Connally/Compton Funeral Directors

4400 West Waco Drive, Waco, TX


Barbara Lea Dunkum

January 19, 1926September 11, 2019

Barbara Lea Reed Dunkum would like to announce a change of address. She now resides with the Glorious Father Almighty and has found the answer to the questions that each of us has regarding eternity. Mrs. Dunkum, 93, died at Senior Care of Hewitt on Wednesday, September 11, 2019.

Mrs. Dunkum, fondly referred to as “Lea Lea” by her grandchildren and great great-grandchildren, was born on January 19, 1926, in Marlin, where she lived all of her life. Following High School, she attended Texas Woman’s University where she served as President of what is now known as the Chi Omega sorority. She was a graduate of the University of Texas. On Aug. 16, 1947 she married Willis Garrett Dunkum, Jr. in Marlin. Together they enjoyed 58 years of marriage, being blessed with and gracing the lives of their children and family. She was a faithful member of First Presbyterian Church until its closure on May 1, 2014.

Mrs. Dunkum had a great passion for teaching, loved her students and is fondly remembered by those she taught at St. John’s Day School in Marlin as well as Marlin Elementary School. She also volunteered at the Assessment Unit of the Texas Youth Commission. Upon the death of her husband, Mrs. Dunkum assumed responsibility for the management of their business, “Kwiker Sticker,” a vehicle inspection station located in Waco.

An avid reader, Mrs. Dunkum was a charter member of the “Not So Great” Book Club and the Literary Club. She was a proud supporter of the Pauline and Jane Chilton Memorial Marlin Public Library and, for various periods of time, served as temporary Librarian. Mrs. Dunkum was also an avid bridge player and was a member of numerous bridge clubs over the years. Another of her passions became genealogy in her later years. She traced her family history back to the American Revolution earning recognition as a Daughter of the American Revolution and Daughter of the Republic of Texas. This earned her daughter’s the same recognition and several of her grandchildren the recognition as Children of the American Revolution and Children of the Republic of Texas. Mrs. Dunkum loved to travel with her favorite destinations being Paris France and Akumal Mexico where she cherished her time with great friends.

Mrs. Dunkum was preceded in death by her husband, “”Bill” Dunkum, her parents Frank Allen Reed, Sr. and Lydia Lea Reed, brothers Bob, Frank and Richard Reed and sister Ara Reed Ferda. She is survived by two sons, W.G. “Gary” Dunkum III and wife Sumaya of Houston and Robert Frank “Bob” Dunkum of Marlin; two daughters, Mary Ann Dunkum of Coppell and Carol Lea Contella and husband Michael of Hewitt, sister Minnell Reed, and daughter-in-law, Deborah DeFord Dunkum. Her surviving family also includes granddaughters Madeline Dunkum Townsend and husband Chad of Houston, Kinnison Bryan and husband Nem of Dripping Springs; grandsons, Michael Joseph Contella, Noah Lea Contella and granddaughter Lydia Lea Contella of Hewitt; and great-grandchildren, Ashley Elizabeth Consolvo of Austin, Lauren Jean Townsend of Houston, and Colton Garrett Bryan, Chance Jennings Bryan and Casen Graham Bryan of Dripping Springs.

Mr. and Mrs. Dunkum sponsored a foreign exchange student during 1966 and 1967 via the AFS. Rob Dowling of Molong, NSW, Australia, lived with the family for one year and is considered a part of the family to this day. Rob and his wife Alex, along with their son Ashley and wife Natalie Dowling, and their daughter Melissa Dowling live in and around Orange, NSW, Australia.

Based on her wishes, there will be no service. For those wishing to make memorial contributions, the family suggests the Pauline and Jane Chilton Memorial Marlin Public Library, or the church or charity of one’s choice.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Barbara Lea Dunkum

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Karen Bartley

September 15, 2019

I am one of her many students from St. Johns . I always loved Mrs.Barbra Dunkum. I can say she made learning so much fun and she could be tough but the love she gave to me that year in the fourth grade are some of my best childhood memories. God bless you, Mrs. Dunkum. I will always remember you as my favorite teacher of all times. Rest in peace sweet lady.