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.

Berrien County

I&M provides update on power outages

Dowagiac

Dowagiac natives return from out of state to host Juneteenth event

News

Mt. Calvary Baptist Church partners to host inaugural Juneteenth festival

Berrien County

Indiana man sentenced to 180 days for stealing catalytic converters

Berrien County

Homeless man gets jail time for assaulting police officer

Berrien County

Some southwest Michigan residents still without power, cleaning up damage following Sunday storm

Berrien County

SMC, LMC among nine community colleges to receive state grants for students enrolled in Futures for Frontliners, Michigan Reconnect programs

Berrien County

Southwest Michigan sees severe storms overnight

News

Niles Police Logs: June 10-15

Cass County

Aircraft crash sends Indiana man to hospital

Dowagiac

Dowagiac man ejected from vehicle in Howard Township

Berrien County

Michigan stepping up speed enforcement during regional traffic safety campaign

Cassopolis

Edwardsburg man sentenced to Adult Treatment Court following home invasion

Dowagiac

Benton Harbor man gets jail for role in Dowagiac fight

Cass County

Man involved in Dowagiac murder sentenced to 26-50 years in prison

Cassopolis

Community members speak out against ‘culture of bullying’ at Cassopolis Public Schools

Cass County

Cass County commissioners approve sidewalk leveling, cleaning contract

Dowagiac

Community rebuilds Little Free Library dedicated to late sister following vandalism incidents

News

Niles bicycle shop to host Pride Ride

Buchanan

Berrien Springs woman dies when vehicle collides with semi in Buchanan

Berrien County

Berrien County Board of Commissioners to resume in-person meetings July 1

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 893,002 cases, 19,598 deaths

Cass County

Dowagiac man, daughter injured in Newberg Township crash

Berrien County

Michigan 4-H eliminates participation fee