Louis Dunn

July 15th, 1916 to January 24th, 2011
Louis J. Dunn, 94, of Marysville, died Monday, January 24, 2011, at his home.

He was born July 15, 1916, in Adrian, Michigan, and lived most of his adult life in the Port Huron area. He was a retired newspaperman, devoted family man, lifelong Catholic and lover of the game of golf.

He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1938 and began his newspaper career that year at the Port Huron Times Herald, following in the footsteps of his uncle, Byron Barney Darnton, who had begun his newspaper career there. Louis was first assigned to the newspapers Sanilac County bureau in Sandusky, Michigan, where he met his future wife, the former Ardiel Stone. They were married on Dec. 5, 1942, in Sandusky, while Louis was serving in the U.S. Army. Louis had enlisted in March 1941 and graduated from Officer Candidate School in June 1943. He subsequently served in the Pacific Theater of World War II and returned home in late 1945.

After military service, Louis resumed his career at the Times Herald. Over 42 years, he held nearly every reporting and editing assignment in the newsroom. He wrote a column, All in a Day, for more than 20 years, and was the newspapers editorial page editor when he retired in February 1980. He was well-known in the community, and was respected and beloved by many young journalists for his patience, skill and good humor in helping them learn the ropes. Shortly before his retirement, he told one young reporter: Your workshop is everyday life. Be fair, and always give both sides of the story. The first thing is to be accurate. The fancy writing will come, but you are nothing if you cant be accurate.

For most of his working life at the newspaper, he was also the main caregiver for his wife, who was severely paralyzed from polio in the summer of 1953. After nearly a year of hospitalization and rehabilitation, first at Port Huron Hospital and then at the University of Michigan Medical Center, she was able to return to their Port Huron home with the help of equipment and support provided by the March of Dimes. Although she was unable to stand or walk, she used a wheelchair and managed several home-based businesses until her death from post-polio complications on Dec. 28, 1977. Louis moved to Fort Gratiot and then to Marysville, where he pursued his passion of golf at the nearby Marysville Golf Course.

In 1995, he met Marian T. Verkest, a widow and parishioner at St. Christophers Catholic Church in Marysville, where Louis was also a member. He was overjoyed at finding love in the twilight of life, and especially a soul mate with whom he shared so much. The Rev. Arthur Baranowski, pastor of St. Christophers, officiated at their wedding on June 15, 1996. The Dunns remained active in St. Christophers and with their many friends in the parish and community. They thrived on frequent family get-togethers with Dunns and Verkests, and liked to travel occasionally to Florida and Arizona. They enjoyed dinner cruises on the Huron Lady and stage plays at Stratford and Petrolia, Ontario. Blessed with a curious mind, Louis was a seeker of information and knowledge throughout his life, and continued to read widely on subjects as diverse as history, theology and physics until his death.

Louis was a devout Catholic (although as a journalist, he would wince at the clich). He was a founding member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Port Huron and a lifelong member of the Knights of Columbus. He was deeply moved when his wife Ardiel joined the Catholic Church in 1957. Many years later, God was at the center of Louis and Marians married life.

In addition to his wife Marian, he is survived by a daughter, Nancy Dunn; stepdaughters Donna Verkest, Joanne (Arthur) Wolnowski, and Peg Majocha; stepdaughter-in-law Ann Verkest; stepsons John Verkest, Greg (Sharon) Verkest, and Paul (Debbie) Verkest. A stepson, Ronald Verkest, and a stepson-in-law, Pete Majocha, preceded him in death, as did his five sisters. He is survived by 25 nieces and nephews, 18 stepgrandchildren and 20 stepgreat-grandchildren.

A funeral Mass will be 11 a.m. Friday at St. Christopher. Fr. Baranowski will officiate. The Rev. Clifford Ruskowski will concelebrate. Burial will be in Mount Hope Cemetery. Visitation will be 6-9 p.m. Wednesday and 2-4 and 6-9 p.m. Thursday at Karrer-Simpson Funeral Home in Port Huron and at the church on Friday from 10 a.m. until the funeral Mass. A Rosary/Scripture service will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Mercy Hospice, St. Christopher Church or the March of Dimes.

Pallbearers will be Chuck Drake, Bill Foerg, Greg Verkest, Jeff Verkest, John Verkest and Paul Verkest. Honorary pallbearers will be Jerry Brown, Mike Duffy, Ray Gover, Don Muir, Bernie Lyons and Ralph Polovich.

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