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A 95 year old Legacy… Grandma Bunts

I’m in New York as we speak on a last minute spontaneous trip up to see my famous Grandma Bunts who just turned 95 years old.

She had her second stroke in April and has been recovering in a nursing home since then.

She is one.phenomenal.lady. For starters, she has attended her church since she was born.

How many church members do you know that have been at ONE church for 95 years? What’s even crazier, is that not only has she attended HER whole life, but her mother and GRANDMOTHER also both attended that same church.

I told her they should rename the church Frances Baptist Church instead of First Baptist Church.

She laughed.

Since I am out of town, I’m not posting my normal Menu Monday today. Instead, I thought I would share again the post I wrote five years ago in honor of her 90th birthday with a bit more back story and pics added in for posterity.

She is one tough cookie with one CRAZY life.

…………………….. Originally posted June 12th 2008……………………………….

High School Senior
My Grandma Bunts turned 90 years old yesterday. She is the most amazing 90 year old that I know. She really is unbelievable, and I’m not just saying that because I’m her granddaughter. She does not live her life like you would think a 90 year old would be forced to. She lives alone in her two story house and takes care of herself. She owns her own car and still drives herself.
I love this pic… Grandma riding a bike with my two oldest uncles born just a year apart…

Grandma and Grandpa with 8 of the 11 kids… my mom (Bette) is on Grandma’s lap…

She always wanted to have 12 children since she didn’t have a large family. She wanted 12, and she had 12. No more, no less. Before she achieved that happy goal, however, she went through heartache. At 19, Grandma’s very first baby, June Rose, was still-born. There had been no indication that there were any problems. She said that she just “woke up” after delivery and knew something was wrong. June Rose would have been 76 this year. {2013}

She went on to have four boys and seven girls. Frederick, Leonard, Ruthie, Elwyn, Carol, Doris, Bette, Paul, Anita, Kathryn, and Priscilla.

The oldest, Frederick, was 20 years old when the youngest, Priscilla was born.

Grandma and Grandpa {1959}

Grandma recently had a doctors visit for some high blood pressure and happened to see an intern instead of her real doctor.

Here’s the convo…

Intern: What medications are you on?
Grandma: none
Intern: No, really. I need to know what meds you are on. (thinking the high blood pressure had made her forgetful)
Grandma: (again) I’m not taking any medications.

(Intern finally goes to talk to the real doctor to find out what meds this “forgetful” 90 year old is on, and is shocked when the real doctor informs him that she is in fact NOT on ANY medications!)

Grandma at her 90th Birthday Party

The secret of good health according to Grandma?

“Don’t ever stop. Once you stop, you won’t be able to start again.”

Grandma hasn’t lived a life of ease and luxury. No. Far, far from it. Her father left their family when she was about a year old… and left them fairly destitute.

Grandma Bunts

Grandma in front of First Baptist Church

This type of scandal was unheard of in 1919, and was even worse because he actually left her mother for another woman. Her mother was awarded a divorce in 1925, and it was such a rarity that it actually made the newspaper.

The newspaper!! The divorce cost her mother $160.

The Great Depression struck in 1929 when Grandma was just 10 years old, and she is often asked by school aged children to share what things were like during that time for some report or project. Her answer…

The Great Depression didn’t affect our family. We were so poor before it started, that life didn’t change for us. We were poor before, and we were poor during.

Grandma did not see her father until she was 12 years old, when her older brother insisted it was time she meet him.

She married Harold Bunts on her 18th birthday.  He was 25!

Harold and Frances' wedding picture

Grandpa & Grandma Wedding Day {June 11, 1936}

They dated for a few years before that… lovebirds…

Harold and Francis Dating 1934

Dating Days {1934}

He was a milk man for Crowley’s, and also drove a truck that was called the “Store to Your Door” Truck which delivered various things right to your door. Isn’t that so cool? A part of American History.

Harold store at your door

She was a hard worker… tending their garden, baking and cooking from scratch, sewing their clothes and raising the craziest bunch of siblings ever to gather.

Her cinnamon bread and apple pie are legendary and simply to die for! They are always fought over by all of us.

Harold and Frances 42nd anniversary_1975 Grandpa & Grandma at their 42nd Wedding Anniversary in 1978

Grandpa died January of 1986 just a few months shy of their 50th Anniversary. I was 8 years old that summer when we had our first family reunion. I met many of my first cousins for the first time.

There are 11 kids, 36 grandkids, 61 (I think) great-grandkids, and 2 great-great grandkids.  {As of June, 2008} 

At Grandma’s 90th birthday party, 10 of the 11 kids were there; 22 of the 36 grandkids were there; and 21 of the 61 great grandkids were there. So as I’m sure you can imagine it was CRAZY!

10 of the 11 kids

 21 of the 36 grandkids (and spouses)

21 of the 61 great-grandkids

What a legacy she has left for us and a remarkable heritage for all of us to live up to…

…………………………………………………..

I’m so glad that I was able to spend these few days with her.

IMG_3609 Grandma & I {July 2013}

She never complains.

It is so hard to see her weak and frail like this, since she has been a woman of steel as long as I’ve known her… always moving, always working. We are praying that God would bless her many years of faithfulness and ease her pain.

We love you Grandma!

5 Responses to A 95 year old Legacy… Grandma Bunts
  1. Pam Moore
    July 15, 2013 | 12:50 pm

    What a wonderful tribute to a truly wonderful woman. I enjoyed talking to her so much when she visited your Mom in the academy. Greatly enjoyed all the family photos, too. Tell her I said, “Hi”. Pam Moore

  2. Chris
    July 16, 2013 | 11:12 pm

    Very nice post. Very special person.

  3. Aunt Carol
    July 20, 2013 | 6:31 pm

    Love this! Tried to print it but couldn’t figure out how. Would love a copy of it along with all the pictures!

  4. Maggie Ghorayeb
    September 6, 2013 | 6:35 am

    This wonderful woman is an inspiration to all of us. May God Bless Her and may her story inspire many woman to keep strong and move on in life .

    Maggie

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