Hurricane Katrina

Thomas Dunn, 90, Biloxi

Thomas Dunn loved his adopted home on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Originally from New Jersey, the 90-year-old retired Philadelphia, Pa., newspaper printer moved to the Coast in 1985 to be near his future wife, Lela Firth.

"He treated my Mom like a queen," said Lela's son Wilfred Firth. "He loved kids and loved to eat. He loved the Coast."

Dunn found plenty on the Coast to keep him entertained.

"He was a great grandpa," said his granddaughter Jenna Juanico. "He liked going to the casinos, and I saw him most on holidays."

When Katrina was approaching, Thomas and Lela went to stay with relatives off Atkinson Road and were caught in storm waters when they later tried to return home, so they sought refuge in a shelter at Michel Middle School, where Dunn had a couple of falls that led to his death.

"He was a very happy-go-lucky man," said Wilfred's wife, Melrose. "He lived for today, lived for family. . . . He loved life, he loved travel and he loved people.

"He was just a fine, all-the-way-around, family-oriented man. He was Mr. Fix-It. He could do just about everything. Everybody loved him."

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