Unity woman had ‘heart of a caring person’
Anna Dunn made it her life’s work to care for the Benedictine brothers at Saint Vincent Archabbey.
She spent 40 years as a certified nurse’s aide at the monastery infirmary, caring for brothers and priests who were convalescing or were in their last hours, said her daughter Kathleen Hendrickson.
“She respected them, and she took care of them,” Hendrickson said. “You just had to have the heart of a caring person.”
She worked there until age 77. “My mother liked her job. If she could have … she would have still been there,” she said.
Anna M. Dunn, of Unity, died Wednesday, June 5, 2019, at Excela Health Latrobe Hospital. She was 82.
Born in Rostraver on Dec. 3, 1936, she was a daughter of the late William and Sara (O’Donnell) Upperman.
Mrs. Dunn started out as a nurse’s aide at the infirmary in the 1970s and obtained her certification in the 1980s.
A natural caregiver, she was motivated in her work by her Catholic faith. She was a member of St. Cecilia Catholic Church, Whitney.
She enjoyed working in her garden, planting flowers, traveling, reading novels and watching her beloved Pittsburgh Pirates, her daughter said.
Accompanying her on her travels was her lifelong friend, Barb Simms, 82, of Hostetter. The two met in the eighth grade at Hostetter School.
“She was the only girl in the eighth grade at Hostetter until I got there,” Simms said.
For the eighth grade graduation, the two wore identical dresses without consulting each other first, she said. Another time, they bought the same bathing suit by accident.
After marriage and children, the two lived close to each other and stayed close.
“She had five kids, I had six kids. Back when the kids were small, we went swimming together at a place called Smitty’s Pool,” she said.
The two went shopping together and traveled together, whether out-of-state or on the back roads of Westmoreland County.
“We’d just get bored,” Simms said. “I will miss her dearly.”
Simms said one thing she’ll miss is Mrs. Dunn’s penchant for passing out. Her fainting spells, likely the result of low blood pressure, were not serious and became the source of jokes later on.
Simms said she always made sure her friend was made comfortable and that her feet were elevated. Before long, she’d come to and resume what she was doing.
“I never freaked out,” she said.
Mrs. Dunn was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred L. Dunn Sr. She is survived by her children, Andrea Kramer and her husband, Robert, of North Carolina, Kathleen Hendrickson and her husband, Gregory, of Latrobe, LuAnn Kemerer-Mann and her husband, Alan Mann, of Latrobe, Alfred Dunn Jr. and his wife, Cheri, of Ligonier, and Leland Dunn and his wife, Joann, of Latrobe; 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Prayers will begin at 9:20 a.m. Saturday at the Leo M. Bacha Funeral Home, 2072 Route 130, Pleasant Unity, followed by a funeral Mass at 10 a.m. at St. Cecelia Catholic Church, Whitney. Interment will follow in Unity Cemetery.
Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .