Longtime Southampton resident Steven Walter Dunham died at home on October 7, surrounded by his family, from complications of myelodysplastic syndrome. He was 66.
Born on May 25, 1947, in Philadelphia, he attended Haddonfield High School and sang during the summers with the Westminster Choir College. After graduating, he joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Elmadag, Turkey, as part of a communications squadron. He moved to New York City in 1970 to attend the School of Visual Arts, and there he met, fell in love with, and married Eleanor (Mickey) Mellon. In 1976, the couple moved to Southampton, where they began a long and loving restoration of the old Godbee house on Hill Street and started a family.
Mr. Dunham was the founder of Dunham General Contracting and Dunham Brothers, Inc., with which he worked on scores of residential projects over a period of more than 30 years. He also served two terms as a Southampton Village trustee and later chaired the Southampton Village Planning Commission. For many years, he was a valued member of the St. John’s Episcopal Church choir.
Originally a member of the Southampton Yacht Club, and later a member of the Breakwater Yacht Club, Mr. Dunham was an enthusiastic and skilled sailor. Some of his favorite sailing adventures included trips to the British Virgin Islands, the Grenadines, and racing from Newport, Rhode Island, to Bermuda across the Atlantic. He also enjoyed cycling, was an expert photographer, loved golf, and had recently discovered the joys of painting.
Several years ago, Mr. Dunham and his wife bought a cliffside property in San Pancho, Mexico, where with an artist’s eye and a carpenter’s craft, they designed and built a tiny casita, in which they vacationed as well as entertained family and friends. Survivors said he often said that it was the place where he felt most at home.
Survivors said Mr. Dunham was known for his devotion to his family and friends, his openness to new adventures, his generosity and his love of life.
Mr. Dunham was predeceased by his parents, Ruth and Walter Dunham. In addition to his wife, he is survived by son Kevin Dunham and wife Sarah and their children, Jackson and Quinn; daughter Connie Dunham and fiancé Oliver Longwell; and son Zachary Dunham and partner Jenny Hendrix. He is also survived by a brother, Gregg and wife Lynn of New Jersey, as well as nieces, Candace McRae, Natalie and Ashley-Francis Mellon, Alex Dunham; and a nephew, Christopher Mellon.
Memorial donations may be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, www.lls.org, or St. John’s Episcopal Church, 100 South Main Street, Southampton, NY 11968.
Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the Brockett Funeral Home in Southampton.