PCD News

David Dunnigan Obituary

November 29, 2022

11-16-1941 – 11-25-2022
David was born in Dallas to Howard Dunnigan and Thelma (Stem) Dunnigan. He graduated from Sunset High School in 1959 and the University of North Texas in January 1964 with a BA in Journalism.

David began his career as a staff reporter for the Galveston Daily News until he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and spent time at Fort Polk, Louisiana, earning Sharpshooter designation in Rifle and a Good Conduct Medal. When his term of service ended in 1966, David joined The Dallas Morning News as a staff reporter, where he met Carolyn Helen Ferrill of Little Rock, Arkansas, to whom he was married for 51 years. David began his long career in public relations and communications with Dr. Pepper, then Bloom Advertising and P.R., followed by a two-year stint as Director of Communications for Flower Mound New Town, a Ray Nasher Development Company. From 1974-1975, he served as Director of Public Affairs for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, followed by time as Director of Communications for Trailways Bus Company. In 1976, he began his first stint with Read- Poland Associates, the first of multiple times he served as General Manager of the firm named for his friend and mentor, Julian Read. David started his own firm with friend Joe Barta in the late seventies before purchasing Rominger Advertising and Public Relations, where he worked alongside Carolyn for a decade before returning to Read-Poland in 1990. In 2001, David joined The Harrell Group, where he served as Senior Counsel until his retirement. Among his many professional endeavors, David was a trusted campaign consultant for candidates running for a range of positions, from local city government to the United States Congress.

David lived in the Kessler Park neighborhood of Oak Cliff for more than fifty years, and he was proud to support his community in every way possible. He was President of Rotary Club of Oak Cliff and President of Rotary Club of Dallas, where he also served on the board. He was a two-time President of the Press Club of Dallas. He served as President of the North Texas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), earning the PRSA Community Service Award and was named to the College of Fellows and a Paul Harris Fellow. He was the President of the Dallas Chapter of Sigma Delta Chi and the Dallas Business League, President of Kessler Neighbors United, and Chair of Dallas iMedia. David was a Leadership Dallas graduate and served on the Alumni Board. He served on boards and in leadership roles with organizations including the Greater Dallas Community of Churches, Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce, YMCA’s of Dallas International Association of Business Communications, Dallas County Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center, Friends of the Dallas Public Library, Dallas 40, Mayborn School of Journalism at UNT, Keep Dallas Beautiful, Central Dallas Community Development Corporation, Oak Cliff Society of Fine Arts, Dallas Zoological Society, Clean Dallas, Dallas Historical Society, Perkins School of Theology at SMU, and the Greater Dallas Planning Council, for which he also served as Executive Director from 1985 2010. The GDPC Dunnigan Engagement Award was created in his honor. He was also a District Trustee for the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, a member of the Dallas Assembly, Society of Professional Journalists, American Legion, and for many decades, he was a member of the Chairman’s Task Force for the State Fair of Texas.

On election days, David was a fixture at Kessler Park United Methodist Church (KPUMC), where he served as Democratic Precinct Chair for nearly four decades. David was a member of the KPUMC church and choir for approximately fifty years and served in nearly every leadership and volunteer position imaginable. He was a founding member and board member of Credo, a Dallas Community Choir, traveling to sing and serve domestically and internationally, most recently in Ireland in June of 2022. David was also a prolific stamp collector. His collection, built over decades, is the envy of collectors near and far.

His unfailing positive attitude and smile were infectious, and he loved weekly Rotary meetings, Saturday breakfasts with friends, and joking about any and every subject imaginable.

David was preceded in death by his wife, Carolyn, his sisters, Vicki Dunnigan and Debra Green, and nephew David Green. He is survived by his son Brendan and daughter-in-law Susanne (Ice) Dunnigan of San Francisco, CA, and his son Colin and daughter-in-law Laura (Ingersoll) Dunnigan of Jackson, MS; four grandchildren, Dylan and Devin of San Francisco, Connor of Jackson, and Morgan of Boston, MA; sister-in-law, Jane Ferrill Colclasure, and brother-in-law, Bruce Colclasure, of Little Rock; nieces, Angela Hill and Amanda Green Owen, nephews, Bruce Colclasure Jr., Jacob Green, and Robert Green; and many cousins.

Visitation will be Friday, December 16, 2022, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Kessler Park United Methodist Church, 1215 Turner Avenue, Dallas, TX 75208.

Funeral services will be Saturday, December 17, 2022, 11:00 a.m. at Kessler Park United Methodist Church, 1215 Turner Avenue, Dallas, TX 75208. Lunch will be served after the service in Fellowship Hall.

Burial will take place at the Dallas – Fort Worth National Cemetery.

The family requests that donations be made to one of the following organizations or one of your own choosing:

Kessler Park United Methodist Church: https://kpumc.breeze chms.com/give/online

Credo – Dallas’ Community Choir, David Dunnigan Memorial Tour Scholarship: https://credo choir.org/giving/More information will follow

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