Robert Dunn

FALMOUTH – Robert Dunn, 91, passed away peacefully in his home on May 1, 2021. Born in The Bronx on Sept. 23, 1929, one month before the advent of the Great Depression, Bob was raised there by his architect father, Thomas and devoted mother Evelyn, along with his two brothers, Thomas and William. He attended St. Nicholas of Tolentine Elementary and High School, where he excelled academically and athletically. He attended Columbia University, but curtailed his studies to enlist in the Army and spent three years in Korea and Japan serving his country. After the war, Bob returned home and began his studies and athletic pursuits (baseball, basketball and football) at Bates College. During this time, he married his high school sweetheart, Norah Sweeney. Graduating with honors and a degree in political science, he was offered a full scholarship to Columbia Law School. Back in New York, Bob masterfully juggled family life (he and Norah had two young children, Carol and Robert), law school and his job as a real estate appraiser. After receiving his J.D. from Columbia, he spent three years with the Law Firm of Donovan, Leisure, Newton and Irvine, and then seventeen years with Sperry and Hutchinson as General Counsel. In this time, the family grew (daughter Alice and sons William and Kevin were born) and they moved to Scarsdale, N.Y. Happy times indeed, until the untimely passing of his wife, Norah.In 1970, Bob and lifelong friend, George Liddy supported the launch of the first Women’s Professional Tennis Tournament – the Virginia Slims Open – which led to the WTA. Several years later, Bob was introduced to Catherine Mary Hayslip, who shared his love of tennis, and the couple soon married. The family grew by two (sons, Christopher and Brian) and relocated to larger quarters in Mamaroneck, N.Y, until S&H was sold to a firm in the U.K. Bob next served as General Counsel with General Nutrition Corporation in Pittsburgh, Pa., leading the effort to bring the Corporation public. The family lived in Sewickley and, for better or worse, became diehard Steelers fans.Bob and Catherine remained in Sewickley until all seven children had flown the nest, after which they divided their time between Deerfield Beach, Fla., and Montauk, N.Y., enjoying tennis, sunshine and time with friends and family. When wife Catherine passed in 2015, Bob moved north to be closer to family and settled at OceanView in Falmouth, where he enjoyed spending time with his children, taking drives along the coast and partaking of the occasional lobster roll. In September 2019, Bob’s friends and family came together for a spectacular celebration of his 90th birthday, a memory everyone in attendance holds dear. Family, faith, friends and fairness were the pillars of Bob’s life. He had a voracious appetite for all sports, and mystery novels. He had a bit of a sweet tooth, perhaps established in early childhood when he and his father would go to the corner drugstore for a milkshake. Bob was predeceased by his parents, Thomas Francis and Evelyn Ursula Dunn, his wives, Norah Sweeney Dunn and Catherine Hayslip Dunn, and his son, Robert Dunn Jr.He is survived by his daughter, Carol and son-in-law Don Thornton (San Jose, Calif.), daughter, Alice Dunn (Portland), sons, William Dunn (Atlanta, Ga.), Kevin Dunn (Oakland, Cailf.), Christopher Dunn (Washington, D.C.) and Brian Dunn and daughter-in-law Elizabeth Zeeuw-Dunn (Portland); grandchildren, Brad, Maggie, Trevor, Bridget and Madge; and many cousins, nieces and nephews. Special thanks to the OceanView community for their care and support of the past six years. A Catholic funeral mass and celebration of life will be held for both Robert Dunn and his son, Robert Dunn Jr., September 18, at 11 a.m., Holy Martyrs Church, 266 Foreside Road, Falmouth. Online condolences may be expressed at In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to the Smile Train and/or the Wounded Warriors Project, both of which meant a great deal to Bob.

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