John Dunham, age 87, (formerly of Points, WV) passed away peacefully on May 12, 2019, in York, Pennsylvania. He is remembered by all he met in his life as a warm, generous, and friendly man of good heart, and a man of unyielding faith and trust in God, a faith applied with compassion, not judgment.
He will be greatly missed by his four daughters and their husbands, Deborah Winslow (Brad) of York, PA; Cheryl Edmonds (Ken) of Asheboro, NC; Juanita Kohn (Jeff) of Quincy, Ill: and Kristina Potts (Bill) of Glen Burnie, MD. John was blessed with six grandchildren, Kendrah Peterson, Clonnie Johnson IV, David Edmonds, Nicholas Kohn, William Potts III, and Stephanie Potts. His seven great-grandchildren are Kai and Kaleigh Peterson, Zoe Edmonds, Paxton Kohn, Brandon Robert, Gabriel Genery, and Hanna Potts. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Elaine Kidd Fry, and many nieces and nephews.
John was born on October 25, 1931 in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Rosalie Marie (Babin) Dunham of New Orleans and Louis Ward Dunham of Pensacola, Florida. He served in the U.S. Army from 1951-1952 and was stationed in Germany as a medic. He enlisted voluntarily, but was a conscientious objector who refused to ever handle a weapon.
As a child, John spent many happy hours on his Grandmother Gussie Dunham’s Louisiana farm, and he loved to tell the stories of his time there with his grandmother and uncles. When he was in his teen years, John, his sister Audrey (Conner), and his parents traveled about the country, as his father Louis was a carpenter helping to build new Seventh Day Adventist Churches at various locations across the country east of the Mississippi. They eventually settled in New Jersey for a while, and then moved to Takoma Park, Maryland.
In late July of 1954, Shirley June Kidd pulled into a service station, and fell in love when John’s big brown eyes appeared above the hood of her brand-new car when he finished checking her oil. The feeling was mutual: love at first sight. Six weeks later, on September 4, 1954, they were married in St. Jerome’s Catholic Church in Hyattsville, Maryland.
John worked for 32 years as a truck mechanic for Potomac Electric Power Company in Washington, DC, and in later years, Montgomery County, MD. He once worked a streak of 17 years without missing a single day of work; a streak ended only by a bout of pneumonia. John loved working on automobiles. He was a man of generous heart and spent many days of his life fixing cars for others at no charge.
John’s other interests included remodeling his home himself, using the carpentry skills that his father taught him. He loved the outdoors and the family spent many happy days camping together every summer weekend from spring to fall over the years, joined by family and dear family friends. At one point, John and Shirley were the presidents of the National Camping and Hiking Association for Prince George’s County, MD. The couple was very warm-hearted and sociable, and loved by many.
They lived in Hyattsville, MD for over 20 years, then in Poolesville, MD a short time before retiring and moving to Points, WV. Living in a rural setting had always been John’s dream. John and Shirley spent their happiest hours in Points dining out at various restaurants, making new friends there along the way. They shared life’s adventures together until Shirley passed away on September 1, 2015, just three days shy of their 61st wedding anniversary.
A chapel service for John will be held Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 1:00 PM at Rest Lawn Memorial Gardens in Cumberland, MD with entombment to follow.
Please direct inquiries to Shaffer Funeral Home in Romney, 304.822.3511