Pastor James E. (Jim) Dunn, 75, of Poplar Bluff, MO, went home to be with Jesus on Sunday, November 10, 2019 surrounded by his loving family.
Jim was born on May 19, 1944 in Denver, CO the son of Jerry Gaugh and Greta Alberta (Root) Dunn. On December 9, 1961 he married Dee Ann Butler in Rock Port, MO. Together they have shared over fifty-seven years of marriage.
Jim spent his career serving others. First working under his father as Assistant Director of the Family Shelter in Lincoln, NE from 1973 to 1978, then moving to Poplar Bluff to become Executive Director of the United Gospel Rescue Mission for twenty-eight years. Jim saw this ministry as a lighthouse to the lost and hurting and his visionary outlook formed the ministry of the U.G.R.M. to effectively reach and transform countless lives.
Jim was truly community minded and was part of many local boards and groups, including the Kiwanis Club, Poplar Bluff Ministerial Alliance and Cane Creek Stoddard Baptist Association. He was also a founding board member of the Sikeston Bootheel Area Foodbank. From the time he came to Poplar Bluff he was a member of First Baptist Church where he worshiped with his family and often responded to the message with a joyous Hallelujah!
Jim put his faith in Christ above denominational ties and shared in the ministry of the Gospel along side Christ followers from all backgrounds. He was often known to say, “I’m a Christian first”. This attitude along with his encouraging spirit caused Jim to be an inspiration to many. He was indeed Poplar Bluff’s Pastor and the best picture of Jesus that many would see.
Jim was an eternal optimist whose glass was not just half full but overflowing with goodness and mercy. He always saw the best in others even when they could not see it in themselves.
Jim was a fan of all sports, especially Nebraska Corn Husker Football, St. Louis Cardinal Baseball, Three Rivers College Raider athletics and Poplar Bluff Mules Athletics. He attended numerous sporting events where his presence was made known by the way he cheered and encouraged every player and coach.
After retirement Jim continued his ministry by volunteering at the Bread Shed, First Baptist Church CLC and library. He enjoyed reading, working puzzles, good music, road trips and collecting lighthouses.
Jim loved his family very much and cherished his time with them. As a man of prayer, he taught them to trust God for all their needs. Jim’s legacy of love and service lives on through them and every life he touched.
In addition to his wife Dee Ann, who served alongside him in ministry, Jim is survived by his children, James D. (Shelly) Dunn of Poplar Bluff and Joplin, MO; Kellene (Michael) Allen of Poplar Bluff, Corinne (Terry) Conner of Rogersville, MO and six grandchildren, Keyven Dunn of Poplar Bluff, Kelsey Dunn of Joplin, MO, Amanda (Jared) Stockton of Broseley, MO, Michelle (Micheal) Somers of Poplar Bluff, Christian (Sarah) Conner of Nixa, MO, Seth (Laura) Conner of Rogersville, MO; nine great-grandchildren, Kellyn Stockton, Harper Stockton, Witten Somers, Emmett Somers, Rowan Conner, Caden Conner, Cameron Conner, Hudson Conner and Haddie Conner. Other survivors include, sister, Gerry Ann (Ed) Kaufman of Milwaukee, WI, sister-in- law, Nancy Fullmer of Phoenix, AZ, brother-in- law, John (Chris) Butler of Houston, TX, and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by his brother Dale Dunn.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, November 14, 2019 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary at First Baptist Church, 551 North Westwood Boulevard, Poplar Bluff, MO.
Hallelujah services will be held at First Baptist Church on Friday, November 15, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. with Pastor Brandon Spain officiating.
Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Jim to First Baptist Church, United Gospel Rescue Mission or a ministry of the donors choice.
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