Murphy Funeral Homes


Esther D. Dunlap

January 6, 1928February 10, 2021

Esther "Peggy" Dunlap, 93, died Feb. 10, 2021 at her home of 66 years in Falls Church, VA with family by her side.

She is survived by her three daughters and their husbands: Margaret and Richard Racine, of Colonial Beach; Katherine Orlins, of Sterling; and Carol and Michael Scruggs, of Vienna. Others include her grandchildren and their spouses: Emily Isenberg and husband, Ethan, of Richmond; Melanie Orlins Miller, and husband, Max, of Buffalo, NY; Andrew Scruggs, and wife, Diana, of Sterling, and their two children; and Bryant Scruggs, and wife, Sabina, of San Diego. She also leaves behind scores of nieces and nephews. A granddaughter, Marion Righter Owens, died several years ago.

Until recently, she was active in dancing, tai chi, walking, bridge, the Elks Lodge, and her beloved Lewinsville Presbyterian Church. She was a longtime community volunteer, including service in the Clinton White House. She was a seasoned traveler with trips to China, Russia, Transcaucasia, much of Europe and elsewhere. She was an avid reader and lifelong learner.

She was born 12th of the 13 children to Joel and Vivian Denning of Wayne County, NC. After graduating from Grantham High School, she arrived in Washington DC for a job at the FBI, where she remained for several years. In 1950, she married William L. Dunlap, a WWII Marine and fellow member of the federal workforce. They were married until his death in 1994. She took time off while her children were young but later returned to the government with positions at the U.S. Interior and Labor Departments until she retired in 1989.

In lieu of flowers, contributions are suggested for Lewinsville Presbyterian Church,1724 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, VA 22101 or a charity of your choice.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Dunlap family.

You are cordially invited to attend an online memorial service for Peggy Dunlap on Sunday, February 28, 2021, at 3:00 PM, Eastern Time. The gathering will be hosted by Peggy's church, Lewinsville Presbyterian Church, of McLean, Virginia.

Join the Zoom meeting at:

Meeting ID: 880 6870 9143 Passcode: 758060

Dial by your location for audio only: +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC) Meeting ID: 880 6870 9143


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Esther D. Dunlap

have a memory or condolence to add?

Dorothy Best

March 1, 2021

Thank you Robin for expressing so beautifully the feelings that many of us shared with our Aunt Peggy. My mother was one of her sisters and our house was one of the places that she and Uncle Bill brought their young family when they visited North Carolina, and I remember vividly going to visit them in Washington DC . I too want to be just like her. The service was a perfect tribute to a life well lived. I am so thankful that I am a part of her legacy. Love and prayers to Kathy, Carol, and Margie and their families . Dot Best

Robin Denning

March 1, 2021

The wheel is now complete again. In 1968, the first of the 13 Denning children died unexpectedly, my father, and I saw a wreath at his funeral shaped like a broken wheel. Someone explained to me that it was a symbol of losing the first sibling in a family.

The Dunlap family provided comfort and support after my father's death, in a way that continues to sustain me. As a child I had memorized their phone number (1-703-EL6-4385) and it came in handy in recent years when I got an urge to chat with Aunt Peggy. We talked now and then. I don't really remember what we talked about, but I do remember how I felt when talking to her. It reminds me of a well-known quote attributed to Maya Angelou "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Well, wait a minute - I do remember something she told me, and it was this "Robin, I think of you every day. I love you." It seemed extreme to say that, but maybe if I think about all the things that happened to her during her lifetime, maybe I do understand why she would say that. The thing that struck me is that it was very important to her that I know how much she loved and cared about me and my life.

I get the sense she made everybody feel that pure love and she had infinite amounts to give. She had enormous capacity.

Aunt Peggy was a bright light and I want to be just like her. In so many ways, I want to be just like Aunt Peggy. I'll leave it at that. I am sitting next to my own remarkable mother and I don't want to make her jealous. <- that's a joke.

As much as it pained me every time a member of the original family passed, including this time - I am grateful that the wheel is no longer broken.

March 1, 2021
Yesterday was the memorial service for Aunt Peggy and I wanted to speak, but wasn't sure what to say. This morning, the words came easily.

Carol Dunlap Scruggs

February 28, 2021

Dear Friends,

Here is the link for today's 3 p.m. online memorial service:

Peggy Dunlap's (Esther Dunlap) Memorial Service

Time: Feb 28, 2021 3:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 880 6870 9143
Passcode: 758060

Dial by your location for audio only:
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
Meeting ID: 880 6870 9143

Margaret Racine

February 22, 2021

I tried to call you to tell you a funny story. No matter what was going on, you would hear my story. I remember how you loved music and would play the piano downstairs. You loved us so much. Then, sometimes you would say "I need to go to North Carolina" and you also loved all the sisters and brothers that were part of the people that were so in love with you. Thank you for being my wonderful mother.

Judith Kolasky

February 19, 2021

I first became acquainted with Peggy at Lewinsville Church. We shared conversation and coffee - and an occasional 'gooey' while laughing at mutual experiences. Our relationship transposed itself to breakfast and lunch, especially at McLean Family Restaurant!
Within a year or two we were taking Bible studies at the church. On a Getaway trip with
the church we spent time together, and came to realize we both love to play bridge! That sealed our relationship into frequent get-togethers (when she was not dancing!)
We travelled together on an European trip with J.Clark We visited Germany and saw the Passion play at Oberammagau. And also with J., a concert in Vienna and Sacher Torte at the hotel. All in All we shared fun experiences, and quiet moments in Christian love.
Judy Kolasky

Carol Dunlap Scruggs

February 17, 2021

Just "stopped by" this page and on behalf of Mom's family, I want to thank all of you for your kind words and the many generous gestures of support made over the past month. Mom loved you all! We will update this page with memorial plans. To keep things safe, it will be an online service. Regardless, we hope you will join us!

With love,

Melinda Buchko Keuroglian

February 17, 2021

I have know Peggy, “Mrs. Dunlap”, most of my life having grown up across the street from her and Bill. She was a wonderful neighbor and kept an eye on my Mom, Marty Buchko, for many years. She was a lovely, warm person with a genuine big ole heart. I know she will be missed by her family and friends. Be comforted with the knowledge that she is with our Lord and dancing in heaven.

Robert J. Denning

February 16, 2021

And now, that wonderful generation of Denning siblings are all together again. Their legacy is far reaching, and will be never ending.

To Margy, Cathy and Peggy,
I have far too many memories of Aunt Peggy to note here. My fondest are the Denning family reunions, and the winters she spent in Boynton Beach. She constantly amazed me with her energy and spirit of adventure. She is missed, but will never be forgotten.

With love,
Denise and Rob Denning

Michael Buchko

February 16, 2021

Seems like I have known Peggy my entire life. Lived across the street for many, many years. Used to visit when in the area.
My siblings and I spent many a day playing with her children. Margie the one I knew best. Was as good as they come in my book. Bill a good friend of my Dad's. Sure hope someone contacts me so I can visit her one more time and say goodbye.

Laury Bender

February 16, 2021

I knew Peggy from church, but also shared her love of dancing. She was an inspiration with her smile, sense of humor, optimism, bridge expertise, and how she aged so slowly and graciously. She will be missed by many.