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8-year-old Honorary Officer To Be Given Police Funeral

8-year-old Honorary Officer To Be Given Police Funeral

Eight-year-old William Bunn, who recently became Raleigh's youngest police officer in an honorary ceremony, lost his battle with cancer on July 1. (Courtesy Raleigh PD)

The News & Observer via YellowBrix

July 02, 2010

July 02—RALEIGH — For his funeral Saturday, 8-year-old William Bunn will wear a freshly pressed police uniform, complete with tie, hat and shoes shined like mirrors.

It was, after all, the suit he proudly wore last month, the day Raleigh police made him an honorary officer and granted the wish he’d had since age 5.

William died of cancer early Thursday morning, ending a three-year ordeal that took him through nine surgeries, two blood-cell implants and 13 rounds of chemotherapy.

“He fought a long battle,” said his aunt, Mimi Hardin. “He couldn’t hold on anymore.”

On June 11, William marched to the stage at North Haven Church and saluted Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan with an arm just long enough to poke out of his sleeve, walking on his ownonly a few days removed from radiation treatments in Philadelphia.

More than 150 people cheered when his mother, Amy, pinned a gold badgeover his heart and Dolan told him, “Raleigh police officers exhibit bravery every day. Without a doubt, William, the courage you have demonstrated exceeds our expectations.”

As William enjoyed his first doughnut as an officer, a dozen reporters crowded around to hear him announce, “I really liked it. It’s all the handcuffs and how they check out the jail and stuff.”

On Monday, Hardin updated William’s online journal with news that the Bunns had learned that further treatment would be futile. He died at 4:22 a.m. Thursday, parents Mark and Amy at his side.

“The illness can no longer constrain our angel William,” wrote Hardin. “He has spread his wings, taken flight and will be free of pain and suffering for all eternity.”

William would have been the grand marshal of the Independence Day parade in Lake Royale, a Franklin County community where he and his family spent many weekends, said police Chief Jarrett Umstead. Parade organizers will do something to remember William in the parade, Umstead said.

A viewing will be held from 6 to 9 tonight at New Hope Baptist Church on Louisburg Road in Raleigh. A funeral will follow Saturday. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in William’s honor to the Jimmy V Foundation at www.jimmyv.org or the University Cancer Research Foundation at UNC-Chapel Hill at http:// ucrf.unc.edu .

josh.shaffer@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4818

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