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Colin 'Ben' Gunn, Westport Attorney, Dies At 91

WESTPORT, Conn. – Colin "Ben" Gunn, a Westport attorney, died Sept. 27 in Redding. He was 91.

Born March 10, 1921, in New York City, he graduated from Mount Herman Preparatory School in 1940. He first moved to Westport at the age of nine and lived there sporadically until settling in Westport with his wife, Mary, in 1952. He received a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College in 1946 and his juris doctorate from University of Connecticut School of Law in 1952.

Gunn was a member of the student board of editors of the Connecticut Law Journal and was admitted to the bar in June of 1952. He also attended Harvard Business School, New York University and Yale University and received an honorary degree from the University of Bridgeport in 1994.

He was senior partner of Gunn, Godfrey and Allison, a law firm he founded in Westport in 1956. During his career, Gunn was director and general counsel of R.C. Bigelow Inc., general counsel of the Educational Foundation of America and general counsel of Brooks Community Newspapers Inc.

Gunn was a former chair of the board for The Nature Center in Westport, Norwalk Hospital and the University of Bridgeport. He was also a trustee of Norwalk Hospital, University of Bridgeport and the Palisades Foundation.

He enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1941 and served in the North Atlantic on a sub-chaser. After being swept overboard, he transferred to the Navy and attended Yale and Dartmouth, achieving the rank of ensign and then lieutenant J.G. in the naval reserve.

Gunn was a member of Kiwanis, Saugatuck Congregational Church, the Nature Center, Yale Club, Eastman Golf Club and the New England Senior Friendship Cup Tennis team. He especially enjoyed spending time at his vacation home in New Hampshire with family and friends.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Mary Hunter Gunn; three children, John Hunter (Anne) Gunn, of New York City, David Oliver (Debra) Gunn, of Fairfield, Susan Gunn (Michael) Bromley, of Westport; five grandchildren and three step-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his twin brother, John; his parents, Arthur Stanley and Olga Rosemund Neidlinger; and an aunt, Eleanor Gunn Ruttenber, who raised him after the death of his parents.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19 at Greens Farms Congregational Church in Westport. Harding Funeral Home in Westport is handling arrangements.

Gunn was a lifelong believer in the importance of a quality education. In his honor, the family asks that donations be made to an educational institution.

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