Dorothy Beryl Thompson Bunn (Dot), age 84, was born into a large loving family on a farm in Alamance County near Saxapahaw, NC. The daughter of Lonnie and Sarah Stafford Thompson, Dot was the middle of nine children. Growing up on her family’s farm, Dot gained a deep respect for all life, love of spending time outdoors, the capacity to work hard, and a desire to explore the world beyond her home.
Throughout her life, Dot loved both learning and teaching others. She graduated as valedictorian from Eli Whitney High School, earned a BA from High Point College and a master’s degree from UNC-CH Graduate School of Education, and attended the Kennedy School of Missions in Hartford, Connecticut.
It was at High Point College where Dot met and married Paul Bunn, her husband of 64 years. Together they built a life of service and adventure. Early in their marriage they were Methodist missionaries in the former Belgian Congo, evacuating to Southern Rhodesia with their three young children when the war for independence landed on their doorstep. Back in the US, Dot was a NC public school teacher for 30 years, teaching in Glencoe, Troy, Durham, Barnesville, Lumberton, Raleigh, Hamlet, Fayetteville, Rocky Mount, and Rowland.
Dot had a brave and adventurous spirit. She always had on her traveling shoes, and found a way to visit and explore every US state, all Canadian provinces, and every continent except Antarctica.
Most important to her family, Dot was a selfless loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother, and aunt who took great joy in her family. Her heart was large enough to enfold her family while still nurturing countless Sunday school and public school children with whom she shared her great love of learning.
Survivors include her husband Paul. Four daughters: Beryl Shaw (Harry) of Hamlet, NC; Denise Rock (Sam) of Mechanicsville, VA; Tammy Hiller (Bud) of Lewisburg, PA; and Paula Brainard (Jack) of North East, MD. Seven grandchildren: Jessica Rock of Mechanicsville, VA; Dorothy Shaw Cassidy (Mike) of Cary, NC; Ian Shaw (Danielle) of Ellerbe, NC; Grayson Wrigley Weldon (Michael) of Silver Spring, MD; Joe Hiller of New Orleans, LA; Sara Hiller of Asheville, NC and Austin Wrigley of North East, MD. Five great-grandchildren: Addison Cassidy and Aubrey Cassidy of Cary, NC and Alec Shaw, Bradley Shaw, and Lydia Shaw of Ellerbe, NC.
Survivors also include brothers Sam Thompson (Barbara) of Burlington, NC and Reverend Henry Thompson (Marizell) of Greensboro, NC; sisters Mary Norwood (Larry) of Graham, NC and Alice Hadley (Tommy) of Graham, NC; sisters-in law Louise Thompson of Graham, NC and Gladys Thompson of Graham, NC; and many nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends at Rich and Thompson Funeral Home in Graham, NC on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. The funeral will be conducted at Bethel United Methodist Church, Snow Camp, NC on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 2:00 pm by Rev. Garrett Rea. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.
Contributions in Dot’s memory may be made to Community Home Care and Hospice Foundation, 2402 North Roberts Avenue, Lumberton, NC, 28358 or to Fellowship United Methodist Church, 1200 McDonald Ave, Hamlet, NC 28345.