Obituary: Nina Dunstan, 88, Ludington.

December 14, 2016
Obituary: Nina Dunstan, 88, Ludington.
Nina D. Dunstan, 88, of Ludington, died on Thursday, December 8, 2016.  Nina was the beloved wife of Thomas S. Dunstan, who died October 20, 2012.  She was born Honoria Dooley on March 13, 1928 in Liscananaun, County Galway, Ireland, the fifth of 10 children of John and Nora (nee Wynne) Dooley. Nina grew up in Galway, and completed her secondary education at Dominican Convent Cabra School outside Dublin. In her 20s, she worked as an assistant in the offices of a civil engineering firm and an accounting firm in Galway.
A blind date with Thomas (Tom), a medical student at University College Galway from Bayonne NJ, led to a 56-year marriage that would take her to three countries. Nina and Tom had four children before the family moved to Nigeria in 1963, where Tom was a medical missionary doctor with the Dominican Order. Nina’s resourcefulness and inner strength made it possible for her husband to focus on treating his patients and for her children to thrive (she home schooled them) in very challenging circumstances. Nina became a familiar member of the local communities, shopping in the open air markets and befriending many in the local community. Her fifth child was born in Emekukwu, Nigeria.
The turmoil of the approaching Biafran Civil War forced the family to return to Galway in 1966. After a year in family practice there, Tom moved the family to Richmond, Virginia, where he completed an orthopedic surgery residency at Medical College Virginia. Nina was an active member of St. Mary’s Parish in Richmond, and began to establish roots in her newly adopted country. She gave birth to her last two children there.
In 1972, Nina moved with her family to Albuquerque, New Mexico. The climate and landscape awakened her lifelong love of nature and outdoor activities. She learned to drive a car and renewed her passion for tennis. She took a great interest in the Native American and Hispanic cultures. The family was active in Our Lady of Assumption Parish.
In 1976 the family moved to Ludington where Nina lived until the year before her death. Nina embraced her new home, continued to play tennis, and learned to swim and ski. Ludington residents remember Nina for her frequent long walks through town. Nina especially enjoyed visiting Ludington State Park, taking daily summer walks with Tom along Ludington harbor at sunset, and cross-country skiing in winter.
Following Tom’s retirement, he and Nina spent time in Ethiopia at a medical mission operated by the Consolata Missionaries, with Italian priests and nuns. Nina helped care for leper women and children while Tom served as a doctor in the hospital.
In addition to raising her children, Nina dedicated her life to service. She was active in St. Simon Church, she was a Eucharistic Minister at Memorial Medical Center, a volunteer at Ludington Area Catholic Schools, and a Hospice volunteer. Nina and Tom were major benefactors of the St. Simon endowment. Throughout her life, Nina’s Christian Faith was of central importance; she was a spiritual seeker and a serious student of the bible. She cared deeply about bringing Jesus’ teachings to her daily life.
In 2003 Nina officially became a United States citizen. Even though she had been living in the U.S. for many years, she was required go through the citizenship process due to a technicality after returning from one of her volunteer trips to Ethiopia. Nina enthusiastically studied for her citizenship tests and was very proud when she officially became a voting citizen.
Nina was predeceased by her husband, and their son, Ciaran, and son-in-law, Loren McCarter. She is survived by three sisters: Freda, Lucy, and Christine; six children: Orla (Robert), Brian (Adrian), Tom (Amy), Conor (Kelly), Aisle McCarter, and Eoin (Sarah); 15 grandchildren: Sean, Daniel, Arianne, Kieran, Taylor, Erin, Thomas, Mickey, Nora, Oona, Calum, Cormac, Brydie, Maggie, and Wyatt; and one great-grandchild, Morgan.
Nina was loved by many and will be greatly missed.
Cremation has taken place and the family is planning a memorial service for early summer, 2017.  Cards and condolences may be sent to Beacon Cremation and Funeral Service in Whitehall Michigan (413 South Mears Avenue, Whitehall, MI 49461).


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