Former national Senior Olympian turns 100

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Courtesy of Jack and Sue Dunn: Eva Dunn: 15 years ago at age 85; photo taken for her 85th birthday.

Eva Laura Dunn was born to George and Effie Smallwood on Aug. 20, 1913. She married her high school sweetheart, R. Weldon Dunn, in 1930. The couple were married for 50 years.

Dunn lived in Tucson, Ariz., for most of her adult life, where she was a stay at home mom to her only son, Jack; a member of the Eastern Star and, later in life, caretaker for her parents. She later enjoyed spending time with Jack, his wife, Sue, and her two granddaughters Jennifer and Rashall.

After her husband’s passing in 1980, Dunn moved to Quemado to live closer to her only son and his family. There she made new friends and became involved in the community, including helping a group of seniors in a small community center become an accredited senior center through the Commission on Aging, and raising matching funds so that the community could receive government funding to build a new center and develop senior programs. The Quemado Senior Center celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. Once the center was accredited, Dunn ate there every day it was open and continued her activities there, such as quilting.

Through the center, Dunn became engaged in the Senior Olympics in her late 70s. Dunn later went to state and on to the national competition in the Senior Olympics, winning two gold and two silver medals in the 1,500-meter race walk in the 80-84 year age group.

Dunn currently lives in Lemitar with her landlord Helen Dennis and another roommate, Josie. Dunn’s daughter-in-law Sue Dunn said her mother-in-law loves receiving cards and welcomes cards to be sent to Eva Dunn, care of Helen Dennis, P.O. Box 209, Lemitar, NM 87823.

Celebrating Dunn’s 100th birthday with her on Aug. 20 were her son and daughter-in-law, Jack and Sue Dunn; granddaughter Jennifer Armstrong and husband, Alton and great-grandaughters Lori Wilson with her husband, Leland, and children Morgan and Sawyer, Chelsea Armstrong with boyfriend Montana Pettis and daughter Brooke, Jessie Otero with husband, Bobbie, and Allie Armstrong. Dunn’s roommates were also present during the celebration.