Former Brookings resident Earl L. Dunn, age 91, passed away Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in Chico, California.
Earl was born May 24, 1926, in Winchendon, Massachusetts, to Katherine (Farrar) Dunn and Earl L. Dunn.
The family moved to Worcester, Massachusetts when Earl was a year old. He graduated from Classical High School at age 17 and immediately enlisted in the U.S. Navy.
Following eight weeks of boot camp at Sampson, New York, he spent four months at the Naval Amphibious Training Base in Coronado, California. There, he was qualified as coxswain of a Landing Craft Mechanized, a 56-foot twin-engine diesel flat-bottom craft. He participated in numerous assault landings in the Philippine campaign, Kerama Retto and Okinawa. His ship, the USS Mountrail was credited with shooting down three Japanese kamikaze planes and two assists during the Okinawa campaign.
When his ship returned to San Francisco for refitting in preparation for the invasion of Japan, he met a young lady named June Hemmerick. The ship was in San Francisco on VJ day. Earl was on liberty and at Market and Montgomery streets when the Japanese surrender was announced and the wild celebrations began. The ship immediately left for the Philippines to pick up occupation troops they landed at Hakodate, Japan shortly after the surrender. They then took a Marine battalion to Tsingtao, China, to police the removal of Japanese forces from that city.
When his ship returned to San Francisco, Earl served as a shore patrolman in the Tenderloin district. June and Earl were married in San Francisco in January 1946. He was honorably discharged at Treasure Island in May 1946.
Following his discharge from the Navy in 1946, he entered the engineer in training program at UC Berkeley. He then worked as an engineer/estimator for several years before becoming president of North State Builders in Menlo Park, California, where he was responsible for the design and construction of numerous major projects including the six-story Bank of California building in San Mateo, California, the 15-story 101 Alma apartment building and the six-story Stanford Financial Square building in Palo Alto, California, as well as numerous early Silicon Valley electronics firms’ buildings.
Earl and June divorced in 1957. In 1966, he decided on a career change and enrolled in the UC Berkeley Real Estate Certificate Program. In 1968, he earned his certificate in real estate with specialization in finance and appraisal. That same year he took and passed the California Real Estate Brokers exam and was issued his brokers license.
In 1968, he came to Chico to look for orchard land for several of his Santa Clara County clients. He collaborated with Armand Monlux and Rod Minkler, forming Lassen Land Co. in Chico, becoming its first president.
That same year he met Barbara Martin who was working as a real estate salesperson. Within a year, Earl and Barbara were married.
Following a six-week honeymoon in Europe, Earl resigned as president of Lassen Land and sold his interest to Armand and Rod. Barbara became a real estate broker and they formed Dunn Realty Company in 1970. Earl, through his connections in San Francisco and the Peninsula became the sole agent for the M&T Corp., Baldwin Contracting Co., Parrott Investment, Combustion Engineering Co. and Fort Sutter Investment Co.
Earl and Barbara were able to enjoy more than 30 years at their 10th-floor oceanfront condominium at Playas Gemelas in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, some 18 years at their lakefront home on Powderhorn Bay at Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and the last 22 years in their oceanfront home on the Harbor bench in Brookings-Harbor, Oregon.
Earl is survived by Barbara, his wife of 47 years; his daughter Pamela; and great-grandchildren Alexis and Christopher Dunn.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister Isabel; sons Earl Jr. and Patrick; and grandson John.
A private service will be held at Newton-Bracewell Chico Funeral Home with interment in Chico Memorial Mausoleum.
To view an obituary online, share memories of Earl or send condolences to the family go to NewtonBracewell.com.
Submitted by Newton-Bracewell Funeral Home, Chico.