Jean Kidd Dunham | SteamboatToday.com

Jean Kidd Dunham

Jean Kidd Dunham
1920 – 2016
Jean Kidd Dunham, a long time resident of Seaford, DE, died peacefully on May 1, 2016 in her newfound home of Steamboat Springs, CO. She remained vibrant and healthy throughout her 95 years of life. Born simply Jean Kidd on August 12, 1920, she was raised in multiple places on the East Coast by Walter and Henrietta Kidd. She was of Scottish heritage and this, combined with her depression era upbringing, made her a master of making a silk purse out of a sow's ear. "Waste not, want not" was her motto. In spite of her frugal nature, she will be remembered for her classy style and meticulously color-coordinated wardrobe. Jean received a degree in English from Douglass College, then the Women's College of Rutgers University. In 1943, Jean married Henry M. "Duff" Dunham, and the two embarked on a 67-year life journey together. In courtship letters found recently, Duff refers to her as his "Dearest Tootsie" and "Darlin' Jeannie," and adored her until his passing in 2010. Jean (as housewife) and Duff raised two children, Barbara Jean Dunham (Heuberger) and James Henry Dunham. As a family, they enjoyed travel and also vacationing in nearby Rehoboth Beach, DE, where they eventually purchased a vacation home that became a favorite stomping ground of their grandchildren. After raising her family, Jean put her English degree to good use. She enjoyed a successful career teaching reading to adult students at Delaware Technical and Community College., which was near her home in Seaford. Never one to be idle, she discovered eBay around the age of 80 and embraced the new technology. Known to jewelry collectors around the world as "gemjeannie", she embarked on a 10-year venture of scouring the southern Delaware flea markets for vintage and costume jewelry and selling her treasures on eBay. In her 90's, she phased out the internet business and began designing and creating her own signature line of award-winning jewelry pendants—now a treasured remembrance of Jean Dunham by family and friends. In 2013, at the age of 93 and much to the delight of her daughter, Jean uprooted from her hometown of 60 years to move 2000 miles and 7000 ft. in elevation to Steamboat Springs, CO to be closer to family. She referred to it as her "Great Adventure." Jean embraced the new culture of the West and loved exploring all things Steamboat with her daughter and friends. She happily found a place in the local chapter of PEO, was warmly welcomed in the Methodist Church, and she made wonderful friends and enjoyed an active lifestyle at Casey's Pond Senior Living Community. This move allowed her to attend the weddings of all three of her granddaughters and to spend more time with family–especially her first great grandchild, Tommy Gannon. She will be dearly missed and fondly remembered by friends and family near and far. She is survived by her daughter Barbara (BJ) Heuberger; her granddaughters Lee Patrice Dunham and husband Mike Hickman, Keri Heuberger Gannon and husband Tom, and Gretchen Heuberger Purves and husband Duncan; also by her youngest brother, Robert Kidd and, of course, the apple of her eye, her great grandbaby, Thomas Heuberger Gannon. Memorial Service will be held on Thursday May 5, 2016 at 11:30 AM at the United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the United Methodist Church of Steamboat Springs, PO Box 773748 or to the Jean Dunham Memorial Fund at Casey's Pond Senior Living, 2855 Owl Hoot Trail, both in Steamboat Springs, CO 80487. For more information please call the Yampa Valley Funeral Home 970-879-1494.