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Thousands attend Dunn visitation

Andy Ouriel • Mar 25, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Sandusky police Officer Andrew Dunn smiled down upon the thousands of people who visited him Thursday.

Many tilted their heads upward and saw Dunn beaming with joy while wearing his 1999 Sandusky High royal blue graduation gown.

Mourners also observed Dunn during his happiest times: Marrying his wife, Julie, in a luau-themed wedding and spending time with his son, Caleb, when the pair visited the Easter Bunny.

A slide show offered snapshots of Dunn's life through his eight-hour public viewing at The Chapel.

Based on the photos, Dunn maximized his 30-year life. Of the dozens shown, each image captured Dunn's smile as it stretched wide across his face.

But the mood remained somber as scores of people -- local residents as well as people from around the state -- paid their respects to a man shot and killed on the streets of Sandusky in what many have called a senseless crime. Among them stood officers from departments near and far, who came to say goodbye to their fallen comrade.

People patiently waited in line for up to an hour to pay their respects to Dunn's family.

"Things will get better," Sandusky resident Nancy Grathwol told the family. "Keep your chin up."

When people slowly made their way to the front of the line, they each took a moment to gaze upon Dunn during the open-casket viewing.

Several red and white flower bouquets surrounded him. Homemade cards and area police badges decorated the interior of the coffin.

Dunn, dressed in uniform, clutched silver Peace sign necklaces.

A U.S. flag draped nearby, showcasing his patriotism and the sacrifice he made in the line of duty.

"Thank you for your service," said Sandusky resident Tom Knupke.

People may again pay homage to Dunn today.

His funeral procession will begin after a 1 p.m. private service at The Chapel.

Organizers have asked people to line the processional route, which will snake its way from Perkins Township through downtown Sandusky, to show support for Dunn and his family.

"The (showing Thursday) was a tremendous tribute to Andy," said Sandusky police Det. John Orzech. "(Today's) tribute will show what Andy stood for and show that his commitment to the community was unparalleled."

Read Friday's Register for processional details, more ways to donate to the Dunn family and a complete recap of Randleman's 1990 murder trial.

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