Dying Vietnam Vet Sells His Belongings in Yard Sale To Pay for Own Funeral


Two men were out hunting for treasures at a garage sale in Brownstone, Pennsylvania, over the summer. The friends, David Dunkleberger and Ed Sheets, stumbled across the display of an older man who got around with the help of a cane.

But when they found out why Willie Davis was holding a garage sale, they were shocked and started a GoFundMe for the man.

“After looking over the yard and noticing a little bit of everything, we bought a couple things,” Dunkleberger wrote on the GoFundMe page. “After I paid the man, he asked me to spread the word to anyone interested.”

“He told me he had stage 4 cancer and will not live much longer. He then said he plans to sell every weekend and hopes to not have stays in the hospital so he can sell his stuff.”

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“After giving him a strange look, he told me he has to sell everything he owns to pay for his funeral.”

Dunkleberger learned a lot about the 66-year-old who had been diagnosed with stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma. Davis had spent six years in the Navy, from 1970 to 1976.

Although Davis has three sisters, “He didn’t want to (sic) them stuck” with his funeral bills, Dunkleberger said to Inside Edition.

He was scrambling to earn enough cash from his personal belongings so that he could achieve his final goal: being buried in Culpepper, Virginia, alongside his parents.

It has to be incredibly difficult to be suffering from a disease while riffling through all the things you’ve accumulated in your life in order to sell them. Your mortality is inescapable, and the rest of your life is spent preparing for death.

Touched, Dunkleberger met with Davis to go over details of the situation and offer his assistance, which resulted in the aforementioned GoFundMe page.

“100% of the funds raised will go towards helping Willie be transported and buried beside his parents in Culpepper, VA,” the page explains. “Willie’s sister is in charge of selecting the funeral arrangements once the time comes, and we will transfer the money straight to the funeral home for payment.”

“After Willie passes away, the funds will be withdrawn in my name and a check will be distributed to the funeral home for 100% of the donations towards his funeral costs. If we have money left over, the remainder will go towards helping another veteran in need.”

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As of Friday afternoon, the fundraiser has received over 1,600 donations, totaling over $53,000 that will go to honoring Davis’ wishes and helping out other veterans in similar situations.

“As generous donations continue to pour in, we will continue to raise our goals in an effort to find more Veterans in need and help them with their funeral costs,” read the most recent update on the page.

“We have all agreed that Willie is lucky to have everyone’s support and we hope to find more individuals that can use our support. Thank you all for you help!”

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