Remembering Donald Dunham, Jr.
by Breanna Fuss, Reporter
January 13, 2013 7:21 PM
The man many claim developed the face of Sioux Falls has passed away. 70-year-old Donald Dunham Jr., died suddenly on Saturday from complications after surgery.
"Don Dunham was a larger than life person in this community for over three decades now,” said Carol Twedt, a long time friend of Dunham.
Friends of Donald Dunham, Jr., said his legacy began when he founded the Dunham Company in 1975.
"This is a man that impacted Sioux Falls in such a big, big way,” said Mayor of Sioux Falls Mike Huether.
Mayor Huether said he hopes the people of Sioux Falls realize how much Dunham has done for the community. Huether said Dunham was his own type of public servant.
"People just cannot imagine the risk that developers like Don Dunham make on behalf of the people that they ultimately serve,” said Huether.
From the Diamond Valley residential neighborhood in the southeast part of Sioux Falls to the renovated Shriver Building downtown, Dunham has built up much of the city.
And possibly his greatest endeavor hasn’t even broke ground.
"It is a piece of land that is truly just a dud, and he wanted to turn it into an incredible dream he had for our city,” said Huether. “And he was doing that with the Costco project.”
Back in May, Dunham announced that at 150,000 square foot Costco would be coming to Sioux Falls. There are also plans to build an apartment building on the 15-acre lot. Long time friend Carol Twedt said the plan is an example of how passionate Dunham was.
"A man who was creative, innovative, fearless, as he went about trying to make Sioux Falls what it is today,” said Twedt.
Twedt said her friend has left a mark on all corners of Sioux Falls and will never be forgotten.
“Not many of us can say that when we pass away, we leave a legacy for our community, but Don Dunham did that,” said Twedt.
Twedt said Dunham taught his children everything he knew about development and real estate. She believes his children will be able to carry on his legacy.