Ray Allan Bunting, 71, of Rehoboth Beach, Del., passed away peacefully on April 25, 2019, at the Milford Hospice Center.
He was born on Sept. 14, 1947, in Lewes, Del. Bunting graduated as a member of the Class of 1965 from Millsboro High School. He attended Benjamin Franklin University and the Capitol School of Technology.
Bunting was director of security for the Hecht Companies in Washington/Baltimore, where he was offered a position in their retail divisions as a buyer. He retired as senior vice-president of Hecht’s parent company, May Department Stores.
He was the president of Smith Apparel for several years with locations in Selbyville, Ocean City, Md., and Fenwick Island, Del., and Waterworks in Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach. With the arrival of retail outlets in the area, Bunting found his calling in real estate in Ocean City.
With virtually no training, he rose to the top of Heritage Development Corporation and placed number-one in sales for 1986, 1987 and 1988. He was invited to participate in an international competition for resort sales and placed in the top two in his division. That brought a job offer to sell a resort condominium property on St. Maarten in the Caribbean.
After seven years, an international development firm invited Bunting to head their resort development and sales division with the acquisition of the then-4-star Oyster Pond Hotel. His creativity and flare for design were key to the development of a resort with competitive amenity components, and Bunting and his wife, Robin, were recognized as project directors for the fasting selling resort in the Caribbean.
Bunting was attracted to South Carolina for their base and after a brief stint in Murrell’s Inlet, he settled in Hilton Head as a successful sales manager for a Canadian builder/developer and later landed a top job at the oceanfront Royal Floridian Resort in Ormond Beach, Fla.
After retirement and returning to Sussex County in 2013, Bunting worked for a local homebuilder, where his successful techniques and winning personality served him well.
In May of 2017, Bunting started exhibiting symptoms and were diagnosed after two months with a glioblastoma brain tumor and given a terminal prognosis of 12 to 14 months. Ever the fighter, he rose to the challenge. Following brain surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, Bunting spent time with his children and grandchildren, renewed old friendships, kayaked, went to Georgetown Speedway for every race and vowed to beat his diagnosis. In October of 2018, he danced at his niece Morgann’s wedding in western Maryland. His positive attitude and unfailing smile lit up every room he walked into.
The week before Easter, he traveled to see three friends across West Virginia. After that, the list was complete. His journey was coming to an end.
Bunting had a broadly diversified career and was involved in many hobbies and organizations. At various times in his life, he was the youngest member of the American Society of Industrial Security; president of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce; school board member for Indian River School District; board president for Fenwick branch of Delaware National Bank; president of the Eastern Shore Hunters Association; and member of the Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company. He was a member of the St. Maarten Golf Association, the Eastern Caribbean Golf Association and the U.S. Navy League in St. Maarten. He had been a contributing sponsor to resort case studies through the American Resort Development Association.
Most recently Bunting was a member of Grace United Methodist Church and its chancel choir; the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR); the National Association of Realtors; the Delaware Homebuilders Association; the Sussex County Republican Women’s Club (an associate member); Eastern Sussex Republican Club; the Indian River Yacht Club; the Bridgeville Rifle and Pistol Club; and a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and the Single Action Shooting Society. He looked forward to the monthly luncheons with his beloved Class of 1965 from Millsboro High School.
He was preceded in death by his father, Alvah Freeman Bunting, in 1949; his mother, Bertha Mae Lingo Vickers, in 1994; his stepfather, Charles Vickers, in 2007; and a brother, Gerald Lee Bunting, in October of 2018.
Bunting leaves behind his wife of 33 years, Robin Gordon Bunting; two daughters, Lori Hudson Stark and her husband, David, of Tucson, Ariz., and Tara Arnold and husband, George, of State College, Pa.; five grandchildren, Bryn Hudson, Hartford, Conn., Quinn Hudson of Tucson, Ariz., and Lauren, Ashlyn and Geordan Arnold, of State College, Pa.; two step-grandchildren, Josh and Jace Stark of Waco, Texas; a brother, Charles R. Vickers and his wife, Nancy, of Lewes, Del.; sister-in-law, Christy Bunting of Virginia Beach, Va.; two nephews, Michael Bunting and wife, Lindsay, of Virginia Beach and Will Short Vickers of Washington, D.C.; a niece, Jessica Bunting of Gaithersburg, Md.; an uncle, William R. Bunting of Millsboro, Del.; and former wife, Susan Bunting, Selbyville, Del.
Visitations for will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2019, from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Watson Funeral Home, 211 South Washington Street, Millsboro, Del.
A celebration of life will be Sunday, May 5, at 2 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church, 330 Church Street, Millsboro, Del. Interment will follow at Millsboro Cemetery, East State Street, Millsboro, Del.
Bunting loved flowers. Memorial donations can be made to the Millsboro Fire Company.