Cover photo for John Dunham,  Sr.'s Obituary
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1943 John 2021

John Dunham, Sr.

August 24, 1943 — August 23, 2021

John A. Dunham, Sr. passed away August 23 at the age of 77.

John was born in Sedalia, MO on August 24, 1943, the son of James Preston “Pres” Dunham and Hazel Belle Reese Dunham.  He was married on July 3, 1965 to Cecilia June Allison in Tipton, MO.  Two sons were born to this marriage, John A. Dunham, Jr. (Sarah) and Jay Steven Dunham (Stacey).  John is survived by five grandchildren, Linzy Freeman (Jacob), Livia Westmoreland (Ryan), Dr. John “Tucker” Dunham (Ellie), Bailey Dunham Hall (John) and Jay “Parker” Dunham (Katie), and two step granddaughters, Kate and Abbie Peiffer. He is also survived by five great grandchildren, Gabe, Josh and Everly Freeman, Sloane Hall, and Gwen Westmoreland One brother, James P. Dunham, Jr. (Sandra) also survives as well as his brother-in-law Steven Allison(Budgie) and sister-in-law Rose Dick.  He is survived by many relatives and friends.

John was preceded in death by two sisters, Jincy Ann Dunham Edmundson and Ardyth Hazel Dunham Cox, his grandparents and several aunts and uncles.

John was a 1961 graduate of Smith Cotton High School where he participated in track, football and baseball. He graduated from Central Missouri State University in 1965 with a degree in Industrial Arts Education.   Baseball was always the love of his life.  Not only did he play, but he coached for many years, both boys and girls.  When he could no longer play baseball, he moved to softball, playing on church leagues and the “senior” league.

John was a deacon and Sunday School teacher for many years and church was always a priority in his life and that of family.

John was a teacher in the Jefferson City School District for seven years (1965-1972).  During those years he played semi pro baseball for the Jefferson City Redbirds.  In 1972 John moved his family to Versailles and purchased the Gay Heart Dog Food Manufacturing plant from his father.  After ten years he returned to teaching and retired from the Otterville School District is 1998.  After retirement  from teaching, he drove a school bus for the Morgan County R-II School District, retiring again in 2010.

John worked many summers for Pioneer Seed Company as a seed corn inspector, along with his son, John, brother, Jim, nephew, Kevin and friends, Coach Dennis Vallandingham and Earl Brandt.  He was always gone with this crazy bunch the whole month of July and worked in many states.  The bunch got the nickname, “The Missouri Connection”.

Over the years he was a strong supporter of his boys and their activities, always at a wrestling event, a track meet, a football game, a baseball game, a concert choir presentation. He was an avid outdoorsman and never missed an opportunity to take his sons fishing or hunting. In later years he supported the activities of his grandchildren.  He was always ready to put on their school colors and go cheer them on for whatever sport they were playing or whatever award they were receiving.  His devotion to family earned him the name Papa, “The Man, The Myth, The Legend”.

Funeral services will be 3:00 p.m. Saturday, August 28, 2021at the Scrivner-Page-Dady Funeral Home in Versailles with Rev. Mark Conyers officiating. Visitation will be 1:30 p.m. until the time of the service Saturday at the funeral home. The family is requiring masks during the visitation and funeral.

Memorial contributions are suggested to the Alzheimer’s Association or St. Jude Children’s Hospital.


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Visitation Scrivner-Page-Dady Funeral Home Saturday, August 28, 2021 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM 210 E Jasper St
Versailles, MO 65084 Directions Funeral Service Scrivner-Page-Dady Funeral Home- Versailles Saturday, August 28, 2021 3:00 PM 210 E Jasper St
Versailles, Missouri 65084 Directions
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