Margaret Pearl (Leake) Dunbar

July 28, 1936 ~ June 12, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old


Margaret also known too as Tootsie to her family, was born July 28th 1936 to Marselle and May Leake in Dillon Montana. Margaret had an older brother Tom, and a younger sister Betty.

In 1942 at the age of 6 she moved with her family to Harney County Oregon, where her dad went to work for the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. Margaret attended school, Sunday school, and Church in the one room Sodhouse Elementary School. She graduated from Crane Union High School in 1954. In high school she was active in Sports, Cheerleading, and various student body offices.

After high school Margaret worked at the Burns Drive Inn restaurant in Burns until she married her high school sweetheart (Red Dunbar), who had just returned from serving in Korea.

Margaret and Red were married May 11th 1956 in Love Lock Nevada, with their lifelong friends Darrell and Bonnie Cochran as their witnesses. For a time Red worked on Highway construction, building the road towards John Day. On weekends they traveled to Rodeos in Oregon, California, Nevada and Idaho. Margaret thought she married a Rodeo Cowboy, but the tune changed when Red wanted to fulfill his dream working on and later owning his own cattle ranch.

In 1957 Red and Margaret moved to the Keg Springs Ranch on Jack Mountain, near Frenchglen working for Benny Dunn. In 1962 Red and Margaret bought the ranch from Benny Dunn. Margaret worked hard with Red farming, raising rye hay to feed, and moving cattle.

Wanting to start a family but unable to have children of their own Red and Margaret adopted a baby boy named Andy in November 1962. In September 1964 they adopted a baby girl named Cathy. Now their family was complete.

When Andy and Cathy started school Margaret would drive the kids 23 miles to Frenchglen and back home, a total of 92 miles a day. Once a month Margaret would help with Sunday school and Church at Frenchglen. Margaret loved brandings and holidays when family and friends would come, she would always have a big meal on the table.

In 1979 they bought the ranch at Sodhouse, where they would live while the kids were in high school at Crane. Margaret worked hard with Red running both ranches. When the Sodhouse ranch became flooded in 1984 Margaret and Red moved back to Keg Springs Ranch at Frenchglen. The flood had crushed Margaret’s inner soul and she wanted to go back to the dessert.

Margaret loved all that the ranch had to offer. She felt that being out on a horse were she could see all the birds, wild flowers and animals brought her closer to God. At Christmas time she would bake breads and fruitcake and give them to family and friends. Margaret loved going to watch her grandchildren play in sports, and all the other activities that they were involved in. She also loved when her great grandchildren came to visit. Margaret loved the lord and was a member of the Pioneer Presbyterian Church in Burns.

As Margaret got older her arthritis made doing the simplest things difficult.

While she could still write she wrote this note:

“When I go, know that I love you. Carry on with life knowing I’m tucked away in your heart and you’ll never be alone. My love for you goes on forever. Remember our talks, our good times as well as the hard times. My life I’d hope gave you something good to cherish no matter what your life brings your way. As the wind or wings of a dove carry me away I’ll always be near.”

Margaret is preceded in death by: Her mother Mae Leake, father Marselle Leake, her brother Tom Leake, her sister Betty Davis, great grandson Wade Dunbar, and grandson Tucker Dunbar.

Margaret is survived by her husband of 67 years, Harvey (Red) Dunbar, son Andy & Vena Dunbar, daughter Cathy & Kap Ugalde.

Grandchildren Josh & Felecia Dunbar, Kyle & Regina Dunbar, Darcy Ugalde, Shane & Sara Ugalde. Honorary granddaughter Emma Dunbar.

Great grandchildren Kavan Dunbar, Kiah Dunbar, Korbin Dunbar, Kimber Dunbar, Keelyn Dunbar, Clara Dunbar,

Harper Dunbar, Hadley Dunbar, Josie Ugalde. Her niece Rita & Bill Otley, nephew Don Davis. Great niece Kristie Cotton. And her many Friends.


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Memorial Service
July 21, 2023

1:00 PM
Pioneer Presbyterian Church
417 W. Washington
Burns, Oregon 97720


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