Eloise Arley Dunkin

Published 11:52 am Friday, September 23, 2022

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Feb. 14, 1929-Sept. 20, 2022


Eloise Arley Dunkin, 94, of Niles, passed away at Lakeland Hospital in Niles on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.
Arley was born on Feb. 14, 1928, to the late Raymond and Esther (Saffran) Briggs in Niles, Michigan. After graduating from Niles High School in 1946, she wed Robert W. Dunkin at a ceremony in Niles. Arley worked at Simplicity and retired from Niles Community Schools after 18 years of being a school bus driver.
In her early years, she volunteered at Pawating (Lakeland) Hospital as a candy striper and later was a member of the Red Hat Society. Arley enjoyed bowling, traveling, square dancing, and researching her family’s ancestry. If you knew her, then you also knew she loved to play cards and was a feared opponent in a game of Euchre. She continued to be social and active by joining her friends for breakfast and traveling from house to house to play Hand and Foot.
Arley, or “Great” as most of her family called her due to her special relationships with her great-grandchildren, loved her family fiercely and led by example with her kind, forgiving, but also feisty personality. She was frequently seen in attendance at many activities her great grand kids were involved in. She was usually recognized by the flare of color in the front of her hair which often represented their team colors. She was always their biggest cheerleader!
Great was a member of the First Presbyterian Church most of her adult life and was Christlike in every sense of the word. Arley’s door was always open welcoming everyone. She loved to tell stories and often stated she wanted to become an actress. Her ability to listen intently and to kindly give advice to those around resulted in many friends of the family calling her “Mom” or “Grandma Dunkin.” She may have broken the record for the most visitors during her stay at West Woods of Niles.
Arley was strong-willed and independent until her final days. She was unstoppable! Her legacy will live on in the hearts of those who knew her. She will be greatly missed. In her words, “Till Better Pay.”
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Robert Dunkin; daughter, Patricia Hoadley; and siblings, Lee Dennis Briggs, Raymond Briggs Jr., Eileen DeLong and her grandson Sgt. Shawn Dunkin, U.S. Army who gave the ultimate sacrifice in battle in Baghdad, Iraq on Feb. 19, 2007.
Arley is survived by her son, Micheal Dunkin of Joanna, South Carolina; grandchildren, Angie (Jerry) Wagley and Brandon (Denise) Hoadley, both of Niles, Tracie Dunkin, Erin Long, and David (Jennifer) Long; 11 great-grandchildren, Kade and Arley Wagley, Alex and Nicholas Hoadley, Kennedy Ridenour, Jacob Minor, Jayden Sweetenburg, Jenna Bishop, Julia Serio, Carson Long, and Scarlett Long; 2 great-great-grandchildren; and many extended family members and close friends.
The family will be holding a graveside memorial gathering at Mission Hills Memorial Gardens on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, at 3 p.m. with a Celebration of Life Open House to follow at the Niles Elks Lodge 1322 from 4-7 .pm.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: The Sergeant Shawn Dunkin Scholarship Fund, c/o People’s Bank, 151 Court Street Covington, VA 24426. Condolences, photos, and memories may be left for the family atĀ www.BrownFuneralHomeNiles.com.
The family would like to thank everyone at West Woods of Niles, Spectrum Health Lakeland Niles Hospital and Emergency Room Department for providing such excellent care of Arley.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Services, of Niles.