Marvin “Lee” Dunham, 89, born Saturday, July 11, 1931 in Wheatland, passed away Monday, Nov. 23, 2020 at the Platte County Legacy Home in Wheatland.
Family was important to Lee as evidenced by his love and devotion as a son, husband, father, father-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, and uncle.
Lee is survived by his son David and his wife Kelly of Sheridan, Wyoming and seven nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife Adelaide (Kearney) Dinham, on Dec. 31, 2012, his father, John Robert Dunham, on Dec. 2, 1976; mother, Mary Gertrude (Kuehner) Dunham, on June 24, 2000; and his brothers Kenneth Dunham, on June 11, 1994 and James Dunham, on March 4, 2016.
Lee was a genuine and driven young man and early on education became his entire life. He was a proud 1950 graduate of Wheatland High School where he excelled in both academics and athletics. It was at this time he knew he wanted to be a teacher; he wanted to work with kids. His journey took him to Laramie for four years where he graduated from the University of Wyoming with a B.A. degree and his teacher’s license. After three years in Mobile, Ala., two years serving in the United States Army and one year as a teacher, Lee returned to Wheatland with his new wife Adelaide and a taste for teaching.
Lee began his extraordinary career with Platte County School District No. 1 in the fall of 1957. During 48 of the next 53 years, Lee obtained his Master’s degree in Education Administration from the University of Wyoming while teaching full time, taught English for nine years at Wheatland Junior High School, served as the Wheatland High School principal for four years, served as the Wheatland Junior High School principal for 23 years, and served on the Platte County School District No. 1 school board for 12 years. During these 48 years Lee worked tirelessly to bring out the best in thousands of students, serve as a mentor and role model for those he led, and inspire those that continued to work in education. He took great joy in maintaining relationships with his past students and colleagues.
Upon retirement Lee did not stop giving as evidenced by the countless hours he devoted to volunteering his time and efforts for the Wheatland schools, the Wheatland community, and the University of Wyoming. During his free time, you could find him sitting in the stands, or next to his radio, cheering on his beloved Wheatland Bulldogs and Wyoming Cowboys.
Unfortunately, due to current public health concerns, a private graveside service was held Wednesday, Dec. 2 at the Wheatland Cemetery in Wheatland with Father Tom Kadera of Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church officiating.
Like so many who have passed during this time, a public celebration of life has been postponed until time and public health protections allow. If you are someone who would like to be notified if a future celebration of life is held, please submit your contact information to [email protected] Thank you for your understanding.
As retired educators themselves, David and Kelly would like Lee’s friends, and all those touched in a meaningful way by Lee, to consider the wise words of Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened.”
David and Kelly are grateful for the wonderful and loving care provided by the entire staff at the Platte County Legacy Home during Lee’s last 15 months.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in his honor to The Platte County Legacy Home at 100-19th Street, Wheatland, WY 82201.
The Gorman Funeral Homes – Platte Chapel of Wheatland, Wyoming is in charge of the arrangements.
Condolences and fun memories may be sent to the family at www.gormanfh.com.