David Ellwood Dunham

July 20, 1947 - July 16, 2023

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of David Ellwood Dunham on July 16, 2023, at his home in Winnemucca, Nevada.
He was born on July 20, 1947, to Wyona Easter Dunham and Robert Ellwood Dunham.
He graduated in 1965 from Indio High School, Indio, CA.
In 1970, he received a Bachelor of Arts in French; minor in German at Cal State University, Northridge, CA and he went for one year of graduate study at the University of Aix-Marseilles, Aix-en-Provence, France.
David served in the U.S. Air Force as an Administrative Specialist; French and Chinese Interpreter from 1970 to 1974 during the Vietnam War.
In 1971, he graduated from Defense Language Institute as interpreter in Mandarin Chinese, Monterey, CA.
In 1972, he completed an Administrative Assistant course for the United States Air Force. In 1977, he graduated with honors from the Executive Secretarial program, at Coleman College. In 1997, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in ESL (English as a Second Language), in Reno, NV.
In 1980, after being discharged from the U.S. Air Force, he moved to Redding, CA, where he met his future wife, Debra. They married on February 3, 1984. They shared 39 years and three children together.
From 1980-1985, he worked at a placer mine in Trinity County, CA. In 1986, he worked for his brother, John, owner of Second Chantz, Inc., in Reno, NV, commuting weekly from Redding, CA, for about a year.
From 1987-1990, David was the first male secretary/stenographer for the Planning Department, City of Redding, CA.
In June 1990, David and Debra moved the family to Reno, NV, while he continued working for Second Chantz, Inc., and finished his teaching degree at UNR, Reno, NV.
In 1997, David started his teaching career with Humboldt County Schools, at Winnemucca Jr. High School and later at Lowry High School. David retired in June 2019.
He was a multifaceted, gifted, and talented person. His true love was flying and he enjoyed taking relatives and friends flying – even for their first time.
He could play many musical instruments, including the piano, guitar, French Horn, trumpet, and many other wind instruments.
He was an animal whisperer who loved spending time with his pets and was always rescuing animals; He also enjoyed goldmining and gardening;
He was fluent in French, German, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish and always enjoyed conversing with others; he created and repaired items for friends and relatives on his industrial sewing machine, such as: car seat covers, plane headliners - whatever was needed.
He loved restoring vintage cars, such as the Volkswagon Super Beetle.
David was Debra’s best friend, soul mate, and love of her life. He was a kind and gentle spirit.
He would always give his time to help others and share his wisdom. He was a generous, patient, and loving father to Christine, John, and Michelle. His loyalty knew no bounds. He will be well remembered and missed by family and friends.
David is survived by his wife, Debra Jean Dunham.
His children, Christine Swaim, John Swaim, Michelle (Sunny) Barnes. His grandchildren, Michael Hickison, Christopher Vernacchio, Nathan Vernacchio, Tyler Duvall, Tanner Duvall, and William Duvall.
And his great- grandchild, Jaxon Hickison. As well as his brother, Thomas Dunham and sister, Diana Dunham-Scott.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Wyona Easter Dunham and Robert Ellwood Dunham and his brothers, Richard Dunham and John Dunham.
Thank you to Guiding Light Hospice, Humboldt General Hospital, Veterans Guest House of Reno, Dr. Adajar and his family and friends.