Last Friday I was notified that Dick Dunn, former Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services had passed away. Prior to running this large state agency, Dick was the Executive Director of Boy’s Town of Missouri. Dick was from the Springfield area and while he was passionate about and devoted to his work, he loved the outdoors and he always had a hunting or fishing story he wanted to tell you about.
Dick never knew a stranger and his excitement for living life to the fullest was contagious. No matter how busy he was he always had time for contacting friends and sharing another story. He showed the rest of us that while work was important and achieving positive outcomes for our clients was worth fighting for no matter how long it took, he also taught us we had to have balance in our lives and family always comes first. Dick and his wife Jane were a team…and they devoted their life to their children.
Over the years Dick has helped thousands of young children who were in the custody of the state and for four years he provided leadership to improve the health outcomes of all Missourians. That in itself is a wonderful legacy…service to others. What I will remember most about Dick that he really cared for people, even those who disagreed with him— life was not something to be taken for granted, it had to have meaning. Dick was not superficial and he was current on most any issue being discussed. Dick was not afraid to challenge the status quo and he was not afraid to admit when he was wrong. Dick was always trying to figure out how to make things better.
I will miss Dick Dunn but his legacy of really caring for others will live on and hopefully inspire others to greatness. Rest in Peace my dear friend.