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Michael Lanier Bunting

3 décembre 193725 août 2020
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Michael Lanier Bunting, Founder of RubberMill, Inc., passed away peacefully at his home in Julian, NC on August 25, 2020. He was born December 3, 1937 to Maurice and Ruth Glass Bunting. Michael is survived by his daughter, Heidi, and her husband, John Bradley, granddaughter, Erin Bradley, and grandson, Alexander Bradley. He also leaves his sister, Cheryl Ward and brother-in-law, Kirby Ward as well as nephews Michael Ward (Emily), Jason Ward, and Scott Ward (Kimberly) and seven great nieces and nephews. Additionally, he is survived by his “spousal equivalent“, Mollie Davenport and his faithful canine companions, Winston and Lucy.

Much to his parents’ dismay, Michael never applied himself in high school and did not find out until graduation day that he passed English and would receive his diploma from Greensboro Senior High School. His father, who did not have a college education, convinced him that he needed to go to college. Together, they were able to persuade Wilmington College to take a chance on him. He completed the two year program at Wilmington and then transferred to East Carolina College where he graduated in 1961. This is where his lifelong obsession began. Although never attending a football game while a student, he listened on the radio as East Carolina beat Wake Forest in 1963 and was so upset that he was not there, that he never missed another home game in 56 years! The friendships he developed at the games led him to become more involved with the University. He was a founding member and director of the East Carolina Pirate Club and sponsored the first grant-in-aid wrestling scholarship. In 1976 The University dedicated Bunting Track and Field which stood for many years as a testament to his love of all things purple and gold. Although an avid fan of athletics, he always appreciated what his education allowed him to accomplish and wanted others to have that same opportunity. This led to his funding of scholarships over 50 years to a wide range of disciplines from ROTC to Music. Although he received several prestigious awards from the University, including Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 1974 and 2003, Michael was especially proud of the time he served with the Advancement Council for the School of Health and Human Performance which he later chaired and received the College of HHP Distinguished Service Award. The last project he devoted his time to culminated in the ECU Tree Trail Guide, an educational guide to trees on the campus of East Carolina University, which combined his passion for ECU with his love of plants, flowers, and landscaping.

It was Michael’s successful business career that afforded him the ability to give back to ECU. He started his career at Southern Rubber Company as a summer job in the stockroom. Although his dedication to work helped him advance, it was ultimately his ingenuity and charm that propelled him into a sales position. From there he cofounded Carolina Gasket and Rubber Company where he served as Vice President. In 1987 he founded RubberMill, Inc. He thoroughly enjoyed working because of the relationships that he developed throughout the years with customers, suppliers and employees. It was those relationships that kept him involved with the business until his final days.

Michael will be remembered by the way he could tell a story and his sense of humor. Whether you met Michael only recently or grew up with him from childhood, you felt as if you had a lifelong friend. He was loyal and devoted to those things he loved and that included family, friends and his dogs. He was grateful for his parents who worked so hard to give him the educational opportunity that they never had. He adored Mollie and was amazed that she was able to put up with him for over 30 years. As for his daughter and grandchildren, whom he loved dearly, he taught them compassion, integrity, loyalty, and kindness by the way he lived his life. And, of course, he passed on his love of ECU, where his grandson is currently attending and Mollie, his daughter, and granddaughter all received degrees.

A private family service will be held on Saturday and a celebration of his life will take place at a later date. In remembrance of Michael Bunting’s life, the family asks that any charitable donations be made to the ECU Foundation Inc. Checks can be mailed to: ECU University Advancement, 2200 South Charles Blvd, Mail Stop 301, Greenville, NC 27858-4353. Or can be given online: give.ecu.edu/michaelbunting

Please share your thoughts and memories with the family at www.loflinfh.com. The Loflin Funeral home of Liberty is honored to serve the Bunting family.

Services

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Souvenirs

Michael Lanier Bunting

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ENVOYEZ CONDOLEANCES
Mike Radford

3 septembre , 2020

To sum up anything I could say about Mike's passing, when I die I hope and pray that I am as well liked, and respected as is Mike. From the "wrestling" perspective, I dare say that the success the program enjoyed for the 4-5 year run, WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED were it not for Mike's love of ECU, John Welborn and his unsurpassed joy of beating UNC-CH.....in anything.

I have lost one of my great friends.

Mike Radfdord

Glen Gilbert

31 août , 2020

Mike was a very special friend of ECU and HHP. He and his good friends Bill Cain, John Hudson and Walter Williams often set me straight on ECU history and traditions. Mike’s love of ECU was never ending, and he took great delight in the growth of ECU in size and prestige. I spoke with him just two weeks ago and he knew his time was short and he said he wished he could have done more for ECU. I reminded him of just how much he had done and how thankful so many students and faculty were for his support.

I have many stories I could share, but one of my favorites is the time he wanted to meet the student receiving his scholarship that year and so we introduced him. Mike said to the student “I want you to look sharp at the breakfast event as some of the students looked a bit shabby last year. I want you to wear a coat and tie”. The student said” Mr. Bunting I don’t have a coat and tie.” Mike said “that just won’t do, so come with me and my friend Bubba or Bugger or? (sic) will fix you up.” I don’t recall the name, but it was a southern vernacular nickname who sold men’s wear in Greenville. The student was in a wheelchair but that didn’t slow Mike down. Off they went and the student looked very sharp at the event thanks to Mike’s generosity. The last few years I served as Dean he gave 14 scholarships a year to HHP and ROTC students.

Mike loved his family and they were the only thing more important to him than ECU. He often told me he would be gone long ago if he had not met Mollie. He was so proud of Heidi, Alex and Erin and could not wait to share news of their accomplishments.
We all lost a unique and loving character. Rest in peace my special friend.
Glen Gilbert, Dean Emeritus HHP - ECU

james jackson

31 août , 2020

THE MEMORIES EACH OF US HAVE WITH MIKE WILL ALWAYS BE SPECIAL BECAUSE THEY WERE BUILT AROUND HIM AND GOOD TIMES.

MIKE AND I TRAVELED THE USA TO ECU FOOTBALL GAMES AND SHARED TIMES WITH ALL OF HIS FRIENDS FOR 53 YEARS.

WHEN WE WERE NOT TOGETHER; WE SPOKE ON THE PHONE WEEKLY. SPEAKING WITH MIKE ALWAYS MADE ME FEEL LIKE WE WERE SIDE BY SIDE.

I CAN SPEAK WITH MIKE NOW HOURLY-NO PHONE NEEDED; I WILL ALWAYS BE WITH MY ''BEST FRIEND''.

MIKE WAS A FRIEND TO ALL AND MADE YOUR DAY BETTER WITH HIM IN IT.

Bill Hill

31 août , 2020

Mike was a huge supporter of ECU but not just the big sports. He was a true fan of Pirate Wrestling and did so much for our program. I will be forever grateful for his contributions and how his generosity affected my college career. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Gregory Ingalls

30 août , 2020

With so much sadness but with with so much gladness I remember Mike Bunting. Lord have mercy there has never been an alumni of East Carolina University that believed in the Purple and Gold of our wonderful school more than Mike Bunting. Thank you Lord In Heaven for sending a man like Mike Bunting to East Carolina University and to the business world on this earth to create jobs and believe in our university's motto, "Servire". Latin for service.
There should be a course taught at East Carolina about alumni like Mike Bunting. It's inspirational to hear his life's story! Great Alumni who weren't the valedictorian of their high school class but made it through our great university and made a wonderful mark of distinction for them selves in life. It 's what East Carolina University is made of.
Heidi and family, I will be thinking and praying for you folks.

John Osborne

30 août , 2020

Mike was the most loyal Pirate I have ever known.
Many years ago, I ran into Mike after a football game in Greenville
and he said get in the car and off we went to Lexington, Virginia
to see the ECU vs VMI basketball game that night !
I will miss seeing Mike and Mollie sitting beside the Cain family
in section 6.
Thanks for all you did for East Carolina.

Lyn & Charlie Haithcox

30 août , 2020

Mollie, Heidi & Family, We are heartbroken over the news of Mike's passing. He leaves quite a legacy for all Pirates! You all are in our thoughts and prayers!

The Haithcox Family

Keith Taylor

30 août , 2020

Hedi, Mollie and Family. So sorry to hear this news and will be thinking of you. Mike was a true Pirate leader that we all respected.

John McMillan

30 août , 2020

Heidi, we were so sad to learn of your Dad’s passing. He was a great man and a great Pirate! I always enjoyed talking with him, and the last conversation we had was at last year’s Pirate Armada in Greensboro. The obituary educated me on how accomplished Mike was as an individual, a businessman, and a family man. Dowdy Ficklen Stadium has lost a 56-year fan, but his Pirate soul will live on forever. I think of Mike every time I go to Greenville and drive by the track. He will be missed by so many. Rest In Peace, Pirate Brother.

Beth Davenport

29 août , 2020

I will always be thankful that Michael and my Mother Mollie found each other. The love they shared and the love they showed for others was endless. So many laughs, so many adventures and so many people have been a part of their journey together. Michael’s love for animals and nature was something I truly appreciated about him... but his love for my mother and her love for him is what I will forever cherish about him. Now I like to think about him sitting outside with his dogs, his friends and family already in heaven, enjoying a cigar and a great glass of scotch. 💜

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Biographie

Michael Lanier Bunting, Founder of RubberMill, Inc., passed away peacefully at his home in Julian, NC on August 25, 2020. He was born December 3, 1937 to Maurice and Ruth Glass Bunting. Michael is survived by his daughter, Heidi, and her husband, John Bradley, granddaughter, Erin Bradley, and grandson, Alexander Bradley. He also leaves his sister, Cheryl Ward and brother-in-law, Kirby Ward as well as nephews Michael Ward (Emily), Jason Ward, and Scott Ward (Kimberly) and seven great nieces and nephews. Additionally, he is survived by his “spousal equivalent“, Mollie Davenport and his faithful canine companions, Winston and Lucy.

Much to his parents’ dismay, Michael never applied himself in high school and did not find out until graduation day that he passed English and would receive his diploma from Greensboro Senior High School. His father, who did not have a college education, convinced him that he needed to go to college. Together, they were able to persuade Wilmington College to take a chance on him. He completed the two year program at Wilmington and then transferred to East Carolina College where he graduated in 1961. This is where his lifelong obsession began. Although never attending a football game while a student, he listened on the radio as East Carolina beat Wake Forest in 1963 and was so upset that he was not there, that he never missed another home game in 56 years! The friendships he developed at the games led him to become more involved with the University. He was a founding member and director of the East Carolina Pirate Club and sponsored the first grant-in-aid wrestling scholarship. In 1976 The University dedicated Bunting Track and Field which stood for many years as a testament to his love of all things purple and gold. Although an avid fan of athletics, he always appreciated what his education allowed him to accomplish and wanted others to have that same opportunity. This led to his funding of scholarships over 50 years to a wide range of disciplines from ROTC to Music. Although he received several prestigious awards from the University, including Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 1974 and 2003, Michael was especially proud of the time he served with the Advancement Council for the School of Health and Human Performance which he later chaired and received the College of HHP Distinguished Service Award. The last project he devoted his time to culminated in the ECU Tree Trail Guide, an educational guide to trees on the campus of East Carolina University, which combined his passion for ECU with his love of plants, flowers, and landscaping.

It was Michael’s successful business career that afforded him the ability to give back to ECU. He started his career at Southern Rubber Company as a summer job in the stockroom. Although his dedication to work helped him advance, it was ultimately his ingenuity and charm that propelled him into a sales position. From there he cofounded Carolina Gasket and Rubber Company where he served as Vice President. In 1987 he founded RubberMill, Inc. He thoroughly enjoyed working because of the relationships that he developed throughout the years with customers, suppliers and employees. It was those relationships that kept him involved with the business until his final days.

Michael will be remembered by the way he could tell a story and his sense of humor. Whether you met Michael only recently or grew up with him from childhood, you felt as if you had a lifelong friend. He was loyal and devoted to those things he loved and that included family, friends and his dogs. He was grateful for his parents who worked so hard to give him the educational opportunity that they never had. He adored Mollie and was amazed that she was able to put up with him for over 30 years. As for his daughter and grandchildren, whom he loved dearly, he taught them compassion, integrity, loyalty, and kindness by the way he lived his life. And, of course, he passed on his love of ECU, where his grandson is currently attending and Mollie, his daughter, and granddaughter all received degrees.

A private family service will be held on Saturday and a celebration of his life will take place at a later date. In remembrance of Michael Bunting’s life, the family asks that any charitable donations be made to the ECU Foundation Inc. Checks can be mailed to: ECU University Advancement, 2200 South Charles Blvd, Mail Stop 301, Greenville, NC 27858-4353. Or can be given online: give.ecu.edu/michaelbunting

Please share your thoughts and memories with the family at www.loflinfh.com. The Loflin Funeral home of Liberty is honored to serve the Bunting family.