Joseph L. Dunn

Joseph “Joe” Dunn passed away on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 with his family by his side.

Joe graduated from North Carolina State University in 1965 with a B.S. Degree in Aerospace Engineering. He attended the United States Naval Test Pilot School, graduating in 1967, and he earned a M.S. Degree from George Washington University in 1973.

Since 1965, Joe was heavily involved in bringing the latest and greatest aviation technology to the Navy, leading test programs from the F-4 Phantom to the FA-18 Hornet, finishing his career as the Naval Air Warfare Center Project Coordinator for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. Joe was a flight test icon, mentor, and friend to many at PAX.

Joe received multiple awards during his career, including Outstanding Engineer of the Year, Outstanding Manager of the Year, the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the Society of Flight Test (SFTE) Kelly Johnson award as Outstanding Flight Test Engineer of the Year, and the OSD Exceptional Civilian Service Award.  During his retirement ceremony, he was presented the coveted Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service for his work as the Systems Test Integrated Product Team Leader for the Joint Strike Fighter Program.  He was also presented the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award in recognition of his career long accomplishments at Patuxent River.  After his retirement, Joe was presented the Edward H. Heinemann Award for his significant contribution to the design and development of Naval Aircraft.

Joe loved traveling with his beloved wife of 56 years, Carolyn.  He enjoyed creating slideshows of their adventures, perfecting his photography skills. Joe was an avid supporter of the community, volunteering his time with the local Lions Club as well as working to facilitate and improve the Patuxent River Naval Air Station Museum.  He loved aviation and spent many hours at local airports visiting with friends who shared his love of flying. More than anything, Joe loved spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren who were the light of his life.

In addition to his wife Carolyn, Joe is also survived by his daughters and sons-in-law, Sharon & Dan and Christie & Duke; as well as his seven grandchildren.

Family will receive friends on Saturday, October 29th from 1:00-2:00 pm, with prayers to follow at 2:00 pm at Brinsfield Funeral Home, 22955 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown, MD 20650. 

Memorial contributions can be made to the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum, 22156 Three Notch Road, Lexington Park, MD 20653.

Condolences to the family may be made at

Arrangements by Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A.

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