Obituary: John J. ‘Jack’ Dunnigan, 101

by | Dec 27, 2019

John J. “Jack” Dunnigan, formerly of Warwick, passed away in East Greenwich on Dec. 23, at the age of 101. Mr. Dunnigan was predeceased by his wife of 71 years, Sarah R. (Saillant) Dunnigan.

Mr. Dunnigan is survived by his children, Mary D’Ambrosio, Maureen Dunnigan (Ed Benson), Kate Dunnigan (Josh Schurman), John Dunnigan (Wendy Wahl); three grandchildren, Christopher D’Ambrosio (Pamela), Thomas D’Ambrosio (Joseph Ramirez), Hannah Skye Wahl Dunnigan; a great-granddaughter, Rachel D’Ambrosio; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews, and many cherished friends. The Dunnigan family extends its heartfelt thanks to the wonderful people who cared for Jack at The Seasons and St. Elizabeth Home.

He was born in Providence to John J. Dunnigan and Bertha (Allen) Dunnigan on March 1, 1918. He attended Gilbert Stuart School and LaSalle Academy and graduated from Cranston East High School in 1937. He was a talented athlete and lover of music, dance and song. He was an excellent golfer and champion cribbage player.

Mr. Dunnigan was a highly decorated veteran of WWII, flying 31 missions over German occupied territory in the legendary B-17 “Flying Fortresses.” Several of his medals cited his bravery and precision in carrying out his missions against military and industrial targets, without destruction of surrounding cities and towns. In 2017, Mr. Dunnigan became a Knight of the Legion of Honor, France’s highest distinction, for his role in the liberation of that country in WWII.

After the war, he worked for Beneficial and Beacon Finance before joining Lincoln Finance Corporation in 1950, where he served as manager and vice president, becoming president and owner in 1971. He was a recognized authority on consumer lending practices and served as secretary of the R.I. General Assembly’s Commission to Study Consumer Credit in 1974. For many years, he was president of the Greater Providence Exchange Bureau, and he was president of the R.I. Consumer Finance Association from 1973 to 1976.

Mr. Dunnigan was active in the St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Peter Church, Warwick, which in 2016, honored him with the BL. Frederic Ozanam Award in recognition of his many years of service to that organization.

His funeral will be held on Saturday, Dec. 28, at 9 a.m. from the Barrett & Cotter Funeral Home, 1328 Warwick Ave., Spring Green, Warwick, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in St. Peter Church, 350 Fair St., Warwick. Visiting hours will be on Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. Burial with military honors will be in St. Ann Cemetery, Cranston.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, 200 Niantic Ave., Providence, RI 02907, or the Saint Vincent de Paul Society at St. Peter Church.


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