Elaine Buchanan Dunn

Honored by:David, Scott, Mike, Anne and Tom Dunn
Brick location:C:8  map

Elaine Dunn was born March 20, 1933, to Murray and Margaret Buchanan. She has two younger brothers, Bill and Doug, and had a sister who died as an infant. The family lived close to various airports in the Midwest when Elaine was young as her father worked with the Federal Aviation Agency. Elaine attended high school in West Des Moines, Iowa, and graduated from Valley High. After high school Elaine attended Drake University, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in education in 1954. Graduate school took her to the University of Iowa, where she earned a Master of Arts in Developmental Reading and met her future husband.

Elaine's philosophy is to learn something new every year. She makes this her annual New Year's resolution. Over the years she has learned typing, bookkeeping and how to use a personal computer, and currently she is studying genealogy. It is important to her to continually challenge herself and those around her.

Family is the center of her life. She is married to Jerry Dunn and they have five grown children (four sons and one daughter) and two grandchildren. While her family was young, she stayed home and cared for them. She worked with the children, challenging them to do their best in all aspects of their lives. She is the main emotional support of the family. Each of her kids would tell you that she is the first person they call with good or bad news. They know that she will not judge them, only support them.

Her education and love for reading helped her instill the value of education in her children. She is proud of each of her children, who collectively hold one associate's degree, four bachelor's degrees (all from ISU), one master's degree and a JD. The family includes a geologist, a computer programmer, a lawyer, an accountant and a parent who works at home caring for his family.

Elaine is a teacher by profession. Teaching and literacy are important in her life. She has been a Chapter 1 teacher in the Ames Community School District for 17 years (as of spring '94). As a Chapter 1 teacher, she works with students not achieving to potential in reading or math. Elaine has been active in many professional organizations, including the International Reading Association, the Iowa Reading Association and the Boone-Story Reading Council. She has been able to combine her love for travel and the teaching profession by attended international literacy conferences in Ireland, Scotland and England, at some of which she presented papers.

Community involvement has also been important to Elaine. She has been very active in her church, serving on various committees and teaching religious education since moving to Ames in 1963. While her children were young, she served as Cub Scout leader and volunteered at school whenever possible. She has worked with Story County United Way and Story County Board of Social Welfare and has served on the Board of Trustees for Ames Public Library. For the past 41 years, she has also been active in the precinct activities of the Democratic Party.

Elaine Dunn has made a difference in the lives of many people, not only her family and friends but also in the community that she calls home. She is a teacher, a student and a supporter of life.

As a Mother's Day gift, we are honoring our mother by including her in the Carrie Chapman Catt Plaza of Heroines.

David, Scott, Mike, Anne, and Tom Dunn