So I finally got back to work on this project.   I did installed another image on the Kingston card and ran dnf update.   It took > 8 hours.

On the advice from my friend I purchased a Class 3 SanDisk "Extreme" 32 GB micro SD card.  The packaging claims reads at 90 MB/sec (600x) and writes at 60 MB/sec (400x).

# time dnf update with this card now yields:  real 37m8s, user 27m39s sys 4m36s.    At least 16x faster.  And the current dnf update is larger than what I was running several weeks ago.

#dnf install rygel takes a 5 minutes instead of over an hour.

Bottom line: the SD card (speed) makes a huge difference in the speed of an RPi3.

Thanks for the help.