Dunn, Marilyn McNeely October 2, 1934 - January 3, 2020 Marilyn McNeely Dunn, musician and Baptist activist, passed away January 3, 2020 in Winston-Salem, NC. Born in Fort Worth, Texas, she was the only child of Dr. Edwin Martin McNeely and Lydia Wayne McNeely. Her father was a well-known Baptist musicologist, hymn writer, and professor in the music department of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth. Her mother was a prominent musician and concert pianist. Marilyn attended Fort Worth public schools, graduating in 1952 from R. L. Paschal High School, where she was concert mistress of the school orchestra. In 1957, Marilyn earned a bachelor's degree in Music Theory and Literature from Baylor University, completing the Master of Music in 1958. At her beloved Baylor she was chosen Who's Who on campus and was an active participant in music programs including the Baylor Religious Hour Choir. On December 19, 1958 she married the love of her life, James Milton Dunn, a union of 57 years until his passing in 2015. Together, they lived and worked in Baptist Campus Ministry at West Texas State University in Canyon, Texas; in Austin, Texas where Dr. James Dunn was director of the Christian Life Commission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas; and in Washington, DC, where Dr. Dunn was director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. In all those locales, Marilyn was an active participant in church and community music programs, valued for her skills as a mezzo soprano and widely sought soloist. The couple traveled the world, participating in a wide variety of Baptist-related events across the globe. They were particularly drawn to Great Britain, spending Christmas in London every other year for decades. In 1999, the Dunn's came to Winston-Salem and participated in the founding of the School of Divinity, Wake Forest University. For many years, she was an active member of the choir at the Knollwood Baptist Church, where her memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 19. Marilyn is survived by her stepbrother Robert Heritage, Anderson, SC, and cousin Katherine Eppert, Winston-Salem; faithful friends Judy Ginn and Nancy Patterson; life-long friends and supporters Bill and Candyce Leonard; and many friends at Wake-Forest School of Divinity and Knollwood Baptist Church. Friends honored Marilyn, along with her husband, by establishing the James and Marilyn Dunn Chair of Baptist Studies at the School of Divinity. Memorial gifts may be sent to the School of Divinity, P.O. Box 7719 Reynolda Station, Winston-Salem, NC, 27109. Online condolences may be sent to www.salemfh.com. Salem Funeral & Cremation Service 2951 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27106
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