Robert Frances Dunn
Robert Francis Dunn died Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, at Central Maine Medical Center, three days after suffering cardiac arrest. He was nearly 87 and was accompanied by his children and a dear family friend.
A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, April 14, at the Campbell House, in Southern Pines. His ashes will be buried at Mount Hope Cemetery, in Southern Pines.
Born November 25, 1924, to Clyde T. Dunn and Helen L. Gillis of Southern Pines, Bob grew up in the Southern Pines firehouse and was educated in Southern Pines, where he was one of 10 in Troop No. 3 who became an Eagle Scout in 1940. He graduated from Southern Pines High School in 1942 and proudly attended Duke University, where despite his diminutive 5ʼ6” stature, he enjoyed the honor of playing basketball with the Duke Blue Devils. Unfortunately, Bob left Duke after his freshman year due to his motherʼs poor health.
On May 23, 1953, he married Sandra Phillips Zelie, from Pinehurst, daughter of John Sheridan and Charlotte Phillips Zelie. Together they had four children (three living). In 1960 they divorced, and Bob moved to Charlotte with the true love of his heart, James S. Anderson, of Hamlet, with whom he shared 51 happy years until Jimʼs death in Sept. 2010.
Bob’s professional/civic career included employment at the Citizens Bank and Trust in Southern Pines and civil service as the president of the Southern Pines Junior Chamber of Commerce. His employment in the insurance industry began in 1960-61 with the James C. Greene Co., in both Southern Pines and Charlotte.
Bob later became a valued representative with the T.M. Mayfield Co. in Charlotte until his retirement in 1996.
In 1997 Bob and Jim retired to Garden City, S.C., to live close to the ocean and to their longtime friend Larry Knight. They enjoyed many happy years and adventures there that included travel, lending a hand at Larryʼs b-and-b in Clinton, and social gatherings with friends, relatives and neighbors.
After Jimʼs death, Bob moved to Auburn, Maine, in April 2011 to live with his son Mike. Despite missing friends and neighbors in S.C., in his short time in Maine, he enjoyed the time and activities spent with his children in New England.
He loved watching birds and other wildlife outside his kitchen window. He was especially grateful for Mikeʼs excellent care, loving attention and abiding companionship.
Bob was also predeceased by a newborn twin son, William Spencer Dunn; older brother, Clyde T. Dunn Jr. (known as Junior); and by his sister, Louise Smith (known to all as Dunnie).
Bob is survived by his daughters, Kim Spaner and her husband, Bob, of Gloucester, Mass., and Patty Dunn and her husband, Victor Morrison, of Hinesburg, Vt.; his grandchildren, Park and Zelie Dunn-Morrison, of Jackson Hole, Wyo.; his son Michael Dunn, of Auburn, Maine, and Mikeʼs special love, Susan Farkas; his generous and loving friend Larry Knight, of Garden City Beach, S.C.; and six nephews, five who remain in the Southern Pines area.
In many ways a “Southern gentleman,” Bobʼs genuine curiosity and interest in people, his quiet, humble, fun-loving way, and his appreciation of beauty will stay in our memories and hearts with great love and affection. We deeply miss him.
Bobʼs family acknowledges with respect and gratitude the Central Maine Medical Center ICU staff and Drs. Laura Coleman and Jennifer Pyenta for their kindness and care. We gratefully acknowledge friends and neighbors Larry Knight and Wayne and Sharon Etters, for their kind and generous presence in Bobʼs life.
We are also grateful to Bob’s nephews, the Smiths, for their love and support with his celebration of life.
Friends and family who wish to remember Bob may send donations in his name to the Southern Pines Fire Department or Central Maine Medical Centerʼs Palliative Care Service, in Lewiston, Maine