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Barbara Dunstan

November 11, 1930 - April 7, 2022
Grand Rapids, MI

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Visitation

Monday, April 18, 2022
10:00 AM to 11:30 AM EDT
Meeting House at Porter Hills Village
3600 Fulton Street East
Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Service

Monday, April 18, 2022
11:30 AM EDT
Live Stream
Meeting House at Porter Hills Village
3600 Fulton Street East
Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Upon entering, follow signs to main building, then turn right (west).

Map

Contributions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Faith Hospice
2100 Raybrook Drive SE, Suite 300
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
(616) 235-5113
Driving Directions
Web Site

American Heart Association / American Stroke Association Memorial or Tribute Donation
PO Box 840692
Dallas, TX 75284-0692
(800) 242-8721
Web Site

Flowers


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 459-3409
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


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A wonderful woman to know and love, Barbara Dunstan lived with the blessing of family and dear friends by her side. With a grace all her own, she used her gifts for the benefit of others, inspiring many along the way. Barbara did everything with precision and practicality. From the way she kept her home, to planning a trip to her everyday work life, she was deliberate and kept things accountable. Her dedication was without end, and her passions and interests exemplified her one of a kind nature. Resourceful and practical; frugal yet giving, she was someone with whom others could rely. Fondly remembered, Barbara lived fully and completely surrounded by those she held most dear and will be deeply missed.

Barbara’s story began during tumultuous times in the U.S. With the onset of the Great Depression, by 1930, the unemployment rate had already reached astounding levels. Prohibition was law of the land while gangsters ran the streets of the big cities. Despite these trying times, entertainment and America’s passion for baseball was indeed a welcome deviation from everyday worries. Yet for Thomas and Doris (James) Lamerton of Detroit, Michigan, the days were made brighter when on November 11, 1930, they welcomed the birth of their little girl, Barbara Joyce into their arms.

The youngest for four children, there were several years between Barbara and her next older brother. As English immigrants, her parents worked hard to offer their family the hopes of tomorrow. Her father supported their household through his work with the Ford Motor Company, and even had the privilege of knowing Henry Ford himself. Her mother remained at home as a homemaker, providing a good and loving home for their family.

Barbara enjoyed a good childhood typical of the times. As a family, summer excursions were often spent visiting extended family in the Upper Peninsula in Ironwood for which she held fond memories. From her earliest years she took piano lessons which served her well throughout her life. Having attended the local schools, Barbara was quite studious and scholarly. She always did well in her studies and especially excelled in spelling bees. She went on to attend Mackenzie High School in Detroit where she graduated with honors. While she had her sights set on the medical field, Barbara took a shorthand class thinking she would need it to take notes in college. As it turned out, she really enjoyed shorthand and typing, and secretarial work suited her personality well.

It was during time spent in Ironwood as a young woman when Barb met the young man who would forever hold her heart, William “Bill” Dunstan. Her cousin pointed him out to her from across the street, and at first Barb even watched him with binoculars! When the two finally met, sparks flew. Although she returned home to Detroit, they first kept in touch with letters, but once Bill moved to Grand Rapids with his family, it was a much closer drive and he made regular visits to see his sweetheart. With a deep and abiding love, Barb and Bill were happily married on June 24, 1950, in Detroit.

The newlyweds settled into a home in Grand Rapids on Crescent Street NE where their family grew to include the blessing of two daughters, Carol and Deborah. Active with their girls and all their activities, they spent every Saturday night as a family at Woodland Roller Rink. Barb and Bill were true helpmates and companions, and their precise personalities matched well together. This was evident in the way they raised their daughters in a home filled with faith. They were longtime members of Eastminster Presbyterian Church. Although strict at times, they were also generous and willing to do anything for those they loved.

Barb kept an immaculate home. She was ever meticulous and very well organized. Always one for routine, she possessed a methodical personality. The family enjoyed regular trips to Detroit (her parents’ home) in the summer when they would take in a tour of the Ford Factory and catch a view of her dad working as well as day trips to Boblo Island, the Detroit Zoo, Henry Ford Museum, and Greenfield Village. As their girls got older they spent two weeks each summer at a rented cottage on Houghton Lake along with her parents where many fond memories were made and enjoyed. She had a great memory and with her attention to detail, she could recite when asked, the exact time they left on any given occasion. It was never a simple, five o’clock, but a more precise, “Oh, we left about 5:24 . . . Barb enjoyed sewing and made many clothes over the years. Her girls absolutely loved all the clothes she made for their Barbie dolls. Barb really loved to bake and made delicious treats for her family and others to enjoy. She’d bring treats to work to celebrate the birthdays of her co-workers, and her “Wacky Cake” was a favorite of all. She also made wonderful pies from scratch stuffed to the brim with fresh fruit. Bill especially loved her homemade apple pies.

Once her daughters were in elementary school, Barb returned to working outside the home as a secretary for Westdale Real Estate. The office was just down the street and she walked to work each day. It wasn’t until she was in her forties that Barb obtained her driver’s license when her workplace relocated further away. This job led to her position at S. J. Wisinski & Company. She took great pride in her attention to detail and enjoyed her work and those she worked with, continuing to do so until she was nearly 78 years old! She even taught Bill to cook since she remained working when he retired.

Barb learned to play the organ shortly after she started working and had one in her home, which was updated multiple times. Not only did she enjoy playing, but it opened up a social element for her and Bill as they were rarely apart. They were active with a group of organist friends called the “organ group”, regularly spending time enjoying dinners, visiting, and time traveling together from annual trips to Chicago to the Lowry Organ Plant to workshops, and social trips that included many cruises. In her spare time, Barb usually had a book in hand as she was an avid reader. Her large collection of hardcover books was of course meticulously organized by author and title.

After 22 years in their family home on Crescent, Barb and Bill decided it was time to move to their next longtime home on Cranbrook NE when Barb’s mother came to live with them after the passing of her father. Later with their daughters grown, married with families of their own, and having eventually moved away, this gave them a chance to travel more, and traveling to their grandkids events, or visiting when the kids needed an extra hand. These trips were often in the spring and fall since the kids lived further south, they could enjoy the warmer climate.

When her beloved Bill passed away in April of 2016, it was truly a difficult time for Barb. Her helpmate and life’s companion, life just wasn’t the same without Bill by her side. Even so, Barb remained steadfast in her faith. She was able to stay in her home with the help of family that had returned to Michigan for which she was grateful. When her age and health issues became apparent a few years ago, Barb made the move to Porter Hills, but only if her organ could move with her as playing provided a sense of calm and peace for her. Once there, she made several new friends over meals in the dining room, times spent at the afternoon movies offered there, and sitting at the tables doing jigsaw puzzles. More recently, Barb’s health took a turn. Following a brief stay in the hospital, she was called home to join her heavenly father.

One of a kind, Barb Dunstan lived life fully and completely surrounded by those who knew her best. With the love of family and many dear friends, she considered herself blessed beyond compare. With ways all her own, she added much to the lives of others. Barb’s family was her greatest joy, and in them she found her delight. A joy to know and love, Barb’s kind and generous legacy lives on through the hearts of those she leaves behind.

Barbara Dunstan, age 91of Grand Rapids, passed away April 7, 2022. She was preceded in death by her husband, William “Bill” Dunstan Jr.; her son-in-law, John Moyer; brothers, Ken & Fred Lamerton; and sister, Madge Lamerton. Barb is survived by her children, Carol & Dale Breen and Deborah Moyer; grandchildren (great grandchildren) and ((great great grandchild)): Jeff & Aleisha Breen (Chase, Kelsey), Mike & Brandy Breen (Skye, Gavin), Laura & Jimmy Horton (Ethan, Austin, Raelynn) ((Ayanna)), Chris Garrison (Carter, Lilly), Sarah Black (Elizabeth, Aidan); brother-in-law, Don Dunstan; sister-in-law, Myrtle Shurmack as well as several nieces and nephews.

The service to remember and celebrate Barbara’s life will be held at the Meeting Space at Porter Hills Village, 3600 E. Fulton in Grand Rapids on Monday, April 18 at 11:30 AM. Visitation will begin at 10 AM. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to either Faith Hospice or the American Heart Association. To read more about Barb’s life, to share a memory or to sign her guestbook, please visit www.heritagelifestory.com.

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