Celebrating 19 Years as Barrington’s Signature Magazine


Honoring and Remembering
Tim Dunn

(September 21, 1951–November 30, 2023)

story by Karen Darch

PORTRAIT BY Matthew Bowie

Tim Dunn
Tim Dunn is the great nephew of Arnett Charles Lines (front row, left). Pictured here in 1915 at 126 West Lake in downtown Barrington is the Lines family. Front row: Arnett, Emma (mom), Fred (dad) and older brother Max. Sisters Viola and Jennie Lines are in back. Fred Lines was the architect and builder of Barrington’s White House, originally a residence for Julia and John Robertson (built in 1898).

Saying Goodbye to the Boss

How fitting it is to write about Tim for Quintessential Barrington, because Tim was so quintessentially Barrington. His lineage goes back to Barrington’s beginnings and his great uncle Arnett Lines captured that history, much to the lifelong interest and delight of Tim. He loved Barrington’s, his country’s, and all things History. He taught about it at Barrington High School, shared it often—like reading the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July—and celebrated it when he co-chaired Barrington’s Sesquicentennial in 2015.

Tim loved his village, his country, and he loved other people. Coach Dunn was a mentor to so many over the years. His enthusiasm for sports, especially wrestling and football, was very apparent, but more important was his pride in the accomplishments of his teams and players—on and off the field of play. He lived and taught selfless helpfulness. Tim had his teams participate in the Crop Walk year after year and helped lift the heavy items for Giving Day site preparation for many years.

Tim was a community servant. He was a member of the Lions Club and loved grilling at the July 4th Brat tent. He served on the Village Zoning Board for four years and as a Village Trustee for eight years. As much as he loved his village and fondly reminisced about the shops and places he had frequented while growing up, he was instrumental in protecting the Village’s future and keeping it a great place for those who follow. Also, his matter-of-fact manner and quick wit were a welcome relief on nights of long village board meetings.

Barrington’s love for green space, nature, and the great outdoors lived in Tim, as well. An avid fisherman, he started the Anglers Club at BHS. In typical Tim fashion, he shared what he loved with those around him.

Tim was powered by his loving family, a huge heart, and a lifelong faith in God. A man of history, patriotism, generosity, service, love for community, family, and faith, he represented the best of Barrington and Barrington loved him. Thank you, Tim.


Here are some words that others shared about Tim Dunn

Barbara Benson, Fellow Historian

I first met Tim Dunn in my early years at the Barrington Historical Society. When his great-aunt Jennie Lines, sister of Arnett died, Tim was tasked with taking care of all the memorabilia in her house, which had been the Lines family home on West Lake Street for two generations. A notable gift to the Historical Society was a croquet set, which had belonged to the Lines ancestor, M.B. McIntosh, the second elected president of Barrington in 1866. Among his many pursuits, McIntosh organized a croquet club which outlived him.

Occasionally we were in touch; he maintained an extensive archive of papers and photographs of his family, later added to the Lines collection at the Barrington Area Library. Tim was a valuable resource for Barrington’s Sesquicentennial in 2015 and the publication of Quintessential Barrington’s Special Edition. Tim’s last historical event was to participate in “Barrington’s Blast to the Past,” organized by the History Work Group of the Barrington Cultural Commission. Tim joined me at the history information table. Several people came by to see Tim and reminisce about “Old-Time” Barrington and shared sports talk as well. I was honored to share the day with him.

Chris Dunn, Wife

Tim Dunn and I were married for 50 years and have two beautiful daughters. We knew each other for 56 years because we met at Carmel High during our sophomore year. We married after college graduation. We were young, didn’t have jobs, and lived in a first-floor apartment on Lincoln Avenue in downtown Barrington.

Tim graduated from teaching 6th grade to junior high and then to Barrington High School. He considered himself one fortunate guy to be able to live and work in his beloved hometown. Along with his love of teaching was his love of coaching. He had a football story that exemplified his values.

Every year, his sophomore football team arranged a sleepover after a Friday night game. The team would bring sleeping bags up to the wrestling gym—Tim would show the movie “Knute Rockne, All American,” and order pizza for everyone. Before lights-out, each boy was given a written letter from their parents that Tim had secretly requested. Not only sports mattered—family was sacred.

He recognized a goodness in people. He brought out a quality in people that some didn’t even know they had. When once asked what he valued most, without hesitation he answered “God, Family, Country.” That exemplifies the man I married and the man I will miss.

Ryan Dunn, Tim’s Son-in-Law

The last time I saw my biological father I was 11 years old. He had just brought us back home to our mother’s from a weekend at his place. I couldn’t tell you exactly why that was the last time, but it was. He had a new wife and was starting a new family. And I was old enough to know that it was his responsibility to be there for my brother and me, but too young to force his hand.

As a college student, I was mostly alone, living off campus. I met a girl, and she was my angel. We began dating, and the more time we spent together, the more I would hear stories about her father. Cousins would ask if I’d met the big man yet. Her sister said I’d do fine, if I told the truth, gave a firm handshake, and maintained solid eye contact.

Meeting my girlfriend’s father was inevitable, but whether naive or overconfident, I wasn’t worried about it. The day finally arrived; I came down to my girlfriend’s hometown for Thanksgiving weekend. I played it cool, hugged her mom (we had met a couple times already), then ventured into the family room, where my girlfriend’s father was watching a football game. He stood up to shake my hand, all six-foot-four-inches of him, and I swallowed, then introduced myself as evenly as possible.

We didn’t say much that day, but I told him I wrestled in high school, and played football until an injury sidelined me and pushed me into the arts, and he listened with interest. We talked about fishing trips to Canada, and I learned that—completely coincidentally—we had both taken trips to the same town in Ontario and may have even crossed paths unknowingly. By the end of my Thanksgiving visit, I was a bonafide member of the family, adopted without the paperwork.

Tim and I weren’t talkative men by nature. We had an understanding that the things you say to one another are just as meaningful as the shared quiet between those words. I finally learned what it meant to have a genuine father figure in my life. When I married his daughter, I took her name—his name… Dunn.

In the month before Tim’s passing, I built him a shed. We could have gone with a simple prefab building, the kind you can order at any big box store, but I wanted to make something special, from scratch. I got his blessing, bought plans for a Colonial shed (paying tribute to his love of American history), and enlisted a close friend of the family to make it happen. The shed was built to hold Tim’s prized possessions—grills, camping gear, fishing equipment, family tools—as he was in the process of down-sizing with his wife and starting a new, simpler chapter together.

He got to see the completed project, and I was proud to make him proud. I learned at his wake, from numerous interactions with friends of his, that he was telling everyone who would listen about the shed his son-in-law made for him. I take great comfort in knowing this.

I will miss Tim dearly and deeply. He taught me how to be a man, how to treat others with respect, how to ask important questions, and how to value the silence after those questions are answered. He inspired many people, set countless lives on their path, and if I were ever to brag to someone about anything (I’m not the bragging type), it would be that I got to spend more time with Tim than most.

The last time I spoke to my father I was 11 years old. But the last time I spoke to my dad was Thursday, December 20, 2023. Keep an eye on us, up there, Tim.

Rosie Dunn, Granddaughter

[Text Message, Sent: Sat, December 9, 2023 @ 5:36 p.m.]

“Hey you, you got cremated today. We had this beautiful wake for you. And an even better funeral mass service today. It was hard, but we all know you’re upstairs with the big man now.

We miss you so much; Nina’s doing fine. We cleaned your car and it’s all nice and neat now. I miss you, Boss. I don’t know if I said this then or if you remember, but thank you so, so, so much for my iPad case. It was a lot of money, but I really appreciate it.

Emmy spoke at your mass service as the Words of Remembrance. She did so good. And I just wanted to say how much of a great grandpa you were to all of us. You were our rock on this Earth and the sun to our moon.

Through thick and thin you always were there, spectating the scene. It’s good you made it through Thanksgiving, one last family function, right? I’m sorry you have to miss Christmas, though. Dad had you as a secret Santa. We got you this nice multi-use Stanley cup that you could bring on your fishing trips. It would have been awesome seeing you open that present.

All the wrestlers were crying at your mass service, too. I held my composure till right now sending you this text message. I rubbed mom on the back and Nina and Emmy, basically everyone who was crying. You looked absolutely amazing suited up in your coffin. Holy cow you were like a whole new being.

Anyways I don’t want to disturb you in heaven or anything, but I just thought I’d fill you in if you don’t know already. Say hi to Noni and Papa and Norby for me. We love you boss. I’ll fill you in a few weeks. Love you forever and always.

Ken Hoving, Wrestling Coach

As much as it hurts to lose such a special man, it is important that we celebrate the extraordinary life of Tim Dunn, a man whose impact reached far beyond the confines of the wrestling gym, football field, school walls, grill/smoker, family, or the Barrington community. Tim wasn’t just a mentor; he was a force of nature, a presence that left an indelible mark on everyone fortunate enough to know him. Tim also loved to make people happy through food; for example, Tim loved throwing on a brisket or pork shoulder to make sure that the football and wrestling coaches were well-fed after a game or meet.

Tim was more than a coach; he was a teacher of life. Our conversations were a daily ritual during the wrestling season, and I grew to crave those moments of unfiltered truth. He shared information, some more appropriate than others, but it was always authentic and undeniably Tim. During one of the last conversations I had with Tim, he paused for a second and then told me how proud he was of me and the man and leader I have become. This will be something I cherish for the rest of my life.

Tim was a source of inspiration and a wellspring of unconventional wisdom. His fearless approach to life, coupled with his unapologetic candor, made every interaction with him an adventure. Tim wasn’t afraid to share the raw realities of the world, and in doing so, he made our conversations not just informative, but captivating. Wrestlers loved Tim and the respect they had for him and his dedication to Barrington wrestling was evident in their interactions.

Tim’s name is synonymous with Barrington. The outpouring of support and attendance at his services is a testament to the vast network of lives he touched. As we bid farewell to a man whose larger-than-life personality made an unforgettable mark on Barrington, let us remember Tim not only for his wrestling and football prowess or his unwavering generosity, but for the genuine connections he forged and the impact he had, and will continue to have on generations. Tim Dunn will live on through us, in the stories we share, the lessons we carry, and the town that will forever echo with his name. May we honor his memory by living our lives with the same fearlessness and authenticity that defined who Tim Dunn was. I already miss you dearly, Tim.

Carol and David Nelson, Friends

Tim was a man of many layers and many interests; family first, then faith, then country, then the boys he coached and the students he taught, and his wide community of friends. He would do anything for each and all. He was a man of deep conviction, and he shared his beliefs without hesitation. Those who came across his path had huge respect for him, and his big heart was always evident.

What we will miss most is his sense of humor, evenings with a fire and stories to delight, election nights—local, state, and federal, and his patriotism and the Fourth of July. His life was one act of kindness after another, strung together by wanting to teach, to be of help, wanting to nourish and to share. In his shadow, those who loved him will remember what he taught us and never forget.

Deborah Villers, Friend and Co-Chair

Tim was a long-time friend. Our children went all through school together—from Hough to Station to Barrington High School, and Tim coached my son in football. He and his wife Chris were part of our New Year’s Eve celebrations, and we’ve celebrated many weddings and grandchildren together.

In 2010, Tim and I were invited to Co-Chair the Barrington Sesquicentennial Committee, a five-year commitment. It was a great partnership. Tim’s extensive knowledge of the history of Barrington, combined with his own life experience here, were invaluable. We had an incredibly creative committee to work with, and I couldn’t have asked for a better co-chair. No drama, just fun. My only regret in writing about Tim is that I am doing it in the past tense.

Tim Dunn is the great nephew of Arnett Charles Lines (front row, left). Pictured here in 1915 at 126 West Lake in downtown Barrington is the Lines family. Front row: Arnett, Emma (mom), Fred (dad) and older brother Max. Sisters Viola and Jennie Lines are in back. Fred Lines was the architect and builder of Barrington’s White House, originally a residence for Julia and John Robertson (built in 1898).

On Saturday, October 21, 2023, the Barrington Area Library and Barrington Cultural Commission presented a special collaborative event featuring the Village of Barrington’s history. Community members enjoyed the event hosted at the library with exhibits. Tim Dunn, Linda Wichman, and Barbara Benson were at the History table.

Left: Tim Dunn enjoyed reading the Declaration of Independence on July 4 in town.
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