Here's a tribute to Marty from one of his favorite charities...


News Off The StreetsJuly27, 2018


Seeking HelpFinding HopeMoving Forward


Marty and his hatsleft us smiling

We get our share of “characters” at St. John Center, but none more memorable than Marty Dunn.

A Coffee Room volunteer since 2010, Marty immediately made the 9-11 a.m. shift his own. To a man, Marty was able to send his customers on their ways with a hot cup of joe in their hands and a smile on their faces.

Was it his positive outlook, fun-loving demeanor, twinkling eyes, or impish grin? Perhaps it was a combination of all those things. But more likely it was what he was wearing on his head. That’s right, Marty seldom wore the same hat twice. And his were not your average lids.

When SJC clients ventured into Marty’s domain, they never knew what might greet them at the window – Batman, a clown, the Easter Bunny, Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, or a man with a shark biting his head.

Loyalty was important to Marty. If he was your friend, it was for life. He was a loyal supporter of the University of Notre Dame, his alma mater. He was loyal to his country, serving 24 years in the U.S. Air Force.


Marty Dunn wore lots of hats while serving coffee at SJC, but his favorite was the one representing his beloved alma mater, the University of Notre Dame.


And, Marty was loyal to St. John Center, seldom missing a shift and usually bringing some kind of treat to give to our guys. Visits to the shelter were a priority in Marty’s very active life. “I schedule my life around coming in here,” said Marty in an SJC newsletter article several years ago.

Marty was most proud of his family – Leslie, his wife of 44 years, his two children, and three grandchildren.

Like most people, Marty faced his share of challenges, but he simply refused to let anything get in the way of enjoying life.

Marty left us too early on July 2. Tuesdays will never be quite the same in the Coffee Room because Marty was one-of-a-kind. Several clients have expressed their appreciation for the “crazy hat guy.”

Ironically, one of Marty’s most memorable moments occurred May 11 at the dedication of the Center’s newly renovated Coffee Room. As a contributor to the project, his name is on the plaque that hangs next to the Coffee Room door. Marty was one of three people who cut the ribbon to officially open the new Coffee Room that day.

“I bring a little humor into their lives and put a smile on their faces for a little while,” said Marty in the aforementioned article. “If I can have a positive impact on one or two guys each week, that makes me feel good.”

Mission accomplished Marty. Thanks for the smiles.

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