Theresa Dunn

U.S. Veteran

June 17, 1950 – January 16, 2023

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Theresa Dunn’s faith was made sight on Monday, January 16, 2023 (2 Cor. 5:7). Born June 17, 1950, in Little Rock, Arkansas, to JR and Lillie Thurman, Theresa’s family then moved to Memphis, Tennessee, when she was two years old. She graduated from Memphis, Tennessee’s White Haven High School in 1968. Her faith in Jesus Christ led Theresa to walk the Narrow Road Jesus talked about in Matthew 7. Her journey on this road was of service, sharing, and salvation. Theresa’s journey of service began by enlisting in the United States Navy on August 19, 1971. She underwent Recruit Training Command (women) at Bainbridge, Maryland, starting her first job as an Aviation Storekeeper. In 1975, she converted to Journalist and was stationed on the island of Guam, where she was selected as the 1976 Naval Station, Guam, Sailor of the Year for her contributions to the massive recovery operation of the island after a devastating Super Typhoon and 7.5 earthquake. She was also a finalist for the Naval Logistics Command, U.S. Pacific Fleet 1976 Sailor of the Year. During her 24 years of service, Senior Chief Dunn served with almost every community of the Navy: Aviation, Surface, Submarine, Seabees, Communications, Recruiting, and even on a joint staff at an Army Post. She also served as an instructor at the Defense Information School (DINFOS) at Fort Benjamin Harris, Indianapolis, Indiana. She reported to her last duty station at the Naval Historical Center as Command Senior Chief in November 1992 when the Navy Recruiting District, Washington, was disestablished. Senior Chief Dunn completed numerous military schools, some of which awarded Navy Enlisted Codes (NECS): Aviation Storekeeper “A” School, Journalist “A” School, the Newspaper Editor’s Course, Advanced Information Specialist Course, Intermediate Photojournalist Course (814 7), Public Affairs Supervisors Course, Command Career Counselor (9588/89), Basic Instructor (9502), and Command Master Chief. Aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Independence CV-62, she completed all her qualifications to earn her enlisted Air Warfare Wings. Finally, she completed her Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of the State of New York Regents College in 1993. Senior Chief Dunn’s awards include Joint Services Commendation Medal, two Navy Achievement Medals, five Navy Good Conduct Medals, two National Defense Medals, two Humanitarian Service Medals, Expert Pistol qualification, two Silver Wreaths for Excellence in Recruiting Support, three Meritorious Unit Commendations, and two Overseas Service ribbons. She was a true trailblazer and walked with honor and strength, which was no easy accomplishment for women in the military at that time. She repeatedly proved her worth, intelligence, and expertise. Senior Chief Dunn served her country with honor and distinction, breaking barriers that no longer exist today because of women like her. Women in today’s Navy stand on her shoulders and those of women like her. The second part of her journey was sharing. Theresa shared by opening her home to anyone in need and taught her children to do likewise. When she and CWO4 Clyde Michael Dunn, USN (RET), married in August 1988 (combining their two families), she shared her faith in Jesus with her new husband and children. Theresa shared her love of the outdoors with Mike, as evidenced by their extensive travels. Their worldwide and local expeditions often centered on sailing and/or fishing, serving on short-term mission teams, or purely for the enjoyment of God’s creation. She once flew with the Blue Angels, jumped out of an airplane, shot an M-60, took pictures worldwide, sailed, rode motorcycles and 4-wheelers, and so much more. You could just as likely find her under/inside an engine block trying to fix it as you would in her sewing room constructing unique quilts. She was a Mineola Guilt Guild and Quilters Guild of East Texas member. She participated in many award-winning shows, excelling at quilting techniques and winning many awards, including Best of Show and First Place. She was also a certified instructor, enabling her to share her love of a skill she acquired during deep grief. Theresa transformed the pain of losing her son, Michael, into something she would share with the world. Theresa’s final and most important journey on the Narrow Road is one of salvation. Theresa was an active member of the Church wherever she lived, serving as a Children’s Church and Sunday School teacher, AWANAs leader, Choir member, and in women’s ministries. She faithfully studied God’s Word, taught the Bible to countless kids (including her own), prayed over everyone she cared about, and served her family in any way she could. Despite all of this apparent evidence of faith, Theresa was not perfect. She believed in the free gift of God’s forgiving grace but struggled with giving grace to herself. And yet, she was a sinner saved by grace (Eph. 2:8). She persevered and walked the hard road of discipline on the Narrow Road with Jesus, marking the path for others to follow (Heb 12). This part of her journey is less about Theresa and all about Jesus. Theresa fought the good fight, finished her race, and kept the faith. She now experiences the crown of righteousness Jesus prepared for her (2 Tim. 4:7–8), received because of her faith in Jesus Christ, not for any other reason. She would ask anyone that knew her, “What road are you traveling?” Theresa is preceded in death by her parents, her siblings (Chuck, Dennis, and sister Helen), and her son (PRl Dennis Michael Dunn, USN), who passed on October 6, 2006, after serving in Iraq. She leaves behind her husband, Mike Dunn; five adult children, Terri Lavallee, Denise Wood, Missie Wiedman, Melissa Perry, and Chad Dunn; twelve grandchildren, Joey, Deleema, Emily, Madison, Alexander, Aurora, Christina, Brooklyn, Draven, Emmerson, Joshua, and Gabriel; and five great-grandchildren, Madeline, JR, Kenadee, Cooper, and Lilly Kate. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God Born of his Spirit, washed in His blood This is my story, this is my song Praising my Savior all the day long This is my story, this is my song Praising my Savior all the day long Perfect submission, perfect delight Visions of rapture now burst on my sight Angels descending bring from above Echoes of mercy, whispers of love This is my story, this is my song Praising my Savior all the day long This is my story, this is my song Praising my Savior all the day long Praising my Savior all the day long (Songwriters: Don Wyrtzen / Fanny Crosby / Phoebe Knapp)

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