Robert Dunlap was the type of person who scoured estate and garage sales to buy items that he knew his neighbors and friends collected.
For the Christmas season, Dunlap and his companion decorated their Tudor-style Westheight home in Kansas City, Kan., with clowns and other festive items.
On Friday, friends and neighbors remembered the 66-year-old for his kindness, thoughtfulness and generosity.
Dunlap, who worked at a nursing home and as a private duty nurse, died five days after being severely injured in an altercation Feb. 19 in Kansas City, police announced this week.
“He was a very generous, caring person and he would do anything to help you, if you asked him,” said Larry Dean, a former neighbor. “He didn’t deserve what happened to him.”
Police said Dunlap was assaulted at 38th Street and Baltimore Avenue. Dunlap later went to the VA Medical Center to be treated for head trauma. Tests revealed bleeding and pressure on Dunlap’s brain.
His condition rapidly declined. Doctors transferred Dunlap to the University of Kansas Hospital, but he never regained consciousness, according to police. His death is Kansas City’s 18th homicide of the year.
No arrests have been made, leaving friends to wonder what happened.
“He left for work and never returned home,” Dean said.
After Dunlap learned that Dean and his wife collected Norman Rockwell-related items, he often added to the couple’s collection.
“He would find out what were (people’s) interests,” Dean said. “If he saw something that you liked, he would buy it. It was his way of sharing his friendship.”
Dunlap served in the Navy. A sister lives in a nursing home in New York and a brother lives in Alabama.
His longtime companion declined to comment this week.
Neighbors have offered their support to Dunlap’s companion, said Clayton Hunter, who lives in the neighborhood.
Dean, who recently lost his wife to cancer, said Dunlap had made it a point to visit her. He also would call her on the phone and send her cards.
“He was an excellent friend,” Dean said. “He didn’t deserve this.”