The family of Paul Francis Tunison Sr honor and celebrate our gentle father, grandfather, and great-grandfather who passed from this life on Thursday, March 31st 2011 at the age of 88, surrounded by many of those who loved him so much. Though our hearts are heavy, we are also full of gratitude for his presence in our lives and for the fact that his passing was peaceful.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents, Clifford Leon and Cleah Covert Tunison, his brother Victor James Tunison and his infant son, Stephen. He is survived by his only sister, Doris Burdick of Big Flats, and by his children - Paul(Kathryn) Tunison II, Elena (Steven) Welch, Amy (Cosmo) Cusimano, Leon (Patricia) Tunison, Hayden Brainard, andJeffrey (Rosie) Brainard, and by the mother of his children, Annabelle Seamon. Paulís family grew to include 11 grandchildren Ė Beth (Darren) McGee, Jennifer Robinson, Carl Clifford Hubbell, Nick Boyer, Mason Cusimano, Caitlin Tunison, Kimberlin Tunison, Hayden (Sarah) Brainard, Michael (Lynette) Brainard, Scott (Toni ) Brainard, Brian (Kandi) Brainard, 10 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild, some of whom lovingly called him Robin or Bumpon. His two beloved kitties, Boston Blackie and Kitty Goatee, also survive him.
Paul was a very hard worker throughout his life, working the family farm with his parents for many years, while also holding various construction jobs to support his family. In later years and into his 8th decade he worked for the Town of Enfield Highway Department. Upon his retirement from the Town, Paulís happiest times were spent planting and tending his garden (even though he wasnít much for vegetables himself), mowing his yard, and much to his childrenís dismay at times, tinkering with small machinery and projects around his house. He lived independently into his 88th year, as was his wish, carrying coal to feed his stove and shoveling his own walkway almost to the end of his life.
It is to his credit that Paul lived his life in a simple and humble way, taking care of his pets and his yard, and spending time with his kids when he could. One of the highlights of his year was when the family gathered for an annual July 4th (ďSuperĒ by Dadís definition) fireworks picnic. He shared many stories of his years growing up on Iradell Road and of his family of origin Ė farmers who came by their property as part of a military land grant at what was then called Abelís Corners. Paul was at home in nature and often spoke of mackerel skies; the new and the old of the moon; and of the birdsfoot trefoil that grew in his yard. He sometimes spoke of family lore - a barn fire of mysterious origins that claimed the life of a young uncle, a love story of a great-aunt that ended in tragedy, and other tales of growing up in the depression era in Tompkins County. Paul was well known in the Trumansburg area as a gentle spirit with a kind heart. It is in that way that he will be remembered.
The family will be present to receive friends from 5:00 to 7:00pm on Monday, April 4, 2011 at the Ness-Sibley Funeral Home, 23 South Street, Trumansburg. Funeral Services will be held at 11:00am on Tuesday, April 5 at the Trumansburg United Methodist Church, 80 East Main Street, Trumansburg, with the Rev. Dr. Jeff Losey officiating. A reception will immediately follow at the church.
The family asks those who wish to make a contribution in Paulís name to kindly consider Foodnet Meals on Wheels, 2422 North Triphammer Road, Ithaca, NY 14850.