Helen Marie Dunbar – Obituary

Helen “Pidgie” (Bellrose) Dunbar surrounded by her husband, children and brother, was beckoned to the Lord’s embrace on Thursday August 16 after 65 years on earth.  Born April 15, 1953 in Orange, NJ to the late George & Helen Bellrose, she rose from humble beginnings to be the loving wife, caring mother, devoted sister, beloved “Nana” grandmother & matriarch of her family, and a cherished friend to many.

 A life truly well lived, she started out working at a local candy shop in Orange, NJ in her high school years.  After graduating from Valley High School in West Orange, NJ, she was hired as a cashier by a small loan company where she met her future husband, Robert.  Married for 43 years, they built a happy life together filled with love and compassion. 

 A loving mother, Helen made sure her children never doubted they could achieve their dreams and was always home after school to talk about the “news of the day”.  She guided them to adulthood, taught them morale values and kindness, and helped them become God-loving, caring, responsible and productive spouses, parents & citizens. 

 One of her greatest joys came from her role as a beloved “Nana” to her five adoring grandchildren, she shared her wisdom and life lessons with them, along with plentiful hugs and kisses. 

Helen had an exceptional ability to assess the character and integrity of people.  She was also a great listener and confidante to her family and many friends.  She could always be counted on for empathic support.  She had a great gift to make almost anyone feel comfortable sharing their hopes, dreams, or troubles, often seeking her advice and counsel. 

She had a giving spirit and warm heart.  She always thought of others, how to include them in her life, make them comfortable and what she could do for them.  She was always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.  A son of one of her lifelong friends said of her “I think back to when I was a kid and spend my after-school time at your home. It was a picture-perfect childhood memory. Thank you.”.

She was an avid reader, shrewd investor and had a great eye for interior design and decorating.  An accomplished cook and baker, she was a gracious hostess who loved to welcome and entertain family, friends and neighbors in her home.  The Christmas spirit ran deep in her as she filled her home and family with joyful holiday cheer from October to January every year.

She will be sorrowfully missed by her surviving husband, Robert of Wake Forest, NC; and, brother George Bellrose of Cranford, NJ and sister Barbara Harra of Mantoloking, NJ; and, daughters Samantha McCue (Michael) of Coatesville, PA and Megan Dunbar of Burke, VA; and, son Bryan Dunbar (Allison) of Rolesville, NC; and, grandchildren Laura, Julie & Rachel Dunbar of Rolesville, PA, and William & Alexandria McCue of Coatesville, NC.

She will be laid to rest at Gate of Heaven Roman Catholic Cemetery in East Hanover, NJ on Friday August 24. To honor her memory, kindly consider making a donation to the DCI (Duke Cancer Institute) Endocrine Neoplasias and Hormonal Cancers Fund, https://www.gifts.duke.edu/medpp.

A service of Bright Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 405 S. Main St., Wake Forest. (919) 556-5811