Treva Louise Dunlap (nee Knapp), wife of Galen Dunlap and co-founder of Dunlap’s Garage, Inc., quietly passed away at her home in Elyria in the early morning hours of Sunday, May 25, 2014. She was 84 years old.
Mrs. Dunlap maintained robust health throughout her life until very recent years, in spite of being diagnosed with diabetes in her early 50′s. During her last few months she lived quietly, though always among friends and family. She was surrounded by her husband, children and extended family in the last days and moments of her life.
Treva Louise Knapp was born on December 19, 1929 in Pittsfield, Ohio, to Lewis and Gladys (Strait) Knapp. She was raised with brothers William and Lewis, as well as their little sister, Juanita in depression-era Wellington; their father a farmer, their mother a homemaker. In those early years, were forged a deep sense of responsibility, and the attributes of strength and frugality.
Perhaps her greatest joy was spending life with her beloved husband, Galen. The couple married November 6, 1948 in Greenup, Kentucky and grew both a large family and successful business during their 65 years of marriage. During their lives together, they spent most days at Dunlap’s Garage, where Treva worked as Vice President until her retirement. Even in retirement, Mrs. Dunlap was a permanent fixture at Dunlap’s, receiving many customers, family members and friends with her quintessential charm. There, she was often the voice of Dunlap’s, answering customer calls, recording important service data but could also be found posting photographs of grandchildren, great-grandchildren on her office walls and completing myriad word find puzzles.
Over the years, Mrs. Dunlap and her husband took time to enjoy the fruits of their labor with trips across the country to visit friends, family and to explore popular destinations. One of the couple’s favorite cities was Las Vegas, where on several occasions she demonstrated remarkable good luck.
One of her other known attributes was her fond affection for animals and wildlife. Most winters, she fed wild birds at the first frost to the last snow melt from her back patio. She fostered feral cats, one of whom came to live at Dunlap’s and whom she named “Miss Kitty”. She and her husband kept a few domesticated cats and dogs over the years; their last an Irish Setter named “Big Red,” after which they named a bright red wrecker in Dunlap’s fleet. Mrs. Dunlap also had a distinct fondness for owls and amassed a large menagerie of owl collectibles in their home.
Mrs. Dunlap set her own style with trendy coifs and a collection of southwestern-inspired silver and turquoise jewelry. She enjoyed watching everything from sports to dramatic television alongside her husband in the evenings. Together they enjoyed listening to country music, dining out and hosting large family gatherings.
Mrs. Dunlap is survived by her husband, Galen Lawrence Dunlap; one son, Galen Lewis Dunlap (Katherine) of Elyria; four daughters, Yolanda Rister (Dan) of Vermilion, Judy Wiele of Kipton, Linda Lewis of Oberlin and Patricia Justin (Richard) of Oberlin; a supportive niece, Cindy Dunford Springer of Wellington; 14 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and many other family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her beloved son, Robert; parents, Lewis and Gladys (nee Strait) Knapp; sister, Juanita; and brothers, William and Lewis.
Family will receive friends 4 to 7 P.M., Thursday, May 29, 2014 at The Laubenthal Mercado Funeral Home 38475 Chestnut Ridge Road (at State Rt. 57), Elyria, (440) 322-4626, where funeral services will be at 10:30 A.M., Friday, May 30, 2014. Burial will be at LaPorte Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Mercy New Life Hospice.