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Billie Dunkin

May 6, 1937 ~ May 13, 2022 (age 85)

Obituary

THIS IS A COURTESY LISTING FOR THE DUNKIN FAMILY...

Billie (Bill) Daryl Dunkin passed away May 13, 2022, at the age of 85, in Tempe, Arizona. Bill was born to William Arthur (Art) and Ethel Mae (Cline) Dunkin May 6, 1937, on a farm north of Riverton, Nebraska. He was raised and worked on several farms within Franklin County and graduated from Riverton High School in 1954. His primary chore growing up was cleaning the chicken coop, and after leaving home, he never ate anything with feathers for the rest of his life. Bill had ten siblings; he had four sisters and six brothers. After graduation, he went to California and worked for General Motors Company.

Bill enlisted in the United States Army in 1957 and was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington. He was honorably discharged in 1959. Five of the seven brothers served in the U.S. military and their names are listed on the Franklin County Nebraska Veterans Memorial Walls: Delwyn (U.S. Army), Don (U.S. Navy), Gary (U.S. Army), Bill (U.S. Army) and Jim (U.S. Air Force). After serving in the Army, Bill learned how to drive an eighteen-wheeler and became a sleeper team with his oldest brother Delwyn for Kenosha Auto Transport on long-haul cross-country trips.

On August 28, 1960, Bill married Judith (Judy) Diane Pavelka, and they resided in Red Cloud, Nebraska before moving to Phoenix, Arizona in May of 1961. After moving to Phoenix, Bill worked for his father at his Exxon gas station, and then Shamrock Farms, where he drove an eighteen-wheel truck with routes from Phoenix to Kingman, Flagstaff and back to Phoenix and Phoenix to Tucson, Yuma and back to Phoenix. In 2000, he received the Million Mile Safety Award from the American Trucking Association for driving 1,000,000 perfect miles. Bill retired from Shamrock Farms in 2001 with an accident-free record.

Family was important to Bill. In 1961, he and Judy welcomed their first daughter, Patricia Marie, and in 1963, they welcomed their second daughter, Diana Lynn. Bill enjoyed doing activities with his daughters in Girl Scouts, including hiking the Grand Canyon. He coached their grade school softball team. Bill and Judy enjoyed visiting Nebraska every summer and instilled the importance of family in their daughters at every opportunity. Bill enjoyed family reunions, the annual luncheons at Shamrock Farms, and he was an avid fan of the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team. He loved to attend dance recitals and events with his granddaughters. Although Bill was a quiet man, he would offer a quick-witted comment now and then, but he was always there to help Judy, his daughters, sons-in-law, and granddaughters. The past few years, he genuinely enjoyed seeing his great granddaughters, Colbie and Isabella. His passion was Judy, his wife of 61 years and 9 months. He loved spending time with her, whether it was just talking with her in the evenings or listening to old classic country music with her, and he always celebrated and cherished her with red roses for anniversaries, her birthdays, and Mother’s Days. They were always holding hands or touching each other. Their loving bond was an example and legacy for his family. Bill’s family would like to extend their sincere gratitude for the wonderful Hospice of the Valley Team and to Ron and his compassionate caregivers, Maria and Eugene at Grandview Assisted Care.

Bill will be dearly missed by his immediate and large extended family and many friends. Bill is survived by his wife, Judith (Judy) Diane Dunkin; daughters, Patricia (Patti) Rea, Diana Lynn Vasquez (Johnny); granddaughters, Sara Renee Jessop (Michael) and Katie Gabriela Espinoza (Christopher); and great granddaughters, Colbie Gabriela Jessop and Isabella Amelia Espinoza. He is also survived by siblings, Jack Dunkin, Diana (Kay) Braden, and Connie Gipson; sisters- in-law Beth Ann Bohrer and Kylie Dunkin; brother-in-law Glenn Gipson, along with countless nieces, nephews, and cousins. Special additions to Bill’s family include Chris and Lisa Whipple (stepdaughter to Patti), and their children, Blake, Ty, Mitchell and Evelynn Winters, and Matthew, Jordan and Nora Winters, Kristin Whipple (Kyle), and Samantha, Dante, and Hazel
Hernandez. He was preceded in death by his parents, William Arthur (Art) and Ethel Mae (Cline) Dunkin; siblings, Delwyn Dunkin, Don (Pat) Dunkin, Betty (Sis) Vollertsen, Shirley Hansen, Gary Dunkin, Jimmie (Jim) Dunkin, and Jon Dunkin; and son-in law Mitch Rea.

If you would like to remember Bill, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the any of the following organizations in Bill’s name:

Sunshine Acres Children’s Home - https://sunshineacres.org/
Arizona Humane Society - https://www.azhumane.org/
Hospice of the Valley - https://www.hov.org/

Celebration of Life will be held in June 2022

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