Music 01

Gerard Thomas Dunn

October 16, 1927 ~ September 16, 2019 (age 91)


Gerard Thomas Dunn

North Sydney/Sydney

With deep sorrow we announce the passing of our beloved father, Gerard, on Monday, September 16, 2019. Dad lived a beautiful life, for which he was constantly grateful, touching the hearts of everyone he met. His musical gifts of voice and piano, and his kind soul brought happiness and joy and friendship all through the years. Right up until his last days he was sharing these gifts with others. You would think his mission in life was to make people smile - family, friends, strangers - it didn’t matter who or where. He did that constantly and consistently without fail with his music, humour and infectious smile.

Our father was a caring and devoted family man who would do anything to bring joy to our mother, the love of his life, and to bring fun and wisdom and laughter to his children, his grandchildren, great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews, who, with just a mention of their names, brought a twinkle to his eyes as he loved and appreciated the unique beauty of each one.

Born in North Sydney on October 16, 1927, he was the son of the late Morrissey and Mary (Wilkie) Dunn. In his early years Dad began his love of the sea while commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Naval Reserves as a Sea Cadet instructor. He was an avid and skilled sailor participating in many regattas out of North Sydney Yacht Club. Another of his passions was golf through which he made many life long friends at Seaview Golf Club.

His career was spent with Canada Post in North Sydney at the Newfoundland mail terminal where he was instrumental in developing the mail delivery system between Newfoundland and the rest of the world, via North Sydney.  For many years Dad played in the band “Dooley and Dunn” with his best friend John, who he mentioned fondly until his final days. They, along with many other fine musicians, created music and memories and shared their passion throughout Cape Breton at local dances and celebrations.

Mom and Dad were devout members of St.  Joseph’s Parish in North Sydney, where they enjoyed a strong sense of family and community. They also enjoyed many winters in Sarasota, Florida, where they established several friendships and where Dad shared his gift of music in the community.

Although Dad did not get to celebrate his birthday this year, no birthday could surpass the incredible birthday of last year when so many thousands of people from around the world sent him messages of love through cards and letters. He brought happiness and goodness to so many people and they in return to him. The immeasurable joy and love and excitement of that experience represents an accumulation of all the joy he brought us throughout the years. It is hard to grasp how someone bigger than life can leave us, but he also left us a legacy of giving, merriment, laughter, music and a lifetime of stories to retell.

He is survived by his children, Morrissey (Cheryl Chafe), Camilla Dunn, Stellamarie (Larry) Wile, Timothy (Gail), Miriam MacDonald, Damien (Millie Pettigrew) and Gerard; his 13 grandchildren Courtney, Candace, Damien, Naudia, Gabrielle, Hunter, Carlene, Nevin, Jena Lee, Olivia, Thomas, Vincent, Mallory and 15 great-grandchildren Oscar, Hugo, Austin, Isabella, Myla, Jett, Avah, Nellie, Teddy, Leo, Allara, Skye, Ellen River, Jack and Sam.  Also surviving is his sister Jeanette MacMullin and brother Jamie (Queenie) Dunn, his sister-in-law Ada Keating and his many nieces and nephews.

Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his beloved wife Ellen (McGee) Dunn, his brothers Kilmer, Pat, Terry and Leonard, his sisters Norma, Betty and Joan, and his son-in-law David MacDonald.

Visitation for Gerard will be 6-9 p.m. Friday in the W.J. Dooley Funeral Home, 107 Pleasant Street, North Sydney. A funeral mass will be celebrated 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph Church, North Sydney with Rev. Doug MacDonald officiating. Burial will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Sydney. Memorial donations may be made to the Legion Benevolent Fund, 61 Gloria McClusky Ave, Dartmouth, NS, B3B 2Z3.  8Online condolences may be sent to the family at .  

“A man tells his stories so many times that he becomes the stories. They live on after him. And in that way, he becomes immortal.” Movie Big Fish

Rest in peace our Sweet Prince.  “May choirs of angels sing thee to thy rest.” Shakespeare

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gerard Thomas Dunn, please visit our floral store.


September 20, 2019

6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
W. J. Dooley Funeral Service Ltd.
107 Pleasant St
North Sydney, NS B2A 1L9

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