Gene Dunn: 1933 – 2014

Curtis Gene Dunn, a longtime resident of Visalia, died Saturday, March 29, 2014. He was 80.

A celebration of life and open house will be held in Three Rivers on Sunday, April 13, from 1 to 3 p.m., at the home of  his son and daughter-in-law, Darren and Jenny Dunn, 43283 North Fork Drive.

Gene was born June 21, 1933, in Stephenville, Texas, to Eldon and Verely Dunn. The family moved to Tulare County in 1936. 

Gene attended schools in Lindsay. He married his high school sweetheart, the former Lavene Kirkland.

Gene graduated from College of the Sequoias and was attending Fresno State when the he was invited to serve in the United States Navy. He was proud of his service to his country and made lifelong friends during that time. When his duty to the Navy was complete, Gene and Lavene settled in Visalia, and Gene went to work at the Visalia Planing Mill.

Gene eventually established the Kaweah Cabinet Shop. He sold the business in 1971 when he went to work for College of the Sequoias in Visalia as a building trades instructor. 

Gene taught at COS for 22 years, retiring in 1993. He loved to teach his trade and enjoyed working with his students on the project house, which was built each year on the campus. 

Gene had a passion for carpentry and loved to work in his shop, building anything from kitchen cabinets to playhouses and wooden guns for his grandchildren.

Gene was preceded in death by his son, Doran “Gene” Dunn, and his parents.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Lavene Dunn, of Visalia; son Darren Dunn and wife Jenny of Three Rivers; daughter Dennett Dyer and husband Greg; his grandchildren, Captain Aaron Dunn and wife Leann, Casey Dunn, Molly Dunn, Hannah Dyer, and Abby Dyer; and two great-grandchildren, Emma and Conlan Dunn (children of Aaron and Leann); and his four sisters, Nelda Ellis, Bonnie Wall, Barbra Lemmons, and Lisa Dunn.

Gene is also survived by his “adopted” children, David Atherton, Quinn Atherton, and their children, son Doran and daughters Della and Beverly; Phillip Lawrence and wife Linda and their children, Justin and Mandy; and Emily Lenardos. 

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