Barbara Kemp Dunlap

September 21, 1931July 6, 2021

Barbara Kemp Dunlap, 89, a decades-long resident of Rockbridge County, died July 6, 2021 with family by her side. She was born to Alan R. Kemp, Sr. and the former Miriam Louise Willoughby of Maplewood, NJ. She loved her Yankee heritage and was proud that both her father and grandfather were long-time mayors of Maplewood. She spoke of idyllic summers of her youth on Montauk, Long Island and said that her goal in attending Centenary College in NJ was to learn to knit and play bridge. As was the custom, she married soon after college and started having children. The growing family moved first to a dairy farm in Windsor, MD and later to a beef farm in Brownsburg. Despite her urban roots, Rockbridge County was home. Her little farm in Timber Ridge was a sanctuary for birds and stray cats and her headquarters for tracking the stock market, promoting conservative Republic candidates and causes, and acting as watchdog over the local school board. Barbara was particularly devoted to her youngest daughter Carol, who she faithfully transported to her job at Kroger for 27 years and to weekly bridge club games which they both enjoyed. “Mom and Carol” were typically said in the same breath, as though it was one typewriter key. She is survived by her five children: Carol Dunlap of Roanoke, Va; Sarah Shelton (Brad) of Advance, NC; John Dunlap (Victoria) of Greenville, Va; Thomas Dunlap (Pam Weisend) of Copper Hill, Va; and Deborah Shenk of Roanoke, Va; brother, Alan R. Kemp, Jr. (Page) of Richmond, Va; 10 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and many beloved nieces and nephews. She was pre-deceased by her parents and her brother, William H. Kemp.

Mindful of the increased spread of Covid-19 and concerned for the health of all, the family of Barbara Dunlap regrets the indefinite postponement of the celebration of her life. Without a reliable date to gather safely, we invite you instead on Aug. 7 to remember our mother by planting a zinnia, playing a hand of bridge, engaging in political discussion, or filling the birdfeeder.

Relatives and friends may share condolences and memories with the family by visiting


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


Barbara Kemp Dunlap

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Rachel B Johnson

July 21, 2021

Barbara and I knew each other via the Brownsburg, VA Elementary School PTA. She was a fireball, advocating for her daughter, Carol, and a supporter of all students. She was an activist !!! I often thought of her as " the Bernadette Devlin of Brownsburg" because her energy was similar to that famous Irish activist. I was able to tell her about that appellation several years ago. She was a great lady and I will remember her.

Laura Jackson

July 10, 2021

Years ago when I arrived in Raphine - a yankee and new farmer’s wife - Barbara offered to become my “Lexington Mother”
sharing her family, friendship, and home with me. We have remained friends for almost 50 years. My memories of our time together remain vivid and sustaining. Sending love to Deb, Tom, John, Sarah and Carol. Laura

Cher McCoy

July 8, 2021

I am saddened by the loss of my good friend Barbara! I will pray for the the repose of her soul and may God grant her eternaly peace.
I will miss you my dear friend.

Rebecca Pryor

July 7, 2021

Dear Sarah and Family,

I am so sorry to hear of your mom's passing....what a beautiful photo of her! I have many fond memories of her and growing up with your family - prayers for comfort and peace.

Rebecca Riley Pryor

Beth Johnson (Groombridge)

July 7, 2021

Barbara was a close family friend when we lived on Walker's Creek. She was always kind and compassionate, an advocate and a leader. A wonderful lady.
Deepest sympathies to the family.

KC Critzer

July 6, 2021

I'm truly sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Much love 💙

John Anfin

July 6, 2021

What a wonderful caring and supporting friend Barbara was to my wife Dana. Barbara was always there for Dana with advice, friendship and love. She was a strong remarkable woman.