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This memorial website was created in the memory of our father, Gerald "Don" Dumler who was born on December 14, 1937 and passed away on May 19, 2008.   He was born in Burlington, Oklahoma, graduated from  Wichita State University, worked in the banking industry (Farm Credit Bank) and as a Realtor/Broker; however, his most challenging job was that of "Dad" to 5 children - Kathy, Cheryl, Dwight, Duane and David.   We are forever grateful for his love, discipline and the sense of self-reliance he developed in each one of us.  

In writing this memorial I also felt it was important to convey one concept that I thought best described my father. The movie "Pay it Forward" was a favorite movie of my father's and a concept he believed in. .  Doing something good for someone with no hope of receiving anything in return; other than the hope that the receiver will in turn do something good for another person. 

Off and on over his life (even before this movie came out) I saw him do this; usually, rather quietly without fanfare.  One thing I know he did in the last 10-years of his life was to help a student through college that wouldn't have been able to go.  Donated money to a family in Augusta after one of the floods and I'm sure there are other situations that I never knew about. 

Below is a link to a blog, "The Halfway Point," that lists 50 ideas of ways to pay it forward that do not necessarily involve money just time and thought.  If you are reading this memorial site and/or knew my father I ask that you do something, in his honor, to pay it forward..

We miss him.  .

Tributes are short messages commemorating Gerald "Don", or an expression of support to his closest family and friends. Leave your first tribute here, and others will follow.

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Trails End

January 17, 2016

I was looking through my Dad's memorial today and the irony of this picture hit me.  This was picture was taken in 1977 on a ski trip to Colorado.  Dad, my sister Cheryl and I are standing under a sign that says, "Trails End."   Dad is clowning around putting the "peace sign" over our heads.  On May 19, 2008 my sister Cheryl and I were on either side of Dad as he took his last breath.  He was at the "Trails End" and it was peaceful.   Irony........


December 14, 2014

Today would be my Dad's 77th birthday.  While I always think about him on the anniversary of his death; I tend to think about him more on his birthday.  Probably, because I wish he was here to celebrate it.  Not that he cared for a lot of fuss in terms of his birthday!  Attached is a picture of him on his birthday in 1973.  Miss you Dad!


November 9, 2013

When we think of a bridge we usually think of a structure that goes over a river or other body of water; however, we can also use the word to describe the non physical.  Here is another definition: " A time, place, or means of connection."  My father had a form of dementia that took away what might be called his rational mind, affected his body and his ability to communicate.  I know for many people this is worse than death.  I don't think so.  For while my father wasn't the "same" he did not disappear.  In fact for me while he often rambled in terms of his speech I learned to understand what he was trying to say.  In a video clip from "Memory Bridge" one of the speaker's says, "The greatest impediment to communicating with people who have Alzheimer's disease is the illusion of knowledge that the person is already gone."  My Dad wasn't the same due to his dementia; however, he was still there and in some ways I think I really got to "know" him as his ability to rationalize, think, etc disappeared.  What was left was who he was on an emotional and even spiritual level.  Here is a link to clips from the film, "There is a Bridge" produced by the organization "Memory Bridge."  Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia are not the "end" they require us to communicate and reach out to people in a different way.  It's easy to discard people who suffer from any form of dementia; however, they are stil there.

The picture above is of my Dad (after he had dementia and less than a year before he died) and his nephew Fred.  Dad hadn't seen Fred in a long time and you can see from the look on my father's face that it meant the world to him.  Relationships were still important to him.


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