November 20, 2013 at 5:40 pm EDT | by Joey DiGuglielmo
Obituary: John W. Bunting III
John W. Bunting, obituary, gay news, Washington Blade

John W. Bunting III

John William Bunting III died at home on Nov. 5 from complications of congestive heart failure, according to Karisa Johnson, a friend of the family. He was 69.

Born in Akron, Ohio, on Jan. 23, 1944, and raised in Huntington, W.Va., Bunting served in the U.S. Navy and led a varied career that included 22 years supervising a large staff as operations manager for Hecht’s Department Stores.

His civic and organizational skills were exemplified through his work with the Baltimore City Department of Social Services primarily building agency capacity in the community. He was also a teacher for the Baltimore City School System. He also worked as a political fundraising consultant for state and local election campaigns as an event planner and a grant writer.

Bunting, who was gay, had a passion for volunteer work in the fight against HIV/AIDS, particularly in the African-American gay community. He served on and formerly chaired the Baltimore City Commission on HIV/AIDS, chaired AIDSWalk 1991 and participated in the AIDS vaccine trials at Johns Hopkins.

Bunting is survived by his sisters, Karen C. (Phillip) Neff and Jaynel B. Hankins of Dalton, Ga., and his loving nieces and nephews.

A public “celebration of life” will be held on Saturday at 11 a.m. in the Palm Room of The Belvedere (1 E. Chase St., Baltimore) in Bunting’s beloved Mount Vernon neighborhood. Guests are warmly invited to participate by sharing their remembrances.  A private family ceremony and interment will be held in Huntington, W.Va.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to AIDS Interfaith Residential Services ( and/or the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore (

Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

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