This information is authorized and provided by Retired SHU Deputy Chief Wayne Dunham’s family: We are very thankful and appreciative for the outpouring of condolences and well wishes we have received. A private family service is planned in the coming weeks in Cohasset, CA. We remain hopeful that a more public memorial service may be possible in the future. Respectfully,
A. Wayne Dunham died unexpectedly but peacefully at home on August 8th in Redding at the age of 75. Wayne is survived by his beloved wife of 53 years Marjorie, his son Brian of Sacramento, his daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Brian Wyatt of Sacramento, his grandchildren Grace, Lilyanne, Sophia and Benjamin, nieces, nephews, and many friends he considered family. He is preceded in death by his sisters Darlene and Roberta. Wayne was born on April 10, 1945, in Santa Cruz to parents Frances and Ashley Wayne Dunham. He grew up near Chico in the community of Cohasset
and graduated from Chico Senior High in 1963. He began working as a seasonal firefighter for the California Department of Forestry (CDF) in 1962 and married his former grammar school classmate and the great love of his life in 1967. Over the years he touched many lives in the community and through CDF promotions that moved them to Oroville, Gridley, Chico, Weaverville, Ferndale, and Redding. Colleagues respected him as an excellent communicator and organizer of people, and he ultimately retired from CDF (now Cal-Fire) in 2000 as the Shasta-Trinity Unit Deputy Chief. It meant the world to Wayne as a small boy for his humble family to receive a donated bike. The gift inspired a life-long passion for serving his community. Wayne served in various chapters of Lions International for 46 years and as President of Redding’s Enterprise Lions Club more than once, receiving the chapter’s “Lion of the Year” award five times. Wayne served as President of the California Department of Forestry Employee Association in 1977 and throughout his lifetime with organizations like United Way, Habitat for Humanity, the Lions Club’s Giant American Flag and 9/11 ceremony, and as a mentor through YMCA. Wayne and Margie enjoyed 20 very happy retirement years, and they regularly fed his “pine tree fix” and love of the outdoors. In addition to RV’ing and working in his shop, he relished fishing with his grandkids and buddies and hunting with his friends. As part of his life of service, he even gave back to the outdoors, serving in the Redding Chapter of the California Deer Association in multiple leadership roles and as chapter chair. Wayne wasn’t just “one of the boys,” he was the very best of them, a gentleman that lifted everyone around him and inspired and encouraged people to think beyond themselves and to be their best individual self. Wayne loved people and generously gave his all to his family, friends, and community. They are grateful for his life and will cherish how he made all of us better people. As circumstances allow, the family looks forward to a celebration of life to honor his life and service.