We all have heroes in our lives. Whether it’s parents, friends, or someone famous, we can all benefit from having someone to look up to. But it now seems that whoever that person in your life may be, they will likely pale in comparison to ‘Uncle Bunky’.
No, Uncle Bunky isn’t a functional character on some classic American Spaghetti Western. He is, in fact, a man from Phoenix, Arizona who passed away on May the 4th, 2020, but who has since gone viral due to the obituary his nephew – Chris Santa Maria – posted in the Arizona Republic newspaper. Even though many who read it won’t know of him, he sounds like a figure we would all benefit from in our lives.
The fact Uncle Bunky – real name Randall Jacobs – was 65 at the time he met his demise, only adds to the proof he lived a wild life when you see his picture. Without wanting to sound too harsh, the man looks a good 20 years older than his birth certificate would suggest.
I don't know who Randall Jacobs was, but this obituary makes me hope somebody turns his life story into a movie.
RIP Bunky pic.twitter.com/Zmz29rOjNy
— Mike Beauvais (@MikeBeauvais) May 20, 2020
But that’s likely due to the fact that Bunky, as his nephew says, “burned the candle, and whatever else was handy, at both ends.” Clearly he was one for living life to the fullest. “A night out with Bunky could result in a court summons or a world-class hangover, but his friends and family would drop whatever they were doing to make a trip out to see him.”
Not only did he like to frequent “Arizona dive bars” but he must have been a dab-hand on the snow too.
“He spoke in a gravelly patois of wisecracks, mangled metaphors, and inspired profanity that reflected the Arizona dive bars, Colorado ski slopes, and various dodgy establishments where he spent his days and nights.”
“He was a swaggering hybrid of Zoni desert rat, SoCal hobo, and Telluride ski bum.” We’re starting to wish we could have had the fortune to meet this guy.
Chris adds some extra stories on his Twitter account, including this absolute gem:
one time he tried to pick me up from elementary school in his shitty 70’s era Buick LeSabre (a.k.a. The Sled) by revving the engine and hollering expletives out the window
the kids were so terrified, they asked a teacher to make sure I wasn’t getting kidnapped
— Chris Santa Maria (@chrisantamaria) May 20, 2020
He comes across as a man who would have had a thousand stories to tell, that would have engaged his audience not just for their content, but for the way he told them. His nephew says he was a “prolific purveyor of Bunky-isms such as ‘Save it, clown!'”. A phrase we’re going to start adopting, no doubt.
His cause of death isn’t revealed in the obituary, but it could have been from heartbreak, as he went “just days after his beloved cat Kitters.”
He may have known his time was up as well, as his nephew says he was able to relay “one final Bunkyism.”
“I’m ready for the dirt nap, but you can’t leave the party if you can’t find the door.”
Never a truer word spoken.
Chris finishes the, quite frankly incredibly well-written obituary, asking people to not send flowers to the family, but to instead “pay someone’s open bar tab, smoke a bowl, and fearlessly carve out some fresh lines through the trees on the gnarliest side of the mountain.”
Rest In Peace, Uncle Bunky.