John E. Dunn, 95
John E. Dunn Jr., 95, a long-time resident of Jamestown, died peacefully on Jan. 24 surrounded by his loving family. He was the husband of the late Rita Kirwin for 71 years. Born 1913 in Wilmette, Ill., he was the son of the late John E. and Lucille (Condon) Dunn.
John was a graduate of LaSalle Academy and College of the Holy Cross. He served
as a naval officer in
World War II.
John was an accomplished athlete and sports enthusiast; he also enjoyed the arts and world travel. The nephew of the great jazz musician Eddie Condon, John also shared the family talent for music and was an accomplished classical singer with many orchestras and choral groups, a passion he maintained his entire life.
John met the love of his life, Rita Kirwin, while in college and they were married in 1936. After serving in the war, he and Rita settled in Wellesley, Mass. to begin their family.
Seven sons and three daughters were born and raised in Wellesley; eight children survive today: Robert, Patricia, R. Martina, Thomas, Timothy, James, Paul, Brian as well as seven grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his eldest son, John E. Dunn III, youngest daughter, Mary Josephine and grandson James F. Cirillo, III. He is also survived by a brother Thomas and sister Jane; and many nieces and nephews.
John was from a prominent business family and used his education and talent to develop and grow Glas-Kraft and The Standard Paper Group. The companies had factories in five states and operating companies in three countries. He was the president and C.E.O. of these companies until his retirement. He was a highly respected leader in industry, here and abroad, and was fortunate to know and work with many industrial greats.
John's real love was for his wife, family, church and community. John was involved in community his entire life; from Rhode Island councilman serving the people, to the annual host of Newport's Black Night Ceremony benefiting the Maher Center for the handicapped.
He and his wife Rita were founding members of the Charles River Association in Boston in the 1950's, growing into the national movement to transition the handicap out of institutions into the community as functioning citizens, along with the Kennedy's movement for a national program of athletics for the handicapped.
John was educated in the classical Jesuit tradition from youth through college. He remained a devout Catholic, dedicated to his church and community.
He was an influential force in the Knights of Columbus for over 70 years and rose to the level of Grand Knight.
John lived a gracious life with a wonder of experiences and adventures spanning almost 100 years. He shared in the events of people's sorrows and tragedies, but mostly their joys and happiness. He was the all to many people, but the most to his family.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated today, Thursday, Jan. 29, at 11 a.m. in St. Mark Church, Jamestown.
A burial with military honors will be in St. Mark Cemetery.
Private family visiting hours will be at the Fagan-Quinn Funeral Home, North Kingstown from 9 to 11 a.m.
Memorial contributions may be made to Maher Center, P.O. Box 4390, Middletown, RI.
For information and guestbook visit www.FaganQuinnFuneral- Home.com.