In loving memory of

David Franklin Dunn
April 9, 1935 - April 20, 2022

David Franklin Dunn, 87, went to be with the Lord on April 20, 2022.

David was born on April 9, 1935 in Rochester, MN to Benjamin and Alta Dunn. During his youth he was active in scouting and earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

He graduated from Rochester High School in 1953 where he was active in athletics as a member of the football and wrestling teams (he finished second at the MN State Meet his senior year). Following High School, he attended Rochester Junior College for two years before enlisting in the Army where he served for two years stationed in Germany. He then enrolled at Iowa State University where he majored in Landscape Architecture. In the Summer of 1959, he was employed by the National Park Service in Grand Canyon, AZ. He became the Assistant Superintendent of Rochester City Parks and later the Superintendent of Olmsted County Parks where he was instrumental in the development of several County Park Projects including Oxbow Park near Byron, MN. After his career with Olmsted County, he served in various roles including 15 years at Sears in Rochester.

David was an active member of the Southeast MN Visual Artists (SEMVA) for over 20 years. He was a talented woodturner and created beautiful bowls, vases, spinning tops and even "mosquito houses." His work was displayed at the SEMVA gallery in downtown Rochester, where visitors from 38 countries purchased his creations. He was a humble man who, over the years, quietly donated hundreds of his tops to the Ronald McDonald House to help cheer up patients and their families.

He was an active member of several local and national woodturners associations and was happy to share his knowledge and tips with fellow artists of all skill levels.

He had a heart for volunteering and over the years was involved with the YMCA, Isaac Walton League, Rochester Better Chance and Rochester Covenant Church. He also amassed over 5,600 hours at the Mayo Clinic, directing visitors to their appointments. He would claim that he could spot a person with a question from a mile away, and often said (referring to people near the elevators), "This is the best gig ever-you can tell someone where to go and where to get off without them being offended."

While attending Iowa State, he met the love of his life, Eleanor (Ellie) Payler. They were united in marriage on June 17, 1960 in Cincinnati, OH. The happy couple spent their early days of marriage in Ames, IA, before setting down roots in Rochester, MN where they raised their three sons. As a devoted father he spent many hours at hockey games and track meets often seen at the top of the bleachers with his camcorder in hand.

David was preceded in death by his parents and sister Alice Bringgold (Paul)

David is survived by his loving wife Ellie of 61 years and three sons Steve (Teresa), Jeff, and Jim (Kris). He is also survived by seven grandchildren: Mike, Michelle McMahon (Dustin), Maria, Caitlin Wolden (Tyler), Tim (Syrie), Andrew and Alex, along with five great grandchildren, and several nieces, nephews, and friends including special family friend Sam Prum.

A Celebration of Life will be held at the Rochester Covenant Church 4950 31st Avenue NW Rochester, MN 55901 on Saturday April 30th, 2022 at 11:00 am, with a visitation starting at 9:30 and a light lunch following the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Rochester Covenant Church, Habitat for Humanity or The Salvation Army.

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Dunn family.


Glenn and Ella VanLaningham wrote on Apr 30, 2022:

"We were so sorry to learn about Dave's death, Ellie and family. We have many fond memories of times with both of you and with Dave in his various volunteer efforts - the latest being at Mayo elevators when we would chat about the Y and other past connections. His was a life truly lived in service and we know he will be truly mssed. Sending our deepest sympathy and hopes that the comfort of friends and family will help a little in the months to come. Ella and Glenn VanLaningham ("

BOB PORTER wrote on Apr 29, 2022:

"Dear Ellie and family, I am very sorry to learn of David's passing. He has made the journey to the most amazing place and will forever spread his spirit over all generations of his family. My Brother Greg married your(Ellie's) sister Sharon's(Yost) Daughter Robin. I have lived in Arden Hills, MN since 1976 and met David at one of your family weddings I attended many moons ago. I have and constantly use, several bottle stoppers and light pull chain knobs David crafted. Robin gave them to me years ago as Christmas gifts. They are finely turned and I like them a lot. I will continue to think of David and smile as I use them. Be strong, be glad and of happy heart with the joy David brought into your lives. His new journey is not an ending, but a fantastic new beginning. Sincerely, Bob Porter"

MARY AND KERRY WIXON wrote on Apr 29, 2022:

"Dear Ellie and family. I am sorry to hear of your loved one's passing. You two were always one of the most smiling couples we met at Rochester Covenant. Now he's smiling up in Heaven with many of our loved ones who passed earlier. Blessings and comfort be with you all. "

Bob Jenkins wrote on Apr 24, 2022:

"I remember Dave in Scouting. Dave and my brother Jerry Jenkins were great friends in the troop. Blessings to your family. Sincerely. Bob Jenkins"