The Rev. Dr. Matilda E. G. Dunn died on Monday, January 4, 2021 at the family home in Silver Spring, Maryland after a long struggle with kidney disease and metastatic breast cancer. Matilda is predeceased by her parents, Judson H. Greene and Rachel Bing Greene, and her eldest brother, Nehemiah Greene.
An ordained priest in the Episcopal Church, Matilda was born and raised in Greenville, Sinoe. As the only girl and youngest of four children, Matilda enjoyed a charmed position in her family. From a young age, she was affectionately called ‘G,’ an abbreviation of her initials “M.E.G.,” which was a nickname given to her by her brother Nehemiah. She soon was given another nickname by her first cousin McKinley Greene, Nehemiah’s first son, who was raised along with Matilda and her other two brothers, Rhonney and Judson. Since McKinley and Matilda were so close in age, McKinley thought she was his sister. But when McKinley was corrected and told that Matilda was in fact his aunty, McKinley decided to call Matilda his ‘Sister Aunty’ and all her nieces and nephews on the Greene side have since known her as Sister Aunty.
Matilda attended boarding school at St. John’s Episcopal High School/House of Bethany in Grand Cape Mount. She was enrolled briefly at both Cuttington University and the University of Liberia, contemplating medical studies. Before continuing her college education in the United States, Matilda spent some time with her parents in Germany where her mother was receiving medical treatment.
Once in the U.S., Matilda continued her college education at Howard University in Washington, DC. It was during this time that she met her future husband, who was a graduate student at American University. They courted for a little more than a year before Elwood proposed marriage. Their love was consummated in Holy Matrimony on January 30, 1971. The union was blessed with four children – Daniel E. Dunn, Chandra R. Dunn, Germaine S. Dunn, and Sédar T. Dunn.
As Elwood had moved to New Jersey where he joined the faculty of Seton Hall University, Matilda’s college education was again postponed as she joined her husband and initially enrolled at Seton Hall University. Ultimately, Matilda found the nearby Bloomfield College to be more suitable and she soon transferred, completing her B.Sc. with high honors. Matilda earned her first graduate degree with an M.Sc. in Biology and Education from Southern Illinois University. Upon her return home to Liberia, she joined the Science faculty at the University of Liberia and taught Biology to scores of students in the 1970s. She continued her career in science education, including time spent teaching Biology at St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School, until her calling to the Christian ministry, a calling that her cousin the late Bishop George Daniel Browne would mentor her through.
She subsequently enrolled in the University of the South’s School of Theology where she earned the M.Div. in 1994, and the D.Min. In 2004. Her doctoral thesis project was converted to a book and published in 2014. The book is titled St. Mark’s Church and Otey Memorial Parish Church in Sewanee, Tennessee: A Case Study of a Merger in the Episcopal Church (AHLP Occasional Papers). She was ordained to the Diaconate of the Episcopal Church in 1994, and to the Priesthood in 1995. Her career in the Church has included service as Lay Chaplain at All Saints’ Chapel at Sewanee: The University of the South, Deacon and Priest Associate at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, and Assistant Rector at Grace Episcopal Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. While at Grace Church she also served as the Episcopal Chaplain for higher education at the University of Tennessee/Chattanooga and Chattanooga Technical Community College. Her last assignment before retirement was as Priest-in-Charge at St. Mark’s Church, Copperhill, Tennessee. Following this assignment, she and her also retired husband eventually moved from Tennessee to Silver Spring, Maryland to be closer to their children. During their first two years in Silver Spring, Matilda and Elwood welcomed and basked in the joy of their first grandchildren, both boys: Abram Elwood Dunn and Lucas Thomas Dunn.
Due to the current pandemic situation in the U.S., funeral services have been modest and private.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorial gifts in Matilda’s name to the American Kidney Fund of Rockville, Maryland: www.kidneyfund.org. Please contact the following, at (423) 400-7760 or MEGDmemorial@gmail.com, for further information: Elwood Dunn (husband), Daniel E. Dunn (son), Germaine S. Dunn (daughter), Sédar T. Dunn (son).