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Florence Dunn

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Florence Dunn Obituary
Florence E. Dunn (nee Kitchen) June 2, 1919 - Nov. 2, 2011 Former Resident of Oakland Florence E. Dunn (nee Kitchen), was born on 6-2-19 in Oakland and died on Nov. 2, 2011. She was the eldest of two children of William and Elizabeth, immigrants from Liverpool and County Longford, Ireland. Her father was a pile driver rigger who succumbed in 1925 from injuries sustained in a fall while working on the construction of the Carquinez Bridge. Before the accident Bessie and Bill had expanded their flat in the Temescal District at 48th and Webster and the income from two new rentals and from temporary boarders to whom Bessie would rent a spare bedroom aided the family as they struggled through the Depression without a husband's income. Florence and her brother Bill Jr. expanded their knowledge of the world listening to stories of the life adventures of these single men and became skilled at repeating these accounts mimicking the accents and speech idiosyncrasies for the entertainment of their schoolmates and later on, their own children and their friends. Relatives on both sides of the Kitchens, the Burkes and the Raymonds, were often willing participants and receptive audiences for Flo and Bill's active imaginations and desires to entertain. It was through the matchmaking efforts of Michael and Joan Scanlon that Florence met Donald Dunn who grew up in Porterville, CA . They married in 1940 and had five children. The eldest, Joseph, also suffered a work-related death when he fell from a Western Pacific railroad trestle while conducting a structural inspection. Although this event almost disabled them emotionally for a time, friends, family, and their strong religious faith helped them resume the task of raising their 4 surviving children. Gerry became a deputy probation officer for Alameda County, Jim chose a career in civil engineering in the rail industry, Jeanne became a demographer for the US Census Bureau and Bill became a maritime engineer. Don spent 27 years as a firefighter for the city of Oakland, then another 4 years as a bank vault custodian before passing away in 1978. Florence attended Sacred Heart Elementary School and Holy Names High School. She began her employment after high school in the insurance field and later, when her children no longer needed her constant supervision; she resumed working part-time in a variety of businesses in the East Bay. She found special satisfaction working in the real estate field. Florence and Don moved from Oakland 's Rockridge District to Walnut Creek in 1968 where she lived until 1988 when she elected to follow her youngest son to western Washington State after he began his maritime career. Most of that time was in Port Townsend. Despite her advancing age, Florence enjoyed good health until she was almost 92. She then accepted Bill and Dorene's invitation to join them. They and members of the Hospice Foundation of Jefferson County Healthcare Service provided her with expert and loving care until her peaceful demise. Florence leaves her sons, Gerry (Cathy) of Oakland, Jim (JoAnn) of Honolulu, and Bill (Dorene) of Port Townsend, her daughter Jeanne (Doug) of Alexandria, VA, 7 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Her brother Bill preceded her in death in 2002. A funeral liturgy is scheduled for Thursday, March 15 at St. Theresa Catholic Church, 30 Mandalay Rd. Oakland, 94618. A reception-lunch will follow in the parish school meeting room.
Published in Inside Bay Area on Mar. 11, 2012
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