Larry Dunham

date of birth August 12 1950

date of death July 27 2011

Larry D. Dunham was the third son born to Benjamin and Anna Carey Dunham, August 12, 1950 in New York City. Larry grew up in New York's Lower East Side's culturally rich community. His big heart grew from the love of his parents and  his brothers Clifford, John, and Ben in a blessed home creating art and music. 

During high school he became disenchanted with his teachers and the ways of city streets. Though discouraged by his oldest brother Clifford, Larry joined the Army November 17, 1967. He was 17. He was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne division and was sent to Viet Nam where he was assigned to the 173rd Airborne division. His time in Vietnam offered the double edge of  loving the lush verdant beauty of the country with the horror of war  which greatly influenced the rest of his life.  To insure his younger brother would not be drafted and endure the same experience, Larry volunteered for a second tour in Viet Nam and spent the rest of his life suppressing the horrific memories of war.  He left Viet Nam October 28th, 1970  with medals for gallantry and was greeted by spitting protesters upon his return to the United States. 

March 12th, 1971 Larry was introduced to 17 year old art student, Adriene Cruz. With so many artists in the Dunham family Adriene was warmly welcomed by them.  During their courtship Adriene's Mom was charmed by Larry's flute playing and the couple  married February 18th, 1977. Larry and Adriene made their home in Park Slope Brooklyn until they relocated to Portland Oregon April 12th, 1983. They were blessed with their first daughter, Tasnim Safiya March 7, 1985. Their twins, Ola Kamali and Kumalo Osaze , were born September 17th, 1988. Sadly their son was stillborn. They raised their daughters in NE Portland and Larry loved to inform folks that though Adriene became a textile artist, he knew how to sew and crochet long before she did! 

While in New York, Larry worked as a cab driver, a security guard, in a health food store, as a housing manager, and took courses at Medger Evers Community College. Sometimes three jobs at a time to quiet his mind. In Portland Larry made futons for the NW Futon Company and took courses at Mt. Hood Community College. He became interested in video production and was hired as video producer for Rogers Cable television, where his work on the Stevenson inquest earned him an Ace Award in 1986. He was encouraged by his friend Lenny Edwards to apply for a position at Jefferson high school where he inspired many young people to reach for their best.  He also taught at Harriet Tubman Middle School where he retired in 2005.  Larry, always on the go, became a bus driver for Tri Met and  Eco-Shuttle Transportation until illness forced him to retire February 23, 2011. 

Larry enjoyed playing his flute, listening to music, long walks, dancing, kung fu and sci-fi movies and especially being in nature. His greatest source of joy was helping others, young folks in particular.  His big heart was greater than his reach. 

Though divorced in 2006, Larry and Adriene reunited as a family February 10, 2010. They celebrated 40 years of knowing one another and remained close until his last breath July 27, 2011.Larry's life was taken by lung cancer induced by Agent Orange exposure during his time in Viet Nam. He is survived by Adriene Cruz, daughters Tasnim and Ola Dunham. Brothers Clifford, John and Ben Dunham, Sister's-in law Rosemarie Dunham, Leslie Cruz and Deborah Dunham and numerous nieces and nephews along with many extended family members and dear friends whom he greatly loved. 

The family would like to thank everyone for their love and support with a special thanks to Avel Gordly, Dr Steven Bailey. Joyce and Paul Harris, Art Alexander, and Chisao Hata.

A celebration remembering his life will be held on his birthday, Friday, August 12, 2011 at Billy Webb's Elks Lodge 6 North Tillamook Street.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the celebration begins at 6:30 p.m.  All are welcome to come and remember the big hearted man we greatly miss.


48 tribute candles have been lit

Candle lit by Staff at Crown Memorial Center Our sincere condolences.

Candle lit by Traci Simmons and Lavert Robertson

Candle lit by Beau benton-nielsen Larry rest in the clouds and watch over us!, you have done so much for me and so many others..... its time for you to rest now...

Candle lit by Staff at Crown Memorial Center Our sincere condolences.

Candle lit by Deborah Dunham Fletcher The candle of his life and love will never go out. His light is forever with us.

Candle lit by Lisa Infantes Rest peacefully in the palms of God's loving hands

Candle lit by Baba well

Candle lit by margo taylor Larry was a very nice man.He will be truly missed.

Candle lit by Carol Porter My deepest condolences. May Larry rest in peace.

Candle lit by Adriene Cruz Love is eternal.

Candle lit by Rosemarie Rest in peace my beloved brother-in-law you will always be my favorite.

Candle lit by Baldwin/Karefa-Smart Family Godspeed on your next assignment, Larry. Our love accompanies you.

Candle lit by Connie Drexler Mode' and Joakina Mode' I met you at Tubman MS and it was awesome knowing you. Your words of encouragement when my girls and me moved to Portland always uplifted my spirits. You were a wonderful, talented, smart, . . . . man. YOU will be missed.

Candle lit by Karen Hazel Stewart Dearest Larry - I wish you eternal peace....Love, Karen

Candle lit by Ginger, Gunnar,Brita Adamovics We remember Larry from his days at Tubman. We will remember his smile, his support to students and sharing his many talents.

Candle lit by Denise Mullen In sympathy for the entire Dunham Cruz family. My thoughts are with you.

Candle lit by Geoff Park I so enjoyed working with Larry at Rogers and Paragon Cable companies. We had fun and we worked a lot. We were both from New York and became good friends. He was a gifted teacher and a generous person. Often he gave me great opportunities to work on projects that he had started and trusted me to continue the programming. Larry gave so much back, unconditionally. I will miss him and honor the great soul he is.

Candle lit by Paul and Joyce Harris Adriene, Tasnim and Ola. We are here for you,Larry held a very special place in our hearts.

Candle lit by David Aschenbrenner A good friend and great guy to work with. He will be missed

Candle lit by A. Swan Ujima- to my Mentor Your legacy of Responsibility and willingness to help everyone made our world a better world, especially with your sense of humor.

Candle lit by A. Swan Ujima- to my Mentor Your legacy of Responsibility and willingness to help everyone made our world a better world, especially with your sense of humor.

Candle lit by Lauri Green You were an amazing mentor, friend and teacher to my son, Kyle, during his years at Tubman. Your kindness, humor and wealth of knowledge meant a lot to Kyle, his sister, Rebecca, and myself. You will be greatly missed.

Candle lit by Fred Stewart

Candle lit by Donny Adair Larry taught us how to look directly into the camera and share whatever message we have with the world. Condolences to his family. He will be missed by all of us.

Candle lit by Clifford A. Dunham Larry you will never be missed, for when I go for a walk you will always be by my side. Your loving brother.

Candle lit by Cecil Charles Prescod You inspired many; may you rest in peace.

Candle lit by Sharon and Mariotta Gary-Smith Larry: Such a wonderful, smart, funny, caring guy, your passing has created sadness and joy - for the loss of your kind spirit to your family and all of us who knew you; and for your incredible ability to capture our best in the camera's eye, and sit so tall on your horse, as a proud Buffalo Soldier. Though you have gone to receive the sweet reward you so richly deserve, but you will never be forgotten. Blessings and comfort to Adrienne and your wonderful children!

Candle lit by Tracy M. Dunham Uncle Larry, I remeber when I was a little girl you would come over and you and my Father would go on long walks, or go to 42nd street to see karate movies. I remember how excited my Father would be once he came home and described what you sights you and him had seen and what new things you and him had discovered. I remember your smile which is so much like his. You will surely be missed. RIP.

Candle lit by Yvonne and Drew Georgopulos and family Sending our love and sincerest condolences...Rest in peace, Larry

Candle lit by Kris Kebisek Adriene, my sincere condolences to you and your family.

Candle lit by Crystal Marion Larry will be missed. He always inspired others to be strong and follow their dreams. Rest in peace Mr. Dunham.

Candle lit by Val Bell Larry, You were always there for me at Harriet Tubman Middle School. Your warm smile, kind heart and thoughtfulness will always be cherished and remembered by the staff and students at Tubman school.

Candle lit by Dorothy James Adriene, Beryl and family. Deepest sympathy. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

Candle lit by Jessica Bucciarelli I met Larry a handful of times through our work at TriMet. I was always struck by his kind manner, and impressed by the glimpses I got of his work in the community. I was at a TriMet gathering on the 28th when word of his passing moved quietly through the room. Everyone was so sorry to hear the news, and expressed such respect and fondness for Larry.

Candle lit by Kathleen Cross My memories of living in Portland in the 80s & 90s include many inspiring interactions with this brother. The Portland community was a better place because Larry Dunham lived, worked and served in it. Prayers up for his friends and family.

Candle lit by You loved my friend Adriene, so through her I love you and your part in her life.

Candle lit by Ann Williamson and Eric Cain We send our deepest condolences to Larry's family and especially to Adriene, Tasmin and Ola. Eric and I send wishes for peace and love to all of you.

Candle lit by Nalaika Ingram & Family Papa Larry, you will forever be in my heart. Your voice, laughter, teasing and fatherly love are pieces of you that I will hold onto for as long as I live! To God Be The GLory! Rest in Peace!

Candle lit by Ayesha Grice The Love and Light will be with you as you travel from this life to the next life. God Bless You.

Candle lit by Stan Caples Only the Lord knew your real worth my Brother. I love and will always remember you.

Candle lit by Mo Retherford Larry, that beautiful smile will be missed. I will always remember your calm nature when we met at Whitaker Middle School.

Candle lit by Aaron Walker Larry, You continue to inspire and teach.

Candle lit by LaVerne Green Larry you were the best! You cinemaphotography was amazing. You are sorely missed. I am just now finding out the news! Rest In Peace, LaVerne (Springer) Green

Candle lit by Dennis G. Payne Peace and Love to my brother. May your life and contributions be remembered by all and serve as an example as to what a true Black Man is all about. Rest In Peace, Dennis G. Payne

Candle lit by Ola Dunham Oh Daddy how I miss you! I know that love is eternal & we will always meet in my dreams... Love always

Candle lit by Oliva Wall Rest in peace

Candle lit by Leslie My Brother, I miss You!!!

Candle lit by Courtney O'Brien Larry was one of the most stand-up man I've ever met. Besides the teachings of television and audio production, he taught me much more than just that. During the time of my learnings from Larry I think he noticed something that nobody else not even myself could realize. He took School and myself outside of work normally inviting me up to Paragon cable to learn and practice my audio visual skills. It's not like there was an actual program the school was holding,... for some reason he was trying to keep me busy. Now that I look back I realize why he was trying to keep me busy. Besides the fact of him being an outstanding individual, he was a phenomenal teacher and protector. Not once did he ever fail me. I will never forget you Larry Dunham. RIP