Gabriele Alice Weissrock Dunn

April 27, 1924 - October 15, 2019
Gabriele Alice Weissrock Dunn


Gabriele Alice Weissrock Dunn was born April 27, 1924 in Berlin, Germany. True to her name Gaby loved to talk to people. She was an optimist who always made the best of any situation.
She, her parents,and 3 siblings escaped Nazi Germany to Persia (Iran). Eventually she was able to move to England with her sisters and mother. Despite being deprived of a formal education she learned pattern making and dress design in London and Paris. These skills served her well in later life. In Hartford she taught at G.Fox & Co. Later she owned her own fabric shop, taught sewing classes, and designed and created wedding gowns. She proudly made the Connecticut governor’s first lady’s inaugural gown for the 1965 Presidential inaugural ball.
Living in London during WW2 she witnessed the blitz and her German fluency was tapped to serve as a decoder to help the war effort. She said that she was particularly drawn to the decoding team’s smart uniforms and silk stockings. In London Gaby cared for her three younger sisters when her mother died. There she met and married Leroy Dunn, a London School of Economics PhD student who was a lodger in their apartment. Their daughters were born and then the family moved to the US and lived in Hartford, CT, where their sons were born. In 1996 Leroy and Gaby moved to Washington, DC, and in 2013 to Wilmington, NC. In DC at aged 75 she started taking painting classes and was a talented prolific artist. In a final act of generosity, Gaby was an organ donor.
She is predeceased by Leroy her husband of 61 years, her brother Girard who died as a child in Persia, her sister Ruth Hirsch of the UK, and most of her family who perished in the holocaust.
Her surviving family includes four children Rebecca Dunn Reinmann (and husband Paul) of Wilmington, Louise Dunn Gendelman (and husband Joel) of Winston-Salem, David (and wife Tamara Dunietz) of Bethesda, MD, and Jonathan of Wellington, New Zealand; seven grandchildren Anson (and wife Audrey), Owen (and wife Anne), Renee, Michael, Eitan, Benjamin, and Simone; and three great grand children Roland, Jolene, and Arya. She is also survived by sisters Helga Hanfling and Susi Rice (and husband Chris) of the United Kingdom.
A graveside service will be held 12 noon on Friday at Temple of Israel New Jewish Cemetery.
Donations can be made in her honor to Temple of Israel.
Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the ” Post a Condolence” tab below.
Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington NC 28403

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  • October 17, 2019
    Sharon and Bob Spencer says:
    We did not know Gabriele, but send our deepest sympathies.After reading her obituary, we wanted to express our thoughts as the world has loss another of the Greatest Generation who not only survived World War II, and the Holocast, but have left their mark of greatness on this world. Her legacy is a testament to her perservence, sacrifice, dignity, and positive spirit after having endured so much in one of the most horrific times in our world's history! May the world never forget she and all of the others, who sacrificed, suffered, and lost thier loved ones, in very desperate and tumultuous times. Our deepest sympathy to the family.

  • October 17, 2019
    Juliet and Andrew says:
    A touching account that captures Gaby's amazing life and gives a heartfelt account of the indomitable Weissrock spirit.

  • October 18, 2019
    Danielle Dunn says:
    I’ll very much miss my Aunt Gaby, she was someone could face adversity and look to the positive. She was a talented pattern maker, having worked in London fashion houses, from a designer's drawing, she would transfer the design to muslin into a dress pattern. She made a dress for Mrs. Dempsey for the govenor's iaugural ball. I was lucky enough to be taught by my aunt to sew on her old-fashioned electric sewing machine. On one of our many moves back and forth from Europe, we stayed with my aunt, uncle and cousins and in spite of a full household, she made us feel at home. She was truly one of a kind.

  • October 18, 2019
    Donald and Christine Hirsch says:
    We'll always remember Gaby's zest for life and strong loyalty to family. Just last March, Donald and Thomas witnessed this first hand when visiting her in Wilmington and finding her spirit undimmed, and her continuing energy fuelled by a determination to live life to the full. We'll all miss her a lot.

  • October 21, 2019
    Lottie says:
    What a characterful and colourful aunt with so much love for her family. So proud to be part of the amazing Weissrock saga. Rebecca, thank you for writing so memorably about Gaby. Sending you all very much love from this branch of the family.