Rae Jene Dunn, December 17, 1942~February 9, 2017
Rae Jene Dunn, 74, of Farmington died peacefully on February 9, 2017, at the Earlene Howard Hospice Home in Springdale. She was born December 17, 1942, to Elsie and Raymond “Jack” Rinn as the eldest of five children in Alpena, Michigan, where her father was stationed by the Army Air Corps.
Rae graduated Fayetteville High School in 1960. She subsequently earned a Bachelor of Science degree in home economics in 1964 and a Master of Science degree in botany in 1978 from the University of Arkansas.
On July 15, 1964, she wed James E. Dunn, a statistics professor at the University. They recently celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary. She was preceded in death by her parents, Elsie and Jack, and her brother, David. She is survived by her husband, James; two children, Katherine Parsons and Eric Dunn; five grandchildren, Isabel, Graham, and Gordon Parsons and Jason and James Dunn; and three sisters, Patricia Rinn, Gail Gavit, and Lisa Rotenberry.
Rae was an award-winning professional potter, as well as an avid gardener, quilter, art collector, traveler, and proficient sailor. She and her husband were founding members of the Beaver Lake Sailing Club in 1965. In 1982 she opened her studio, The Clay Castle, in Farmington, specializing in the design and fabrication of wheel-thrown pottery. For many years she was a familiar exhibitor at local craft fairs, including the Prairie Grove Clothesline Fair, regional craft fairs such as the annual Brush Creek Bazaar in Tulsa, and presented one-woman shows at the Arts Center of the Ozarks among other locations. In 1992 she was juried into the American Pen Women Biennial Art Exhibit in Washington, D.C., where her pot, “Kilauea Jar” was cited for Excellence. Rae’s work, though following traditional forms, often exhibited the unexpected, e.g., a bear as the handle of a canister lid, a tree frog clinging to a coffee mug, ripe wild blackberries encircling the neck of a vase. She felt that touch was important: “A pot that does not attract the hand, to follow its swells and hollows as well as savor its texture and edges, is mediocre.” She was a member of the Arkansas Craft Guild and the Heartwood Gallery at the end of her career.
The family would like to thank Dr. Patrick Travis of the Highlands Oncology Group in Fayetteville, Dr. Alessandra Ferrajoli of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and the doctors and caretakers at the hospice home for their professional and compassionate care. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to MD Anderson Cancer Center at www.mdanderson.org/gifts.
Cremation arrangements by Beard’s Funeral Chapel.
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