Helen Joan Robertson Dunlap, formerly of Niles

May 26, 1931 — May 13, 2021

Helen Joan Robertson Dunlap, formerly of Niles, mother, grandmother, sister, teacher, homemaker and community supporter died peacefully at 5:55 p.m. on Thursday, May 13, 2021. Helen passed with family gathered around her bedside at the Dujarie House in Notre Dame, Indiana following an extended illness, just days short of her 90th birthday. Her family is grateful for the kind and compassionate care provided by the staff of Dujarie and the Center for Hospice Care.

She was born on May 26, 1931, in Massillon, Ohio to Wilbur and Mildred (Myers) Robertson, and was graduated with the class of 1949 of Washington High School in Massillon. She continued her education at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio earning a bachelor’s degree in 1953 in education with a minor in home economics. At Ohio Wesleyan, she was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega social sorority and the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society in education. She taught the primary grades at schools in Defiance, Sherwood, Massillon, and Euclid, all in Ohio before retiring and moving to Niles.

In Niles, Helen was a member of the former Wesley United Methodist Church (now New Journey United Methodist Church) and the Wednesday Book Club. She was a life member and past president of the Niles Garden Club and the Ladies’ Historical Society. Having a natural attribute for hospitality – supplemented by the Home Ec degree — she was the consummate hostess for club meetings and her family, decorating, cooking, baking, and serving. Her special touch to standard kitchen fare such as lasagna and zucchini bread made those dishes memorable and requested. She also enjoyed keeping a second, summer home for her family on Birch Lake in Vandalia, Michigan.

On May 20, 1954, in Massillon, she married Ralph E. Dunlap with whom she celebrated the 47th anniversary of their wedding prior to his death on July 30, 2001. She was also preceded in death by her parents, and by her sister-in-law, Janet (Mrs. William) Robertson.

Surviving family includes her sons, Jeff (& Shawn) Dunlap of Niles and Brad (& Ellen) Dunlap, of South Bend, Indiana; grandchildren Jennifer (& Ryan) Snyder, Matthew Dunlap, Katie (& Matthew) McCain, Thomas Dunlap, Justin (& Alexis) Stroud, and Sierra Stroud; great-grandchildren Zachary Snyder, Bailee McCain, Myles McCain, and Beckham McCain; Helen’s brother, William Robertson of Lexington, Kentucky; and many nieces and nephews.

The funeral service for Helen Dunlap was be at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at the New Journey United Methodist Church, 302 Cedar St. in Niles with the Rev. Robert L. Snodgrass II of the church officiating. Committal will follow at Mission Hills. The most recent masking, social distancing, and attendance limits will be practiced. Others may witness the service via the livestreamed broadcast on the Halbritter-Wickens Facebook page: facebook.com/halbritterwickensfuneralservices.

The family received relatives and friends on Monday from 6 until 8 p.m. at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles. Contributions in memory of Helen may be made to New Journey United Methodist Church, 302 Cedar St. Niles, Michigan, 49120, newjourneyumc.or/; or to Fernwood Botanical Garden, 13988 Range Line Road, Niles, Michigan, 49120, fernwoodbotanical.org. Online condolences may be left at:

halbritterwickens.com.

Helen’s great love of life was clearly due to her love of the people around her. She remained a loyal “Massillon Tiger” in honor of her high school days; was always proud of OWU and her activities there; and a hostess is defined – in part – by the invited guests. Her greatest love was reserved for her family; all fulfilling our scriptural direction to love God and love people.

Giving

Niles Burn Run returns this month for 20th ride

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 892,469 cases, 19,548 deaths

Dowagiac

SMC Board of Trustees adopts 2021-22 budgets

Berrien County

South Bend man gets prison for robbery of Niles business

Dowagiac

PHOTO STORY: Dowagiac Elks celebrate Flag Day

Edwardsburg

Motorcyclist injured in Edwardsburg crash

News

PHOTO STORY: Niles Summer Concert Series kicks off with Bob Seger tribute band

News

Niles Police Log: June 2-9

Buchanan

PHOTO STORY: Buchanan High School graduates Class of 2021

News

Hit-and-run injures Niles woman

News

Niles natives collaborate on song

Dowagiac

Young Professionals of Greater Dowagiac visit Dowagiac Rotary

Cass County

Two sentenced on meth charges in Cass County Court

Edwardsburg

Drugs found in Ontwa Township residence

Dowagiac

Annual Sister Lakes wakeboard tournament to return in August

Cass County

Homeless man gets jail time for stealing vehicle in Dowagiac

Berrien County

Illinois man dead, Benton Harbor teen arrested after two vehicle Oronoko Township crash Monday

Dowagiac

Long-lost friends, Navy veterans reunite after 58 years

Berrien County

Honor Credit Union announces Tracy Sanders as VP of operations

Dowagiac

Dowagiac students named to Saint Mary’s College dean’s list

Edwardsburg

Local dispensaries donate to Ontwa Township/Edwardsburg Police Department

News

Brandywine grads aim to achieve dreams in the film industry

Buchanan

Buchanan schools will have shorter Wednesdays starting fall 2021

Education

Parents, district respond after homophobic Snapchat messages surface