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A Local Icon dies at 102 years.
Helen Barbara Dunn
May 9, 1920 – January 22, 2023
Helen (Hlavac) Dunn was born in Castle Rock, WI to Wencel Hlavac and Matilda Bradac. Her ancestors immigrated from Bohemia (now Czech Republic) and settled in Wisconsin. Helen grew up on a farm near Platteville, graduating from Platteville High School in 1938. She then attended Beauty School in Madison. After graduating from Beauty School in 1941, Helen met the love of her life, Joseph Dunn, on the shores of Lake Michigan. After a two-year courtship including a heart-melting series of love letters, they were married in 1943. Helen and Joe’s courtship led to a marriage of 52 years until Joe’s passing in 1995.
In 1943, Helen purchased her first salon “Ogden Beauty Shop” on Ogden Ave. on the east side of Milwaukee. After 8 ½ years, she sold her business to move to Sheboygan with her husband Joe, to begin raising a family. Together they raised three children, Craig, Gary and Robyn. Helen was a progressive mom and supported her children’s creative endeavors. Perhaps some will remember a band called “Professional Mold” of which Craig was a founding member with his lifelong best friend, Tyler Borth. Helen championed the ongoing band practices in the basement of the family’s Sheboygan home.
In addition to raising three children, being a loving, supportive mom to her spirited kids, Helen was a savvy, smart business woman. She bought her second salon, Beauty Lane in Kohler in 1958. Twelve and a half years later, as Kohler developed its design center, she pivoted without hesitation and saw a new opportunity. She moved Beauty Lane to Sheboygan Falls naming it “Falls Beauty Lane” in 1971, and she enjoyed a successful business there until her first retirement in 1977.
With her bohemian nature and strong work ethic, Helen could not resist staying in the game; she continued her work part-time at Out East Hair Designers and Maybelle’s Hair Salon. Helen then came out of “retirement” to build from the ground up her final salon on South 12th Street in Sheboygan, “The Hairdressers”, where she would remain until developers bought the property in 1991. “The Hairdressers” was the end of a legacy of a salon owner but not of the hairdresser herself. After the departure of “The Hairdressers”, Helen continued to style hair for clients throughout the community.
Helen was a cherished mother; beloved member of the community and she was known for her strength and kindness. During her retirement she was an active member at the Sheboygan Senior Center. As she always had a flair for glamour, she modeled for a local clothing boutique. She loved dancing, playing cards, was an avid bowler, and was known to be a bit of a pool shark! Even though she retired, she never stopped living and really, she never stopped working; she styled hair into the last years of her life.
True to Helen’s character and strength, she outlived many of her family and companions. She was preceded in passing by her siblings, Robert Hlavac, Blanche Mann and Francis (Lud) Hlavac, her husband Joseph Dunn, her son Craig Dunn and an infant great-granddaughter Hailey Dunn.
She is survived by her son, Gary (Joan) Dunn of Cedar Grove and her daughter, Robyn Dunn of San Diego. She was a proud grandmother and great grandmother, survived by her grandchildren, Jason Dunn, Jeremy (Kim) Dunn, Eric (Emily) Dunn, Adam (Alannah Woodward) Dunn and great grandchildren, Colton and Callie Dunn.
“In a nutshell, Helen Dunn is a hard act to follow”
In loving memory, your loving children and family.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 at 12:00 Noon at Ballhorn Chapels Funeral & Cremation Care Center, 1201 N. 8th St., Sheboygan, with Steve Petry officiating. Relatives and friends may visit with the family on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 from 11:00 AM until the time of service at the FUNERAL HOME.
If you are unable to join the family for Helen’s service it will be livestreamed on her obituary page on the funeral home website.
A memorial fund has been established in Helen’s name.
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
11:00am - 12:00pm (Central time)
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
12:00 - 1:00pm (Central time)
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