On Thursday, Jan. 7, Captain David A. Bunker, loving partner, father, brother, grandfather and uncle, passed away at age 69.
David was born on June 17, 1951, in Bar Harbor, to Wilfred and Norma (Stanley) Bunker. He received his high school diploma from Lee Academy in 1969 and shortly thereafter earned his captain’s license. David joined his father, Captain Wilfred Bunker, in running the family-owned boating business, Beal & Bunker.
Born into a family who for generations made their lives on the water in the Cranberry Isles, David was a captain by trade — but mostly by heart. It was not uncommon for him to be seen doing a crossword while pushing a fully loaded barge through the fog with only a broken compass he refused to have recalibrated.
David was an avid hunter, gun collector, fisherman, gardener, firewood stacker, beard grower, cook, animal lover and Metallica blaster. A perfect day for David would have included hauling his five lobster traps, mowing his lawn, watching Brady throw a ball, and driving one of his beloved dogs down to the general store for an ice cream.
A gifted cook, David could often be seen in the kitchen with a towel draped over his shoulder and reading glasses slung low on his nose as he consulted one of his mother’s recipe cards. David’s love for cooking was exceeded only by his satisfaction in watching family and friends enjoy his meals. His joy at the sight of satiated guests was often met with one of his signature “teehee” laughs and the wettest of wet willies.
Without David, there will now be just a few too many bugs in the sea, a few too many off-color XL T-shirts left on the rack and a trusty pair of well-worn boat shoes that will never be filled.
David was an extraordinary man who seemed to touch the lives of everyone who knew him. Family and friends are encouraged to share their memories of him on a Facebook page being created to collect stories of his life. Comments left on this page will be shared at a service in his honor at a later date when public health conditions have improved.
David was preceded in death by his mother, Norma, his father, Wilfred, and his sister and brother-in-law, Joyce and Paul Depalmer, respectively.
David is survived by his partner, Wendy Rackliff, and her children, Paul Hewes, Casey Gustafson and Joe Flores; his third wife Tarnya Sanborn (Colby) and their son Justin Bunker; his second wife Deborrah Bunker and their two children, James Bunker and Martha Bunker; his first wife Cheryl Butler; his sister Maryanne and his many loving grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Donations in his honor can be made to: Cranberry Isles Ladies Aid, P.O. Box 27, Cranberry Isles, ME – *Cupola Rebuild Campaign.