Helga Joan Dunbar passed away peacefully on July 31, 2022, at the Portsmouth Regional Hospital at the age of 87. Helga was born on Feb. 25, 1935 at the Hale Hospital in Haverhill, Massachusetts, the daughter of Harold D. Osgood and Ruth H. (Frecker) Osgood and sister to H. Davison Osgood, Jr.

Helga graduated from Fryeburg Academy, in Fryeburg, in 1952, where she played on the undefeated softball team as the second base player in 1950, 1951 and 1952. Helga would tell stories of shoveling pathways from her dorm to the classroom buildings where the walls of snow would tower over her. During her high-school years she worked summers at the Christmas Farm Inn in New Hampshire, at the Narragansett Inn in Kennebunk Beach, and the Lawnmere Inn in Southport, Maine. In 1954, Helga graduated from Colby Junior College, now known as Colby Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire.

Briefly, Helga worked at Hale, Sanderson Byrnes & Morton, a Boston law firm, but always seeking to be outside in the fresh air she meandered back to Maine where she worked at the Sprucewold Lodge as the events reservation manager. It was in Boothbay, where she met her future husband Hugh Dakers, who worked as a chef at the Spruce Point Inn and they were married in 1955 at the Bradford Congregational Church, near Haverhill, Massachusetts. After living in different locations, moving several times in one year, Hugh and Helga built a home in Kennebunkport in 1962 and moved in with their three sons, one still owning the house today.

Never one for sitting, Helga immersed herself in southern Maine civic activities including being the secretary for the Women’s GOP Club and a Kennebunkport Budget Board member. Helga also worked tirelessly for the Head Start Program in Biddeford helping many local children to truly catch a head start in life. She was an over achiever and had high expectations for everyone she worked with to help ensure the best possible results.

In addition, she always had time to be involved with and supportive of her sons’ sporting activities and outside interests. She was a Cub Scout leader, traveled far and wide to watch hockey games, baseball games and other sporting events, and would even watch all three showings of the same school play if her son was a part of the performance.

It was during this time that she developed a closer relationship with the Lord and became an active member of the Village Baptist Church, teaching Sunday School, helping with Christmas pageants, typing bulletins, and hosting potluck suppers.


In the mid-1970s, Helga was the dining room manager for the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club for several summers working alongside her husband and three sons, raising the standard for the dining room experience and extending warm hospitality to the club members and guests – she would run a tight ship, having an eye for every detail.

In the early-1980s, Helga worked as the assistant innkeeper at the Captain Lord Mansion in Kennebunkport for nearly 20 years offering friendly hospitality to all that she met. She enjoyed greeting all the guests with a warm smile and making their stay at the inn delightful. And one day, she was pleased to welcome Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward to the inn.

In 1986, Helga married Carl L. Dunbar and they enjoyed many happy years living in Wells and traveling throughout New England. Soon after they were married, Helga joined Carl in his newly formed business, Dunbar Water Pumps and Filters. Helga was the vice president and treasurer and truly ran the office without a glitch. Together they successfully grew the business. Many customers became friends because of Helga’s warm and caring personality. Even after marrying Carl, Helga and Carl always took the time to care for her former husband, Hugh, in his later years. Carl and Hugh became close friends.

In 2003, she helped to oversee the renovations at the family cottage at Biddeford Pool. The Pool held a special spot in her heart. Helga spent every summer on the beach at the Pool from the year she was born in 1935 until her passing. She would welcome summer guests to the Cottage as if they were arriving at a bed and breakfast with muffins and treats in hand.

Carl and Helga spent many years visiting quaint B&Bs, 75 in total, across New England with a love for many special places in Maine. She particularly loved Camden, Boothbay and places up north. A highlight was always the Blueberry Festival in Milford. Of course, in her travels, she could not drive by a craft fair without stopping to find special gifts for her family and friends.

After selling the water company and retiring, Helga could not sit still, Helga dedicated herself to Safe Haven Humane Society in Wells where she would care for neglected kittens and older cats, making sure that each one had a soft, warm bed and a hug goodnight. She made many friends at the Humane Society and was glad when a cat departed for a forever home including her three cats, Mindy, Tilly and Twinkles.


A loving daughter, mother, grandmother, sister and aunt, Helga was predeceased by her father, mother, brother and her sister-in-law Judy Osgood.

Besides her beloved husband Carl, Helga is survived by her three much-loved sons Hugh B. Dakers, Jr. (Kricket), Scott D. Dakers (Christine) and Dana O. Dakers (Barbara). Helga is also survived by five grandchildren, Trevor (Lindsay), Adam (Katie), Michael (Jennifer), Elizabeth, and Christopher and five great-grandchildren, Gauge, Isla, Alayla, Leonidas and Rosemary. In addition, Helga leaves behind her stepchildren, William Dunbar, Anne Dunbar Smith (Shawn) and John Dunbar and her step grandchildren, Isabella and Elisa. Helga also leaves her two nieces, Sarah Osgood and Margaret Osgood (Buz).

We would like to extend our deepest appreciation and thanks to all of the nurses and doctors at the Portsmouth Regional Hospital for the warm and compassionate care that they provided to Helga in her last two weeks with us.

A funeral service will be held at Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer St., Kennebunk, on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022. A reception will immediately follow at the family cottage at 90 Mile Stretch Road, Biddeford Pool. Interment will be at the Linwood Cemetery in Haverhill, Massachusetts, at a time convenient for the family.

Memorial Donations may be made to the Safe Haven Humane Society, 1420 Post Road, Wells, Maine 04090.

To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit Helga’s Book of Memories Page at bibberfuneral.com.

Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer St., Kennebunk, ME 04043.

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