Merrill “Tinker” Bunker

OBIT-BunkerflagFLANDERS POND, SULLIVAN and SOUTHWEST HARBOR—Tinker Bunker, carpenter, scientist, registered nurse and licensed Coast Guard captain, slipped his mooring for the last time and quietly drifted off to the great beyond, keeping an eye out for old friends and family along the way, on April 10, 2015, at the home of his daughter, Annie, and her husband, Paul, in Seal Harbor. He was born Merrill Cleveland Bunker to parents Evangeline M. (Norwood) and Cecil G. Bunker on Nov. 28, 1931, in Bar Harbor.

He graduated from Bar Harbor High School in 1949, and shortly thereafter enlisted in the U.S. Army-Air Force and served in the Korean War. He was employed by the Jackson Laboratory as a professional research assistant for 20 years in the Department of Cytogenetics. He owned and operated with his family Spruce Valley Campground for many years, dabbled in sign painting and real estate, graduated from Maine Technical Institute as a licensed practical nurse and from St. Joseph’s School of Nursing as a professional registered nurse. He practiced more than 20 years at MDI Hospital, and was one of the earliest male nurses there.

After retirement, he drove the Island Explorer bus on the Southwest Harbor route for five years. The last few years he spent year-round on Flanders Pond on his own, except for his faithful friends and companions, Jiggs and Roscoe.

He is survived by five children: Diana Faust and husband, Doug, of Medway, Mass., and grandchildren Melanie Faust, Andrea Faust, and Stephen Faust; Lorrain Smart of Bass Harbor and grandchildren Chelsea Thomas and Zachary Smart; Ann Durost and husband, Paul, of Seal Harbor and grandchildren Amy Sylvester, Nathan Sylvester, Bethany Potter and her husband, Anthony, and great-granddaughters Auben and Evelyn Potter; Daniel Bunker and wife, Deb Elman, of New York City, and granddaughter Lindsey Bunker; Barney Bunker and wife, Jen Leithauser, of Bayfield, Colo., and grandsons Jack Bunker and Jordan Bunker.

He is also survived by three brothers: Sterling Bunker and wife, Corace, of Bucksport; Paul Andreasen and wife, Janet, of Lompoc, Calif.; Ralph Bunker, whereabouts unknown; and two sisters: Elaine Strout of Portland, Ore.; and Ethyl “Pixie” Bishko and husband, Leonard, of Gouldsboro.

He had three pretty darn good wives: Della (the mother of Diana and Lorrain), Clareann (the mother of Annie, Dan, and Barney) and Catherine, with whom he spent in the aggregate 46 pretty good years.

He enjoyed numerous visits from friends and family when the weather allowed the two-mile trip to the camp and back. He loved to play the guitar and had many happy outings with his special guitar-playing buddies Keith McMahon and wife, Cherie, and John Reeves and wife, Gail. He also loved to sing and play the fiddle and harmonica. He will miss his time exploring Downeast and spending time with his special lifelong friends, Kenneth and Meredith Hutchins and family. Also, Tucker and Bette Spurling, Willard Colson, Lee and Michelle White, Darrold Dorr, Sydney Griffin, Edie Stanwood, Cliff and Cathy Olson, Mike Woodard, all his friends at Brandon and Laura’s Café, Chester Pike’s, and the crew at the Island Explorer, as well as his many special friends at MDI Hospital — Doris, Sarah, Nancy, Bert and Dr. Gilmore, Dr. Caine and Dr. Hendricks, and the others he knew and worked with. His crew that was there until the end to help him through it all: Annabel, Amy, Mary-Carol, and Emily. Summer neighbors and special friends at Flanders Pond include Hank and Cindy Somero and family, Scot Harris and his dogs Lana and Kelley, Bill Haynes, Mike Soule, and Brent Martin, who kept him plowed out in the winter and shared a few “old crows” with him as well.

He was predeceased by his grandparents, Ralph and Lena (Emerton) Bunker, who raised him; his parents; and one sister, Jacqueline.

Daddy was a good man, and the world is a better place because of him. He made damn good biscuits, too.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 18, at 2 p.m. at St Savior Episcopal Church, 41 Mt. Desert St., Bar Harbor, with a reception to follow at the Bar Harbor Legion Post, 70 Cottage St., Bar Harbor. Interment will be at Ledgelawn Cemetery in Bar Harbor.

Those who desire may make contributions in Tinker’s memory to the Hospice Team at Hancock County Homecare and Hospice, P.O. Box 655, Ellsworth, ME 04605.

Arrangements by Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert.

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