William L. Dunn

December 22, 1931February 16, 2018

Mr. William L. “Bill” Dunn, of Park Drive, Clinton, died peacefully surrounded by loved ones at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, on February 16, 2018, at the age of 86. Bill is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Jane H. Dunn, and his children and their spouses, William (Joyce) of Torrington; Timothy (Paula) of Nashville, TN; Kathryn Scott (Joseph) of Portland; Jeremiah (Nancy) of Clinton; and Cornelius (Cynthia) of Newtown. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Jeremiah and M. Loretta Dunn, and his siblings, Anna, Daniel, Loretta, Jane, and Elizabeth. He is survived by 11 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Born on December 22, 1931, in New Haven, CT, Bill graduated from Hillhouse High School and in 1954 received a Bachelor’s degree from New Haven State Teachers College (now Southern Connecticut State University). He also earned advanced degrees from the University of Connecticut and the University of Rhode Island. He served four years in the U.S. Navy Reserve and two years in the U.S. Army, but did not root for Navy during the annual Army/Navy football game because the Army never made him seasick. Bill worked as a teacher in the New Haven school system for 27 years, and during the summers was head lifeguard at the Clinton Town Beach. He organized and ran the Town Beach youth program each summer, and could be found most sunny days perched on a lifeguard chair, and in the days before sunblock, he would wear an oversized pith helmet and protect his nose and lips with bright white zinc oxide. Bill also was the first Parks and Recreation director for the town of Clinton. Upon retiring from teaching, Bill began a second career as the Public Relations Director for the Connecticut Water Company, where he relished the opportunities to charter small planes and take aerial photographs of Water Company properties. He later was elected and served four years as a Probate Court Judge. Bill was very active in the community, serving as a Clinton Police commissioner, Vice Chair of the Democratic Town Committee, past President of the Clinton Rotary Club, past President of the Clinton Men’s Softball League, past Director of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce, a Founder and past President of the Clinton Touchdown Club and head coach of the Clinton Packers team, and a former board member of the Connecticut Economic Resource Center. A longtime fan of the Boston Red Sox, New York Giants, Notre Dame football, and UConn basketball, Bill also was a life member of the Elks Club in Westbrook, and a parishioner of St. Mary Church of the Visitation in Clinton. Bill took great pride in his Irish heritage, and was named Irishman of the Year by the Elks Club in 1976. During much of his adult life, Bill worked many part-time jobs to help support his family. But despite his busy schedule, he always found time to share his knowledge and experience with his children and grandchildren, whether it was the proper way to sing an Irish ballad or how to throw a sharp-breaking curveball. In addition, he loved to work in his garden and tinker at his work bench in the garage, where some of his colorful creations were the talk of the neighborhood. During his final years, he enjoyed nothing better than to drive down to the docks and eat lunch while gazing at his beloved Clinton Harbor. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Saturday, February 24th, 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary Church of the Visitation, Clinton. Friends may call prior to the Mass from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. at Swan Funeral Home, Clinton. A reception will follow in the church social hall. Burial in St. Mary’s cemetery will be at the family’s convenience. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bill’s name to the Clinton Rotary Cancer Relief Fund. The family would like to express special thanks to Nancy Dunn, and to Sue and Craig Anderson, for all their help in recent years. Also, deepest gratitude is offered to the compassionate staff and volunteers on the 7th floor of Middlesex Hospital.


  • Calling Hours Saturday, February 24, 2018
  • Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, February 24, 2018

William L. Dunn

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February 27, 2018

Dear Kate and Family,
So sorry for the loss of such a special man in your life. My heartfelt sympathy to you and yours. Colleen

Laurel & Nicl Iaccarino

February 24, 2018

Our deepest sympathy Bill and to all the family. Memories are to be treasured.

Susan Hewes

February 24, 2018

Dear Kate, Bridget and family,

It sounds as though you will miss a very special man with all your heart.
Sing on in his memory!

Sincerely, Susan Hewes

Andy Stubbs

February 23, 2018

My deepest condolences to the Dunn family. May your fond memories comfort you at this time. I did not know Bill, but our Newtown community benefits greatly from his legacy of service, coaching and friendship through his son, Corny.

Vincent DeMaio

February 23, 2018

On behalf of the entire Clinton Police Department, please accept our sincere condolences in this time of loss and grief.

Peter Richards

February 22, 2018

We were so very lucky that Bill made Clinton his home. My town, my generation, and my youthful self all benefitted greatly from his wholehearted commitment to Clinton life. A natural coach, he showed us kids that toughness and love could exist in one person, and that we could be better at both because of it. And his devotion to numerous volunteer civic organizations helped weave the very fabric of our community. I offer my condolences to Jane and the family, and I join them in mourning the passing of a terrific guy who made such a difference.

William Chapman

February 22, 2018

Our sincere condolences to the Dunn family on the loss of their beloved Bill. His many contributions to the town of Clinton will long be remembered. May he rest in peace.
Bill and Barb Chapman

Jim Laske

February 22, 2018

My sincere condolences to Jane and the entire family. My sister Joan and her husband Ed were your dear friends and know if they were still with us they would be deeply sadden. We miss they dearly also. Jim and Tootsie Laske

Colette Arcand

February 22, 2018

Uncle Bill- the greatest generation: Selfless, involved with family, friends and community. Knew how to save, reuse, recycle. Conscious living, contributing. Our fortune the Dunn's of 33 Cave Street.
A hui hou Colette Jane Arcand

Ted Doucette

February 20, 2018

My sincerest sympathies on Bill's passing. Though I never met him personally and I know Jerry very well (my old next door neighbor), I feel after, reading this obituary, that I have known him. He lived a great, exemplary and selfless life. We all have a lot to be proud of for the way he lived his life, the impact he made on others and his community, and all the good he has done. May eternal rest truly be his and may perpetual light shine upon him.