Nothing is more difficult than to write about the passing of a good friend. In the following article you can read my thoughts about a person who meant a lot to me and whose memory I pray endures forever....
A Tribute to Our Dear Departed Friend Hal V. Dunn
October 27, 2006
By Rusty Goe
Sometimes news comes that brings much sadness. As we were absorbed in editing the next edition of the quarterly journal of the Carson City Coin Collectors of America, Sharon Dunn, the wife of one of our charter members, Hal V. Dunn, called to tell us that Hal had died on Thursday October 26 from complications involving cancer treatments being administered to him. Hal had been fighting off the cancer with the courage he had demonstrated all of his life, but the strain on his weary heart took its toll. Marie, our staff and I gathered around the phone as Sharon shared the mournful news over the phone, wishing that there was something we could do to comfort Sharon. But she was in Elko and we’re here in Reno. If tears account for anything, Marie and I could at least contribute a jar of those during this time of Sharon’s bereavement.
Immediately, my mind reflected on how Hal from his hospital bed, with tubes running from his face, spoke to me over the phone during the past couple of weeks assuring me that he would have his next article for Curry’s Chronicle delivered to us on time. And sure enough, despite the pain and anguish he was experiencing, his article arrived, with pictures, ahead of the deadline. This was the kind of guy he was: when he told you he was going to do something, he did it.
This next issue of Curry’s Chronicle will be our sixth since our club came into existence a year and a half ago, and Hal Dunn contributed an article to every one of them. He loved all things related to the Carson City Mint, and found in CCCCOA the perfect match for his passion to share his vast wealth of knowledge on the subject. From the inaugural of our club he not only submitted articles, but also provided much sound input. His suggestion, for example, to offer club members the opportunity to purchase a Premium Membership Certificate in the form of an artistic vintage stock certificate came to fruition this year, with many C4OA-ers very pleased with their purchase. He had also suggested that we publish a membership roster in one edition of Curry’s Chronicle each year – we will be doing this starting with the next issue.
When I was writing my first book, The Mint on Carson Street, Hal was a source of encouragement, as he showed great interest in my project. As I have been working on my second book, James Crawford: Master of the Mint at Carson City, Hal checked in from time to time to see how it was coming along. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed speaking to and corresponding with Hal about anything related to the Carson City Mint. You just knew you were communicating with the consummate “CC” enthusiast.
Hal had told me that his plans were to return to Carson City from Elko in the next few years to finish out the remainder of his life in the town he cherished. I was looking so forward to his return, contemplating spending time with him walking the historic streets of Carson and listening to his stories about his many years as a sheriff there. He had known Judge Clark J. Guild, one of Carson’s greatest boosters and the man singularly responsible for preserving the old Carson Mint and turning it in to the Nevada State Museum. Hal lived in Carson City during the epochal period when GSA “CC” silver dollars were being sold by the U.S. Government; and was there when the Nevada State Museum minted special silver medallions to commemorate the nation’s Bicentennial. Hal’s knowledge transcended the topic of the Carson City Mint, spilling over into merchant trade tokens of the Old West, postcards, antique bottles, ghost towns, and a world of other categories related to Nevada. There will be a gap in my life and especially in my future plans of hours of delightful camaraderie now that Hal is gone.
Our prayer is twofold: First, that Hal’s wife Sharon receives strength to take her through her period of grief; and second, that angels from Heaven escort Hal to a celestial resting place equipped just for him.