Jan Baxter Dunlap

June 06, 1941 ‒ May 11, 2020

Ontario, Ohio

ONTARIO: “Some souls leave behind a trail of light that is never forgotten.”

Such was the life of Jan Dunlap.  A man of faith, his light extended to countless students as a gifted and dedicated music educator.  To eager Halloweeners, who lined his sidewalk each year to be treated with tricks by the “Magic Man.”  To his friends, who knew him as a witty and caring companion.  To his fellow teachers, who revered him as both an expert in all things musical, and as a seasoned and knowledgeable worldwide traveler, well-read in both military and music history.  And most importantly, to his family, whom he loved so dearly and in turn, was loved so completely.

Surrounded by family, Jan Baxter Dunlap passed into the Lord’s care Monday, May 11, 2020 from OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital, following complications of a recent stroke.  His was a beautiful life of 78 years.

Born June 6, 1941 in Athens, Ohio to Pryce and Thelma (Starbuck) Dunlap, he was a 1959 graduate of Dresden High School.  He earned his Bachelor of Music Education from The Ohio State University in 1963 where he played drums and percussion in TBDBITL.  He earned his Master of Music Education from University of Northern Colorado in 1967.

Jan taught music for 37 years within the Lexington School district.  Yet as he would say, “I’ve never worked a day in my life!” Jan loved motivating students through music.  Decades of superior musicians were first taught by Jan – from early music flutophone classes, to elementary and junior high school bands.  Jan inspired excellence.  He possessed the rare ability to not only explain the importance of music, but also demonstrated how music integrates into all aspects of our lives.

Jan served as the Lexington Assistant Marching Band Director, summer Band Director, and instrument music teacher.  Most recently, he was a member of the Mansfield Federation of Musicians Local 159, playing percussion in their annual summer concert series.

Jan enjoyed attending Westwood Alliance Church for many years.

A man constantly on the go, he will be remembered as a loving, animated and jovial soul, filling his home with laughter and of course, music!  At any hour of the day, you could walk into their home to hear operatic, symphonic, jazz or show tunes.  Always with a quick wit and ready smile, anyone who had the pleasure of meeting and knowing Jan, will most definitely remember him fondly.  Jan truly found joy in every day and lived to share that joy with his family.  He put the “gentle” in gentleman and defined generosity.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 30 years, Patricia “Patty” (Close) Dunlap.  They were the perfect “George Burns and Gracie Allen” team, demonstrative of a true and abiding love for one another and their children.

He is survived by their children Holly (Dunlap) Pfeiffer of Minneapolis, MN, Rich & Heather (Hawthorne) Dunlap of Centerburg, OH Kimberly (Young) Parsons of Downers Grove, IL and Robert “Wyn” Young of Delaware, OH; with “Pappa Jan’s” eight grandchildren Jack Pfeiffer, Ryan Pfeiffer, Alex Healey, Charlotte Dunlap, Aidan Dunlap, Jack Parsons, Michael Parsons and Sophia Young.

Private funeral services are under the care of the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home. Entombment will be at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens, Columbus. A memorial Celebration of Life and musical concert are being planned for this summer.

As Jan’s passion was music, in lieu of flowers, the Dunlap family suggests a memorial contribution to the Jan B. Dunlap Memorial Fund to establish a music scholarship, which may be mailed to the funeral home: PO Box 3085, Mansfield, 44904.

Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the Dunlap family. Share with them a memory about Jan, or a message of support – and watch his tribute video – online, at: SnyderFuneralHomes.com

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  • To me he was the teacher who planted the seeds and nourished his students love of music with passion, love and caring. The final product ….. THE BAND OF GOLD!!!
    Fly high Mr Dunlap, it’s time to play in Gods band of Angels.
    My condolences to the family,
    JONI (Ute) Pfeiffer

  • To me Jan was one of the most intelligent and wittiest people I have ever met! My sympathy to Patty and the entire Dunlap family.

  • Mr. Dunlap was my favorite teacher ever. Thank you for instilling that pride comes after dedication and commitment. He taught us to be the absolute best we could be. I will always remember him with great memories. R.I.P. Mr. Dunlap.

  • As my elementary music teacher, he was unforgettable. From hearing Ride of the Valkaryies for the first time as he dramatically danced around the room to teaching me the all important flutaphone, he was such a memorable person and teacher that I was grateful to have known. My sincerest sympathies to his family.

  • Mr. Dunlap had a deep love and appreciation for all music and was instrumental in instilling that passion for music in his students. Even from my first day on flutophone, to marching in uniform in the fife and drum corps, to playing clarinet, his excitement for passing on his knowledge of music and music history really made an impression on me. Thank you, Mr. Dunlap. You will be missed and always in our thoughts!

  • Mr. Dunlap was the prime contributor to my love of music! You will be missed by many. Thank you for all the wonderful memories!

  • Mr. Dunlap was such a great music teacher. I remember him fondly from Western Elementary, and all through my high school years. He was a fantastic band teacher and inspired me to play and perform. I have vivid memories of him playing the flute phone and pushing the piano up and down the hallways of Western. Thinking of his family during this difficult time with much sympathy.
    Pamela Renfroe Kern

  • I am not sure I can write anything that will successfully reflect the influence this man had on my life. I was in fifth grade and had just left the fifth grade band parents meeting with my mom empty handed, thinking I wanted to play drums but unable to do so because you could not rent the drum kit, you had to buy it. A few weeks later, Jan strolled into my general music class and announced (as only he could) that he was in need of a tuba player. I asked if my parents would need to buy anything and he replied that the school would supply everything I needed.

    That started me on a journey that led to a college degree, a teaching career, performances with the many regional orchestras and brass quintets, and now, as a successful composer and producer of music in many genres.

    None of this would have happened without Jan Dunlap. None of it.

    Patty and family, please accept my sincere condolences. But also know that there is a smile on my face as I think about Jan. What a life he loved and what a profound impact he had on countless lives.

  • I still remember the words to the Rogers and Hammerstein songs he taught us (35 years ago?!) and how he couldn’t keep still when the music moved him. He had such an infectious love for music! And he was a true gift of a teacher. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Where do I begin? I pretty much owe my entire musical career to Jan. Not only having an advantage because he himself was a drummer, but the confidence he instilled on you to go out and play your best. How many teachers hand their 6th grade students a Big Band piece and say “Your’re gonna play this for our Spring concert”! ? From rudimentary drumming to Jazz/Swing …. I learned a heck of a lot from this man. And yes, his sense of humor was fantastic. Never a day in Elementary School did I not get a good laugh. How many kids learn that when Valkyries go to heaven, they sit around a large table, eat and get drunk, then fight each other, and repeat?

    Godspeed Mr. Dunlap. You will be missed. Condolences to all Family and friends.

  • Jan Dunlap’s teaching continues to reach farther than he may have ever known. I am a professional musician (flutist and Julliard grad) today and look back at the first year on flute in 5th grad with Mr. Dunlap. He was the perfect teacher at the critical time when we were all starting in band. Lex Band of Gold would have been the Band of Tin if Jan didn’t teach and inspire the love of music to so many! I remember him fondly and wanted to recognize his contributions and impact on me and so many others. RIP and my condolences to the family.

  • I learned music & band & how to play the drums from Mr. Dunlap in 5th grade back in 1981. Later on he joined with the high school marching band & we benefitted from his expertise again. Then about 2 years ago he & his wife joined our church at Westwood. What a blessing to see him again. A true treasure of knowledge & experience.
    40 yrs later I am still playing percussion, & I owe my beginnings to the watchful eye of Jan Dunlap. He will truly be missed; many condolences to the family.

  • I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Mr. Dunlap. He was my music teacher at Eastern and I also had Mrs. Dunlap at the Jr. High. My thoughts are with his family.

  • Thank you for teaching me how to really love all kinds of music. If it wasn’t for you,I would not have gotten off to such a strong start. I know you touch so many lives in your years of teaching. God is getting a great man! RIP my dear teacher!

  • Me.Dunlap was one of my favorite teacher. He was always encouraging (especially with those of us that weren’t very musically inclined). He made music fun and was teaching us even though we didn’t realize it at the time. I can still hear his laughter. He was a wonderful human being and I’m sure (as the post here have shown) his loss will leave a big hole in many lives. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. He was truly a gifted teacher who will always be remembered fondly.

  • Sending my condolences out to all family and friends.

    I have many fond memories of Mr. Dunlap dating back to my beginning band days learning to play the French horn in 5th grade band. He was such a kind hearted man who wanted nothing more than to share his love of music with his students.

    Fast forwarding into adulthood, I had several opportunities to perform professionally with Jan in local musical groups. I was so proud to have elevated as a performer to have the opportunity to perform with my former teacher. The more rewarding part of the experience was the joy and admiration I could see on his face in his pride in me attaining this success.

    As a teacher now, I can only hope that I am making the same positive impact on my students that Jan has had on generations of musicians under his direction.

  • Oh, my wonderful teacher! Flutophone (my favorite song: Sakura), fife ( I still play it for my grandchildren), clarinet ( he encouraged me even though I had little talent). He introduced me to my first album purchase, Tomita: Planets. He took me to my first opera. What a joyful and exuberant man. I learned so much from him, about music, about joy, about being a good person. Truly a one-of-a-kind soul. And always a smile. Great memories that have lasted a lifetime. Rest well, Mr. Dunlap. My sincerest sympathy to the family.

  • Me Dunlap was my music teacher from 5 th grade . He was an inspiration and a disciplinarian . I learned much from him. At one point I wanted to quit playing trombone because I didn’t want to put the discipline needed to succeed at it. He pulled me aside and had a long talk with me and also contacted my parents about my desire to quit. He encouraged me to persevere. I did and my love more music and beauty grew from then on. Thank you Me Dunlap!!
    Fred Pursley

  • Jan was my esteemed colleague and good friend. I will never forget how surprised I was when he came to my Son’s memorial years after I had left Eastern. I told him how kind it was of him and he looked shocked and said that the obituary stated that Philip loved music of all kinds and he hoped he had been a part of that. Yes, Jan, you were a large part of many children loving music! And your passing will leave a large void for all of your loved ones. RIP my dear friend and May You Rise in Glory ♥️

  • Mr Dunlap showed us that enthusiasm counts. He always seemed so thrilled to share his passion. I still remember hearing Danse Macabre for the first time in elementary music, and I still love that song!

  • So sorry for your loss Patty. Jan was a wonderful person and contributed so much in the field of music to the Lexington Schools. RIP. Thoughts and prayers are with you Patty and your family. 🙏

  • Mr. Dunlap was my first band teacher and my first private music lesson teacher (trombone). I remember his positive attitude and encouragement. My condolences to his family.

  • Mr. Dunlap was my favorite teacher. Second was his wife. I was terribly shy and quiet but he recognized my special love for music. Because of him, I still play my clarinet, attend operas, and attend symphonies. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Condolences to Jan’s family. I remember him from high school days at Jefferson High School in Dresden.

  • Deepest Sympathy to the family of Jan Dunlap.I have not seen him since our days at Jefferson High School. He was very popular and active in our band and choirs.He grew up on a beautiful small farm south of Dresden..His homestead became the dream home of myself and many. In reading his legacy myself and many of his Jefferson classmates are swelling with pride to have known him. RIP Jan Dunlap!

  • I remember Jan as a man with unbounded love. To love was his gift to all who knew him. I knew him as a man of faith and caring.
    My condolences to his dear wife Patty and their children. It was such a joy to be in the presence of their obvious love .
    Receive him into Your Loving hands, O Father God.

    Fr. John +

  • My sympathy to Mr. Dunlap’s family for their loss.

    From another retired Lex teacher and parent of music students who had the benefit of his skill in music education.

  • Dear Patty, Holly, Rich, Kim, Bob, and families,
    My sympathy and love to all of you. Patty, I laughed at you as Gracie Allen to Jan’ s George Burns. What a perfect description of a great couple and all the fun you had together for 30 years !( Thanks to Margie Hankinson ) Life like music was always an adventure for Jan. In you Patty, he found a wonderful partner for those adventures all over the world.

    In my career in Lexington , I worked with Jan for many years before I left. We often were both there early in the morning. My favorite memory of Jan at Eastern Elementary would definitely be him walking very fast down the hallway with a smile on his face towards me. He would stop and say as only Jan could ” Good morning Comrade ” ! Sometimes he added a salute. It always made me laugh and start my day on a good note when it happened.

    Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers . I know that you will miss him forever !

    Shirley Nasipak

  • My deepest condolences. He was an amazing
    Teacher and inspiration to all who new him. Prayers to his family and friends

  • A truly kind man, a great inspiration. Very fond Memories of music, and the distribution of Flutophones. I can still see him standing behind the piano showing us the different parts. A smile never left his face. Thoughts and prayers for the family.

  • Every school has a special person who sets the beat. Luckily, Lexington had Jan Dunlap to set our beat. Dave Wells told me he had to be the luckiest band director in the world to have Jan teaching so many young students to love music, but Kathy and I think we are very lucky to have Jan and Patty as lifetime friends. I personally think anyone who knew them all know how lucky they are. God Bless Jan and keep smiling Patty Because he is still smiling.

    Love and Prayers,

    John and Kathleen Barr

  • Very sad to hear of Mr. Dunlap’s passing. He was one of the best teachers in my life. He made you excited to go to class and gave so many fun memories. Will never forget doing battle with percussion mallets, music stands and the old band of gold marching band hats- all while Flight of the Valkyries was blasting. Our charge was led from the instrument storage room! He made it all so fun! Blessings to his family as you remember and love him.

  • I am so sorry for your loss; Mr. Dunlap was a wonderful man and great teacher. He shared his passion for music and performance with many generations, and in doing so he made the world a better place. May the happy memories bring you comfort, and know that your loss is shared with many who loved and appreciated him.

  • I used to think how could Mr. Dunlap stand to hear so many wrong notes & terrible tones with beginners but he truly loved teaching us & others to keep getting better in a joyful manner with that ever present smile. There had to be a sense of accomplishment when he had the chance to occasionally direct the high school band & know he taught us our first notes.

  • I can’t think of Mr. Dunlap without seeing his smile. We were all very blessed to have him as a teacher. When I took private lessons from him I practiced the hardest because I didn’t want to disappoint him. At the time, I didn’t realize that he was teaching me more than percussion. He was teaching me to constantly improve, to push for excellence and not fall short of my potential and thus disappoint myself.

    I remember marching in the Fourth of July parade in Washington DC as a Freshman. While other bands cancelled or marched half-hearted due to the pouring rain, we performed the entire parade route in full uniform. Mr. Dunlap walked beside the drum line the entire parade with no jacket, soaking wet, providing encouragement and smiling the entire way.

    Thank you Mr. Dunlap for providing all of your students with not only an understanding and appreciation of music, but a solid foundation for life. My sympathy to his family.

    RIP Mr. Dunlap. Teacher, mentor and a friend to everyone who had the pleasure of meeting you.

  • We both enjoyed Jan as our teacher and as a teaching comrade. Both our kids started playing instruments under his tutelage. You will not find a more passionate music educator and history buff! Loved to here stories and see pictures of his European travels and his family! What a sense of humor and laugh!! Condolences to Patti and all of the Dunlap family! We will keep you in our prayers. Loved watching the tribute video. Truly lived life to the fullest!
    RIP Mr. Dunlap!!!
    Randy and Cindy Heidlebaugh

  • Dear Patty and family,
    Please know how very sad we are about Jan’s passing. We, and our children, are so fortunate to have had Jan there as they were introduced to Lexington’s music program. Their home time flute-a-phone practices are still vividly remembered.
    We will always miss Jan’s ready smile, his sense of humor, and kind casual hospitality when we visited. We also fondly remember our get together at Mon Ami, and just wish it had been more often.
    Patty, you and Jan have been such a positive influence on our children, and we will forever be thankful for being such a part of their, and our lives. Our love and prayers to you and your family. Ron and Peg Wiseman

  • Mrs. Dunlap and Family,
    I am truly sorry to learn of Jan’s passing. As I read these tributes I see many common themes of how people remember Jan. Words like inspire, encourage, influence, passion, love, enthusiasm and I couldn’t agree more with all of them.
    I had the pleasure of being mentored by both of you, from fifth grade Music to Junior High School English. I remember Jan encouraging me to take up Baritone which I enjoyed through high school. And yes of course those flutophone concerts that initiated many a Lex student into the music program!
    I remember your classroom Patty. Walls lined with posters of many a great poet. Reading The Outsiders out loud in class cover to cover. Pony Boy and Soda Pop.
    You are both fantastic teachers and human beings. Thank you both for so many fond memories and for the examples you both set for your students.
    Love and prayers to you and the family.
    Brian Nelson ’79

  • I played in the “Joyful Sounds” handbell choir at Church of the Cross many years ago with Jan. Not only was he a great ringer, he often cracked up the whole choir wth his quick wit. He was always smiling, joking, and laughing. I haven’t seen him for many years, but remember him fondly. My condolences to his family.

  • Bax truly amazed me. His love for, and patience with, Patty was unbounded. His enthusiasm infectious.
    Loved this travel videos with appropriate music synced.
    My favorite memory is his stepping in, without notice or preparation, to direct a musical at the Mansfield Little Theater. While at the same time playing the drum part with pieces of a broken dowel rod since no drum sticks were available.
    Lean on us Patty if you want. Rick

  • Dear Patty and Family,

    I know your heart is breaking for your Music Man. You were perfectly matched — such a dynamic and engaging pair. I was so glad you found profound happiness with each other.

    I remember Jan as kindling a love for music that would last my entire lifetime. Because of him, I learned to play several instruments and loved attending cultural events such as musicals. He played the music to “Aida” in sixth-grade music class and explained the story behind it and I thought I would come off my chair! A new world opened up.

    I am not sure we all knew what we had back then, but you certainly recognized Jan as a kind, gentle, humble, and Godly soul.