David Parker Dunlap, 85, of Derry Township, an electrical engineer and accomplished craftsman who excelled at carpentry, waterfowl carving, and model ship building, passed into the presence of his Lord on Friday, August 13, 2021.
Born March 29, 1936 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, he was the only son of the late Thomas G. and Grace (Parker) Dunlap. David was raised in Wilmington, Delaware, but attended Staunton Military Academy in Virginia from the eighth grade. He excelled academically, graduating 5th in his class of 114 with the rank of Second Battalion Commander. Though receiving an honors appointment to the USMA at West Point, he opted instead for the University of Delaware, where he graduated in 1959.
For most of his career, David worked for the Hershey Foods Corporation, retiring as Chief Electrical Engineer in 1995. Among his many accomplishments was his work as project engineer for the Kit Kat line at the H.B. Reese Factory after Hershey had acquired exclusive rights to produce the candy bar in the U.S. from Rowntree Ltd. of York, England. He was also project engineer for the construction of Hershey’s manufacturing facility in Stuarts Draft, Virginia in the late 1970s. More recently he was recognized by Hershey for the design, construction, and equipping of the new Corporate Headquarters and Data Center as part of the Hershey Downtown Renovation Project, completed in 1992.
After retirement David was on professional retainer for 14 years at E.L. Heim Co., the largest electrical/mechanical contractor in central Pennsylvania. He was valued for his good humor, expertise and professional experience. He especially enjoyed his consulting work on some of the new roller coaster rides at Hersheypark, particularly the Storm Runner.
David met the love of his life, Patricia, at a fraternity party in 1956. They eloped in Elkton, Maryland on May 11, 1957. They lived at several locations before moving to Hershey in 1969. In 1972, David and Patricia bought 7.5 acres of property in East Hanover Township, which they developed into a beautiful family home and farmette where they raised their three sons.
David enjoyed sailing, travelling abroad, and visiting the seashore. He is perhaps best known for making fine 18th-19th century style furniture, which adorn his home and those of his sons and grandchildren.
David is predeceased by two sisters, Robin K. Beaman and Joan Dunlap Fullerton. Surviving are his wife of 64 years Patricia (Galbraith) Dunlap; sons D. Parker Dunlap, Jr. (Susan Zappa) of Butler, PA, a teacher in the Indiana School District, The Rev. Canon Daniel K. Dunlap (Donna Grow), an Episcopal priest in Church Creek, MD, and Chaplain (LT) Dwight P. Dunlap, USN (Joy Barkley) of Jacksonville, FL; and grandchildren Kirk P. Dunlap, Victoria Dunlap Golub (Devon), Gareth A. Dunlap [Daniel’s children], Josiah P. Dunlap, Nathaniel C. Dunlap, and Sarah N. Dunlap [Dwight’s children].
David was a member of All Saints Episcopal Church, Hershey and attended St. Andrew’s of the Valley Episcopal Church, Harrisburg. A memorial service is being planned, date and time to be announced. Interment will be in Hershey Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.
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