The Rev. Robert Dunn 


Rev. Robert “Bob” Ellis Dunn died Sunday, February 26, 2023, at the age of 84. 

Robert Ellis Dunn was born in Bloomington, IL, on April 19, 1938, to William Ellis and Lillian “Lil” Jane Herder. The family moved to western Washington in 1939, settling in the Rainier Beach area south of Seattle. Bob graduated from Franklin High School in 1956. Post high school he attended the Burnley School of Art on Capitol Hill in Seattle. From May 1955 to April 1961, he was an airman 2nd class with the 143rd Communications Squadron Air National Guard working as a cartographer and graphic artist, as well as weapons mechanic and rifle instructor.  

In January 1959, Bob married Gaye Marie Gates, and to them were born four children, Duane, Deanna “Dede” Moore, Dana Chapman, and Mary Basta. Gaye passed away in May 2015; Dana Chapman died in August 2021. 

Bob was a professional artist whose work may be found in the archives of the Seattle Times – including magazine covers during the 1962 World’s fair – and in the archives of the Boeing Company. He was a very talented wildlife artist; showing at Theler Wetlands, the NW Salmon Festival, and art shows in Ocean Shores; Fort Worden, Port Townsend; Monroe and Snohomish. Most recently, his art was displayed in downtown Stanwood where two of his pieces were re-created as banners. Bob Dunn Wildlife Art was published in 2010.

Bob’s early work was focused on his love for art and included the advertising art department of the Seattle Times newspaper 1964-1970. He also worked as a graphic artist for two different Boeing Company Art Groups – Smith Tower & Developmental Center Plant Two, with the rifle team at Seattle Police Athletic Association Rifle Club, as well as creative director for a computer graphics start-up, and as a freelance artist. 

In 1965, Bob first felt a call to the priesthood, and, in 1970, was admitted to the Vancouver School of Theology (VST) in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. He graduated from VST in 1973, was ordained as a deacon on July 17, 1973, and to the priesthood on July 10, 1974, by Bishop Ivol Ira Curtis.  

He served many churches in Washington including Trinity Church, Everett (1973-1975); St. Christopher’s, Westport and Church of the Holy Trinity, Hoquiam (1975-1978); St. John’s, Kirkland (rector, 1978-1988); St. Stephen’s, South Hill, Spokane (rector, 1991-1997); and Church of Our Saviour, Monroe (vicar, 1997-1998); as well as St. Francis, Palos Verdes Estates, CA (rector, 1988-1991). He retired in 1998 but continued to serve congregations throughout the Diocese of Olympia, including St. Philip’s, Marysville (assistant, 2002-2007); St. Aidan’s, Camano Island (interim 2013-2014); and St. Alban’s, Edmonds (priest in charge, 2015-2016). He designed Stations of the Cross and stained-glass windows for several congregations. He is remembered as being a creative, caring, and dedicated priest who spread love, joy, and laughter. 

In 2018, Bob met Judy Pieper at a genealogy conference, and the two were partners for the last five years. Bob & Judy traveled to Europe, Mexico, Alaska, Canada, and Hawaii; cruises were a favorite mode of travel.

Bob was active at St. Aidan’s, Camano Island, and was a member of the Camano Art Association. Bob was a very talented wildlife artist and enjoyed participating in the Camano Island Art Tour for the past several years. Most recently, his art was displayed in downtown Stanwood where two of his pieces were re-created as banners. Bob was also a representative for the Henderson clan at many highland games’ events and gatherings. 

Bob is survived by three of his children, Duane, Dede, and Mary; 14 grandchildren, and 7 great grandchildren. His greatest joy in the last weeks of life was visits from his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.