Lena Rose Dunlap


Lena was born and raised in Dayton, Tennessee, and was the daughter of Floyd Suttles and Verna (Massengale) Suttles, both of whom proceeded her in passing.
Lena had four sisters, Reba Rice, Joyce Wymer, Margaret Frizzell, Vivian Burnett and two brothers Bobby Suttles and Leon Suttles. She is survived by her sisters, Margaret and Vivian, and brother, Bobby.
Lena was married to Charles "Chuck" David Dunlap Sr. for 45 years, and the two were married in Battle Creek, Michigan, March 14, 1958. Chuck had announced his intentions on marrying Lena the first time he saw her across the room of a local club. The two moved to Elkhart in 1965 where Chuck continued his career as a union representative and Lena perfected the role of homemaker.
Together they raised four boys, Charles David Dunlap Jr., David Franklin Dunlap, Anthony Scott Dunlap, Van Alan Dunlap and one daughter Rhonda Jean (Dunlap) James, all of whom currently reside in southwest Florida. Lena has 12 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom adored Lena.
The Dunlap Home (previously known as the Bock Horse Farm) was located just east of the city of Elkhart on old U.S. 20. The long, white, four-board fence that ran for a long stretch down U.S. 20 was the perfect frame to Lena's flower gardens, pastured horses, and loving family life. Lena believed that by providing a pure abundance of love for people, especially children (whether hers or another's), she was providing the strongest foundation possible for the development of a happy and meaningful life. Lena's warmth and open-hearted approach to life touched everyone she ever met, and she never knew the meaning of the word stranger.
Lena's children wish to express their gratitude for the outpouring of love, care, nurturing and guidance they received from their parents. To say the Dunlap kids were simply blessed would be an understatement of the word. The Dunlaps moved to Bristol in 1976 shortly before the construction of the U.S. 20 bypass called for the removal of the family farm. Upon retiring, the Dunlaps moved to Middlebury and began sharing their time between their home in Middlebury and southwest Florida where their children and grandkids now reside.
Lena's impact on her family and everyone she knew and loved will never diminish and her traits will be passed on through the generations of her family.
Lena was also proceeded in passing by her husband Chuck Sr., her son Chuck Jr. and her infant son Ricky Alan.
The family wishes to thank Don Winski, who filled mom's final years with love, care and companionship. The two shared homes in Dayton, Tennessee, Cape Coral Florida, and have spent the last few years at her home in Middlebury.
Lena was with family when she peacefully passed away on Tuesday morning, May 7, at her home. Lena's presence will be deeply missed; her laughter and love never forgotten. Whether she was cooking, singing, dancing, gardening or caring for her family, Lena did it all with the ease of the gift God had given her.
In honor of Lena Rose, the family requests that instead of sending flowers or donations, please reach out to a loved one and hug them a little tighter or reach out a hand to a stranger. There's a new angel in heaven who will very much appreciate that.
A celebration of Lena's life will be held at her home 53407 C.R. 39, Middlebury, beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 11. All are welcome. In addition, there will be another celebration in Lena's childhood hometown of Dayton, Tennessee, Saturday June 15, at the Bluewater Resort starting at 2 p.m.
Elkhart Cremation Services is entrusted with her arrangements.
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Published on May 9, 2019
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