Cornelius Patrick Dunn, 1937-2018


Cornelius Patrick Dunn

Also known as Cassim Dunn, born May 21, 1937 in Milwaukee WI, died May 31, 2018 in Des Montes, NM. Husband of Mary Ann Matheson, son of Cornelius Francis Dunn, M.D. and Florence Spang Dunn, father of Shannon Anne Dunn  and Sean Patrick Dunn, grandfather of Julia Pilar Gomel-Dunn and Gavin Patrick Gomel- Dunn, brother of Michael John Dunn, M.D., James Francis Dunn, Mary Eileen Dunn Allen, and Kevin Brian Dunn. Cassim attended St. Jude Elementary School in Wauwatosa, WI, Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, and graduated with a B. A. degree from Marquette University in 1959. Upon graduation, he married Mary Ann Clark (now deceased) and began a career with Burroughs Wellcome Inc. representing their line of pharmaceuticals to the medical profession. He served as a medic in the National Guard at Fort Lewis, WA at the time of the “Cuban Missile Crisis” troop call-up. In the late 60’s, he moved from Milwaukee to San Francisco to begin working as a stockbroker for Sutro and Co, a financial firm. He always enjoyed designing objects of art in tile and silver, including personal jewelry and furnishings, which led him to leave the financial market and start his own business as a craftsman in tile and stone design. San Francisco was emerging as a center for spirituality, and Cassim became interested in the teachings of Sufi master, Murshid Samuel Lewis, and was given the name “Cassim” (“provider” in Arabic) as his own. This spiritual interest led him to The Lama Foundation in Taos NM where he met Mary Ann Matheson, who would become his wife. Murshid Sam Lewis brought to the West the “Dances of Universal Peace” also known as Sufi dancing. Sacred music and dance are charisms of this Chisti line of Sufis and Cassim loved to drum for the dances. Cassim was commissioned by R.C. Gorman, the famous Native American Navajo Nation artist, to create tile, stone work and a Japanese garden for his Taos home. Cassim was also an avid fly fisherman and excelled at tying his own flies. He often fished the San Juan River near the Four Corners as well as other trout streams closer to Taos. Cassim’s love of gardening and horticulture prompted him to start Cedar Beach Nursery in Taos, where he practiced the art of propagating, grafting and pruning trees. The local newspaper, The Taos News, published articles by Cassim on subjects ranging from pruning fruit trees to raising garlic, chile peppers and poppies. He taught himself about mushrooms and learned to identify the delicious from the deadly. He loved to be in the kitchen and delighted in making great sandwiches for guests and pizzas from scratch. He was a regular at the Taos Farmers’ Market along with Mary Ann Matheson, selling their stunning dahlias. Cassim had a “wicked” sense of humor, and would sometimes dress in plaids and stripes just to set his own dress code. He was always keen at bringing love and laughter into any setting. Cassim received loving attention and hospice care at his home before his death from complications of Parkinson’s disease. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to a charity such as Amigos Bravos (Friends of the Wild Rivers) PO Box 238, Taos NM  87571 or your favorite charity or plant a tree in his honor.




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