Van was born December 4, 1959 to Paul Dunbar and Betty Brown Bradshaw (Dozier Bradshaw Sr.) in Manatee Memorial Hospital.
He graduated from Manatee High School. He accepted Christ as his Lord and personal Savior at an early age. He was a member of St. James AME Church in Palmetto where he remained active until his health began to fail. He lived in Palmetto all of his life. He was a brick mason, where he built homes in the Tampa Bay Area including the home for Taylor Swift’s parents and the gate for Jerry Springer. Van’s heart was centered around his family and all those that were dear to him. His passion was fishing and was known as the “Fishman”.
Van was preceded in death by his Grandmother, Ada Brown; Parents Paul Dunbar and Betty Brown Bradshaw (Dozier Bradshaw Sr.), In-laws: Ezell and Alvera Dawes; Brothers: Dozier Bradshaw, Jr., Robert Dunbar, Ronald Dawes, Zero Dawes, and Ramon Morales; Sister: Lillian James; Son: Corey Dunbar; Daughter: Carla Dunbar; Maternal Uncles, Earnest and Willie Brown, Sr.
He leaves to cherish his fond memories a devoted wife of 43 years, Donna; One son: Van Dunbar Jr.; Four brothers: Earnest Brown; Stacy Bradshaw, Ronald Bradshaw and Paul (Eddie) Dunbar; Three brothers-in-law: Harry James, Irvin Dawes, and Ezell Dawes Jr.; Six sisters: Lori Morales, Rene Bradshaw, Tracy Bradshaw, LaWanda Bradshaw, Pauline (Rogers) Murray and Brenda (Lamar) Turner; Two sisters-in-law: Francine Jefferson and Althea Bellinger; Three grandsons: Tamire Mitchell, Marquez Black, and Daniel Pizana; Seven Granddaughters: LaZaria Stubbs, LaDericka Frazier. Laila Ross, Miasia Black, Aniya Black, Nicole Pizana, and Dania Pizana; Two great grandsons: JaMir Kinder and King Black; a host of sorrowing aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends; Five close friends: Bishop Dexter McDonald, Jerome Heaven, Emerson Martin, Clark Sterner Jr. and Jasper.