Michelle Juliet Dunbar, 21, Pikesville High graduate

August 01, 2004

Michelle Juliet Dunbar, a 2001 Pikesville High School graduate who wanted to write and teach, died Wednesday of a ruptured aorta at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, N.Y. She was 21.

Born in Schenectady to an Air Force family, she grew up across the country and around the world, including in England, Japan and Oklahoma.

Before moving to Pikesville in 2000, Miss. Dunbar attended Bellevue High School in Bellevue, Neb., for three years. After graduating from high school, she attended Schenectady County Community College, where she took English and psychology classes, said Kay Marie Webster, her mother.

Miss Dunbar, who loved to write poetry and short stories, was interested in teaching English, Mrs. Webster said.

Miss Dunbar had Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the body's connective tissues, which can weaken the aorta, the major blood vessel from the heart.

"She was very up-spirited," Mrs. Webster said. "It could be difficult for her sometimes, but she did OK."

Services were private.

Along with her mother and stepfather, Timothy Webster, of Pikesville, she is survived by her brother, Christopher Dunbar of Pikesville; her father and stepmother, Keith and Robin Dunbar of Schenectady, N.Y.; and her stepsister, Alisha Wilson of Schenectady.

Contributions may be made in her name to the National Marfan Foundation, 22 Manhasset Ave., Port Washington, N.Y. 11050.

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