William DUNN
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DUNN, William
It is with sadness that our dear (Sweet voice) Willie passed away unexpectedly at his home on Monday, August 5, 2013 at the age of 71. Born in Montreal, Quebec, he was the son of the late William and Stella (Metallic) Dunn. He is survived by his loving partner Liz Moore; 2 sons William and Lawrence (Nina); daughter Pamela (Marvin); 3 beautiful granddaughters, Jessica, Mya and Melody; his brother John; sisters Hazel, Gloria and Linda. He was predeceased by 3 sisters, Jean, Betty, and Grace. Willie leaves behind an inspirational legacy for indigenous, grassroots and ecological causes in Canada. Willie released several albums; Willie Dunn (1971) The Pacific (1980), Metallic (1999), Son of the Sun (2004). He was inducted into the Aboriginal Walk of Honour in 2005. He directed international award winning documentaries. A singer, songwriter, playwright, director, award winning filmmaker and a First Nations ambassador for Canada - one of the Aboriginal community's true trailblazers. He will be missed by many. Friends and family are invited to visit at Beechwood, Cemetery and Funeral Services, 20 Beechwood Avenue (east of Vanier Parkway), Ottawa from 8:30 a.m. Saturday, August 10, until time of Funeral /Memorial Service in the Sacred Space at 10 a.m., www.beechwoodcemetery.com. For those who wish, flowers or memorial contributions in Willie memory to the Wabano Center for Aboriginal Health, 299 Montreal Rd., Ottawa, ON, www.Wabano.com. Willie was a proud veteran. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Ottawa Citizen on Aug. 8, 2013.
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40 entries
April 8, 2018
Your smile and music always and forever in my heart, dear Willie. Can just imagine your joy playing music to the Creator's thunder, Up There. May your memory always be for a blessing and dear Liz and the kids be comforted tenderly.
Ann Brady
December 4, 2017
Hello good peoples... My name is Kevin Howes and I am honoured to report that I am currently working on an official music/film project of the late, great, Willie Dunn for Light In The Attic Records. With the support of Willie's family, we are currently seeking vintage photos or visual memories (concert/movie posters, newspaper ads, flyers, etc...) from the 1960s-70s that can accompany our booklet and provide context about Willie's incredible life and art. We are working within a time sensitive schedule as we close out 2017, so if you are able to help in any way, please be in touch as soon as possible. Sending my best, Kev
Kevin Howes
December 4, 2017
Hello good peoples... My name is Kevin Howes and I am honoured to report that I am currently working on an official music/film project of the late, great, Willie Dunn for Light In The Attic Records. With the support of Willie's family, we are currently seeking vintage photos or visual memories (concert/movie posters, newspaper ads, flyers, etc...) from the 1960s-70s that can accompany our booklet and provide context about Willie's incredible life and art. We are working within a time sensitive schedule as we close out 2017, so if you are able to help in any way, please be in touch as soon as possible. Sending my best, Kev sipreano@gmail.com
Kevin Howes
August 7, 2017
I miss his voice..calm, deep, & patient.

He was always profound
DonnaMeness Kitigan Zibi
August 5, 2017
Another friend who never met Willie, but admires his singing
I'm pausing to remember the wonder of Willie Dunn this day, four years after his passing. I'm glad for the renewal of attention to his Wenjack song, on the 50th anniversary of the little boy's hard journey. And I pray for peace, that those who mourn his loss will find comfort in their sorrow.
Alan Gasser
December 3, 2015
I never met you but considered you my friend, I play your music on my guitar , thanks man
Barry Harvell
August 6, 2015
Willie Dunn was my friends father. I remember many years of going to their house. Whether we were playing, eating, or sitting calmly and reading comics and listening to music, Willie was very gracious and by far, had the most beautiful art shop to create these sticks he cleaned and painted. He was a true entertainer and artist. He was inspiring to me as an artist. Someone I will always remember.
Alison te Braak
August 5, 2015
Willie was a precious friend and a national treasure...clichéd words perhaps, but that's because a treasured friend lives forever in the hearts & minds of those who love him. More than that, Willie left us his words and music that will never die. Every day Charlie & I think of him as national events & issues remind us of how truly perceptive he was. Rest in peace beloved friend & bard.
Beverlie Robertson
August 5, 2015
Willie you were an inspiration for all nations you left us with heartbreaking songs full of truth you will be missed but you're legacy lives on.
Jack De Wilde
July 15, 2015
I recently heard of Willie Dunns passing. I met him in the 1970's in Vancouver after one of his performances. I remember seeing the play Ecstasy of Rita Joe and hearing his music. I was quite young but his voice and lyrics were so touching. I followed his music throughout my life. I am sorry for his passing and may he rest in peace
Natasha Baert
November 15, 2014
Just found out you passed away. Have no words. You were a great idol to me musically. I wish to follow in your footsteps. You were son of the son son of the earth...
Jair Machado
May 27, 2014
Best wishes and condolences to his family. Thank him for his support on indigenous causes.
Daniel Bingamon
February 19, 2014
Dear Liz and family.. and all who loved him as we did.. even from far away, over many years.
My heart is on the ground, as one said. He was a gentle man, a gentleman! words arn't enough, but we must try, we must cry.
So sad to hav miss'd saying goodbye.. having lost my mom july 29 to a hard end, now i hear this so late. O:nen'ki', Roha'ti:io!
But what a JOY to hav known him, and you, his loved ones. Peace to us all!
Roy Wright
November 18, 2013
Thomas long new willie well in the 70s a great guy.bob rob and ron lee we were al friends.god bless
thomas long
August 30, 2013
nice tribute to Willie by his friend Tony Belcourt https://soundcloud.com/tony-belcourt
Robert Williston
August 21, 2013
I'm in shock. We went to rosemont high school together & sang together. Have a song or two we did. Will be missed & always in my heart. A great person has left us. I no he is in good hands.
August 14, 2013

Death is Nothing at All

Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away to the next room. I am I and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name. Speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effect. Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same that it ever was. There is absolute unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you. For an interval. Somewhere. Very near. Just around the corner.

All is well. Henry Scott Holland
Liz Moore
August 12, 2013
Mr Dunn was a remarkable songwriter whose beautiful voice and rhythm drew one into his lyrics. My sympathies to his family and relatives.
From the prairies, Wendy Paquin
wendy paquin
August 11, 2013
I admired Willie enormously. I saw him frequently in the 1980s and 1990s and sadly lost touch. He came to my classes at Carleton University, talked about his films and sang for us. He was a true inspiration, a wonderful artist and musician, and a true leader in the understanding of Aboriginal rights and history. He was also a warm, kind and gentle man with an open mind and spirit, who loved art, music, and poetry. I felt privileged to know him. Canada has lost a great treasure. My deepest sympathy and condolences to his family.
Parker Duchemin
August 11, 2013


Willie! I am heartbroken you left us but so happy for you to be free!!

Now you can sit a spell drink some cedar tea & sing a song or two for Don Whiteside & Ernie Benedict & Patricia Montour, Jean Goodwill & her brother Gordon Tootootsis... Oscar Lathlin & Elijah Harper & William Commanda ..Albert Lightening...Peter O'Chiese & Russell Means... & your friend - my cousin Chris Printup who passed away in April.

"Musically, Dunn has succeeded where so many have failed before, not through rage or self-righteousness, but through sheer musicality and a desire for fairness."


The world is lonelier yet again..sigh
Donna Meness Kitigan Zibi
August 10, 2013
Willie was a special presence in our community in Montreal in the early days. A gentle man, a gentleman. Quiet waters running deep. His poetry and music moved us, rallied us. My condolences to the family in this time of great loss,
Lesley Paulette
August 10, 2013
Liz and family, Brad and I were so sorry to here of Willie's passing. Such an amazing poet, singer, writer. He will be missed by many.
Brad and Deirdre Morse
Deirdre Morse
August 9, 2013
I remember Willie and Morley from the 70s. He was a pioneer in the Montreal music scene for Native musicians. His first album was his greatest and I loved his music. A true loss to the music.
Ken Williams
August 9, 2013
what a wonderful artist is singing in the sky. my admiration and sympathie , what a great man
Margie Gillis ).C.,C.Q.
August 9, 2013
Please accept my sincere condolences for your loss. Willie Dunn's music has affected me profoundly. He is my hero and has left a remarkable legacy for our future generations to discover.

-Robert Williston
Museum of Canadian Music
August 9, 2013
Heartfelt prayers and condolences to all. Travel well, my friend.
Brenda (Thomas) Gatto & family
August 9, 2013
I was saddened to hear of the news of Willie passing. Our family was blessed to have known him since 1976. We will always remember him as an icon - to Aboriginal music - which he always shared. Our family sends our condolences to your family for your great loss.
Audrey Shawana - Serpent River Reserve Ottawa, Ontario
Audrey Shawana
August 9, 2013
Dear Liz Moore and family,

I am writing to extend my deepest sympathies to you and your family. I was saddened to hear of the passing of Willie. May the peace that comes from the memories of love shared comfort you now and in the days ahead.

Canada lost a great Aboriginal icon in Willie Dunn. He was an inspiration to many Canadians; his award winning NFB films and his music stand out as some of the more ground-breaking Aboriginal works of our era.

Please accept my most heartfelt sympathies for your loss; my thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.

My sincere condolences,

Justin P.J. Trudeau
Justin Trudeau
August 9, 2013
My love to Liz, Pamela, and Lawrence. Wille was a wonderful uncle, storyteller, singer. We will miss him so much.
Barbara Gauthier
August 8, 2013
My most heartfelt and deepest sympathy, Rest in Peace,
Jack Berry
(former VP of Ottawa Vanier NDP)
August 8, 2013
With heartfelt condolences, our thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.
Ursula & Tia
August 8, 2013
Rest in peace.
wallace fingers
August 8, 2013
I recall my brother-in-law Martin Defalco, a fellow film-maker, speaking of him with the highest regard.
Barbara Defalco Plunkett
August 8, 2013
My heart is on the ground at this sad news. Willie was an amazing man and I feel so honoured to have known him. He was truly a friend to me and my family and I will remember him always.
To his family and friends I say: Mussi cho, Big thank you, for the gift of your Husband, Father, Brother, Uncle, Son, Grandfather, Friend. On behalf of my family I am sending you all of our most heartfelt condolences for your loss. Please know that you are thought about and missed.
Valerie O'Connal
Jennifer (Montour) Neudorf, husband Derek & son Liam
Kimberly Montour
Valerie O'Connal
August 8, 2013
My condolences to Pam & all of his relatives. An artist will live on through his art and his family...meegwetch mishomis
August 8, 2013
Willie Dunn, Michael Regenstreif, Jesse Winchester at the Apple Hollow Folk Festival 2009.
Great loss for all Canadians.Hope the present generation get exposed to his songs
Aaron Wohl
August 8, 2013
sending our love and respect from the west coast.
kevin howes
light in the attic records
Kevin Howes
August 8, 2013
My thoughts and prayers to Liz, Lawrence and Pam and all of Willie's family.
In Spirit
Claudette trudeau
August 8, 2013
Fair well my friend. You were a funny, mischievous man, with a deep seated and deeply rooted respect for the great heritage of Aboriginal people in Canada. I'll always remember the impromptu sing-alongs with Willie at the Aboriginal Peoples meetings. The greatest revelation of the impact of Willie's music was during a visit to Germany the young German person I was working with in Hamburg was so excited that I knew Willie Dunn. She had a copy of Metallic and knew most of his music. Willie always did his best to pass along some of his musical wisdom to the next generation of Aboriginal musicians. I think a review of a German reissue of his album Pacific is the best and most eloquent summary of his music and career: http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-pacific-mw0000705510
Randy Way
August 8, 2013
Dear Liz and Family: Although I have not personally met Willie I feel like I know him through some of his music and of course fond memories shared by precious Liz. Most certainly Willie's life left a legacy you can all be proud of.
Norma Mahon
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