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Happy Mothers Day, Mom


Here's my mom Jane Kennedy Dunlap (and dad, Ward) on their wedding day, Jan. 18, 1944.

Reared in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Mom was the only girl in a family of two brothers, and she was quite the tomboy growing up. That athleticism later helped her become a very fine golfer well into her 50s. She also did a mean tap-dance.


Mom earned her bachelor's degree in art at Michigan Normal College. During WW II, she worked as a drafter at the nearby Willow Run Bomber Plant, helping make B-24 Liberators. Meanwhile, Dad went off to sea, serving as Lt. Commander on the U.S.S. Greenwood, a destroyer escort.


After the war, the pair headed south in the "Gone to Texas II" movement that attracted thousands of post-war vets to Texas. Mom and Dad chose San Antonio, a small military town and Mexican village at that time. But six years later, they moved our family to Dallas, where Mom taught art in junior high schools. Later on, she earned her master's in education from North Texas State University and served as a high school counselor. She retired at age 64 but sadly passed away the following winter of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.


I can just hear Mom bragging to her heavenly pals, "Yes, I died at the same age and of the same disease as Jackie Kennedy."


During their late 50s, Mom and Dad built a golf course home on Cedar Creek Reservoir southeast of Dallas, where they enjoyed lakeside golfing and visits from their two daughters and five grand kids. Sadly, diseases took their toll and both died too young.


All these years later, this still tees me off, but all I can do is whisper, "Happy Mothers Day, Mom," and hope she hears me somewhere.

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