The Rev. Bertrand H. Dunegan, O.S.B., 66, a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, died Wednesday, December 18, 1996, after an extended illness.
Fr. Bertrand was born January 24, 1930, in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Holy Name Elementary School there. He attended Saint Vincent Preparatory School and Saint Vincent College, graduating magna cum laude in 1953 with a bachelor of arts in biology and philosophy. He joined the Benedictine order in 1950. He made his first profession of vows on July 2, 1951, and his solemn profession on July 11, 1954. He attended Saint Vincent Seminary, was ordained a priest on May 26, 1957, and received a master of arts in theology in 1959. After ordination he taught biology at Saint Vincent College before doing graduate work in cytology at Detroit University during the summer of 1958. He then studied genetics at Johns Hopkins University from 1959 to 1960, and zoology and limnology at Franz Stone Lab at Ohio State University, where he received a master of science in 1961. He pursued further graduate work in marine science education at the University of Loyola the next year, and received National Science Foundation grants for graduate studies in paleontology at Vassar, and oceanography, marine biology, and geology at the University of Virginia in cooperation with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
In addition to teaching at Saint Vincent College, Fr. Bertrand was on the faculty of St. Marys Central Catholic High School in St. Marys, Pennsylvania, from 1961 to 1962. He also taught at James Barry-Robinson School in Norfolk, Virginia, from 1962 to 1967. In 1967 he began teaching at Benedictine High School in Savannah, Georgia. He served at Benedictine High School until 1992, when he returned to Saint Vincent Archabbey because of ill health.
Fr. Bertrand’s teaching was highly honored over the years. He was named “Outstanding Science Teacher in First District of Georgia” in 1969; STAR teacher in 1971, 1976 and 1979; “Outstanding Biology Teacher in Georgia” in 1974; and “Red Cross Small Craft Teacher of the Year 1974.” In 1979, he received the “Distinguished Service Award” from the Georgia Association of Independent Schools, and in 1979 the “Best Photography Award” from the Explorers Club of New York. In 1991 the New York Institute of Photography awarded Fr. Bertrand its prestigious Certificate of Graduation in Professional Photography.
Fr. Bertrand is the author of three books, Beachcombing in Virginia, Beachcombing on Hilton Head Island, and Beachcomber’s Guide to the Golden Isles.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. and Mrs. Howard Dunegan. He is survived by a brother, Robert Dunegan of Charlotte, North Carolina; and a sister, Mary Siebert, of Peoria, Illinois.
Contributions can be made to the Bertrand Dunegan Memorial Scholarship Fund, Benedictine Military School.