Richard Maxwell Dunn, a teacher, scholar, and banker who taught at the Ross School and East Hampton High School, died of pancreatic cancer on Friday in New York City. He was 70 and had been ill for 15 months.
Mr. Dunn, who lived full time in Springs since 2003, followed an unusual career path. He received a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. in French literature from Yale University. From 1969 to 1974, he was a French professor of the University of Chicago.
He transitioned to a career in banking in 1974, working for the First National Bank of Chicago, Credit Lyonnais, and Credit Suisse. During his 18 years as a banker, he researched and wrote “Geoffrey Scott and the Berenson Circle: Literary and Aesthetic Life in the Early 20th Century,” which was published in 1998 by Edward Mellen Press.
Mr. Dunn joined the Ross School faculty in 1999, where he taught English, French, and Latin until retiring due to his illness. He also taught Latin at East Hampton High School from 2000 to 2013.
According to Jennifer Cross, dean of visual arts at Ross, “Richard was both a colleague and a very dear friend. He was a nurturing teacher who, over the years, guided a number of students in Latin, French, and English literature at Ross School, East Hampton High School, and as a private tutor. He was a lover of the arts, a witty storyteller, and an erudite scholar.”
Laurel Bauer, a friend from childhood, said that Mr. Dunn “could speak knowledgeably and with wry humor on seemingly any subject. He loved his unique home on Copeces Lane, designed by Joe D’Urso in 1975, his garden, and, above all, his many Chow dogs on whom he lavished his care and attention over the years.”
Mr. Dunn was born on Oct. 27, 1943, in New York City to Joseph Dunn and the former Elizabeth Goldstein, both of whom are deceased. He grew up in Larchmont, N.Y. He is survived by Ryan Loughlin, his partner, and two sisters, Perry Hoffman and Joy (Doris) Dunn, who live in Westchester County.
A memorial service is being planned for some time in June in East Hampton. Mr. Dunn’s ashes will be buried at Green River Cemetery in Springs. Memorial contributions were suggested for the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, 90 Daniel’s Hole Road, Wainscott 11975.