FRANK CAMERON DUNNE
September 3, 1918 - February 1, 2014
Frank Cameron Dunne died on February 1, 2014 at 95 years old. Frank was born September 3, 1918 in Boise, Idaho to William Jennings Dunne and Bessie Lucine Nichols-Dunne at the old Saint Alphonsus Hospital. His parents were having dinner at a downtown Chinese Restaurant when his mother went into labor. Frank was born several hours later. He was an only child, growing up in Boise.
He attended Lowell Elementary School through 8th grade and graduated from Boise High School in 1936. In high school, he sang in the acapella choir. Frank also participated in the ROTC. Shortly after graduation, he and two of his best friends from high school, Gordon Eichmann and Jack Rowell, took a trip to Seaside, Oregon. Frank loved the ocean ever since.
Frank lived a very interesting and full life and he did, as he said many times, "live each day to the fullest!" As a young man, Frank continued to pursue his love of music by singing in the Elks Gleeman's Choir and playing piano in a band. Shortly before his death, Frank was notified that he was the last living member of the original Elks Gleeman's Choir.
Frank's first real job as an adult was working at City Dye as a driver for a brief period. Later he worked for Troy Laundry, where his father was also employed. Upon his father's retirement, Frank took over his route at Troy Laundry. It was here that he met his future wife, Sidona Hansen. With this union, they had three wonderful sons: Dan, Tim, and Jerry Dunne. Frank and Sidona later divorced in 1980.
In 1942, Frank enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served in the South Pacific during WWII. He was so proud having served for the country he loved so dearly. After his honorable discharge from the Marines, he returned to his job at Troy Laundry in Boise. In 1950, he started his own business, Certified Rug & Furniture Cleaners, with his partner and good friend, Milton "Bill" Simpson. Located in Hyde Park, the business thrived under Frank's management and has continued to do so with son Jerry taking the helm in 1990. Frank didn't officially retire completely until he was 72 years old.
On August 29, 1981, he married Wilma Coats in Elko, Nevada. Frank and Wilma loved to travel, especially in the beautiful Northwest. Driving had been a life-long passion for Frank and he took many trips to see different parts of "this beautiful country", as he always said. He was proud to declare that he drove over a million and a half miles and never had an accident. Even after retiring, Frank continued to stay physically active with biking, walking, tennis, and cross-country skiing. He was an avid reader as well, until he became blind due to Macular Degeneration.
In his retirement, Frank and three of his closest friends started a tradition of meeting twice per month for a meal together. They called themselves "The ROMEOs" (Retired Old Men Eating Out). The group included Frank, Gordon Eichmann, Jack Rowell, and Dick Clemens. They were a unique group of men who grew up attending school together; they each served in the military and returned to Boise where their friendship continued until each member's passing. Frank was the last of The ROMEOs to pass away.
Frank and Wilma lived in the Boise home that Frank grew up in, where he was able to reside until his passing. Family and friends were always inspired by his positive outlook on life and his witty sense of humor. Even in his final years and days, he appreciated the city he lived in and admired the beauty all around him. He was a kind and gentle man, and he will be missed by all who knew him.
Frank leaves behind his wife, Wilma Dunne, his sons Dan (wife Jeri), Tim (wife Mary), and Jerry (wife Denise), as well as Frank's 8 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held at St. Mary's Church at 11:00 am on Friday, February 7th. Burial with military honors will follow at the Morris Hill Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Wyakin Warrior Project, P.O. Box 9924, Boise, Idaho 83707.
Published in Idaho Statesman on Feb. 5, 2014
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