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Celebration of Life

McGee Convention Center
Saturday June 11th, 2022
3:00pm - 5:00pm

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Jim Tyson Dunlap

 Jim Tyson Dunlap, a rancher and farmer in San Juan County, passed peacefully on May 10,2022, in Farmington, NM. He was born on 0ctober 7, 1932 in Fort Sumner, NM, the fifth child of six to William 0. Dunlap Jr. and Pearl (Derrick) Dunlap. The family lived at Dunlap, NM for the first few years of his life, then moved to the Derrick ranch east of Tatum, NM. Jim lived the rest of his childhood at the ranch, and he graduated from Tatum High School in 1950. After his graduation he went to New Mexico State University where he studied Vocational Agriculture Education. 
 Jim married Anilee Sabin on June 7, 1952, and they lived their first years of married life in Las Cruces while they continued with college. They were blessed with four children, Larry, Kari Lynn, Cheryl, and Darryl. They were later divorced. 
 Jim received his bachelor's degree in Vocational Agriculture Education from New Mexico State University in 1954 and his Master's Degree in 1967. Jim accepted his first job as a Vocational Agriculture teacher and girls' basketball coach in Dora, NM in 1954. He taught there for two years before moving to Farmington High School to take the Vo Ag teacher's position. In 1960 he moved to Kirtland High School as the Vo Ag teacher and remained there until 1976. 
Raising polled Hereford cattle brought Jim much joy, and he continued the tradition started by his father for many, many years. 
 Jim especially enjoyed taking his FFA boys camping and fishing in the Mountains (usually on horseback), taking them to State and National competitions and teaching them Parliamentary Procedure. During this time Jim and his fellow teachers developed the Junior Firefighters Program at school and began to grow their volunteer fire department. Each year FFA students developed a community service project. One year they were particularly ambitious and wanted to organize a domestic water system and improve the volunteer fire department. The students and their fathers were successful in organizing Lower Valley Water Association. Jim served as the President from 1966 to 1976, which also meant managing the system. By this time, the water system had grown tremendously, and a manager was needed. Jim was offered the position and resigned from teaching. He worked there until 1986 when he decided he needed to devote more of his time to the John Deere Dealership, which he owned with his son, Larry, from 1984 until it closed in 2014. Jim also built the Kirtland Dairy Queen in 1986 and owned it until 1994. 
 Jim married Sally (Johnson) Welles October 26, 1985. Sally passed away October 23, 1992. 
 On July 4, 1993, Jim met Christine (Eggen) McEvers. They were married November 13, 1993. There began another lifetime of memories in those nearly 29 years. 
 Jim devoted his life to many public service projects and was passionate about all of them. He was a founding member of Lower Valley Water Users, founding member of New Mexico Rural Water Association and New Mexico's Director for National Rural Water Association, of which he was President from 1996 to 1998. He was a board member for Colorado River Water Users Association, founding member of San Juan Water Commission, and founding member of San Juan Communications Center. In addition, he served on the San Juan County Commission for three terms, San Juan County Fair Board, Valley Fire Department for 33 years, Lower Valley Lions Club, New Mexico State Fair Commission, New Mexico Acequia Commission, New Mexico Interstate Streams Commission. He served on these boards for many years and served in many capacities, including Chairman of the NM Interstate Stream Commission from 2003 to 2016. 
 A few of his most meaningful involvements included improving ambulance and EMS services, McGee Park development and building of the racetrack, San Juan Regional Hospital, improvement and/or building of many roads and bridges in the county, as well as the "road to nowhere", but that's a story for another day. While he was affiliated with the NM Interstate Streams Commission, he was very proud they were able to accomplish the Pecos Water Settlement, Navajo Water Rights settlement, first State Water Plan, Eastern NM Water Supply System and Middle Rio Grande Silvery Minnow Protection. He was passionate about the Arizona Water Rights Settlement, and he was disappointed that was not accomplished. 
 After a few early lobbying trips to Washington, DC, Jim knew that history would be so much more interesting and real to students if they could see the history in DC. He and Sally began to take grandchildren along on their annual spring trip. Jim and Chris continued that tradition with as many as they could. His ranching background made him want all of his grandchildren and great grandchildren to experience this lifestyle which included always saddling up the horses and letting them ride. These are some of the many treasured memories that these grands experienced. 
 His most lengthy involvement was with the controversial Animas LaPlata Project. He began to lobby for congressional approval in 1966, along with many other people from Colorado and New Mexico, and was able to see the final version built and filled with water on June 29, 2011. When the first release of water to New Mexico occurred, Jim was at the Controls At the time of his death, he served on the Upper LaPlata Water Users Association, Animas LaPlata Operating Committee, San Juan Water Commission, Director Emeritus of New Mexico Rural Water Association and Trinity Lutheran Church Council. Jim was raised as a Methodist and joined Trinity Lutheran Church in Farmington when he and Christine married. He served on many committees at Trinity.
 Jim was preceded in death by his parents, W.O. Jr & Pearl (Derrick) Dunlap, daughter Kari Lynn, granddaughter Kaitlyn Dunlap, brother, Lewis Dunlap, sisters, Cathryn Kittleson and Marjorie Fraley. 
 Jim is survived by his loving wife, Christine, son, Larry (Linda), daughter, Cheryl, son Darryl (Julia), bonus sons John (Melissa) Phillips, Stan (Joni Lynn) Phillips, bonus daughters, Carrie McWilliams, Rachel (Lonny) Ellis, Sara McEvers, 24 grandchildren, 37 great grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters, Evolyn Terpening and Carolyn (Larry) Bedford as well many nieces and nephews, countless former students, Fire and EMS volunteers, and his Rural Water Family. 
 To honor Jim's commitment to education and volunteerism, a scholarship fund is being planned to provide tuition assistance for new and continuing first responder training. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to this effort or a charity of your choice. 
 A celebration of Jim's life will be held Saturday, June 11 at 3 :00 pm at McGee Park Convention Center #41 County Road 5568 Farmington, NM 87401, with Pastor Larry Davis of Trinity Lutheran Church officiating.


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Guestbook

So sorry to hear of Mr. Dunlap's passing. My mother Gladys Anderson taught at Kirtland Central from 1963 to 1972 and enjoyed having Jim as a colleague. She enjoyed visiting with Jim when she attended Trinity(our old church) one time in the 2000's. I knew Mr. Dunlap when I would go out to Kirtland Central with my mom during basketball games when I was in Junior High in Farmington. My sympathy to the entire family on his passing. My mom passed away on February 7th at 96 years and 3 month. She always had fond memories of Kirtland Central Days. Sincerely, Dean Anderson - Lindsborg, KS.

Dean Anderson May 21 2022 6:19 PM