Prominent Businessman and Colorful Civic Leader

After my mother died, my sisters and I were working together, sorting the things in her house, deciding what to do with each item, reminiscing as we worked. While working in her attic, I noticed an old newspaper, still rolled up, lying on the insulation between rafters. I carefully unrolled it and discovered it was the newspaper that contained Granddaddy’s obituary.

Dated December 29, 1964, just three days after his death, this article appeared on the front page of the largest town in our area. Clearly, Granddaddy made an impact not only on our family and in our community but also was known and respected regionally.

Transcript of Newspaper Article

EDDYVILLE, Ky., Dec. 28 —

Shelley Dunn, a prominent businessman and colorful civic leader in Lyon County for more than a half-century, is dead as the result of a stroke.

Mr. Dunn was stricken Saturday night and died in a short time on the way to a hospital in Paducah. He was 80 years old, but had not retired.

Mr. Dunn operated a funeral home in Kuttawa from 1916 to 1961, and then reestablished it here after Kuttawa and Eddyville were relocated to make way for Barkley Lake. The old funeral home was located between the old Kuttawa and new Eddyville.

Mr. Dunn was … a leader in Kuttawa Methodist Church, Joppa Lodge … [Joppa Masonic Lodge #167] … F & AM, and the unusual Lyon County Oldtimers Club.

Mr. Dunn helped organize the club and was a charter member. The organization was established for people 70 years old or older. It meets annually for speaking, singing, and renewal of old friendships and making of new ones.

Mr. Dunn usually prepared the program and directed serving of the meals for the annual meeting.

Mr. Dunn was widely known for his part in the Dunn Quartet. He sang for many years with his wife, L. B. Vosier and Bill Lockhard. Lockhart and Vosier are dead, too.

A Lyon County native, Mr. Dunn was a member of a pioneer Western Kentucky family. He worked at several funeral homes in the area before establishing the home at Kuttawa.

Mr. Dunn also operated Hilltop Rest Home near the site of the old funeral home and farmed as a “hobby”.

Besides his widow, Mr. Dunn is survived by two sons, J.D. Dunn of Alton, IlL, and Kenneth Dunn of Kuttawa; four daughers, Mrs. Burgess Boone of Alton, Mrs. Robert Riley Jr. of Kuttawa, Mrs. Eugene Denney of Eddyville and Mrs. Clyde Adams of Ft. Bragg, N. C.; a sister, Mrs. Allie Gresham of Princeton, and 11 grandchildren.

Funeral Services will be held Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the funeral home, with the Rev. M. W. Hall officiating. Burial will be in Kuttawa Cemetery.

Family Snapshots

The following photographs are from my collection. I copied or scanned all these photographs from originals belonging to either my mother or one of my aunts. The only original I have is the one with the date in the border. That is a photograph I took with my Brownie Starmite Camera. Dated Jan 1963, this was about 10 months before he died.

Granddaddy always wore a suit, tie, and hat. At home, he wore a cardigan sweater over this dress shirt. The first photograph in this gallery of him without his suit coat, leaning against a tree, is an unexpected and delightful image of him. Equally delightful is seeing the expression on his face as he looks at his first granddaughters. It’s clear he adored those baby girls.

You may also like...