I Remember Helen

The house on the end of Monroe Avenue is very special.
The Dunlaps live there!

We get to walk there often from Highlawn Elementary School for lunch--four blocks down, four blocks back.
And Mrs. Dunlap is there--with her smiling face--and glistening eyes--and a good lunch.
And always an encouraging word. "There's that bright young man!"
I tell my newest joke to her smiling face and have her full attention--the eyes sparkle, and now it comes, quietly, sincerely, with the ever-present smile: "Oh, ha ha ha!" Each syllable clearly and merrily pronounced. Does she really laugh like that? I feel very special at her attention.

We get to watch parts of Queen for a Day and Truth or Consequences on their television!
"Forty-niner, David," comes her gentle, smiling call when he gets too close and blocks another's view.
The neighbor knocks. "Why Eddie, what a gentleman, taking your shoes off to come inside!" That smiling face, then "Take your shoes off at the door, walk in stockings on the floor," she quotes.
I have scratches on my arm from the cat. "Robin, we'll put some Bactine and a Band-Aid on this; bring them here please." That special attention again.

"Douglas, bring me Law and Order," comes the rare, stern reprimand when necessary.
The long stairs to the attic are perfect for walking the Slinky down.
The steep roof is perfect for playing Ante Over. Or is it Auntie Over? Her head goes back a bit. "Ha ha ha!"
Another gentle call. "Kool-Aid!"

I'm going to the Dunlaps' for supper! Mr. Dunlap asks me questions about the chalkboard to my left. Time and again I gullibly look at it to give an answer. Suddenly I notice my plate of food, silverware, napkin, and drink are gone! Everyone laughs that I have been tricked, and everything reappears from under the table. Helen smiles to let me know she is on my side and it's all right.

And then they move.
All the way down to Teays Valley.
It takes longer to get there, but the trip is very special.
Valley Drive-In. Thompson's Crossing.
Scary Creek Bridge, everyone!
Then up the hill to the left and out the winding road. Dead man's curve!
Turn here, then Mount Vernon Baptist Church, down the dip and up the other side, slowing down, "Oh, there they are, out in the yard!"
Cindy! David! Doug! Robin!
And Rod's strong smile, and Helen's beaming face and twinkly eyes again!
We get to spend the night! "Lights out, boys," her voice smiles to us in the dark.
That gentle call again, this time from the top of the stairs: "Pancakes!"
Up we go, and she has let Cindy make the hot brown sugar syrup!
Too soon we're home again.

Bridge tonight for the grownups.
"Mom, the Dunlaps are here!"
"Look, Mom, all Mrs. Dunlap's cards look like little valentines!" I tease. "Oh, ha ha ha," that special laugh again. I love that laugh.

We are home for Christmas. Rod brings her by Seven Keiffer one last time. The smile is trying to be there, too. The eyes glisten only a little, as from a distance.

Another Christmas we visit her in her new home where she curls up on the big chair, hands clasped beneath her head on the chair's arm. Her eyes search, try to recognize us. Just a bit of a smile for me.

Cindy's e.mail that Helen is gone comes as a softened blow.

And I see that merry smile again and hear that light laugh.

I love you, Helen Dunlap.

"I love you, too, John Gwin."

Photo credits: top, WV rhododendron (like grew at Uncle Ted's cabin!) taken from the internet; above, Rod and Helen in the carport at 7 Keiffer Drive by Adrian Gwin.
Return to http://helendunlap.netmemoriam.com

Above, clockwise from Helen: Robin, Cindy, Doug, David. Photo appears to be taken at
Doug's and Robin's bedtime one evening when Rod must've been working.
It appears to me that this was taken at the Monroe Avenue residence, but it could have been in Teays Valley.     Photo by Adrian Gwin

The Dunlaps, Adrian and Dot Gwin, and one other couple gathered at the Dunlap home in Teays Valley to celebrate Rod's and Helen's 50th anniversary in 1994.
l-r: Dave, Cindy, Helen, Robin, Rod, Doug.    
Photo by Adrian Gwin

Obits and Other Bits

Name: Helen M. Dunlap
SSN: 235-18-9470
Last Residence: 25168  Red House, Putnam, West Virginia, United States of America
Born: 28 Jun 1918
Last Benefit: 25560  Scott Depot, Putnam, West Virginia, United States of America
Died: 9 Jul 2003
State (Year) SSN issued: West Virginia (Before 1951)

Roderick O. Dunlap

SCOTT DEPOT - Roderick O. Dunlap, 79, of Scott Depot died March 29, 1998, in Memorial Division, CAMC, of heart disease.

He was a member of Mount Vernon Baptist Church, Hurricane, a graduate of South Charleston High School, a World War II veteran and was retired from Union Carbide.

Surviving: wife, Helen Dunlap; daughters, Cynthia Ellis of Scott Depot, Robin Elley of Incline Village, Nev.; sons, David of Aurora, Colo., Douglas of Nitro; sisters, Beulah Pritt of Scott Depot, Prible Butler of South Charleston, Lena Pauley of Dutton, Ala., Reba Angel of Libert Hill, S.C.; three grandchildren.

Memorial service will be 2 p.m. Wednesday at Mount Vernon Baptist Church with Pastor Curt Brown officiating. Friends may call one hour prior to service at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Alzheimer's Association, 400 Allen Drive, Charleston, W.Va. 25302.

Summary Data from Several U. S. Census Reports Regarding Helen's and Rod's Families

Name: Helen V Mccoy
Home in
Wirt, WV
Age: 1
[1 3/12] 
[abt 1918] 
POB: West Virginia
R2HOH: Daughter
Father: Carl E Mccoy
FPOB: West Virginia
Mother: Eva B Mccoy
MPOB: West Virginia
Name Age
Carl E Mccoy 34
Eva B Mccoy 28
Kathleen F Mccoy 5
Mildred Y Mccoy [4 1/12] 
Bernice A Mccoy [2 11/12] 
Helen V Mccoy [1 3/12] 

Name: Quincy Dunlop
[Quincy Dunlap
Home in
Black Band, Kanawha, WV
Age: 2/12
DOB: Apr 1900
R2HOH: Son
Father: Gol* Dunlop
Mother: Maggie Dunlop
Name Age
Gol* Dunlop 25
Maggie Dunlop 20
Quincy Dunlop 2/12
Name: Golden H Dunlap
Age: 34
YOB: ca. 1876
Birthplace: West Virginia
R2HOH: Head
[Self (Head)
FPOB: West Virginia
MPOB: West Virginia
Spouse: Maggie C Dunlap
Home in
Kanawha, WV
Name Age
Golden H Dunlap 34
Maggie C Dunlap 30
Lunce E Dunlap 10
Claude M Dunlap 8
Pribbe W Dunlap 7
Cornie E Dunlap 4
Beola Dunlap 2
Reba N Dunlap 4/12
Name: Roderick O Dunlap
Home in
South Charleston,
Kanawha, WV
Age: 1
[1 9/12] 
YOB: abt 1919
[abt 1918] 
POB: West Virginia
R2hoh: Son
Father: Golden H Dunlop
FPOB: West Virginia
Mother: Maggie O Dunlop
MPOB: West Virginia
Name Age
Golden H Dunlop 43
Maggie O Dunlop 40
Quince E Dunlop 19
Claud M Dunlop 18
Pribble N Dunlop 16
Corna E Dunlop 13
Beula B Dunlop 11
Reba N Dunlap 10
Lena Dunlap 8
Theodore A Dunlap 6
Keith A Dunlap [4 8/12] 
Roderick O Dunlap [1 9/12] 
Name: Roderick Dunlap
Home in
So. Charleston,
Kanawha, WV
Age: 11
YOB: abt 1919
R2HOH: Son
Father: Golden H Dunlap
Mother: Margaret C Dunlap
Name Age
Golden H Dunlap 54
Margaret C Dunlap 50
Theodor A Dunlap 16
Keith Dunlap 15
Roderick Dunlap 11

World War II Young American Patriots, 1941-1945

As Listed on Ancestry.com

Name: Roderick O. Dunlap
Rank: Private
Branch: United States Army
Birth Date: 8 Sep 1918
Service Date: Jul 1943
Parent 1 Name: Mr.
Parent 2 Name: Mrs. G. H. Dunlap
Spouse Name: Mrs. Helen McCoy Dunlap
State: West Virginia
County: Kanawha

Transcription of the above:
Pvt., U. S. Army.  Born Sept. 8, 1918.  Entered service July 1943.  North Camp Hood, Tex.; England; France; Belgium; Germany.  Attended So. Charleston H S.  Methodist.  Son of Mr. and Mrs. G. H. Dunlap, 220 Quincy St., So. Charleston, W. Va.   Husband of Mrs. Helen McCoy Dunlap, Capitol St., Charleston, W. Va.

Douglas C. Dunlap, 54, of Alderson, died Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2005.

He was the son of the late R.O. and Helen McCoy Dunlap of Hurricane. Doug graduated from Marshall University, and the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies and was a licensed social worker. He was employed as a family therapist by Timberline Mental Health Agency in Lewisburg and lived by the banks of his beloved Greenbrier River.

He is survived by his daughter, Beth, of Huntington; son, Jon of Nitro; sisters and brothers-in-law, Cindy and David Ellis of Red House and Robin and Brad Elley of Incline Village, Nev.; brother, Dave of Rockport, Texas; and nephews, Jack Elley, Nick Childers, Dave Sales and Mike Sales.

His family expresses their gratitude to Doug's co-workers and friends in Kanawha and Greenbrier counties for their care and attention that allowed him to live independently.

His body has been donated to the Human Gift Registry.

Friends may gather to celebrate his life from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 26 in the Fellowship Hall, First Presbyterian Church of St. Albans at 201 Kanawha Terrace.

In lieu of flowers his family suggests that donations be made to the American Lung Association of West Virginia or the Alzheimer's Association of West Virginia.