[Adapted from the Berkshire Eagle, 19 February 1943.]
Local Native Kept Family Diary for 62 Years
Westfield.—George Clinton Dunbar, 75, a native of Pittsfield and for 18 years superintendent of the Westfield Power Company and formerly a stationary engineer with the American Writing Paper Company of Holyoke, died yesterday afternoon at this home, 12 State Street. At one time Mr. Dunbar was employed by the Pittsfield Electric Company.
Mr. Dunbar was frequently in the news — for one reason, because he had kept a family diary for about 62 years. He started making his chronicles Jan. 1, 1881. At the request of his family, he started typing duplicate copies of the diary in 1932. In the diary he had a complete section on the blizzard of 1888 and another on World War I.
On St. Valentine’s Day, 1941. the late Mrs. William B. Foote of 41 Reed Street received through the mail from Westfield, a valentine whose first trip was started in 1877 by Mr. Dunbar.
In 1876, Mrs. Foote — she was then Mary L. Peirson — had a classmate in the Elizabeth Street School. His name was George C. Dunbar. On St. Valentine’s Day of the following year, Mary Peirson sent to George Dunbar a little pink and white valentine, embossed in lace design, with an oval of colored flowers in the center, framing the words, “I Love Thee Dearly.”
It was Mr. Dunbar’s first real valentine, and he treasured it for 24 years. In 1901, he mailed it back to its sender. Mrs. Foote kept it for 28 years, and in 1929 seh again sent it to Mr. Dunbar, suggesting that since both of them valued it, each should retain it for a year, sending it back to the other on St. Valentine’s Day.
And so in 1941, from Westfield, where Mr. Dunbar was living, the valentine made its 15th trip in 64 years.
Mr. Dunbar was the son of the late George Samuel and Anna H. Dunbar. He lived in Westfield 40 years. He was a member of the Second Congregational Church and the men’s club of that church. He had been retired four years.
The survivors are a daughter, Miss Alice C. Dunbar of Westfield; two sons, Robert H. Dunbar of Providence, R. I., and Charles O. Dunbar of Arendtsville, Pa.; a sister, Mrs. Alice Dutton of Amesbury and five grandchildren.
The funeral will be held at the Lambson Funeral Home Sunday afternoon at 2.30, with Rev. E. L. Fransworth officiating. Burial will be in Pittsfield Cemetery Monday at 11.