic Lodge members placed an evergreen branch on the casket as an “emblem of faith and the immortality of the soul,” before sending Bunch on to the “Great Architect of the Universe.”

A multitude of Patriot Guard Riders saluted the flag-draped casket as they walked by it, two-by-two.

“On behalf of the Patriot Guard Riders, Dewayne Bunch was a true hero,” said Funeral Home Director Andy Croley.

In addition to his role in the state legislature in Frankfort, Dewayne Bunch was also a math and science teacher for 17 years at Whitley County High School. He served with the Kentucky National Guard for 24 years and led the Mountain Warriors in Iraq, serving as First Sergeant.

Reverends Gerald Mullins and Doyle Lester officiated at the funeral.

“Dewayne was a man of valor; he served his country and took up arms to defend the freedoms of this country. He was a man of determination; he worked hard for his community,” Mullins said.

“When people die, lots of good things are said about them, but Dewayne was a person that people said good things about long before he passed; I am thankful to have gotten to know such a fine man,” Lester said, adding that “to everything there is a season” and marking that now was the season to remember.

“We will remember him as a man of courage and love, both for his community and for his country. Dewayne was a man who with all sincerity would help anyone who needed help without expecting anything in return,” Lester said, adding that he would think of Bunch as Abel from the Bible.

“And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead; What he did and how he touched so many people’s lives will live on through them.”

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