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Hoping it’s a Dunn deal: Ridgite’s family wants street co-named while his aging widow can still enjoy it

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They’ve gotta get it Dunn quick!

Community Board 10 must fast-track a street co-naming for a Bay Ridge do-gooder who died in September so that his aging widow can enjoy a walk down the memorial lane, family members say. The board typically waits two years after a notable dies before entertaining a co-naming, but Dunn’s daughter said she wants the sign up as soon as possible so her 88-year-old mother can see her husband immortalized before she joins him.

“I wanted to honor him because he deserves it, and I wanted her to be alive to enjoy it,” said daughter Geraldine Martinez.

The daughter made an emotional presentation to the board’s Traffic and Transportation Committee on Jan. 11, asking it to honor her father by hanging his name at the corner of Third Avenue and 74th Street as soon as possible. She brought evidence of Dunn’s impact on the community in the form of awards from local organizations and newspaper clippings — including some from the Bay Ridge Courier — featuring the neighborhood titan, but many of the committee members needed no introduction to the man.

“He was a big reason why I’m involved in the community today,” said committee member Brian Kaszuba, who first met Dunn 25 years ago as a 10-year-old Boy Scout. “He was a great mentor to many young men and women.”

The Brooklyn native and life-long scout served in the Navy during World War II before returning to Kings County to marry his high–school sweetheart Mary (neé Brown). The pair settled on 74th Street in 1959 and never left, his daughter said. Dunn routinely collected clothing and money for veterans. But locals knew him best for planting American flags up and down Third Avenue — and throughout the neighborhood, one community leader said.

“No sooner were we in this office than he came by and said ‘Josephine! We’re gonna get you a flag’ — and sure enough, he came by with one and put it out front,” district manager Josephine Beckmann said, recalling the day the board moved its Fifth Avenue office. “He was just one of those quiet heroes. He dedicated himself to the community.”

The board will vote whether the support the co-naming in February. If members give it the go-ahead, the proposal will move on to Council, which votes on co-namings twice a year. City electeds will cast ballots on slate of new street co-namings on Jan. 19, including a proposal to call Third Avenue and 74th Street Ragamuffin Way for Bay Ridge’s annual costume parade.

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.

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Reasonable discourse

Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
Solely out of curiosity, if the intersection in question is 74th and 3rd, why was the photo taken at 78th & 3rd?
Jan. 13, 2016, 9:50 am
MJ from Bay Ridge says:
typo by the newspaper. 74th & 3rd as Ragamuffin Way, probably 78th & 3rd to honor Mr. Dunn.
Jan. 13, 2016, 12:21 pm
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
That makes better sense, MJ. I couldn't imagine the City authorizing two separate naming honors at the same intersection.
Jan. 13, 2016, 12:49 pm

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