Phyllis Kearney Dunn, a longtime resident of Rye, N.Y., loving wife of Robert J. Dunn, proud mother of four boys and loving grandmother of four boys, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on September 8, 2023, four days after her 81st birthday.
Born in Newburgh, N.Y., she was a competitive tennis player, swimmer, and golfer at the Powelton Club in Newburgh. She graduated from Newton College of the Sacred Heart with a degree in Psychology.
Family and friends were making plans to celebrate Phyllis and Bob’s 60th wedding anniversary next summer in Sea Girt, N.J., where they met during their college years, became best friends, and fell in love. Phyllis and Bob married in the summer of 1964 and later moved to Rye to raise their four sons. They joined The Apawamis Club in 1967 and made many life-long friends.
Phyllis taught at a private school in Fairfax, Va., while Bob was stationed with the Army Strategic Communications Command HQ in Washington, D.C. Their first son, Robert J Dunn III, was born at Walter Reed Army Hospital. The bill for the entire procedure was $17.75, or as Phyllis liked to say, “about $2.24 a pound.”
She was an avid reader and spent hours creating beautiful gardens at their home on Osborn Road in Rye.
During a family trip to Cooperstown, N.Y. for the Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in 1982, a local wine merchant was sponsoring a putting contest at the Otesaga Hotel. The winner would be closest to the pin on a side hill putt with a double break that measured 140 feet running across the entire practice putting green in front of the hotel. They were about to end the contest and award the prize to some guy that got his putt a foot from the pin. Phyllis was next to last to try the putt and drained it. Closest to the pin? She hit the bottom of the cup. Hole in one. She could barely lift the prize — a 6-liter bottle of Champagne that held 48 flute glasses of Moet & Chandon.
Phyllis Dunn was devoted to her faith and family. She loved life, her family, and the many close friends who loved her. She enjoyed singing in the choir at St. Catharine Church in Pelham, and taught CCD there and at Resurrection Church in Rye. For more than 20 years, she was a loyal volunteer at Rosary Hill Home, whose mission is to provide loving palliative care to those suffering from terminal cancer.
She was predeceased by her youngest son, Matthew of Delray Beach, Fla., who passed away after a long, courageous battle with cancer in 2021. She is survived by her husband Bob; their sons, Robert (Susan) Dunn of Long Beach Island, N.J., James Dunn of Port Chester, N.Y., and Kevin (Peggy) Dunn of Long Beach, N.Y.; their daughter-in-law, Ally Dunn of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada; four grandsons: Bobby, Jack, Kevin, and Joseph; her sister, Ellen Kearney of Halifax, Nova Scotia; her brother-in-law, Bill (Chris) Dunn; her sister-in-law, Betsy (Lawton) Thomas; and six nieces.
A Mass of Christian Burial, officiated by Rev. Peter F. Bannan, will be held at Resurrection Church on September 16 at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at Greenwood Union Cemetery. A reception will be held at the Apawamis Club.
Donations in Phyllis Dunn’s memory may be made to Rosary Hill Home in Hawthorne, N.Y.