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DAVID NELSON DUNN

Born: April 12, 1940
Died: October 27, 2017

David Dunn was born in New Haven, son of Nelson James and Anne Marie Carey Dunn. David spent his childhood in Hamden, New Haven's northern adjoining town. He graduated from Hamden High School, one of 4 classmates who made the short trip down Dixwell Avenue to Yale. At high school he acquired the nickname "Dynamite." This nickname stuck with him through his life among his old friends from Yale. The precise origins of the name are now shrouded in the mists of history. Your scribe will not disturb the past.

At Yale Dynamite was a member of Branford College. He roomed with Jack Pirozzolo, another Hamden grad and life-long friend who predeceased him. Dynamite delivered a moving tribute at Jackís funeral.

Dynamite majored in history, was on Deanís List and held a scholarship. After graduation he was employed in the insurance industry and spent his entire career in insurance, with Liberty Mutual and U.S. Life, rising to senior management until his retirement in 2000. After a couple of years he was recruited out of retirement to return to insurance management with New York Life for several years until his final retirement in 2006.

David married Arlene Bessette in 1962. Their marriage spanned 55 years. In addition to Arlene, he is survived by sons, David Erik of Pt. Pleasant Borough, N.J. and Adam of Pittsfield, New Hampshire, daughter Gretchen Ingersoll of Londonderry, New Hampshire, sister Marilyn Mapes of Old Saybrook, Connecticut and 4 grandchildren, Korey and Devin Ingersoll and Justin and Layla Dunn.

During the course of his career he, Arlene and the family frequently moved for his work. They lived in Boston, Hanson, Mass., Goshen, NY and New York City with their final move to Brielle, New Jersey where they purchased a home in 1989.

David and Arlene bought a vacation home in 1986 on Cape Cod in East Dennis. After his retirement they spent summers there. For his Connecticut friends this was an advantage. He could often stop in New Haven and visit along the way or when returning to New Jersey for pizza at Pepeís or a steak at Mory's.

David and Arlene hosted an exchange student from Spain in 1990 and developed a close connection with the studentís family in Madrid, resulting in many trips to Spain as well as to Portugal. They also took memorable trips to Paris, Rome and Egypt.

Yale and Hamden High School classmate Tony Carbone contributed his memories and tributes which your scribe presents without editing:

On a more personal basis, he was exceptionally generous, unpretentious, honest and always supportive of others. Without doubt, he helped shaped my beliefs and values throughout my life... through our frequent interaction and frequent recall of a lifetime of memorable experiences together.

I will miss his presence, but live with great affection for Dynamite and his old, green Chevy convertible that transported me through some of the most cherished experiences of my life.

Rest In Peace, my Friend.

Dynamite had a gravely and forceful voice. He spoke persuasively and with assurance on politics, insurance and literature. He was a formidable advocate with humor and good spirit. But whether agreeing or disagreeing with you, he was, and always remained, an unwavering friend, a source of common sense and personal support.

Over the last 20 years David and Arlene regularly joined his Hamden friends, Jack Pirozzolo, Tony Carbone and Gerry Swirsky and their wives in New Haven for an annual dinner to solve the issues of the nation. Other local classmates who have since joined the group were Jim and Mary Rita Killelea, Larry and Lainie Lipsher and Peter and Jane Cohen. Barbara and your scribe were delighted to accept membership in this unique group and to join the lively debates. You always knew where Dynamite stood.

Dynamite will be missed.

Robert G. Oliver




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