Barbara Ann Dunbar

Barbara Ann Dunbar was born in 1952 in Corpus Christi, Texas to the late Betty and Bruce Albertson. Barbara, also known by some as “Nonnie”, never met a stranger and was loved by all who knew her.  She graduated from Churchland High School in 1970. Throughout her life, she held various office management positions and eventually moved into volunteer work. She was a dedicated Yorktown Master Gardner promoting nature learning for both adults and children. In her volunteer work, she shared her love for the environment, aided in writing grants, attended conferences, and encouraged others to channel their inner green thumb. She initiated the Jr. Master Gardner program at several elementary schools, plus Schoolyard Habitats Outreach, Project Learning Tree, the Monarch Initiative, etc. at numerous York County schools. She won many awards for her volunteer work including the Hampton Roads Alliance for Environmental Education (HRAEE) award for excellence in 2005, the York County outstanding volunteer award in both 2007 and 2013, plus York County School Division volunteer monthly awards, etc. Barbara enjoyed the outdoors, whether it meant planting native plants in her garden or walking the Noland trail with Reb, the love of her life.
She had a deep care for animals and could also be found spending time with her dog Pruner and cat Hemi. Not only did she show love to the Earth, but also deeply loved her family and friends. Barbara loved cooking meals that could feed an army, hosting game nights, and having an annual Christmas Eve party. She was the Sun personified, optimistic, a great listener, a helping hand, a wonderful homemaker, loving wife, mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, and a diligent worker.

Barbara is survived by her husband William “Reb” Dunbar; sister Brenda Sivils; brother Bruce “Bud” Albertson; son Donald Dunbar (Montana); daughter Amanda Cooper (Brian); grandchildren Karli Covell (Adam), Mackinsey Mills (Clayton), Cameron Dunbar, Autumn Dunbar, William Cooper; great-grandchild Koda Mills. She is also survived by mother-in-law Margaret Mitchell and sister-in-law Jeannie Diodato as well as her nieces and nephews.

To my dear Barbry: You were the most “cute-i-ful” girl ever, the love of my life, I’ll miss you forever, but we’ll be together again…”-Reb

The family will receive friends, to remember Barbara Ann Dunbar, on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Peninsula Funeral Home, with a funeral service following at 6:30 p.m., in the chapel at the funeral home.  The CDC highly recommends masks for inside gatherings. Interment will be at Albert G. Horton, Jr., Memorial Veterans Cemetery on Monday, February 28 at 2:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like to encourage charitable donations to be made to the Virginia Living Museum, 524 J Clyde Morris Blvd, Newport News, VA 23601 (

Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.



  1. Felice Bond

    Offering my deepest sympathies to Barb’s family. I worked with her in the Master Gardener and the Master Naturalist programs and witnessed her love of the environment and her enthusiasm for sharing that with children.
    Here is a quote from Penny Whitehouse: Every child needs a parent, grandparent or friend who will say let’s go, it’s time for an adventure. Add the word teacher to that list of people, and you have the essence of Barb Dunbar.

  2. Joyce P. Ballew

    Barb was always so bubbly and always smiling. I knew her through a mutual friend. Although I did not know her well I know without a doubt the loss her family and friends are going to go through without her. My deepest sympathy to you, her family and friends

    Joyce Ballew

  3. Lynnette Aydlett Willis

    Babb’s was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, much less being related. I pray God will wrap His arms of comfort around each of you as only He can do during this time.

  4. Helen Kuhns

    Barb, you were an inspiration to those around you. I was always in awe of the work you did with your local students and how much you supported the environmental education community. My favorite memories will always be rooming with you at conferences, tagging monarchs at Hoffler Creek and hiking the White Oak Trails while chatting about all sorts of fun or spooky stuff. You were a great friend and a powerful mentor. You are sorely missed. Rest well, Lady, and be at peace.

  5. Amy Newman Kartage

    Barbara was a good friend since moving to Churchland. She was always smiling and so positive. Whenever I see a monarch butterfly, I think of her. Rest in peace, dear friend. My deepest sympathy to her family.Amy Kartage

  6. Jean Triutman

    I’m so sorry to hear of Barb’s passing. We served on the Beautification Committee together. She was always upbeat and enthusiastic. She will be missed.

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