BY Sharon Bala
OBITUARY – O’Shea, Eustace “Bunky”
January 17, 1954 – July 20, 2016
Eustace “Bunky” O’Shea took his leave of the earth on July 20 when the Devil called him home. He is predeceased by his tonsils (1962), his appendix (1964), his prostate (2010), and the middle toe on his left foot (2015).
A loving (if somewhat neglectful) father of two sons (who he knew of, and there’s no inheritance to speak of so don’t get any ideas), doting grandfather, war hero, polymath, and prolific writer, Bunky will be remembered with fond exasperation by his family and quickly forgotten by everyone else.
Bunky’s true passion was journalism. A frequent contributor to the Evening Telegram, Bunky penned more than 250 Letters to the Editor on a range of topics.
Bunky was born in Pirate’s Cove during the Ice Storm of ’54 to the indomitable Mary O’Shea, the sole Catholic in a staunch Protestant town, who insisted on birthing him herself. (What good is a doctor? This is women’s business.) He grew up in the old family Saltbox, that is now a Tim Horton’s drive-thru, raised single-handedly by a stern and loving mother who held fast to her own personal Trinity: the ruler, the strap, and the Holy Ghost.
Bunky was a solid C student at Pirate’s Cove Collegiate – a one-room, all-grades school house that was torn down last year to make way for a Costco parking lot – until he joined the army to avoid a history test. It was the height of the Second Euro-Canadian War and the military was desperate.
It was during his time with the Navy, stationed off the coast of St. Lawrence, that he earned the nickname Bunky. The majority of his naval career was spent cleaning latrines but he distinguished himself in a four-day campaign during the Battle of Cape Spear when Newfoundland saved Canada.
After Armistice, Bunky moved to Dirty Ol’ Sin Jawns and took a job as a line man with Light and Power. This was followed by stints as a mail carrier, dog shampooer, general contractor (only two of the sheds he built collapsed), unlicensed aesthetician, scab worker, pastry chef, and mall cop.
But Bunky’s true passion was journalism. A frequent contributor to the Evening Telegram, Bunky penned more than 250 Letters to the Editor on a range of topics, including the cost of fresh milk (too high), immigration (for, unless they came from Western Europe, in which case AGAINST), Daylight Savings Time (against), bike lanes (for), school crossing guards (against/survival of the fittest), collateral-backed mortgages (scam), and moose fences (against/survival of the fittest). Three of his letters were printed in the newspaper. The full collection was self-published as an audiobook, which he sold door-to-door.
Bunky was a solid C student at Pirate’s Cove Collegiate.
Bunky is survived by his sons Alistair (Emily Morris) and Roger (Matthew Donalson), his three grandchildren, Miranda, Alison, and Colin O’Shea-Donalson, and a foul-mouthed parrot named Buster. There will be no funeral; Bunky couldn’t abide any of that sentimental claptrap. In lieu of flowers, please write a letter to your city councilor about the pothole situation. It is a disgrace.
Bunky’s Obituary is part of a NQ short fiction series called “When NL Saved Canada.” Five of those stories will be published in NQ. Sharon Bala is part of the Port Authority writing group. You can find the other stories here.