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Colin (Ben) Gunn

Obituary
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Colin (Ben) Gunn
Attorney
Colin (Ben) Gunn, a fierce advocate for his clients over a long and successful legal career, passed away on September 27, 2012 in Redding, Connecticut at 91 years of age.
Born March 10, 1921, in New York City, he was a graduate of Mount Herman Preparatory School, 1940; Dartmouth College, AB, 1946 cum laude; University of Connecticut School of Law, JD, 1952. He was a member of the student board of editors of the Connecticut Law Journal and admitted to the bar in June of 1952. He also attended Harvard Business School, New York University and Yale University and received an Honorary Degree from University of Bridgeport, 1994.
He was senior partner of Gunn, Godfrey and Allison, a successor to the law firm he founded in Westport, in 1956. During his career he was Director and General Counsel of R. C. Bigelow, Inc.; General Counsel of The Educational Foundation of America and General Counsel of Brooks Community Newspapers, Inc. He was former Chairman of the Board for The Nature Center, (Earthplace), Westport, CT, Norwalk Hospital and University of Bridgeport. He was a trustee of Norwalk Hospital, University of Bridgeport, Palisades Foundation.
He opened his practice in Westport, Connecticut 56 years ago and was still practicing at the time of his death. Colin Gunn first came to Westport at age 9 and lived there on and off until settling in Westport with his wife Mary in 1952.
Upon graduation from Mount Hermon he worked at Pepperidge Farm, and Handy & Harman in Fairfield until he enlisted in the Coast Guard on December 8, 1941. He served in the North Atlantic on a sub-chaser. After being swept overboard, he transferred to the Navy and attended Yale and Dartmouth achieving the rank of Ensign and then Lieutenant J.G. in the inactive naval reserve. He served in New London and Guam during the war. After being discharged he returned to Dartmouth, graduating with a degree in economics and business administration in 1946. He stayed on briefly to teach economics then worked for Seagram's, Baltimore, MD. Returning to Connecticut, he married his sweetheart Mary Elizabeth Hunter Gunn in 1948 and worked at Berger Brothers Manufacturing, New Haven, CT.
While in New Haven he pursued a law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law. Upon graduation he moved his growing family to Saugatuck in 1952. Briefly employed by the Law Offices of Gustave Simons, N.Y. Mr. Gunn opened his own practice in 1954 at 35 Church Lane, Westport. He was later joined by his partners David Godfrey and Diane Alison in 1986. He continued to practice law until his death.
He had a deep commitment to community service. He was active in the Town of Westport, a member of Kiwanis, Saugatuck Congregational Church, The Nature Center, Yale Club, Eastman Golf Club and the New England Senior Friendship Cup Tennis team. He especially enjoyed spending time at his vacation home in New Hampshire with family and friends. During his full life he developed many strong long lasting friendships. Many of these friendships started on the tennis court, in the office or through his many civic activities.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Mary Hunter Gunn; John Hunter Gunn, Anne Colantuoni Gunn and their children Sophia and Ben of New York, NY; David Oliver Gunn, Debra J. Gunn and their children Emily, Dawson and Lena, of Fairfield, CT; Susan Gunn Bromley and Michael Bromley of Westport, CT and his children Sara, Matt and his wife Liz, and Melissa Bromley, of Stamford, CT.
Ben was predeceased by his twin brother, John, his parents Arthur Stanley and Olga Rosemund Neidlinger, and his aunt, the journalist Eleanor Gunn Ruttenber, who raised him after the death of his parents.
A Memorial Service is planned for October 19 at Greens Farms Congregational Church, 71 Hillandale Road, Westport, CT, at 3 p.m. Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Rd. E., Westport, is in charge of arrangements. Memorial condolences may be left at www.hardingfuneral.com.
Colin “Ben” Gunn was a life long believer in the importance of a quality education. In his honor the family asks that donations no matter how big or small be made to an educational institution of your choosing.
Published in The Hour on Oct. 6, 2012
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