Donald C. Dunn, (image) husband of beloved Karen A. Dunn (nee Burke) was born on July 2, 1933, at the Bremerton Naval Hospital, while his father was deployed at sea on the USS Tennessee. A Gloucester Catholic High School alumnus (Gloucester City NJ), Don is the son of Commander George Lee Dunn, USN-Ret. (all Navy basketball 11 years) and Mary Regina (nee Johnson) Dunn, both deceased.
When Don was six years old, his eight-year-old brother Bobby, intrigued by a movie about electrical linemen, climbed over a substation fence and was electrocuted. The tragedy contributed to Don’s interest in becoming an electrical engineer. Don and his younger brothers, Captain Jerry Dunn, USN Ret. (Naval Academy) and Lee Dunn, Ph.D., grew up in a career Navy family (three generations contributed 92 years of service to the Navy) and lived in the Philippines; Bermuda; Long Beach, CA; Newport R.I.; Norfolk, VA, and Gloucester City, NJ. With Navy relocations, Don attended six grammar schools, three high schools (graduating from Gloucester Catholic) and Villanova University (class of 1958 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering) – all Catholic schools. Don was a reservist in high school, served on active duty in the Navy during the Korean War, and was commended with the National Defense Service Medal. He attended Villanova University on the GI bill.
From Villanova, Don worked for the Philadelphia Electric Company for 38 years, primarily as a project engineer for aerial and underground transmission lines. Other projects included safe-shutdown systems at a nuclear power station. For two years following his retirement from PECO, he worked for Pirelli in a Philadelphia power cable project contracted from PECO. As a registered Professional Engineer, he was active in the Engineer’s Club. He was very active in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He served as the IEEE Philadelphia Section Chairman (eight county areas with 5500 members) in 1976-1977 and subsequently remained active in the section’s Awards Committee.
As he participated in his children’s lives, Don provided decades of volunteer service to the Cub Scouts, Whitman Square Community Club, and the Tri-County Swim League. He was a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus. Don founded the Tri-County Master’s Swim Competition. He was a life-long loyal fan of the Gloucester Catholic girls’ basketball and soccer teams, and he enjoyed cheering on Gloucester Catholic graduates when they continued to play at Villanova.
In retirement, “The Walker” covered miles of Turnersville roads daily picking up community trash along the way – like an advanced boy scout. A concerned member of the public, he actively wrote editorials for New Jersey and Pennsylvania newspapers. He looked forward to daily conversations and humor with breakfast club friends. Don and Karen studied bible history near Ocean City, NJ and both served as Eucharistic Ministers at Saint Charles Borromeo. While he deeply loved his country, alma maters, profession, church, and community, it was to his family that Don gave his greatest service.
In 1962, Don and Karen A. Burke were married. Karen graduated the prior year from Rosemont College (a product of 16 years of the Holy Child nuns). Subsequently, they were blessed with six children, all of whom graduated from St. Agnes grammar school (where Karen taught), Catholic high schools (Bishop Eustace Prep, Paul VI, and Saint Augustine Prep), and colleges (Villanova, LaSalle, Widener, Columbia, and Chestnut Hill). Always in the car over a 20-year period when his children were spread out in multiple schools, he loyally taxied them from after-school practice and weekend sporting events. The result was six bachelor degrees, four master’s degrees, one doctorate, character, and multiple careers of service.
Donald C. Dunn passed on March 22, 2017, at age 83, the beloved husband of Karen (nee Burke). Dear father of Commander Thomas P. USNR-Ret., Brian D., Paul E. (Michelle), Mark C., Nancy C. Pimental (Christopher) and Frank W. Loving grandfather of Julia, Paul, Jr., Colin, Grace, Joshua and Jolee. Dear brother of Captain Gerald Dunn USN-Ret. (Karen) and Lee Dunn (Kathy).
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on March 28, 2017 at St. Charles Borromeo Church, 176 Stagecoach Road, Sicklerville, NJ 08081. Interment New St. Mary’s Cemetery, 515 West Browning Road, Bellmawr, NJ 08031.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Donald’s memory may be made to Gloucester Catholic High School, Office of Advancement, 333 Ridgeway Street, Gloucester City, NJ 08030.
Funeral services under the direction of the Egizi Funeral Home, 119 Ganttown Road, Turnersville NJ.