James Dunn, "Jimmy" passed away peacefully in his sleep at his Manhattan Beach home on Sunday September 26, 2010 after a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 93. Jimmy was born in Iowa but grew up in Missouri. He served in the Navy as a transport pilot in the South Pacific during WWII. Jimmy came to California in 1950 as a Captain for Western Airlines. In 1951 he married Western stewardess Eva Coburn. They settled in Manhattan Beach where they raised their children Mike and Michelle. Thirty years later Jimmy would end his career as a DC-10 Captain based in Honolulu. He and Eva continued to travel and live part-time in Hawaii even after his retirement from Western in 1977. Jimmy was known at Western and around the South Bay as a funny, gregarious guy. He was a self-made success in his life, work, and marriage, yet always maintained an easy-going persona - wearing old jeans and cowboy boots, and driving around town in his Ford truck. Jimmy loved to fly, loved his years with Western Airlines, and most of all, loved living with his family in California. Jimmy was preceded in death by his parents, his two brothers, and his wife of 56 years, Eva. He is survived by his two children Mike and Michelle, brother-in-law Lowell (Twila) Coburn, sister-in-law Rosalie Coburn Wittman (Paul Wittman), daughter-in-law Tris Dunn, and grand-daughter Jamie Dunn, as well as several beloved cousins, nieces and nephews. He will be missed every day by his family and friends . . . we love you Dad! In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.

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  1. I am so sorry for the loss of your father, Michelle. But it is clear that his spunky, lively spirit lives on in you. My heart is with you.

  2. Mike: It seems like only yesterday when all the parents would come to the water polo games, at Mira Costa, and patiently endure in the stands. Those are times to be forever remembered. Very sorry for your family’s loss. I know that your father had much to be proud of.

  3. The Squeakin’ Deacon was at the top of my list of terrific people to know and great folks to work with.His loss is keenly felt by all who knew him.

  4. Thanks for the information. I forwarded it to Chriss Springer (Lila’s daughter in law) We are so sorry for your loss and will keep your family in our prayers. Perhaps one day we will get to meet! Georgia

  5. Hi Michelle, You probably can’t remember me, but I do remember you. You were on a flight from Guadaluhara to LAX. I cancelled the flight due to some mechanical problem. The entire crew went out for dinner and a few drinks, After dinner we were walking back to the hotel when I asked you If you knewcaptain Dunn and you told me he was your Dad. Whar a wonderful surprise! Yes, that was a long time ago. I am so sorry to hear Jimmy has made his final flight. Over the many years since I (we) last saw him in HNL I have thought of him many times. He was one of the greatest captains I ever flew with .He taught me how to be a captain Recently was thinking about him and wondering if he was still surviving. I will always remember him as a wonderful friend and the things he taught me how to be a captain. I will always miss him I will say a prayer for him. Warmest regards, Bob Schmid

  6. My condolences to Jim’s family. My parents, Mark and Mable and I and siter Debby lived accoss the alley on Crest Dr,in MB. They were great friends and Nighbors. I babby sat a couple of times. Rosalie visited and later I worked at United LAX with her. Jim was a great guy and my Dad and he had a lot in common. It’s been a long time but I remember Jim and Eva fondly. Mark Stuart Morris

  7. Mike; Reni & I read of your father’s passing in the paper this morning. We want to send our sincere condolences for your loss. We both lost parents – her mother and mine – in the past year, so we understand what you must be feeling. Time won’t heal – but it will provide perspective and understanding. Keep the faith. Our prayers and wishes for the future are with you. Steve & Reni

  8. It was always a pleasure to fly the right seat for Jim. The knowledge and skill he passed on to me made the transition to the left seat a breeze. Jim was not just another pilot he was an Aviator…and fun to boot! L.L.Wilkinson, Capt. W.A.L. Retired

  9. Even though we only knew Jimmy for 3 years, he was always smiling and always stopped to say hello. We enjoyed our conversations with him, which he shared awesome life stories with such passion. We sure will miss him. Much love, Rachel & Mitch

  10. Dear Mike, I recently read of your father’s passing and wanted to let you know how sorry I am for your loss. Looking back on our high school years, I distinctly remember your references to your father as always full of admiration or great respect, which we now all know as parents ourselves is no small feat to accomplish with an adolescent. May the love and support of family and friends be a source of comfort and strength to you during this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your sister, Michelle, and your entire family. With Deepest Sympathy, Robin Rudy Chancellor

  11. Jimmy was one of the greatest from the “greatest generation”. Always loved his prespective on aviation, and his great stories from all of his years of flying. Always the life of the party. We will miss you at the dinner table!

  12. It only seams like yesterday when we had Jimmy and Clif here having a good time telling stories that were some truth and some glory added. I miss the good days and will remember you all with great memories and happy thoughts of the fun we had. Paula

  13. I was sadden to hear of Jimmys passing but was glad that he had 93 years to enjoy life, which he did to the fullest. He was one of my favorites in the cockpit with his humor and warmth. He was always ready to stop and chat when I met up with him around town. He will be on the “special people” page of my record book. My condolences to the family. Connie

  14. Jimmy Dunn was the best and made flying for WAL a joy if he was in the cockpit on one of my trips. His family will miss this wonderful fellow but having him for so many years will leave such heartwarming memories. RIP Jimmy Dunn.

  15. Jimmy was always special. I flew for 9 years 1959-1968 and had many fun trips with Jimmy. The last time I saw him was 3 years ago at a Westerlies reunion. He was true to form. Please know how well he was regarded within the WAL flight crews. Sincerely, Alicia Mosgrove Lloyd

  16. Dear Michelle, Our deepest condolences to you and your family from us the whole Beck family in Germany. I wish I had approach know him.

  17. Through the years of flying I flew with Jimmy very often and got to know him as a dear friend. He had a wonderful sense of humor and just made your day. You always felt safe flying with Jimmy Dunn and all is right in the world. Love to Michelle and Mike.

  18. Our thoughts have been with you, Mike and all the Dunn family. What a wonderful life your dad had! His Hawaii trips, Alaska trips and even the trip to Alaska with Michelle in his 90’s. WOW!! what memories. Love from NE.

  19. Dear Michelle and family, My heartfelt sympathy in the loss of your beloved father. I never had the chance to personally meet him,but from all I have read about him and his joyous spirit— you are without doubt your father’s daughter!!!! I know how very close you and your brother were to both your parents, so I know the depth of your sorrow. I send you much love,a big hug and wishes that your broken heart will soon find peace and acceptance, and with time the memories will bring a smile to your face. Your friend, EddaIbarzabal

  20. dear michelle, i am so sorry to hear that your lost your beloved dad. he was a living legend to his airline family and he will remain in our hearts forever. hugs from your friend brigitte

  21. I met Jimmy when I worked at Windsor Plumbing, at that time in MB. He would come in on what seemed like a daily basis and no matter how much fustration he was going through with his plumbing problems he would never let it get him down. Jimmy was truley part of the family in those days. I speak for myself and I’m sure anyone that was blessed to know Jimmy, You will be missed Buddy. May He Rest in Peace………

  22. Dear Michelle, There will never be another one like Jimmy. He was always smiling and such a gentleman. I loved flying with him. He will be missed. God Bless to you and your family. Irene Chavez

  23. Michelle, I first met your dad as a child – when he visited my grandparents with my great-Aunt Doll, your grandmother, who I adored. It was decades before I saw him again, when I brought my mother, Rita, his cousin, to visit him and Eva. What a joy to sit and listen to “Bud” (as I always knew him) and my mother go back to their childhood in the 20’s – reminiscing and talking about family members long gone. Pictures were taken, and as we left, Bud made sure to send some of his latest Alaskan “catch” with us! My mother has treasured that last visit with her cousin – and I am personally grateful that it brought you, my cousin, into my life. The many things people have written here are a testament to the impact Jimmy Dunn has had on people’s lives. I am saddened by his death and but grateful for the joy he brought to so many in his lifetime. Love and sympathy to you and Mike

  24. Although I never knew Mr. Dunn, the obituary writeup made me wish I had. May happy memories help carry the Dunn family through these sad times. jack keady

  25. Why is it all the great ones leave us to soon.I remember back at the old Western days when the Capts. bid first and the first and second officers bid the next day. All of us tried to fly Jimmie Ds line so we wouldnt have to trade or call in sick when we got some one we didnt like. my last impression of Jimmie was in the Surfboard lounge and about four or five crews all around him.

  26. Jimmy was such a classy guy who loved his wife dearly. He made us laugh with every phone call and we enjoyed working with him. He was a great guy and will be missed! Jim,Sandy and Jeanne

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