John Harvey McHenry Dunn | 1937 - 2012 | Obituary

John Harvey McHenry Dunn
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John Harvey McHenry Dunn

Born: March 09, 1937
Died: November 19, 2012

Dr. John Harvey McHenry Dunn, Professor Emeritus of the University of Missouri’s Plant Science Department, died November 19, 2012 at home surrounded by his immediate family. A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:30am at Calvary Episcopal Church followed by visitation and a reception with the family in the Parish Hall.

John was born in Upper Darby, PA on March 9, 1937, the son of Robert Henry and Grace McHenry Dunn. He married Marilee “Cricket” Grabill on August 26, 1961 in Altoona, PA. He graduated from Lansdowne Aldan High School in 1955 and was president of his senior class. In 1959, he graduated from the Pennsylvania State University where he was a member of Sigma Nu and the Delphi honor society. He served in the US Army in Ft. Lee VA after college. Following three years working in retailing at Lord and Taylor in NYC, he entered graduate school at Rutgers University where he received his PhD in 1968 in Turfgrass Science. He joined the faculty at the University of Missouri in the fall of 1968 and initiated the turfgrass research program for The College of Agriculture. His appointment was in research, teaching and extension. He served as his department’s Director of Graduate Studies for several years. He was senior author of a textbook, Turf in the Transition Zone, plus several hundred technical and extension articles. As a member of the American Agronomy Society, he served on the Board of Directors and was Chairman of the Turfgrass Division. He was active in The Golf Course Superintendents Assoc. of America where he served on the education committee for several years. He was an advisor to the Missouri Valley Turfgrass Association for thirty-five years and received two service awards from that organization. His academic specialty was grasses in the Transition Zone, especially cold tolerance of zoysia grasses. He presented his research findings at national and international meetings throughout his career. He was an invited speaker in all states touching I-70 from Colorado to Maryland as well as many other states. He retired in 2006 continuing to teach his turgrass course for another three years.

John was a long time member of the Columbia Track Club, coached City League soccer and served as coordinator of the Columbia Girls’ Soccer League. He was a member of Calvary Episcopal Church.

John felt his greatest contribution in life was his two children. He adored his in-law children, his grandchildren and loved his name Pop Pop. He was a veracious reader and a connoisseur of classical music, opera and the Civil War.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years Marilee “Cricket” Dunn, a son John Malinin Dunn (Catherine) and a daughter Amy Dunn Moore (John), five grandchildren Natalia Malinin Dunn, Raisa Malinin Dunn, Wilson McHenry Moore, Brooks Turner Moore and Anna Jane Moore and one brother, Robert Peale Dunn. Also surviving are his niece, Colleen Treml (Paul) and his great nephews Tyler and Adam Treml and great niece Hayley Treml.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister-in-law, Sonya DePaula.

Contributions can be made to the Dr. Vincent Gurucharri Foundation at 3220 Bluff Creek Dr., Columbia, MO 65201, the Missouri Valley Turf Grass Association at or your favorite charity.

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