Robert E. Dunn, beloved son, brother, and uncle; distinguished lawyer, patriot, and Soldier, died at age 83 on February 25, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. At the time of his passing, Bob had retired from his duties as the Special Assistant to the Judge Advocate for United States Army, Europe, in Heidelberg, Germany. Bob had served his country in Germany for decades. He was the most senior civilian United States Government attorney in Europe and the Army's acknowledged expert in public international law. Born on July 14, 1930, in Brooklyn, New York, to Thomas F. and Eleanora M. Dunn, Bob's life became inextricably linked to U.S....
Robert E. Dunn, beloved son, brother, and uncle; distinguished lawyer, patriot, and Soldier, died at age 83 on February 25, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. At the time of his passing, Bob had retired from his duties as the Special Assistant to the Judge Advocate for United States Army, Europe, in Heidelberg, Germany. Bob had served his country in Germany for decades. He was the most senior civilian United States Government attorney in Europe and the Army's acknowledged expert in public international law.
Born on July 14, 1930, in Brooklyn, New York, to Thomas F. and Eleanora M. Dunn, Bob's life became inextricably linked to U.S. interests in Europe at an early age. At five, he accompanied his family to England where his father was the director of a chemical company. As World War II loomed, Bob sailed from England with his mother and brother, making landfall in Canada on September 1, 1939, the day German forces invaded Poland. His father was in France in May 1940 when Germany invaded that country, but was soon able to reunite with the family and settle them in Flushing, New York. Tense years followed as Bob's father was appointed as an executive in the War Shipping Administration and eventually returned to Europe where he managed the merchant fleet that supported the allied invasion of the continent in June 1944.
Bob enrolled at St. John' University in New York City in the fall of 1947. His college years included invaluable practical education during many visits to Germany while his father served as the Director of Military Government of the American-occupied German state of Bremen from 1946 to 1948. Graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1951, Bob continued his studies at St. John's Law School where he earned an LL.B., magna cum laude, in the spring of 1954.
Bob enlisted in the Army Reserve during law school and remained a Judge Advocate Officer in the Army Reserve after completing his active duty obligation and retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel on July 14, 1990.
Admitted to the New York Bar in 1954, Bob worked as a Law Clerk to Judge Adrian P. Burke of the New York State Court of Appeals until he was commissioned a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps in August 1955. After completing the Infantry Officer Basic Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, Bob graduated from the Judge Advocate General's Corps Officer Basic Course at the Judge Advocate General's School in Charlottesville, Virginia. Bob was then assigned to Europe where he served on active duty from February 1956 until August 1958 in legal offices of both tactical and logistical units in England, France, and Germany.
Upon leaving the active Army, Bob practiced with a major New York City law firm but almost immediately again felt the pull of Europe. He returned to Germany at the end of 1958 where his father had resumed a private career in the shipping business. Bob was Vice-President and Treasurer of the family shipping agency until his father's untimely death in 1964, at age 61. Bob then returned to public service, a calling he pursued with unrivaled dedication and distinction until his retirement as a Department of the Army civilian attorney on July 31, 2009.
From April 1964 until the end of 1966, Bob was the U.S. Forces liaison officer to the five northern states of Germany on behalf of the Army's Terminal Command in Bremerhaven, Germany, then the principal point of entry for all supplies for U.S. forces in Central Europe. In January 1967, Bob was selected as a civilian attorney for the Army, and practiced in logistics command legal offices in Mannheim, Worms, and Heidelberg until July 1974.
Over 20 years of business and legal experience made Bob the natural choice to fill a critical vacancy that occurred in the International Affairs Division at the Army's European Headquarters legal office in the summer of 1974. Over the next 35 years, Bob applied his matchless skills as an advocate and diplomat to every major legal action impacting the presence of U.S. forces on the continent. He was a key member of the 1993 team that negotiated a new agreement with Germany to reflect changes wrought by the end of the Cold War. His encyclopedic knowledge of both the content and spirit of all prior agreements ensured that U.S. interests were protected while acknowledging German sovereignty.
Bob was a trusted counselor to a generation of the Army's most senior and experienced leaders. He likewise quietly taught, coached, and mentored a generation of the Army's most senior lawyers as they rotated through assignments in the offices where Bob served. All respected his world-class intellect, skills, and abilities.
Bob lived and died a gentleman. Deeply humble, he was a pillar of integrity, dignity, and generosity. He has left the world a far better place than he found it. He lived to serve his country and longed to do so until the day he was called home by the God who sent him to us.
Bob will be sorely missed by thousands of Soldiers, citizens, and friends who will ever count themselves blessed they knew him here.
Funeral services will be held in Arlington, Texas followed by internment with full military honors in the Dallas/Fort Worth National Cemetary.