Thomas Calvin Dunkley – South Hero/Shelburne

Thomas Calvin Dunkley, born on Feb. 18, 1926, in Passaic, N.J., passed into the arms of his loving Father on Aug. 1, 2012, with his family by his side. Tom had a passion for physical activity and service to others. An instructor in the Army Air Corps during W.W.II, Tom was a Springfield College graduate who taught in the YMCA’s of Connecticut and New Jersey, where he started the “Circus Club.” He created a professional trampoline act, which went on to perform for President Eisenhower. A highlight for him was a command performance in Arabia for King Saud and his family! He was a devoted physical education teacher in the Passaic, N.J., school system, and then moved his family to Vermont in 1966 to teach at UVM and coach the first UVM Men’s Gymnastics Team. He started Dunkley’s Gymnastics Camp in 1973, and opened Dunkley’s Gymnastics Club with daughter, Ruth, and her husband, Dan, in 1977. Tom received the “Father of Vermont Gymnastics” service award by the United States Gymnastics Association. In 2010, he was inducted into Springfield College’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He served on the South Burlington Recreation Committee, chaired the Burlington International Games, and was a very active member in the Faith United Methodist Church. In 2002, he married the current love of his life, Grace Merrill Wilkinson, and they enjoyed biking and wintering in Bradenton, Fla., and summering in South Hero and Shelburne. Tom was the devoted husband of Grace Merrill Dunkley; the amazing father of Ruth Dunkley and husband, Dan McGowan, of Jericho, Debra Dunkley of San Jose, Calif., Donna Ewald and husband, Jim Ewald, of Windsor, Kim Dunkley and husband, Scott Meyers, of Johnson, and Thomas S. Dunkley of Westford. He was blessed with seven grandchildren, Katie McGowan, Jenny McGowan, Callie Ewald, Casey Ewald, William Dunkley, Isabel Dunkley and Ada Dunkley, who think their Poppy was not only a friend, but also an incredible inspiration for them. He was also the great-grandpapa to Cadence and Parker Ewald. In 1999, he was predeceased by his wife of 50 years, Doris Dunkley. There will be a memorial service for Tom on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, at 2 pm at South Burlington’s Faith United Methodist Church on Dorset. A reception will follow in Brand Hall at the church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Faith United Methodist Church or Springfield College.

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