Wilma Lee Toothman Bunner, age 80, of Whitehall, West Virginia went home to her Savior after passing away from cancer on Jan. 30, 2017 at home in White Hall.
Born at home on Jan. 12, 1937, in Hopewell, West Virginia, Wilma attended East Fairmont High School, graduating in 1954, and Fairmont State College, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1958 with a BA degree in Education.
In her youth, Wilma’s life was influenced most by her parents, Guy Lee Toothman and Audra Mauk Toothman, who preceded her in death, as well as her church, 4-H club, friends, and sister, Elizabeth Agnes Toothman Poe. She is also preceded in death by her daughter-in-law Brenda Bunner.
Wilma first taught elementary school in Madison, Wisconsin and later elementary and middle school in Blacksburg. She was a long-standing member of ADK, a teacher’s honor society. During her 20 years of teaching, Wilma felt that she imparted much wisdom to both her students and their parents, and felt their appreciation in return. Wilma said she loved teaching so much that she would have done it without pay if she could have afforded to do so.
Wilma’s talents were especially appreciated by her adoring husband of 28 1/2 very happy years, Benjamin E. “Ed” Bunner, who survives her. After retiring from teaching in 1988, Wilma became a large part of the success of their businesses, Holly Acres Construction Company and Mountain Gate Business Corporation, where she was an officer and executive decision-maker, in addition to handling paperwork and daily operations activities. Her sister, Elizabeth and her husband, Daniel C. Poe, remained close life-long friends of the deceased.
For the last 28 years, she was a faithful member of Faith Baptist Church in Morgantown. Wilma enjoyed making and delivering meals for sick members of the church and hosting members and young visitors to the church in her home. She served as secretary of her Super Sixties group and hosted many events for Campus Light Ministries.
In Blacksburg, she led nursing home and home-bound ministries for the Wesleyan Church. Wilma also enjoyed entertaining her family, often telling them jokes and making up fun games for them to play at holiday gatherings.
Wilma was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and aunt. She is survived by her and Ed’s combined five children: Wilma’s two daughters and their spouses, Virginia (Brown) and Rick Andrews of Middletown, Delaware and Kate (Brown) and Steve Gonzales of San Jose, California. As well as Ed’s three children and their spouses: Mary (Bunner) Judy of Manteo, North Carolina, Benny Bunner of Fairmont, West Virginia, and Helen Jean (Bunner) and Steve Gregor of Fairmont, West Virginia.
She is also survived by her grandchildren and their spouses: Spencer and Annie (Baker) Andrews of Newark, Delaware; Benjamin and Jon Gonzales of San Jose, California; Hank Judy of Morgantown, West Virginia; Matt Judy of Morgantown, West Virginia; Michelle (Bunner) and Daniel Osborne of Charleston, West Virginia; Crystal (Bunner) and Bud McDilda of Waynesboro; Karen (Gregor)and Mark Kisner of Fairmont, West Virginia ; and Robby Gregor of Fairmont, West Virginia.
She leaves behind four beloved great-grandchildren Amelia and Wyatt Osborne, Pierce Judy and Abigail McDilda.
She will be remembered fondly by her nephews and their families, Jan and Tammy Poe and their children Janalee, Joyanna, and Joshua of Fairmont, West Virginia; and Allen and Rocio Poe of Morgantown, West Virginia and their son Christopher of Salt Lake City, Utah. Wilma was a friend to many, including her sister and brother-in-law, Sally and Donald Schilling of Columbia, Missouri, and their sons Robert and John; and to Rick Geldbaugh of Fairmont, West Virginia, a co-worker in Mountain Gate Business Corporation, whose support and friendship Wilma and Ed have deeply valued.
Through word and deed, Wilma often assured both family and friends of her love and affection for them.
After years away in Wisconsin and Virginia, Wilma always longed to return home to West Virginia, and in marrying Ed in 1988, she achieved that dream. Now she has gone for a greater homecoming by far. Let us be glad for her even as we mourn our loss.
Memorial donations can be made to Morgantown Christian Academy – 809 Greenbag Road; Morgantown, WV 26508.
Friends and family may visit the Ford Funeral Home, 201 Columbia Street in Fairmont, West Virginia on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017 from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.
The funeral will be held in the funeral home on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017 at 11 a.m. with Pastor Treg Spicer officiating and Pastor Benny Moran assisting. Interment will follow at Mt. Zion Cemetery and Mausoleum in Fairmont. Online condolences may be made to www.fordfuneralhomes.com