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Stuart J. Dunnings Jr.

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Stuart J. Dunnings Jr. Obituary
Stuart J. Dunnings, Jr. Lansing Lansing attorney, civic leader, educator, and advocate for equality died peacefully at home surrounded by family on March 10, 2010. Stuart's legacy will continue through his children, grandchildren, and innumerable people whose lives have been touched by his dedication to social justice. Stuart was born in Staunton, Va., on August 21, 1924 to Stuart and Bertie Dunnings and obtained his undergraduate degree at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. He served in the army during World War II and went on to earn a law degree from the University of Michigan in 1950. When Stuart Opened his law office in September 1950 he continued to work at Oldsmobile at night. He and his bride, Janet, would clean the office building on the weekends in exchange for free office space. The landlord, the late J. Riley Oles, was the only one who would rent office space to a black attorney. Stuart's accomplishments are numerous and include his appointment to the Michigan State Board of Law Examiners for over 30 years, active member of the ABA's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary and President of the local chapter of the NAACP for six years. His awards include the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Boy Scouts of America, Champion of Justice Award from the State Bar of Michigan, Outstanding Attorney of the Year, Ingham County Bar Association, the Hugo B. Lundberg award for championing civil rights, induction into the National Bar Association Hall of Fame, and the Lansing Black Lawyers Association's Distinguished Service Award. Stuart was a long standing member of Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church. He was preceded in death by his wife of 48 years, Janet Taylor Dunnings, his parents and brothers, Purcell and George. Stuart is survived by his children Stuart III (Cynthia), Steven (Michelle), Shauna (Stuart Chavis), all residents of Lansing and Susan (Hon. Brian Holeman) of Washington D.C.; eight grandchildren Courtney, Coral, Winter, Sarah, Thaddeus, Taylor, William and Jonathan; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Viewing is opening to friends and colleagues Sunday, March 14, noon to 4 p.m. at the Riley Funeral Home. The family will receive friends Sunday, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., at Trinity A.M.E. Church, 3500 W. Holmes Road in Lansing. Funeral services will be held Monday, March 15, 11 a.m. at Trinity A.M.E. Church led by Rev. Nathan Dixon. Donations in honor of Stuart J. Dunnings, Jr., can be made to the Lansing Kappa Alpha PSI Foundation, Inc., P.O.Box 12278, Lansing, Michigan 48901-2278, which provides programs and scholarships for teenage males in the Greater Lansing area.

Published in Lansing State Journal on Mar. 13, 2010
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