Earl Bunning, known throughout South Florida as Drag Queen extraordinaire RaeJean Cox, passed away. His death was announced on Aug. 25, nearly three weeks after a horrific car crash.
Bunning was in critical condition after his car went off I-95 in Palm Beach County, during bad weather, on Aug. 5. He wasn’t found until sometime later and was eventually taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach. Friends say he had more than a dozen surgeries to repair severe damage to internal organs. In the days following the accident, Bunning was alert enough to acknowledge doctors and give a “thumbs up.” But for most of the last few weeks he was in a coma so doctors could continue their work to save his life.
As RaeJean, Bunning was a South Florida superstar. RaeJean performed at bars, clubs, and events throughout Broward and Palm Beach counties. If she had the microphone... you knew it. Her skills for hosting events were amazing, keeping crowds entertained and engaged while also keeping the program on track.
RaeJean was also the reigning Empress of the Imperial Sun Court of All Florida (ISCOAF). The philanthropic organization raises thousands of dollars every year for charity. They announced her passing on their Facebook page, saying, “We are sad to announce the passing of our reigning Empress RaeJean Cox. The Court sends our most sincere condolences to Earl’s family and community. May his memory be a blessing.”
RaeJean loved working for her community and helping local organizations. During the pandemic, RaeJean was a tireless leader, creating innovative, fun, and socially distant fundraisers. ISCOAF’s investiture ceremony in May was one of the group’s first big, in-person events since the pandemic hit. At the time she said, “This is why we do it. Everyone [getting] together and being here for one another.”