American Veteran 04

Gary Lee Bunn

June 4, 1934 ~ June 5, 2022 (age 88)


Gary Lee Bunn, 88 of Huntington, WV flew into the arms of Jesus, on Sunday night, June 5, 2022, after a brief illness, at Emogene Dolin Jones Hospice House. Funeral services will be held on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at Fifth Avenue Baptist Church with Rev. Eric Porterfield officiating. Entombment and full Military Honors will follow at White Chapel Memorial Gardens. He was born June 4, 1934, in Huntington, WV son of the late Cline and Winifred Hensley Bunn. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Nancy Criddle Bunn, and a sister, Joy Dell Qualls. Gary graduated from Barboursville High School in 1952 as an outstanding athlete. He attended West Virginia University on a football scholarship where he played on a successful team that went to the 1954 Sugar Bowl Game.  After college, Gary officiated at WV high school football games for 32 years. He joined the military in 1957 serving 32 years in the WV Army National Guard where he served as the commander of 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group. He was proud of his completion of Officers Candidate School, becoming Airborne, and graduating from Command and General Staff College. He retired from the US Army Reserves as a full Colonel 06.

Gary served as Director of Planning for the City of Huntington from 1967 to 1989 during which he was appointed acting City Manager during 1977-78. His knowledge of municipal government, comprehensive planning, and zoning enabled him to be a valuable resource for developers in planning and designing the layout of subdivisions within the city. His numerous achievements and contributions to the city included developing plans for the Riverfront Park, recommending building of adequate housing for the elderly, changing Fourteenth St. West to Old Central City, and changing Second Avenue to Veterans Memorial Blvd.

Gary was elected to the Cabell County Commission in 1992.  He proposed and initiated many projects that greatly enhanced the quality of living for residents throughout Cabell County as well as saving the taxpayers money. He was proud of many accomplishments, which included renovating the courthouse dome and lighting, the Cabell County Farm, and the 4-H Camp; developing a long-range plan for water and sewer services for 97% of the population and recommending the provision of emergency ambulance stations in high populated areas to shorten response time.

Gary served two terms as a member of The Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District and two terms on City Council after retirement from the city.  His many civic interests throughout his career included the YMCA Board of Directors, Elks Lodge, Tristate Airport Authority, KYOVA Interstate Planning Commission, HADCO, Huntington Rotary Club, Masonic Lodge 11, and American Legion Post 16. Gary was also active in WVU Varsity Club and Huntington WVU Alumni chapter.

Gary was a member of Fifth Avenue Baptist Church and the Homebuilders Sunday School Class. He believed in prayer and that the Lord saved his life many times during dangerous situations that included football injuries, parachute landings, car wrecks, and illnesses.

During his exciting 88 years of life, he had many accomplishments; however, he also overcame disappointments, injuries, and adversities. Gary loved Huntington and had the opportunity to use his leadership skills, creative and visionary talents, strong body, and religious faith to improve the lives and environment of the people in Cabell County. For his wonderful and amazing life, Gary was selected for a membership in the Greater Huntington Wall of Fame in 2018. That same year, he was also inducted into the WV Sports Legends Hall of Fame and the River Cities Football Officials Association Hall of Fame.

Gary enjoyed gardening, traveling, turkey and deer hunting, ballroom dancing, family beach vacations, attending WVU football games and grandchildren’s activities, feeding the birds and deer, and keeping in touch with old friends. He always loved to tell the stories about his exciting adventures.

 Honorary Pallbearers are Gene Lathey, Alex Szuch, Dr. Charles McKown, George Templin, Kevin Bailey, Hugh Ruble, and Ted Kluemper.

He is survived by his loving family, his wife, Diana Griffin Bunn, daughter and son-in-law, LeAnn Bunn Hewitt and John of Ona, WV; two step-daughters, Mary Griffin Dempsey and Amy Griffin (Tyler) Smith  of Huntington; two brothers and sisters-in-law, Harold and Lakie Bunn of Huntington and Doug and Peggy Bunn of Ona, WV; grandchildren, Jacob and Grace Hewitt, Tracey and Griffin Dempsey and Mina, Avery and Sophia Smith and a host of nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to Wounded Warriors Project, Emogene Dolin Jones Hospice House, or Fifth Avenue Baptist Church. Online memories and condolences may be sent to the family at The family will receive friends on Wednesday from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Beard Mortuary.

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


June 8, 2022

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Beard Mortuary
3001 Third Avenue
Huntington, WV 25702

Funeral Service
June 9, 2022

1:30 PM
Fifth Avenue Baptist
1135 5th Avenue
Huntington, WV 25701

Military Honors
June 9, 2022

2:30 PM
White Chapel Memorial Park



Fifth Avenue Baptist Church
1135 5th Avenue, Huntington WV 25701

Hospice of Huntington
1101 6th Avenue, Huntington WV 25701
Tel: 1-304-529-4217

Wounded Warrior Project
7020 A.C. Skinner Parkway, Suite 100, Jacksonville FL 32256
Tel: 1-877-832-6997

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