Raleigh child, made honorary officer, dies

Posted July 1, 2010

— A Raleigh boy who was made the Raleigh Police Department's first honorary officer last month died early Thursday of cancer.

Will Bunn, 8, died at 4:22 a.m. after his health took a turn for the worse on Monday, according to a journal entry posted on the website, CaringBridge.

Meet Raleigh's youngest officer Read more about Will Bunn

"The illness can no longer constrain our angel, William; he has spread his wings, taken flight and will be free of pain and suffering for all eternity," the post said.

His parents were by his side.

Will was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that develops from nerve tissue, in December 2007. In May 2009, his doctors declared him to be cancer-free, and he spent nearly a year in remission before it was determined in early February that cancer had returned.

On June 11, the police department made his wish to be a police officer come true when Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan presented Will with a Chief's Citation praising his courage and strength of character and officially declared him to be an honorary officer. He received a full police uniform and an authentic badge.

"I like all the handcuffs and how they go check out the jail and stuff," he said at the time. "I really like it how they do all that stuff."

On June 23, Will visited the North Carolina Legislative Building, where members of the state House gave him a standing ovation and applauded his bravery and strength.

He was also awarded an honorary membership in the state Senate, the first time in memory the Senate bestowed such an honor.

Will had recently completed the first grade at Douglas Elementary School, and he enjoyed hunting, fishing, swimming, playing basketball and camping at the lake.

He is survived by his parents, Mark and Amy, and younger sister, Alyssa.

The family will receive friends Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at New Hope Baptist Church, 4301 Louisburg Road in Raleigh. Funeral services will be held at New Hope Baptist Church on Saturday at 11 a.m. He will be buried with full police honors, according to Jim Sughrue, Raleigh police spokesman.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the V Foundation for Cancer Research, St. Baldrick’s Foundation, and neuroblastoma research.

CaringBridge is a free Web service that helps connect families and friends with patients during times of serious illnesses.


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  • NC Reader Jul 2, 2010

    To think of that little boy being buried in his police uniform brings tears to my eyes. I hurt to think of the pain his parents are going through, and I smile to think of the wonderful gift the Raleigh Police Department gave him.

  • mindofreason Jul 2, 2010

    RIP William. As someone who knew the family, this was one of the nicest and sweetest little children I had ever come in contact with. He was a bright light of inspiration in a world full of dark clouds. He will be sorely missed. I do not have enough thoughts and prayers for his wonderful parents right now, but we could all learn a lot from his courage.

    Kudos to the RPD and NC Senate for making William feel the wonderful aspects of the world in such a shortened life. Also thanks to the N&O and WRAL for giving this story the attention it needed.

  • Mags Jul 1, 2010

    My family is in prayer for the Bunns. Your son is with many brothers and sisters. A few, yet to many wear the same badge. Let the bagpipes sound for a fighter.

    Need a dip

  • trogan45 Jul 1, 2010

    This is very sad. I will keep this family in my prayers. Gone to soon.

  • SaveEnergyMan Jul 1, 2010

    I'm sure the RPD will be well represented at his funeral. He became one of them and they don't ever forget that. Good for the RPD and the House & Senate for making this year so wonderful for him. I'll be keeping this family in my thoughts.

  • sheilayearby Jul 1, 2010

    God bless you all in your family, I lost my husband to brain cancer, We had been married 50 years. I can not imagine losing a wonderul child like Will. They SAy TIME HEALS ALL WOUNDES. You at least have your wonderful memories.

    Sheila Yearby
    Durham NC

  • duke1man2002 Jul 1, 2010

    great story for a truly great young man. RIP!!!!!!

  • pinkiglock Jul 1, 2010

    May he rest in peace...

  • They call me CATMAN Jul 1, 2010

    God Bless him and his family.

  • Lickad Jul 1, 2010

    That is so sad.