Parler Share

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

Parler Share

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.”

Republican Shouts 3 Words at the Top of His Lungs After Biden Mentions Fentanyl Deaths

“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“After Willie passes away, the funds will be withdrawn in my name and a check will be distributed to the funeral home for 100% of the donations towards his funeral costs.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.”

Rural Indiana City Offers 'Stand-in Grandparents' to New Residents

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!”

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, ,
Parler Share
Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking