Rae Frances (Bunting) Bennett died August 26, 2021, after 37 years as a multiple episode cancer survivor. She was 85. Born in Trenton, she was a lifelong Morrisville Borough resident and 1954 class valedictorian of Morrisville High School. Rae was also an honor graduate of West Chester State Teachers College with a B.S. degree in Elementary Education. She taught locally in grades 3, 4, and 5; loved children and gave freely of her time to tutor many.
An accomplished musician, Rae played 5 instruments. She won youth auditions with the Trenton Symphony Orchestra, playing piano and clarinet solos over live radio broadcasts.
A church organist since age 16, her services spanned more than 50 years. She was organist for Big Oak Moravian Church of Yardley, Washington Crossing Methodist Church, and guest at others; also, pianist for Morrisville United Methodist Church and First Baptist Weekly Bible Ministry.
Rae’s favorite trips were European Tours, Hawaii, California, Nova Scotia, Canada, and New England. Along with scenic wonders, historic and religious sites were of special interest.
Active in Historic Morrisville Society, Rae was Curator and Class Tour Guide of the renowned Morris-Clymer Summerseat Mansion, greeting hundreds in colonial costume for Period Exhibits. She loved animals, always had a pet dog, and enjoyed creating and working in her backyard garden setting to attract birds, butterflies, and squirrels.
Member of Morrisville Presbyterian Church for 72 years, Rae was a bass English handbell ringer, Ruth Circle member, Clothing Center Shop volunteer, Bible School teacher, and organist and pianist for special events.
Daughter of the late Harry and Edith (Smith) Bunting, Rae was keenly interested in her maternal heritage, as an Enrolled Birthright member of the American Indian Mohegan Tribe. Rae’s great grandmother was the late Ada Strong Arm (Later Samson) of Conn., A New England Congregational Church organist.
Loving grandmother of Maisie Optenberg and Great-Aunt of Molly and Jake Bunting. She will be missed by her cousins, Betsy Jurey and Bill and Melonie Burgess of Morrisville and their families. As well as special friends: Arvin and Grace Lee and Ian Optenberg and his wife, Sharyn O’Mara of Philadelphia, David Bowers, P.T. of Newtown, a lifelong friend, Mary Moyer, J’Ann Ellis, The David Talones, Pastor Gary Taylor and his family, her very friendly neighbors: Stephen Eichler, Anthony Whittaker, Kathy Brilla, Jeremy Parry and her family, the Chris Leefflers and the Mike Kanes.
Interment and graveside service will be held privately at the convenience of the family.
The family requests donations in Rae’s memory may be made to the Humane Society of the United State, 1255 23rd Street. Suite 450 Washington, D.C. 20037. (https://www.humanesociety.org/)
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