Michael Patrick Dunne

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A reporter, author and teacher, he died on Sunday, July 8, 2007. Born in New Orleans on June 21, 1949, and a resident of Baton Rouge, he served in the U.S. Army and earned a degree in broadcast journalism from LSU in 1974. He covered news in Alabama and Florida as well as in Alexandria, New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Originally a second assistant city editor on the State-Times, he moved to general assignment reporting and the copy desk of the Morning Advocate in the early 1980s. He later became an investigative reporter at WBRZ-TV and returned to newspaper reporting in 1993. He also taught journalism as an adjunct instructor in the Manship School of Mass Communications. Dunne won journalism awards for general-assignment reporting, as well as police, courts, education and city hall and later environmental issues. In the late 1980s, Dunne and Advocate reporter Bob Anderson received national honors three times in one year for stories on coastal erosion and a series of stories on air pollution in Baton Rouge. Dunne was a two-time winner of the Scripps-Howard Foundation's Edward J. Meeman Award. This spring, Dunne received the first America's Wetland Conservationist of the Year award for stories on threats to Louisiana's coast. A founding member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, he was co-author of the book "America's Wetland: Louisiana's Vanishing Coast" with photographer Bevil Knapp. An Eagle Scout, Dunne was a volunteer with Istrouma Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, serving as council vice chairman of programs. He also trained adult Scouters and junior leaders using the Woodbadge course program and the Junior Leader Training program. In addition, he was known for work with Alcoholics Anonymous and the O'Brien House, where he was a board member. He is survived by his wife, Freda Claire Yarbrough Dunne of Baton Rouge; sons, William Bradford Pipes Dunne of Monterey, Calif., and Dylan William Dunne of Baton Rouge; mother, Geraldine Helen Kussmann Dunne of New Orleans; two sisters, Kathleen Lee Dunne Galliand and her husband, Ronald Victor Galliand, of Mandeville, and Deborah Lee Dunne Brennan and her husband, James Christopher Brennan, of Raleigh, N.C.; three nephews, Scott Michael Galliand of Richmond, Va., Mark William Galliand and his wife, Raelyn Angele Christensen Galliand, of Mandeville and Matthew Charles Brennan of Raleigh, N.C.; and two great-nieces, Haeleigh Elizabeth Galliand and Madelyn Rose Galliand of Mandeville. He was preceded in death by his father, William Victor Dunne. Visitation is scheduled at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, 2021 Stuart Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70808, on Wednesday, July 11, from 9 a.m. until the memorial service at 11 a.m. Charlet Funeral Home Inc., Zachary, is in charge of funeral arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, http://www.marybird.org; America's Wetland, http://www. americaswetland.com; Society of Environmental Journalists, SEJ, P.O. Box 2492, Jenkintown, PA 19046; or O'Brien House, 1220 Main St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802. Donations can also be made to the Order of the Arrow, an honor organization of the Boy Scouts of America at the Istrouma Council Boy Scout Office, P.O. Box 66676, Baton Rouge, LA 70896-6676. His ashes will be distributed by sons Brad and Dylan and his friends and family in the places he loved. The Dunne family would like to thank all of the doctors and nurses who gave so much attention to Mike during his battle with cancer. We'd especially like to thank Dr. Frederic Billings and oncology nurse Sandra Knight, as well as all of the nurses and staff at Louisiana Hematology Oncology Associates of Louisiana, and Dr. Kenneth Lo of Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center for their care and friendship.
Published in TheAdvocate.com from July 10 to July 11, 2007