The following obituary is an edited version of the one that ran recently in the LaCrosse (Wisconsin) Tribune.
Kathryn Dooley Dunn, 87, formerly of Oak Park and River Forest, died on June 18, 2015 in Viroqua, Wisconsin with many of her children by her side. Born in Chicago on Oct. 29, 1927 to Dr. Harry J. and Marion E. (Culhane) Dooley, she graduated from Trinity High School at 16, and studied at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College and the University of Chicago, where she received a bachelor’s degree in inter-departmental premedical studies. She was the daughter and granddaughter of physicians and decided on a career of service at an early age. Her plan was either to become a medical missionary in India as a Carmelite nun or to get married and have a large family.
As she was pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor, she met Paul J. Dunn, a fellow student. They were smitten and her medical career was sidetracked by the birth of the first of what would be 10 children.
Soon after their marriage in 1951, they became active in the Christian Family Movement and served as chairs of pre-Cana programs and on the board of directors of the Cana Conference of the Archdiocese of Chicago. After reading an article about a Montessori method school, the Dunns gathered a group of friends to discuss the possibility of starting a Montessori school. This group ultimately founded Alcuin Montessori School in Oak Park in 1961, the second Montessori school in the United States and the first in the Midwest. Alcuin has now been operating continuously for 54 years.
A co-founder and vice president of the Illinois Montessori Society, as well as a member of Alcuin’s board of directors, she also received American Montessori Society certification as a Montessori directress. As an outgrowth of their Montessori efforts, they became interested in the Doman-Delacato method of treating brain-injured children. As part of their work, they became increasingly interested in integrative, holistic approaches to medicine. They founded the Center for Integrative Treatment and Biochemical Nutrition in Oak Park, one of the first such practices in Illinois.
Kathryn Dunn is survived by her children, Chris (Beth), Brian (Deb), Paul Jr., Peter, Michael, Mark (Ann), John (Alexa), Sarah, Jeff, and Julie; her grandchildren, Zeke, Molly, Kelly, Jacob, Jack, Patrick, Katie, Ian, and Raleigh; and other relatives and many friends. She was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; and her sister, Marian Sterling.
A memorial service was held on June 19, at Maplewood Terrace in Viroqua and on June 23 at Dreschler Brown & Williams Funeral Home in Oak Park. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on June 24 at St. Luke Catholic Church in River Forest, followed by interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery.