Mr. Ron Dunn has been a kind face that one sees when they are injured, while learning in his class, or even while walking down the hall. He can even be seen at Mass almost every morning. He is often quiet and tends to his own business, so few see him unless they go searching for him. This searching is often necessitated by an injury or a religion question. Dunn tends to his patients so they can as quickly as possible get back to playing without re-injury and he is almost a walking Bible in terms of religion. However, there is always a story behind every great man, and it is my honor to tell Mr. Dunn’s.
Mr. Dunn was born and raised in Jefferson City. He is the second child in a family of five. Dunn has an older brother Jerry, a younger sister Jean, a younger brother John, and another younger sister Cheryl. With the help of their parents, they all worked their way through Helias Catholic High School. Mr. Dunn graduated in 1968, and then went to college at the University of Central Missouri where he received an undergraduate degree in Physical Education and worked as a student athletic trainer. After college, Mr. Dunn married his high school sweetheart Jane. He then continued on at UCM to earn his masters degree and work as a Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer. Mr. Dunn then went to the University of Missouri for a year to do work beyond his master’s and work as a graduate student athletic trainer.
Mr. Dunn then moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, and started his career as an athletic trainer at Western Kentucky University. He worked there for nine years: three as the assistant trainer, and six as head trainer. Also during this time, the Dunn’s had their three children: Eric, April, and Casey. Mr. Dunn then returned to his hometown to help Dr. Krautmann and his partners start a Sports Medicne Clinic as part of the Jefferson City Bone and Joint Clinic. During this time, he taught Sports Medicine at Jefferson City High School and worked five years with the athletic teams at both Helias Catholic and Jefferson City High Schools. He then took a job with the Colombia Orthopedic Group managing their Sports Medicine Clinic in Columbia and teaching Sports Medicine at Hickman High School, which he did for six years. In 1994, Dunn moved back to Jefferson City to manage a Sports Medicine Clinic at Memorial Hospital, later renamed Capitol Region. Mr. Dunn resumed his role of assisting the local athletic teams at both Helias and Jefferson City but this time began teaching Sports Medicine part time at Helias Catholic instead of Jefferson City High School. In 2003, Mr. Dunn was offered a full time position at Helias to teach sports medicine and religion. Mr. Dunn took Helias up on their offer thus becoming the teacher and athletic trainer we know today.
Mr. Dunn lives in Columbia, Missouri, with his wife Jane. He enjoys playing golf, working around the house, and spending time with his grandkids. His son Eric and his wife Cheryl live in Kansas City and are the parents of Andrew and Alena. His daughter April and her husband Scott live in Sikeston and are the parents of Lauren and Ryan. Mr. Dunn’s youngest son Casey and his wife Kate, married two years this summer, do not have any children yet and are living in Dillon, Montana.
Mr. Dunn’s favorite memory of Helias is all the people he has been able to work with and teach. Mr. Dunn always loved Helias and teaching. He even studied to be a Christian Brother. Mr. Dunn decided this wasn’t the road for him and God directed his career toward being an athletic trainer. When Mr. Dunn came back to teach full time at Helias, he indicated that he was a little uneasy at first, but he quickly became comfortable in his new job thanks to the encouragement and help of the faculty and staff.
When teaching his sports medicine class, Mr. Dunn remembers a student asking him “What is the worst injury you have ever treated?” He told the student that he doesn’t have one, saying, “It’s kind of what I do, I don’t think of it (an injury) as gross or magnificent, but each injury is different and I am fortunate to be able to help them with their injury whatever it may be…
Dunn’s wife, Jane, is a major factor in his life. They have been married for 42 years on May 13. Mrs. Dunn is retiring at the end of May. She didn’t want to be home by herself next year without Mr. Dunn. He agreed with her that, while they are both healthy, he should retire also at the end of this year. Mr. Dunn said, “I felt like she really wanted me to retire so that we could have some time together.” He looks forward to doing projects, spending time with his grand kids, and traveling for fun.
When asked what he will miss the most, Mr. Dunn told me, “I will miss the students the most, I will miss the interactions I have with them all day along. I love going to class and interacting with the students. I also love going to the training room and working with the student athletic trainers and student athletes. I enjoy the fun we have just doing our everyday job. I also really like and respect the faculty and staff. They too have helped me become a better person. Helias has become a big part of my life.”
Mr. Dunn would like to be remembered as someone who really enjoys his work and being around students. He said that the students have taught him a lot and have helped him grow in his own faith. They are one of the main reasons he started teaching at Helias. Mr. Dunn will always be known as a man who loved his faith and the school he taught at.
The Crusader Raid, Vol. 6, Num. 4.
The Spring/Summer Issue
Written by Zach Smith