Gardening 07

Nelda Lee (Hayes) Dunlap

April 23, 1940 ~ June 19, 2021 (age 81)

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Nelda Lee Dunlap, 81, of Revere, passed away at 12:06 pm on Saturday, June 19, 2021, at her home. 

On April 23, 1940, she was born in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, to Leo Edward Hayes Sr. and Hazel Madeline Hayes (nee Spurlock). On August 4, 1957, a seventeen-year-old Nelda married Walter Carl Dunlap, and together they had three daughters: Sherry, Lisa, and Carla. Together, the family-owned and operated Dunlap Heating and Cooling Services and Nelda handled the bookkeeping and office management side of things. Nelda’s genius and high intellect mirrored her husband’s, and together they made a successful team. With Walter being the early riser and day worker and Nelda being particular to staying up nights, they managed to work around the clock, efficiently maximizing their use of a 24-hour day. 

Nelda was an artist and storyteller, often illustrating her little tales with her own drawings and special touches. She was known for her beautiful and stunning flower gardens filled with iris and hostas. She loved flowers, birds of all kinds and was a dog lover by nature. She lived most of her life surrounded by various German Shepherds and Beagles. Nelda was a great cook, even if Walter wasn’t a particularly good eater, and her family fondly remembers late nights reading encyclopedias and endless copies of National Geographics brought down from the shelves in the office. Episodes of Bob Ross and Victory Garden were preferred TV viewing. Musically, she was a fan of the Dropkick Murphys and considered Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman” to be “her song”. Nelda was a kind spirit and remarkable character whose spirit will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved her. 

Nelda was preceded in death by her husband Walter, brothers Leo Edward Hayes Jr. and Curtis Laverne Hayes, sister Deborah Rochelle Hayes, and son-in-law Kevin Donald Roberts. 

She is survived by her daughters, Sherry Serena Dunlap and Lisa Dianne Dunlap, of Boston, MA, Carla Dawn Dunlap of Revere, MO; grandsons Shaun Michael Dunlap (Rachel) of Revere, MO, and Patrick Shae Roberts. Great-grandchildren include Shaun Walter Dunlap and Samantha Ann Dunlap, also of Revere, MO. Nelda is also survived by sister Darlene “Dee” Lillard (Reed) of Richmond, MO and sister-in-laws Mary Clem of Kahoka, Rose Hayes of Fisk, MO, and brother-in-law Everette (Paula) Dunlap of Plymouth, IL as well as many nieces, nephews, and caring friends. 

At Nelda’s request, there will be no service; however, you are invited to share your memories of Nelda and leave a condolence at

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