Retired Lt. Col. Robert E. “Bob” Dunn, 86, of Ottawa, Kansas, moved into his eternal home in Heaven, where he is surrounded by many friends and loved ones in the presence of our Lord Jesus.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Ottawa.
Family will meet with friends from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 11, at the church.
Interment will be at Highland Cemetery, Ottawa, with military honors by the Kansas National Guard.
Bob was born in Salina, Kansas, April 7, 1934, to Earnest “Shorty” Dunn and Leta (Curtis) Dunn. They moved to a farm west of Ottawa, and then to the Elm Grove community east of Ottawa. Bob went to Elm Grove Grade School through 8th grade. After grade school graduation his family moved north of Ottawa to the Mac McKinley farm, where the Amazing Grace Church Camp is now located. He was a member of Elm Leaf and Clover Leaf 4-H clubs, where he enjoyed showing home grown garden produce at the county fair, and his prize Guernsey dairy cow.
Bob attended Ottawa High School, where he was very active in Future Farmers of America and was awarded the FFA State degree. He graduated from OHS with the Class of 1951.
After graduation from OHS, Bob joined the enlisted ranks of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 127th Field Artillery, Kansas Army National Guard, on May 23, 1952. He served as a truck driver and a cook before entering the Kansas Officer Candidate School. He graduated with Class V in 1961 and was later inducted into the Kansas OCS Hall of Fame in 2004.
During his career as an officer in the KSARNG, he rose through the ranks from second lietuentant to lieutenant colonel; serving as a commander at battery, battalion, and brigade levels; as well as numerous staff officer positions. The majority of his time was with the 1/127 FA, but he also spent time in the 69th Infantry Brigade, the 130th Field Artillery Brigade, and State Headquarters.
His military education included Artillery Officer Basic and Advanced Schools at Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; and the National Defense University, a four-year course of study. In May 1987, Dunn transferred to the United States Army Reserve, and was promoted to colonel in November 1987. He transferred to the Retired Reserve on Aug. 31, 1993, and fully retired on his 60th birthday, April 7, 1994. He served his country for 35 years in the KSARNG and seven years in the USAR, for a total of 42 years.
Bob is the father of Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Richard Dunn, retired Capt.Robert “Stan” Dunn and retired Master Sgt. Gary Dunn.
On the civilian side, after high school Bob worked briefly for Johnson Electric in Ottawa; then at Bennett Creamery, where he eventually became foreman. When the creamery closed, he went to work for the Kansas Gas Service Company. He later became an agent with the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, before joining the staff of Franklin Savings and Loan as a loan officer. When Franklin Savings closed, he continued his career as a loan officer at First National Bank of Ottawa [now Arvest], where he worked until his retirement.
Bob was very active in the Ottawa and Franklin County community. He served as president of Kiwanis, was active in the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and ECKAN, and very dedicated to the Gideons. On the county level, he was a member of the Franklin County Economic Development Board for several years, the Franklin County Planning and Zoning Board, the Harrison Township Zoning Board, the Franklin County Highway Improvement Program, and he served on the Board of Directors of the Franklin County Rural Water District #2 for many years. He was also actively involved as a leader in the Trailblazer 4-H Club.
Bob was baptized at the Wellsville Baptist Church and later became a longtime member of Ruhamah Baptist Church. He held many offices there, including deacon, trustee, and Sunday school superintendent. In these years he gave serious consideration to entering full-time ministry, but his call seemed to remain in public service and lay ministry. He was later a member of North Baptist Church where he served on the Scholarship Committee, the Trustee and Financial Committees, and as an usher. He and his wife Donna later became members of the Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Bob was married to Donna Kunard on April 11, 1954, at the Wellsville Baptist Church. They have four children from this union; Robert “Stan” Dunn (Connie), Gary Dunn (Sheryl), Richard Dunn (Janie), and Barb Nelson (Ken), all of Ottawa, Kansas. Bob and Donna have 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife Donna, children, and grandchildren; and sisters Vera Dunn Kunard (Wayne) and Cora Dunn Kunard; and sisters-in-law Joy Kunard and Loretta Kunard. He was proceeded in death by his parents, Earnest and Leta Dunn; his sister-in-law June Greiner; and brothers-in-law Steve Greiner, John Kunard, and Joe Kunard.
Bob’s first love was serving God; and this was manifested through his devoted service to his family, his nation, and his home. His farm and his cows were his “other kids” as well. They were all very much loved, spoiled and well cared for. He and Donna sold their beloved farm in 2016, moving to their present home in Ottawa; where he resided until his illness necessitated his move to Rock Creek of Ottawa.
The family suggests memorial contributions to Prairie Paws Animal Shelter or Westminster Presbyterian Church c/o Dengel & Son Mortuary, 235 S. Hickory, Ottawa, Kansas 66067.
Family and friends are encouraged to post their condolences and memories on Bob’s Tribute Wall at www.dengelmortuary.com