Laurence "Larry" Dunn

Died: Sat., Jun. 10, 2017


Funeral Service

1:00 PM Mon., Jun. 19, 2017
Location: Pioneer Presbyterian Church


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Lifetime Harney County resident, Larry Allen Dunn, 82, passed away on June 10, 2017 with family at his side. His overall health had been gradually failing due to a worsening diabetes condition that he lived with in his later years.

Larry was born July 24, 1934 to Sam and Blanche Dunn and basically spent his entire life residing and ranching in Harney County. Both parents preceded him in death. Larry was proud the Dunn family roots in Harney County ran deep going back to 1885 when his great grandparents settled land and built a ranch on the Blitzen River. He had a strong desire for the ranching tradition to continue in the family with his grandchildren being the sixth generation for that.

He attended Sod House grade school and Crane High School graduating in 1953. In high school sports, he competed in football, wrestling and track. He was an outstanding wrestler. In those days, there was no school size classification. Small schools competed against large schools. He qualified for State wrestling three years and one year placed third in state in his weight division. At Crane he met his high school sweetheart Allene Catterson. They married shortly after graduation and moved to the Dunn family ranch near the Narrows. They were married for 57 years with her passing in 2010.

After getting married he physically helped build his own home in which they lived in and raised the family until the floods of the 1980’s took the house away. Larry and Allene got married and went directly into running a large hay contracting business and crew. Back in those days the crews necessary to put up hay were quite large. He was owner and boss of all of this at 18 years-old and his recent bride did the cooking for this huge crew at 17 years-old.

Over the years Larry put up hay for many different people around Harney County. For two years in 1962 and 1963 he and Bob Sitz had a partnership where they put up the hay on the Bell A Ranch. He always did his own mechanic work, welding, and fabrication. His building and repairing skills were amazing.  

In 1956 Larry and Allene began purchasing the ranch from his parents. Larry helped develop the place by building large canals, ditches, and of course fences and buildings. Larry always had the desire to clear the land, plant it to grass and make it productive for raising cattle. He also drilled numerous wells to increase the lands’ productivity. It was his nature to continually work to develop and improve the operation. Larry began crossbreeding his cattle around 1970 to get the advantages of hybrid vigor. Larry had an appreciation of a good ranch horse and over the years trained many for use on the ranch.

Larry was continually looking for new ventures to get involved with, such as the time he started a logging business and operation. The logging venture started small, but quickly grew. He had partners running the operation, but over time Larry realized he needed to dedicate his resources to the ranch and he exited the logging business.

Larry and Allene relocated to Diamond after the floods of the 1980’s because the Mud Lake Ranch was totally swept away. After several years of futile attempts to save the ranch from the flood, it was finally destroyed under water. Everything was lost except the family themselves, a little of the equipment, and the pioneering spirit that cannot be broken. Larry, Allene, and two of the four children Bryan and Renae completely started over from scratch on the ranch in Diamond. This is where Larry remained until his passing.

Over the years Larry especially enjoyed talking and visiting with people. Like his father Sam and sister Mavis he really enjoyed the social side of visiting not only with family and friends, but complete strangers as well. Time seemed to fly by during a visit with Larry. Today’s trend of Facebook and e-mail is just not quite the same as it was with a visit with Larry. Family, friends, and neighbors were of the utmost importance to him. He had a gift for making lasting friendships. He was the 2015 Harney County Pioneer President. His lasting legacy and his known character where a person’s word is never broken will live on.

He is survived by sons- Mark Dunn Washington DC; Brett Dunn (wife Shelly) Albany, OR; Bryan Dunn (wife Ronita) Diamond, OR; daughter- Renae Jenkins (husband Rich) Diamond, OR; niece- Sheila (Oard) Pollreisz Buchanan, OR; grandchildren- Craig Dunn Nashville, TN; Amy MacRostie (husband Morgan) Albany, OR; Erin Dunn Albany, OR; Mark Dunn Junction City, OR; Jennifer Dancer (husband Jon) Missoula, MT; Corey Jenkins Diamond, OR; Bryanna Dunn Diamond, OR; Elizabeth Jenkins Diamond, OR; Jacob Dunn Diamond, OR; and great grandson- Mason MacRostie Albany, OR.

Larry was preceded in death by his wife Allene Dunn; parents Samual and Blanche Dunn; sister Mavis Oard; and granddaughter Alycia Jenkins.

Memorial services will be Monday, June 19, 2017 at Pioneer Presbyterian Church at 1 pm under the direction of LaFollette’s Chapel. Contributions can be made to the Crane Union High School Athletic Fund, P.O. Box 828, Crane, OR 97732. We hope you can come join us and share a story or two about Larry in that portion of the celebration of his life.


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