Mark A. DunhamOctober 17, 1971 ~ November 29, 2017 (age 46)
On October 17, 1971 a second son was born to Dave and Gail Dunham of Marshalltown, IA. Mark Allen arrived three weeks late and weighed in at 9lbs 13 ½oz and 20 inches long. He joined big brother (Davy) and sister (Tammy). He ruled the roost from day one! At about the age of two, the family moved to Olathe, KS and then to Casper WY when Mark was four. Thus, began a love for the Rocky Mountain West. If he wasn’t camping and fishing with the family he had the front yard full of the neighborhood kid’s bikes in various stages of repair. Friendships were formed that last to this day.
Mark soon discovered another lasting love, music. His first gig was in the Nazarene church children’s choir. He sang three solos at the age of 10. 1986 ushered in another mechanical link with a move to Colorado Springs. By the time he graduated from Mitchell High School he had 1100 hours of automotive training and more lifelong friends.
After two years at Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Phoenix, Mark moved back to Casper and began his professional career at Deluxe Harley Davidson. He early on established a reputation for accurate diagnosis and fast, accurate repair. During one of his many visits to the dealership in Gillette, he met Traci Southwell. They were married and, after a time, the first of the four great loves of his life was born, Daniel Raynor. When Daniel was nine months old the family moved to Eureka, CA. Mark began work at Redwood Harley Davidson, further perfecting his craft. One relationship ended and a second began with Shaunte Lonzo, soon to be Dunham. Love number two was born in Eureka, Kadin Rylee. Economics fueled a move to San Antonio, TX and Javelina Harley in nearby Boerne, TX. The next ten years in Texas were pretty exciting. Two more loves were born. Dad’s mini-me, Logan David and 26 months later, Gavin Mark. Most of the time, Mark’s unwinding after work involved cooking dinner, baking chocolate chips cookies, playing with the boys, or all three. Days off included more of the same.
As Mark’s Kidney issues, which began in Casper became more and more severe, it became evident that dialysis was necessary. After months of four or more hours of dialysis multiple times a week, Mark and Shaunte took classes on home dialysis. By doing it at home, Mark could go to bed after dialysis instead of trying to go to work. Soon, every closet became full of boxes, bottles, tubing, plus a large machine in the bedroom.
The call went out for kidney donors. Many applied but did not match. Finally, at a Javelina fundraiser, the company’s Aflac salesman, who didn’t know Mark, applied and matched! The transplant was performed, the kidney began working immediately. All was well for almost six years. The kidney began failing and Mark wanted to go home. Home to Casper, four seasons, hunting, family, brothers from other parents, and fresh mountain air. They came home just before Mother’s Day. Kadin, Logan, and Gavin got to play in the snow with their dad for the first time. Dialysis or “torture” as Mark called it, began again. A couple of years went by, other issues cropped up and Mark got weaker and weaker. Finally, he developed double pneumonia. A week in ICU on a ventilator and he seemed to be improving. He was moved to a regular floor and was closely monitored. An infection developed and he couldn’t fight it off. On November 29, 2017, Mark breathed his last.
He leaves behind his boys, Daniel, Kadin, Logan, and Gavin, his wife Shaunte, his parents – Dave and Gail Dunham, sister Tammy Campbell, many other relatives and a host of friends. Preceded in death by his brother David Ray Dunham and grandparents Charles (Kenny) and Lela Dunham and Ray C. Yandell. Looking forward to the day we see you again!