After a courageous, no holds barred battle with a pernicious, cowardly cancer, Timothy H. Dunn of Ponte Vedra, Florida (formerly of Haddon Heights, NJ) passed away on November 10, 2023, at the age of 70.
Tim (‘Timmy’ to his elder siblings and very brave friends) was born to Dorothea M. (Shean) and John J. Dunn on January 27, 1953 – the 6th of 12 children and a birth order position he relished given his longstanding thdunn06@ email address. He is survived by his family: Beloved wife, Judi (nee Phillips); cherished daughters, Julia L. Vadurro (Maciek Tarnowski), Meryn E. Foster (Joseph) and Rachel Dunn-Hamilton (Norman); 9 precious grandchildren – granddaughters Ophelia, Mirielle and Esmée Pomerleau & Mila and Sophie Tarnowski and grandsons Holden, Paxton, Bodhi and Stone Foster.
Tim is also survived by brothers, Michael (Gail), Patrick (Kathy), Denis (Leslie), David (Kassie) and Stephen (Betsy); sisters, Mary and Dorothea Specht (John); sisters-in-law, Karen, Nancy and Joan; and many nephews and nieces. He was pre-deceased by his parents and brothers John (Karen), Tom (Nancy) and Joseph (Joan).
After graduating from Haddon Heights High School with the class of ’72 and Widener University where he studied engineering, Tim’s early career took him to Houston. There he learned the ropes of managing HVAC projects for Wood-Lepard Company, enjoyed hunting and deep-sea fishing in the Gulf and developed his love of authentic – muy picantes – salsa, (which he later learned to make from scratch in a lava stone molcajete thanks to Aunt Julie in San Diego). Subsequently, his rekindled relationship with Judi returned Tim to the Philly area where marriage and daughter Rachel’s birth in 1991 proved the “best things that ever happened to me” (unsolicited, verbatim quote!). His career trajectory moved Tim to managing high revenue HVAC and mechanical projects at job sites including BC/BS, Liberty Place properties and the Philadelphia Airport for Elliott-Lewis, AECOM and HNTB corporations.
As revered as Tim’s engineering and problem-solving skills were, his most impressive and impactful role success was – and forever will be – as loving husband, indulgent father and patient grandfather. For Judi, Tim was strength, rudder and dependable brakes, never hesitating or failing to say “yes, dear” to affirm that all was as it should be in their world. For his daughters, Tim provided an ever-willing ear, judiciously shared wisdom and always a kiss on their heads with a whispered, “I love you, honey”. For his grandchildren, ‘Opa’ provided unconditional, unrestrained love made visible by the countless hours he spent patting wee backs, serving as a human guardrail protecting young swimmers from waves and currents, listening attentively to talkative toddlers (a feat of gargantuan strength for this man of few words) and engaging with pre/early teenagers to cause them to take and defend positions – always to educate, to make their minds stronger, never to intimidate.
As for his friends, Tim belonged to “the legendary group that wore halos, but sometimes fell behind the devil. He was the hardest working, honest and loyal person I ever met.” Mark Wood, Houston). That statement summed Tim up perfectly.
Against the backdrop of Tim’s well-lived life his death has caused an immediate vortex of acute, unabating grief experienced in differing ways by all that knew or loved this humble, kind, humorous servant. That is not to say he should be sainted – he struggled greatly over the long haul to break habits that threatened to break him. It is to say what Tim deeply believed – love conquers all - as it has, and it will.
All are invited to join the Dunn family in acknowledging Tim’s legacy and celebrating his transition to life everlasting. Mass will be celebrated by Father Rich Pagano at St. John Paul II Catholic Church Nocatee, 12:00 noon on Thursday, November 16, 2023. Interment to follow at Ponte Vedra Valley Cemetery in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
Livestream for Mass: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwIjsuXioBQ
To honor the lifegiving gift that Rachel received from Nicholas F. Stevens, it is requested that in lieu of flowers, donations in Tim’s memory to Gift of Life Howie’s House in Philadelphia be made through https://giftoflifehowieshouse.org