James Eldon Dunn (87) passed away November 17, 2023, after waging a sustained battle against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was born January 8, 1936, in Fairbury, Nebraska, to parents Alice and Russell Dunn of Dewitt, Nebraska, where he grew up on a farm. He began his schooling in a rural schoolhouse and graduated from DeWitt High School in 1953 valedictorian of his class and an FFA State Farmer. He earned a B.S. and M.Sc. from the College of Agriculture, University of Nebraska, and completed a Ph.D. in Mathematical Statistics in 1963 at Virginia Polytech and State University with the support of a National Institutes of Health Fellowship. He joined the faculty at the University of Arkansas in 1963 with a joint appointment between the Department of Mathematics and the Computing Center. He initiated the Statistics graduate degree program in the former and a Statistical Consulting Laboratory in the later. He was a long-time contractor and statistical consultant with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He was awarded a Distinguished Award in Teaching and Research in 1983 by the Arkansas Alumni Association and was elected Fellow of The American Statistical Association in 1991. He retired from the University in 2001 with the rank of University Professor of Mathematics. He founded The Beaver Lake Sailing Club in 1966 and was elected its first Commodore. He was a charter member of the current, incorporated Beaver Lake Sailing Club where he served in various capacities. He was an avid reader from an early age, an alpine ski racer, a sailboat racer — winning a national championship in 1972, a kayaker, and a mountain climber – climbing all the 14-thousand-feet peaks in Colorado.
He married Rae Jene Rinn of Fayetteville in 1963, who predeceased him in 2017. James is survived by his two children, Eric and Katherine, as well as five grandchildren and a sister, Doris. He believed in his word, his family and friends, and his country.
At James’ request, there will not be a memorial service. Gifts in his memory may be made to the Fayetteville Public Library (https://www.faylib.org/donate), the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (https://www.turpentinecreek.org/support), or the charity of your choice.
Cremation arrangements by Beard’s Funeral Chapel.