Heather Dunbar (71) passed away in her home in Van Etten, NY on February 5, 2022. Heather engaged with decades of fresh talent, mentoring and supporting the best from us. Lay linguist, incredible communicator, engaging interviewer, writer and speaker- she loved interpretive literature and it would come out in her allegory storytelling. She was a broadcaster, maybe best known for her 22 years hosting country and bluegrass on WVBR-FM's “the Salt Creek Show.” She warmly met you at the door to the best live music, making sure bands could afford to play Ithaca area venues and fundraising thousands from time to time in the most grassroots of ways. She presented expert talks and touring bands. Sometimes she'd stop by and end up weeding your garden.
What will this world be like without her?
If you have photos or stories you would like to share with the family, please send to Lansing Funeral Home, 32 Auburn Road, Lansing, NY 14882 or by e-mail: LansingFuneralHome@gmail.com.
Heather was predeceased by her parents, Milly Ann and Jack Dunbar, and by siblings, John Douglas Dunbar and Hal Davis Dunbar. She is survived by her daughter, Sara Juran, former-spouse, Jeffrey Juran, and siblings, Holly Dunbar Claire Beaudet, Laurel Dunbar Coutts, and Leslie Garriott. A memorial is planned for June 5, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. at Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve in Newfield, NY, followed by a gathering at Sweet Land Farm, 9732 NY-96, Trumansburg, NY 14886. To view the event on Facebook, please click here.
Heather was a frequent patron to the Van Etten Library and always had something to talk about or new knowledge to share. She just had a way of telling stories that kept you hooked. I know how much she left an impact wherever she went. She will be missed.
Melissa N. Mar 25 2022 12:34 PM
A candle was lit in memory of Heather Dunbar
Renaye Ohillios Mar 6 2022 9:13 PM
Will miss her shes in my prayers
Stanley Fortuna Mar 2 2022 4:36 PM
New to the area, met her became friends , will miss her, she's in my prayers
Stanley Fortuna Mar 2 2022 4:35 PM
Heather was so kind to me, both as a student on WVBR and again as a parent, offering to be a 'local contact' if my student needed one. A heart of gold and a fount of stories and wisdom. She will be truly missed by the whole community.
Howard Greenstein Mar 1 2022 8:32 PM
Heather had a great radio voice. One you just had to listen to when she spoke, and she had a lot to say. Phil and I got to know her quite well when we engaged her to help us research and locate the music of the American West to supply a soundtrack for a video show we did on Art of the American West. The show would accompany a traveling collection of Western masterpieces: think Beirstadt, Catlin, Russell, Remington, O'keefe, and many more. Much of this art is highly narrative and has inspired songs which have gone down in our collective memory: "Windy Bill", "The Streets of Laredo", and many more. Heather knew this material well, and helped us create a fabulous show. This was back in the day, in the 80s actually, when one needed to borrow vinyl records and make recordings to find the songs, and then track down the rights. Heather did it all, and without her help,we would not have had a show. She taught us so much. Since then we remained friends, attending her wedding, and seeing her beautiful daughter Sara grow up. Just recently, Heather came out not once but twice, for local screenings of our latest film. She was a great light and I am grateful to have known her.
Annie Michel Feb 28 2022 8:48 PM
Those we love don't go away,
they walk beside us every day.
Unseen, unheard, but always near,
still loved, still missed and very dear.
We are sorry for your loss.
Aija, Seppo, Jemina & Selina Sillanpää
Aija Sillanpää Feb 27 2022 1:30 AM
I met Heather in the late 70s, not long after she "stuck a pin in the map" and moved to Ithaca, almost on a whim. What an impact she had on her adopted hometown! Though we had relatively little contact in recent years, she remained a warm and loyal friend. Heather truly was one of a kind, and will be greatly missed by many. Extending heartfelt condolences to her daughter (the love of her life) and her sisters.
David Fogel Feb 26 2022 6:36 PM
A candle was lit in memory of Heather Dunbar
Kristiina Heptig Feb 26 2022 3:15 PM
Heather was a strong, early connection between the student community at WVBR and the surrounding populance. Interestingly, that connection is now vital for the survival of the station. It will sadden me on my next trip to Ithaca to know that Heather and I will not cross paths — except in my memory.
John Henrehan Feb 26 2022 8:54 AM