Cover photo for Ermel J.D. Dunavin's Obituary
Ermel J.D. Dunavin Profile Photo
1927 Ermel 2021

Ermel J.D. Dunavin

June 11, 1927 — February 26, 2021

Ermel J.D. Dunavin, 93, went to his heavenly home with Jesus on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021 at Hanson Hospice Center.

Ermel was born June 11, 1927 in Craighead County, Ark. He married Betty Uneta Harrell of Leachville, Ark. on Oct. 8, 1948. They were married for 72 years. Ermel entered military service in the Army at 18 years old and was stationed in Germany. He retired from Clark Equipment Company in 1986 after 30 years.

They have two daughters: Linda (David) Yeske and Diana (Jan Douglas) Bish. Together they have four grandchildren: Kari (Joe) Palazzolo, Melissa (Eric) Adams, Jeffrey (Lillian) Priebe, and Chad (Nikki) Priebe; nine great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren, with one more on the way.

He is survived by one sister, Oleta (Bob) Birondo of Monette Ark.; and three brothers: Jeff Wayne Dunavin of Lake Village, Ind., Don Dunavin of Sebring, Fla., and Rev. Ronald (Stella) Dunavin of Monette, Ark. He was preceded in death by two sisters, Freida Gray and Vinita Perry; and his parents, Jeff and Tressie Dunavin of Monette, Ark.

Ermel was also “honorary father” to many, including the McIntosh brothers: Frank, Mack, and Steve. We always say these were his “bonus boys”, along with many others in his circle of love, of which he was the center. Ermel loved his girls, but thought he struck gold when his grandsons, Jeff and Chad, were born. They were the apple of his eye, and he taught them how to be men - great men, who grew to honor God, family, and country.

Ermel was an avid gardener and was known for his delicious, red tomatoes. He loved showing his great-granddaughters how to grow the most luscious garden. He was also an avid hunter and fisherman, and loved his annual squirrel hunting trip with his grandsons and great-grandsons. He was also a master builder and left his footprint in the community surrounding Sodus, with six homes he built himself, and one church he and others constructed from the ground up.

Ermel and Betty attended Safe Harbor Church in Sodus, and Bright Star Tabernacle in Eau Claire.

The family lost their Patriarch, their Dad, their Papa, and the many other things he was known for. But in Earth losing him, Heaven gained a great master builder and gardener. We can’t wait to see what he’s up to next when we meet again. We know one thing, his good friend, Frank Traficanto, is waiting with his salt shaker.

There will be a private family service on Monday, March 1 at 11:30 a.m. with a family-only visitation one hour prior at 10:30 a.m. The family would like to invite the public to join them in an honorary funeral procession to Ermel's final resting place at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Those wishing to participate should meet at 12:30 p.m. in the Bright Star Tabernacle parking lot, 5130 Old Pipestone Rd., Eau Claire.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Private Family Services

Monday, March 1, 2021

Starts at 11:30 am (Eastern time)

The public is invited to join the family in an honorary funeral procession to Ermel's final resting place. Please meet at 12:30 p.m. at Bright Star Tabernacle parking lot.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Mount Pleasant Cemetery

, Sodus Township, MI 49126

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