John W. Dunn

John W. Dunn, age 69, of Tomahawk, Wis., peacefully passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, at Marshfield Medical Center in Marshfield, Wis., after waging a courageous battle against COVID-19 and complications from pneumonia. He was born in Rochester, N.Y., on Sept. 15, 1951, to the late Thomas and Kathryn (Dugan) Dunn. John grew up in Glencoe, Ill. He graduated from Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill., in 1969, and later graduated from Michigan State University in 1973.

Two years later, John and his wife, Mary Dunn, settled down in Tomahawk, where Johnny began his career in insurance and financial planning. After several years renting an office, he built a new office building in downtown Tomahawk on the corner of West Wisconsin Avenue and North Third Street.

John is survived by his former wife, Mary Dunn, of South Bend, Ind.; his son, Patrick Dunn, of Plover, Wis.; his sister, Sally Dunn, of Naples, Fla.; his brothers, T. J. Dunn, DVM, of Rhinelander, Wis., Paul (Susan) Dunn, of Winnetka, Ill., and Lawrence Dunn, of Naples, Fla. He leaves many loving nieces and nephews.

Johnny, as he is affectionately called, made innumerable friends in the Tomahawk community. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved fishing and hunting, more for the camaraderie and entertainment than for harvesting the game. A great storyteller, he often focused on himself as the target of a funny story. One of Johnny’s most admirable characteristics was an enduring loyalty to his friends and clients. He was admired greatly for having a cheerful energy that impacted those around him. Serious and thoughtful when appropriate, he radiated a palpable aura of lighthearted enthusiasm.

Camp Black Cloud, a local Tomahawk hunting camp of about a dozen professional storytellers, was high on Johnny’s list of important attractions in his life. As well, lifelong friends in Alaska kept an open invitation for a visit from Johnny, and Johnny spoke often of the wonders of life in Alaska. Fishing trips to Canada were outlets of adventure that were important interludes from his time spent “in the office.” He was an adept public speaker and was often called upon to be master of ceremonies for a variety of gatherings.

John was proud to have been a longtime member of the Tomahawk Chamber of Commerce and Main Street, Inc., along with various insurance associations. He volunteered with the Tomahawk Kinship Program and the Victim Impact Program at Lincoln Hills.

A strong supporter of all things Tomahawk, he will be greatly missed by his son Patrick, his extended family, many friends, business associates, and neighbors.

Memorials are appreciated to the Kinship of Tomahawk and Ties that Bind Us, or the Northwoods Wildlife Center.

In adhering to social distancing guidelines, a celebration of life will be held this summer and announced at that time. Generations Funeral Home & Crematory, Tomahawk, is assisting the family. View John’s obituary and leave online condolences at

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