YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Edward Cornell “Neil” Bunkley, Sr. died on Sunday, October 30, 2022.
He was born into this life on July 2, 1951 in Youngstown, Ohio.
The first born of 13 siblings, he was a natural-born, charismatic leader who loved God, his family and his life’s work.
After graduating North High School in 1970, his compassion for helping others led him to start his career as a case worker for organizations like the Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Detention Center, Daybreak and Mahoning County Children Services Board, where he shaped the lives of countless youth.
Personal struggles led him to walk into the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley in 1994 as a client, yet his faith in God, perseverance, strength and earned “PhD in life” allowed him to rise in the ranks to Director of Client Services. His commitment to the plight of homeless persons and people in recovery and his passion for helping others was recognized in 2004 when he was awarded the Advocacy Award for Outstanding Community Service. He built upon that accomplishment and his 32-year legacy of lifting up others to return to Daybreak in 2006 to ultimately become the Operations Manager. Here, he spent the balance of his career continuing his life work by providing guidance and support to homeless, “throwaway” and undeserved youth and their families.
The workplace is only one of many places that Neil’s loving light shined. It shone just as bright for his family, friends and co-workers, who he loved to no end. With them he could be found enjoying a glass of wine on the patio of the home he shared with his wife Linda, doting proudly and lovingly on his children, loudly belting out oldies but goodies at a concert, dancing to the Whispers, cheering on the Steelers, being a counselor and advisor through gut wrenching laughter and consoling words of wisdom. He was so many things to so many people until life threw him a curveball in 2021, when he fought the good fight with resilience and determination until he was called home to God.
He leaves to cherish his memories his beloved wife, Linda Dixon-Bunkley; his children, Dr. Latisha (David) Bunkley-Burch and Edward Bunkley, Jr., of Canal Winchester, Ohio, Valencia Bunkley of Warren, Ohio and Emmanuel Bunkley, Sr. of Youngstown, Ohio; his siblings, Deborah Gray, Elizabeth (Howard) Murray, Wlliie White, Linda White, Maxine White, Beatrice White, of Dayton, Ohio, Bertenna White of Seattle, Washington and Kenneth (Siesta) Cochrane, Debra Johnson Cochrane, Donnie Morris, Saud Cochrane, Omar Cochrane and Nakebba Cochrane, of Youngstown, Ohio; his grandchildren, Nikayla Bunkley of Canal Winchester, Ohio, Gwennell Provitt of Warren, Ohio, Lyesha Dixon of Cleveland, Ohio and Emani Bunkley, Emmanuel Bunkley, Jr. and Sariah Bunkley, of Youngstown, Ohio; his stepdaughters, Leona Dixon and Lyieshia Dixon and stepson Melvin Dixon, Jr., of Youngstown, Ohio; stepgrands, Breona Pierce snd Benjamin Dixon; his fur baby, Kaine Bunkley; two great-grandsons and a host of cousins, nephews, nieces and friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Curtis (Barbara) Cochrane; his mother, Beatrice White; his brothers, Gareth White and Curtis (Elizabeth) Cochrane; his first wife, Gwendolyn Bunkley-Jenkins and several beloved aunties, uncles, cousins and friends.
Visitation will be Wednesday, November 9, 2022 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. at L.E. Black, Phillips & Holden Funeral Home Inc., 1951 McGuffey Road, Youngstown, OH 44505. A funeral service will follow at 3:00 p.m. at the funeral home.
A television tribute will air Monday, November 7 at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV.