My dear friend, writing partner and mentor Blonnie Bunn Wyche passed away May 2, 2012 in Wilmington, NC. A May 5 memorial service was attended by her family, members of her two critique groups, book sellers, fellow writers, and the many friends she made throughout her 79 years as a teacher and author. When her family welcomed attendees to offer comments and stories about Blonnie, I offered these:
Blonnie was my friend for only a few short years—just three. But in that time I learned what was most important to her. First, her family. Blonnie was extremely proud of her sons, David and Graham, and her grandchildren, Clark and Torie. She talked about you all the time. Had your photograph in her writing room, where she spent most of her time. And she often said her daughters-in-law were the perfect women for her boys.
Blonnie’s second passion was writing. Not just her writing, although she had file cabinets filled with stories—Blonnie was concerned with everyone’s writing.
A member of multiple writers’ networks and several critique groups, Blonnie shared her talent, her knowledge, her expertise with all of us. She could be terse—one of her favorite comments to me was, “You know how to do it, Georgia. I’m not going to do it for you. You know how to do it.” That always irritated me 😉 But Blonnie was also quick with praise and encouragement. She read all the words we wrote and helped us to write them better.
Blonnie has scores of writing friends. One wrote tributes to her to Pen & Palette and to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, which Blonnie supported for decades. And the local chapter of the American Association of University Women, to which Blonnie belonged, is sending a contribution to its Educational Foundation in her name. Blonnie Dale Bunn Wyche will not be forgotten.
When she passed away, Blonnie was an active contributor to three writers’ groups. Most of her writing partners are here today. The last time I saw Blonnie in the hospital, I told her I liked her Coon Hunt story and she grinned big. Her face bloomed—bright-eyed and happy. Someone liked her writing. That’s how I will remember her.
We, her friends and writing partners, will continue to meet and discuss our novels and short stories and poems. Blonnie will always be a presence at our meetings. She’ll always sit at the head of the table. She will always be on our fingertips. I love her and miss her. And that’s all I will say, because one thing Blonnie taught me is to be clear and concise.
Blonnie Bunn Wyche, 79, authored two historical fiction novels: The Anchor: P. Moore Proprietor and Cecilia’s Harvest: A Novel of the Revolution A retired teacher, she was an award-winning short story writer and at one time edited a children’s magazine. Blonnie was active in the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and a member of the North Carolina Writers Network.