When Marilyn Ann Dunlap retired from the family restaurant in 1998, she leapt into a life of travel, spending time with family and volunteering in the community.
"She was very adventurous," said Cris Ann Huff, Marilyn's daughter. "She always felt blessed."
Memorial visitations for Marilyn are set for 5-7 p.m. today at The Center, 12700 Southwest Highway in Palos Park. Service will follow.
Dunlap's was a family run restaurant for more than 60 years in Palos Heights. The restaurant developed a reputation for quality, homestyle food, such as fried chicken and dumplings.
"She really poured her heart and so into that place," Huff said. "She always made everyone feel welcome, the customers and the employees."
The business, which started in 1925 as a concession stand, eventually landed in Palos Heights. In 1937, Dunlap's moved the restaurant into the 6513 W. 123rd location, where it be would for 60 years.
Marilyn came into the picture in 1973, when she married Clem Dunlap, Huff said. He passed away in 1988. Marilyn and Huff became co-owners and ran the place for another decade.
New owners tried to run it as a couple different kinds of restaurants. It's now the Boostma Bookstore Cafe at Trinity Christian College.
“Now, if you were to go in there, you would see some of the same features that we had a Dunlap’s," Huff said. "The fireplace is still there … The feel of it is still there.”
After selling the restaurant, Marilyn dove into a retirement fit for a grandmother (and great-grandmother) who worked hard, Huff said. Marilyn traveled to Norway, Denmark, Nova Scotia, Canada and several states across the country. She spent more time with her large family.
Marilyn also spent part of her retirement volunteering at The Center.
"She really had a sense of family and fellowship with the staff and the different people who were involved," Huff said.
She is survived by daughters Larri Lyn (Larry) Rauch nee Bauer and Kris Huff nee Bauer; grandchildren Ramie (Mickey) Wiltgen nee Rauch and Brett Huff; and great-grandchildren Emma Lyn and Jack Henry Wiltgen.
In lieu of flowers, donations to The Community Center Foundation, 12700 Southwest Hwy. Palos Park, IL 60464, greatly appreciated.
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