Robert 'Butch' Dunham

Robert Earl Dunham, 75, of Akeley, Minn., passed away peacefully at home Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, after a very brief battle with cancer.

A celebration of Butch’s life will be held at 11 a.m. March 11 at First Lutheran Church in Akeley with Pastor Carleton Smee officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church.

Butch was born Dec. 1, 1943, in Walker to Murel and Evelyn (Funk) Dunham. He attended school in Akeley until 11th grade. He joined the Navy and served his country for four years from 1961 to 1964.

He married Carole Bowman in November of 1969. They lived in Luverne, where he worked as a Park Ranger at three different parks (Blue Mound State Park, Carley State Park, and Minnesota Valley State Park) for about six years. During this time they had two children. The family moved to Akeley in 1976 and had two more children.

Butch worked on the electrical high lines until he was injured. He divorced in 1987 but continued to live in Akeley. He worked several different jobs, from owning and operating a bar, to spraying chemicals for weed control to cooking at the local restaurant until he was forced to retire due to health issues.

He enjoyed fishing, hunting, cooking, baking, gardening, drinking coffee, visiting and with family and friends, just sitting outside watching cars go by, and napping in his lawn chair. Butch will be dearly missed by family and friends.

He is survived by his four children, Jason (Brandi) Dunham of Akeley, Jacalyn (Charlie) Dunham of Maple Plain, Jana (Matt) Dunham of Akeley and Jessica Dunham of Akeley; seven grandchildren, Zane, Derek, Kaia, Zuri, Nevaya, Deyla and Keanu a.k.a. “Kokomo;” girlfriend  Nancy Grejtak; two sisters, Sue (Todd) Tobias and Dawn Dunham; in-laws  Eugenia Dunham and Duane and Cina Pidde; and many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

He is preceded in death by his grandson, Devin; parents, Murel and Evelyn Dunham; brothers, Jim, John and Laurel Dunham; sisters, Jeanne Schuur, Audrey Pidde and Helen Taylor; brother-in-law Lloyd Schuur; niece  Terri Hanson; and nephew  Shane Dunham.

Online condolences for the family may be left at

Butch’s care has been entrusted to Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker, Minn.


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