Thomas "Jim" Dunn is the son of Tom and Barbara Dunn and brother of Pat Dunn.
This wonderful family of giving people nurtured a hero*.
I taught and coached Jim Dunn at Bishop McNamara High School in the late 1970's. Tom Dunn once looked at the shabby state of the Fighting Irish Track uniforms and told Head Coach Jim Frogge and me that the boys looked like 'rag pickers.' The next day new uniforms were ordered - shorts, tops and sweats. Tom wanted no acknowlegement. Jim Dunn and Pat Dunn were weightmen -shot and discus heavers.
Barb Dunn volunteered and was a substitute teacher -without pay, I believe, at Mac. Barb and Tom bought tables at fund-raisers for the faculty and gave back every raffle they won. The Dunns are givers.
This giving attitude came into full fruition with the life lived by Jim Dunn - he was an auxiliary policeman for Bourbonnais, like his old man, and helped autistic children cope with life. Jim gave his life for one of the kids that he shepherded.
Jim Dunn is what being alive is all about.
God Bless a great family!
A guardian angel, perhaps. Dunn, 46, was killed Monday when he was struck by a bus during a trip with his student for a soft drink at the convenience store.
The teen, whose name has been withheld at his mother's request, told police Dunn was struck as he pushed him out of harm's way.
"They were constant companions. He just admired and looked up to (Dunn)," said the teen's mother, who also did not want her name published. "It's hard for anyone to deal with a loss like this."
At Dunn's home in Bourbonnais, family members on Thursday afternoon were setting up a Nintendo Wii and readying a cake for Dunn's daughter Brenna's 11th birthday party.
"We're trying to keep things as normal as possible for today," Dunn's mother, Barbara said.
Visitation for Dunn will take place Friday afternoon, with funeral services Saturday.
Dunn was well-known in Bourbonnais, where friends called him Jim and knew him as the son of Thomas Sr., owner of the Manteno Stone Quarry; as a 20-year veteran of the police auxiliary; as an animal lover who could always find a home for a stray; as a devoted single father of two children; and, as of Monday afternoon, a hero.
Police have only the Camelot student's account of Dunn's final act. The driver of the River Valley Metro Mass Transit bus that struck Dunn said he didn't see the collision, Interim Bourbonnais police Chief Greg Kunce said Thursday. Numerous witnesses at the busy intersection of North Convent and John Casey roads said they saw only Dunn and the student near the road, then Dunn lying on the pavement.
"I knew Jim. Putting others first was what he was all about," Kunce said.
Obituary & Life History
Thomas J. “Jim” Dunn Jr., 46, of Bourbonnais, died Monday (Jan. 3, 2011) in the emergency room at Riverside Medical Center, Kankakee. Visitation...
Thomas J. “Jim” Dunn Jr., 46, of Bourbonnais, died Monday (Jan. 3, 2011) in the emergency room at Riverside Medical Center, Kankakee. Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at the Clancy-Gernon Funeral Home, Bourbonnais. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday at Maternity BVM Catholic Church, Bourbonnais, where he was a member. Father Richard Pighini will officiate. Burial will be in Maternity BVM Cemetery. Memorials may be made for his children’s education. Mr. Dunn was an employee of Camelot School and an auxiliary policeman in Bourbonnais. He was born May 15, 1964, in Kankakee, the son of Thomas J. Sr. and Barbara Fanning Dunn. He was a graduate of Maternity Grade School and Bishop McNamara Catholic High School. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Illinois State
University and a master’s degree from Olivet Nazarene University. He was a member of the X-Line Sportsman’s Club, the Trapshooting Father and Son League, the Illinois State Rifle Association, and a third degree in the Knights of Columbus. He enjoyed working on computers and was a
competition pistol shooter. Surviving are one son, Ian James Dunn, of Bourbonnais; one daughter, Brenna Kathleen Dunn, of Bourbonnais; his parents of Bourbonnais; one brother and sister-in-law, Patrick T. and Marissa Dunn, of Bourbonnais; three nieces, Alyssa, Kaitlyn and Anna Dunn; and one aunt, Beverly Bowers, of Greensboro, N.C. Jim loved being with his own children, his dog and working with other children. He was a loving father and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.