Photography

Laverne M. Dunlap

April 24, 2019

Laverne M. Dunlap made her transition on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at her residence.

A celebration of her life will be 10:00am Saturday, May 4, 2019 at the First Presbyterian Church 121 West Ninth St, Michigan City, IN with Rev. John Talley to officiate. Twilight services will be Friday, May 3, 2019 from 2pm to 7pm at the First Presbyterian Church.

LaVerne M. Dunlap was born in Greenwood, Mississippi, July 31, 1947 to the union of Mattie and Sell Dunlap. Her formal schooling started at St. Francis Elementary School in Greenwood where she attended kindergarten.

The family relocated to Kingsford Heights, Indiana in 1953 where she was enrolled at the local elementary school and later attended Union Township High School up to her 10th year.

As a child, LaVerne enjoyed the freedom and security of a small, caring community where she participated in sports and childhood activities such as the 4-H Club, youth centered programs at the 1st Baptist Church of Kingsford Heights and culinary arts as taught within her household and school.

The family moved to Michigan City, Indiana, when LaVerne was a Junior in high school. She completed her preliminary education at Elston Senior High School.

Following graduation, she engaged in several menial employment settings, but particulated and enjoyed an opportunity to care for patients at the Westville Mental Hospital.

Her reality drastically changed when she was hired by the Michigan City Police Department as one of the first females to serve as one of Michigan City’s finest. As a law enforcement officer, LaVerne functioned as street patrol, motorcycle patrol, Front Desk intake, drove the boat for the dive team, Liaison for the high school and undercover agent for the cities of Gary and South Bend while working vice.

One of the highlights of her career was to participate as security for President Obama, when he spoke in Highland, Indiana. She served as a grief counselor, self-appointed placement officer, for small children, when affected by their parents’ misdeeds.  On several occasions she would bring the children to her parents’ home for temporary shelter. That sometimes resulted in   children not wanting to leave.

She remained athletic by playing in softball leagues and bowling faithfully with team a of screaming comrades. She was an active member the Fraternal of Order of Police and participated in various golf outings, while also assisting with internal support counseling.  

She actually became well known amongst her spiritual circle for singing and had a light-weight following.  LaVerne also supported the Jr. Achievement Program providing entrepreneurial experiences for children.

LaVerne reunited with her childhood church, First Baptist of Kingsford Heights, and was summarily elevated to the service of a Mother of the church.

LaVerne’s stylish hats and bling-bling became her signature bravura. As one relative described her "she had a genuine gift to spiritually embrace all who came into her space". 

LaVerne is proceeded in death by her Grandparents George and Betty McMillan, her parents Sel Dunlap Sr. and Mattie Sue McMillan Dunlap, and uncle Grover McMillan. LaVerne suffered greatly at the loss of her sisters: Betty Lue Dunlap, Donia Juanita Dunlap-Smith (Bill), Mattie Dunlap-Ivy (Lewis) and brother Willie A. Davis (Pearl). LaVerne is survived by her brother, Sel Jr. Dunlap.

Left to mourn her transition and celebrate her life is her adopted daughter Patricia Jeanes Duke (Craig), grandchildren: Cameo, Camari, Cameron and Miss Cameela (Mimi), Desemon, six great grandchildren, a truck load of nieces, nephews, cousins and devoted friends to the end.  She will also be missed by her very good friends: Sue Yadavia, Carla Bullis of Michigan City and Kim Hefner of Las Vegas, Nevada.  

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