Cover photo for Dorothy Dunn's Obituary
Dorothy Dunn Profile Photo

Dorothy Dunn

d. January 10, 2021


MILLBURY – Dorothy J. (Torigian) Dunn, 84, passed unexpectedly but peacefully on Sunday, January 10th in her home of more than 45 years.

Dorothy’s husband of 43 years, Joseph E. Dunn passed in November 2005. She leaves her daughter Patricia Dunn Peterson, wife of Andrew Peterson of Melrose, and 3 grandchildren, Sarah Peterson of Washington, DC, Megan Peterson of Somerville, MA and Noah Peterson of Madison, WI. Dorothy also leaves a sister Helen Torigian of Melrose, many nephews and nieces, grand-nephews and grand-nieces, her brother-in-law Daniel Gilbert of Millbury and sister-in-law Elizabeth Prus of NJ.  She is predeceased by her parents Manoog and Siranoosh Torigian and her brother, John of Worcester.

Dorothy was born in Worcester and graduated from Commerce High School in 1955.  She worked as an Operations Officer at Shawmut Bank before she retired.   She was a member of the Millbury Mothers Club, St. Brigid’s Church and enjoyed spending time with family and friends, travelling, shopping and cooking.  In her retirement she enjoyed her favorite role of Grammy.

Due to state guidelines and restrictions on gatherings, Dorothy’s funeral services and burial have been held privately.  A Celebration of Life will be held when we can all be together safely.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Dorothy’s name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at

Words From the Family

Lessons that I have Learned from my mom

Written notes and cards are not obsolete.  A card or note can be saved and savored.   My mom frequently framed her cards and thank you notes and kept them on her mantel.  She read every one aloud to me and loved looking at the pictures and notes.
Routines are good. My mom loved Friday widow’s lunch at Scales, Girls Game Day with Dottie, Carol, Cheryl and Mary.  Saturday Shopping trips with Thelma, Wednesday evening shopping with Rita.  When my kids were little my mom and dad came every Thursday for a visit.  She had Pizza Chef after 4 pm mass with Marcia and Lucy and since the pandemic, we watched Notre Dame mass Sunday morning followed by lunch and games. Tuesdays were always saved for coffee and tea at Dan’s.
Food does really heal the soul, or at least provides a good start. A pizza, banana bread or batch of brownies was always delivered to someone who wasn’t feeling well or if there was a birth or death in the family.   My mom’s freezer was always packed with freshly baked banana breads to be handed out to friends and family at Christmas.  They were always delicious.
Family is everything.  Grandkids are the most precious gift and they are always right.  She rejoiced as our family grew, always welcoming new friends and family with open arms.
Your reputation follows you your entire life.  Be truthful, honest, kind and a hard worker.  No such thing as a little too truthful, at least according to my mom…
Small deeds go a long way.  Something as simple as a random person helping to take trash from her trunk at the dump or a chat in the grocery aisle made her day.  She loved living in Millbury and running into people she knew. And she remembered everyone.
Faith.  God will give you strength and reunite you with the one’s you love.   My mom loved my dad with all her heart and awaited the time they would be together.  I am grateful for her peaceful passing and know that they will be watching over us to keep us safe and guide us through life.

Grammy Dunn made it her mission in life to make sure that her grandchildren knew that she loved them each equally. Around holidays and birthdays, this meant that occasionally, we would receive the same gift in 3 different colors. And of course, a card and a small gift on one another’s birthday.

She would show up to every game, concert, and performance, and visited college campuses proudly wearing the appropriate university sweatshirt (but not a jacket). She always found an opportunity to tell us how proud she was of us, and then we would assure her that it was thanks to her part in raising us.

While she claimed to love us all the same – we were so lucky to have our own unique and special relationships with her. Sarah and Grammy both would never turn down a shopping trip or cup of coffee, especially when it meant spending time with friends. Grammy was always the life of the party and quickly became the adopted grandmother to just about every one of Sarah’s friends – from elementary school to college. With Grammy around, laughing until we cried was never out of the question.

Meg – When I was little, Grammy and I bonded over all things shiny. I would watch her adorn herself with as many bangles and rings and necklaces as she could manage, and I wanted to be just like her. She would let me try on her rings and I would dream of a day when they might fit my fingers. As I got older (and maybe more understated), Grammy and I found that we could tell each other anything. Sharing big gossip and big emotions meant we could talk for hours, and on the rare occasion that we didn’t agree on a subject, we would talk it out with honesty, humility, and humor. The generational gap was inconsequential when she needed guidance on how to deal with our crazy family, or when I needed relationship advice. We could be totally honest with one another, and I will remember and appreciate that forever.

Noah – Grammy and Noah were able to bond over several different unique passions that they shared, including baking and gambling. Whether it was her newly minted status as a Billionaire on Slottomania or his latest adventure testing out a new recipe, there was always big news to be shared. Even during a pandemic where nothing seemed to happen. He’s so glad that she had he chance to visit him in South Bend, watch a football game and experience the magic of campus. He made a Fighting Irish fan out of her, and she started watching the games every week. There never seemed to be a dull moment chatting on the phone, driving in the car on the way to the casino or sitting in the booth at Tony’s. Lately, their conversations shifted to old stories of her big adventures growing up, experience working and advancing her career at the bank and the big life choices that she made. He will hold dear and take these conversations with him as he follows her wonderful example and continues with the beginning stages of adult life. Noah can always find a reason to smile thinking back to all of the fun times and jokes that they shared.

We were all so lucky to have her in our life and will never forget all of the incredible memories we had together – both as a family and one on one. We love you Grammy – too much. Give Grampy a big hug around the neck for us.

To order memorial trees in memory of Dorothy Dunn, please visit our tree store.



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