Willis Garrett “Bill” Dunkum Jr. would like to announce a change of address. He now resides with the Glorious Father Almighty and has found the answer to the questions that each of us has regarding eternity. Mr. Dunkum, 81, a semi-retired businessman, World War II veteran and former rancher, fondly referred to as “Cowboy” by his grandchildren, died at home on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2006. Graveside services will be held at Marlin’s Calvary Cemetery on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2006 at 11 a.m. Holly Mitchell of First Presbyterian Church, Marlin, along with Jimmy Johnson of First Presbyterian Church, Waco, will conduct the services.
Mr. Dunkum was born on Sept. 2, 1924, in Marlin, where he lived all of his life. He graduated from Marlin High School in 1942. Following high school, he attended Kemper Military School in Booneville, MO and entered the Naval service during World War II. His three and a half years of military service were in the Pacific Theatre aboard the Naval vessel, George Clymen, APA27. After the war, he enrolled in Texas A&M University and graduated in January 1950 with a degree in Animal Husbandry. He was a member of A&M’s stellar award winning Livestock Judging Team.
Mr. Dunkum married Barbara Lea Reed on Aug. 16, 1947 in Marlin. Together they enjoyed 58 years of marriage, being blessed with and gracing the lives of their children and family.
Upon returning to Marlin and following graduation from A&M, Mr. Dunkum owned and operated Falls County Livestock Auction Company. During the early 1950’s, he started his own cattle company. Following more than 26 years as a Falls County rancher, he sold his holdings and opened a restaurant in Taylor, Texas.
In 1988, Mr. Dunkum established “Kwiker Sticker,” a vehicle inspection station, located on Valley Mills Drive in Waco, which he operated until his death.
Mr. Dunkum loved God, his church, his family and cherished his many friends. For nearly 50 years, he served on the Board of Deacons and as a Ruling Elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Marlin.
For nine years, Mr. Dunkum served as Trustee of the Marlin Independent School District, the last three years of which as president. During his presidency, the trustees set the guidelines for integrating the school system and the planning, financing and construction of the new high school building facilities.
Through the years, Mr. Dunkum served as President of the Marlin Junior Chamber of Commerce and was an active member of the Marlin Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, and Lions Club as well as many of Marlin’s civic organization committees.
Most recently, Mr. Dunkum delivered “Meals on Wheels” in the Marlin area.
Mr. Dunkum was a charter member of the Real County Deer Group. The close-knit members enjoyed 28 years of hunting deer, elk and fellowship. He was also a member of the Interruption Society.
Mr. Dunkum was preceded in death by his parents Willis Garrett and Edith Roberts Dunkum, Sr.
His wife, Barbara, two sons, W.G. “Gary” Dunkum III and wife Deborah of Houston and Robert Frank “Bob” Dunkum of Austin; two daughters, Mary Ann Dunkum of Lewisville and Carol Lea Contella and husband Michael of Hewitt; and brothers-in-law, Bill Kirkpatrick, Richard Reed and sister-in-law Minnell Reed survive him. His surviving family also includes granddaughters, Madeline Dunkum Townsend and husband Chad of Houston, Kinnison Bryan and husband Nem of Austin; grandsons, Michael Joseph Contella, Noah Lea Contella and granddaughter Lydia Lea Contella of Hewitt; and great-grandchildren, Ashley Elizabeth Consolvo and Lauren Jean Townsend of Houston.
Visitation was held at the Dunkum home, 711 Clarkson Drive, Marlin, on Monday evening from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Pallbearers were son-in-law Michael Contella, Norman Erskine, Mike Ferda III, James Walton Jones, David Kenny, Mike Meyer and grandsons-in-law Chad Townsend and Nem Bryan. Honorary pallbearers were Jack Aldredge, J.C. Chatmas, Mike Ferda Jr., Lester Hay, Joe Holloway, Harry Kenny, William King, Hammond Norton, Bud Unell, George Weatherspoon, Jack Welch, as well as, Neil Buie, Tom Davis, Tom Gallagher, James Glockzin, Edward Lee Hay, Posh Oltorf, Cullen Rogers, Bill Shelton, Carl Spelce, Billy Steele, Bob Thigpen, Don Thigpen, Titus Westbrook, Herman Weatherspoon and George Wilson.
For those wishing to make memorial contributions, the family suggests any charity of personal choice.
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