Mildred M. Bunting, 86, Lancaster Farming market editor, mentor for agricultural journalists

By on June 27, 2018

Mildred Mae (Martin) Bunting, 86, of Lancaster, passed away after a brief illness on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at Lancaster General Hospital.

Born in Lancaster, she was the daughter of the late Jacob and Ruth Groff Martin.

“You look around and see you’re not the only pebble on the beach.” The saying was passed off in humor with nurses during one of many chemo visits by this cheerful shiny pebble that has moved on to her eternal home.

Millie’s outgoing nature earned her lasting friendships and appreciation throughout Lancaster County’s agriculture community, and as a fun-loving and interesting ‘Mimi’ to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Her positive attitude, curiosity, and courage guided her last four years as a cancer survivor, intent on making more memories with the growing family she adored. These attributes were also evident in her career.

As editor and publisher of the former Lancaster Livestock Reporter for over 25 years, Millie had high standards for accuracy and a knack for communication. When that paper went out of print in 2000, she served as market editor for Lancaster Farming until retirement in 2011, just after her 80th birthday.

A 1949 graduate of J.P. McCaskey High School, Millie was proud of her 49ers class and planning reunions with classmates. She studied journalism at Penn State University where she loved working for the Daily Collegian and remained an enthusiastic alumnus of Happy Valley.

She mentored many young agriculture journalists, and they relished her stories, appreciated her wisdom, respected her tenacity, and relied on her as a go-to encyclopedia of facts, old and new.

Not surprising, she rarely missed an episode of “Jeopardy,” no doubt solving questions that stumped most contestants.

Millie’s love of the written word extended to poetry and her well-worn “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.”

“Yard by yard, life is hard, but inch by inch, it’s a cinch” is the motto she displayed and was known to pass on, along with other words of wisdom and inspiration from her mental library of memorized poems and sayings.

She was a lifelong member of the North American Agriculture Journalists and served as president when it was known as Newspaper Farm Editors of America in 1985, the year they met with President Ronald Reagan in the White House Cabinet room.

Millie served on the Pennsylvania Beef Council board in the 1980s and was recognized by the Pennsylvania Cattlemen’s Association with the 1995 Industry Service Award.

Her mind and hands were rarely idle, and in her leisure would immerse herself in books and knitting, including special Christmas stockings for each new member of her growing family.

She loved figuring out how things work, embracing and sharing new technologies with the younger generations, engaging regularly via digital-age tools of social media as easily as in person.

Her example has been one of courage, curiosity, a keen sense of humor and giving nature.

Millie was a member of Christ United Methodist Church in Lancaster and participated in various civic organizations.

She is survived by children: William Jr. (Anita) of Mountville; Thomas (Lynn) of Ephrata; Scott (Sherry) of East Earl; Susan, wife of William Murry of Lancaster; daughter-in-law Patricia of East Petersburg; sisters: Helen Strathmeyer of Lancaster; and Jean, wife of James Anderson of Willow Street; brothers: Robert G. Martin; and Melvin Pepper Martin of Lititz; grandchildren: Wesley Murry (Anne) of Kentucky; Ryan W. Bunting of Lancaster; Kimberly Bunting of Montana; Adam Bunting (Brandi) of Lancaster; Christopher Bunting of Lancaster; Ryan D. Bunting (Vanessa) of Leola; Robin, wife of Landon Messner of Denver; McKinley Murry of Lancaster; Price Murry of California; and Alyssa Bunting of Missouri; and seven great-grandchildren.

Millie was pre-deceased by her brothers: Jacob Martin and John Martin; and granddaughter: Natasha Bunting.

A viewing will take place 10 to 11 a.m., followed by the celebration of Millie’s life at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 28, with Rev. Roseann M. Goldberg-Taylor officiating, at the Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory, 3110 Lititz Pike, Lititz. Interment will be in Conestoga Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Schreiber Pediatric Rehabilitation Center of Lancaster County, 625 Community Way, Lancaster, PA 17603.

To send online condolences, visit Arrangements by Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory, Lititz.

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