James "Jimmy" Dunks '66 June 21, 2023 3:35 PM updated: June 21, 2023 3:44 PM
James Howard "Jimmy" Dunks
October 23, 1943 - May 25, 2023
On May 25, 2023, James Howard Dunks, our beloved dad, Papa, and husband “Jimmy” peacefully passed away in Austin, Texas at the age of 79. Jimmy was born on October 23, 1943, to Wallace Everette and Margaret Rose (Adams) Dunks who preceded him in death along with his older brother, Wallace Edwin Dunks. Jimmy graduated from Robert E. Lee High School and then went on to pursue a degree in Wildlife Science at Texas A&M University, graduating in 1967.
Jimmy began his professional career with Texas Parks and Wildlife in the Rio Grande Valley. In 1969 he transferred to Port Arthur, where he worked at the J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area and in 1974, he became a director of TPWD programs and moved the family to Austin. In 1981, he became Regional Director of South Texas for Ducks Unlimited. He retired from Ducks Unlimited in 2000 after a rewarding and successful career.
While living in Austin, Jimmy and Martha attended University United Methodist Church where they were asked to spearhead the founding of a new Methodist Church in Oak Hill, a more rural area of Austin. The first meeting of Oak Hill United Methodist Church was held in their home in February of 1979 with sixteen neighbors and friends, and it continues to thrive 44 years later. They devoted many years to sharing God’s promises and blessings with friends old and new, through food and fellowship, culminating in life-long relationships cherished to this day. They established this foundation of faith early on in their children and grandchildren as well. Jimmy will always be known for his generous heart and great sense of humor! His “gotcha last” antics will be cherished and missed. He was an avid and knowledgeable rock collector and bird whisperer, a published author, a proud Aggie, and master of smoked pork loin.
He was the kind of husband and father whose family could trust, believe, and count on without wavering. He was the first love of his daughter’s life, and the most honest and attentive father to his son. He was greatly admired by his son-in-law, doted on, and well fed by his daughter-in-law. But without a doubt, Jimmy found his greatest role as Papa to his grandchildren.
Jimmy is survived by his wife of 55 years, Martha Jo (Tucker) Dunks; children, Lisa Priest and husband Bart, and James Dunks and wife Melinda; grandchildren, Amanda Hodge (William), Bailey Dunks (Jesse Luker), Scott Davidson, John Davidson, and Christopher Priest; great-granddaughters, EmmaLee Jo Hodge and Kathryn "Katie" Priest; sister, Kay Courtney; nephews, Steve Courtney, David Courtney, Phillip Courtney, Andy Dunks, and John Dunks; nieces, Debbie Whiting, and Betsy Addison; “ruler of the roost”, his dog Tippy; and many, many loved and cherished friends.
Due to Martha’s battle with Alzheimer’s, a celebration of Jimmy’s life will be held at a later time. His children would like to thank his in-home caregiver Fanny Pola who became family to all of us; the dedicated nurses and caregivers of Suncrest Hospice; his awesome caregivers at Watermark Assisted Living; and a special thank you to their cousin Steve Courtney for the care and friendship he shared with Jimmy. It meant the world to him.
If desired, donations honoring Jimmy or Martha Dunks may be made to https://act.alz.org. Services entrusted to Finch Funeral Chapel, Nixon, Texas.