Theodore W. Dunham III

Ted W Dunham III was born on 11/25/28 in Bronx, N.Y. Ted was known as an infant as “Sonny Boy.”

Sister Jean described Sonny as a wanderer, darer and challenger. Often, he would disappear on his bicycle. According to Jean, Ted was a challenger of every rule and regulation in the school and in the home.

As a teen, Ted developed a love for horses and riding. He enjoyed riding at the Spilt Rock Riding Academy. By the age of 20-22, Ted participated as a contestant in the Madison Square Garden World Championship Rodeo in 1948 plus 9/30/49 and 10/1/50. Horses were always a part of Ted’s life. Ted loved rodeos and participated in the steer wrestling or bulldogging.

In December 1950, twenty-two year old Ted III enlisted in the army. Earlier in the year, Communist North Korea invaded the non-communist south (Republic of Korea) hoping to reunify Korea. An American force was fielded to repel the invasion.

Initially, Ted served with the 11th Airborne Division, Company B platoon. On Mar. 10, 1951, Private Dunham completed the “Basic Airborne Course” at the Fort Benning Georgia Infantry School thus becoming a qualified Parachutist.

Ted graduated with Company A – Airborne Class 32. In April, he was stationed with the 11th Airborne Regiment in Fort Campbell Kentucky under Major General Lyman L Lemnitzer. However, he shortly became a member of the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team (ARCT) also known as the Rakkasans. In June, 1951 Ted sailed for Japan aboard the U.S.N.S Marine Phoenix ship and was stationed in Beppu Japan.

On June 23, 1951, the North Koreans, through the Soviet Union, proposed a ceasefire. However, truce negotiations were suspended on August 23rd and hostilities continued until truce negotiations resumed again on November 12th 1951.

By October 1951, Ted was serving as a military policeman.

In December 1951, upon his one year anniversary in the military, TWD II suffered a heart attack and Nana made a request to have her son Ted III come home from the military to assist her with the family business – the shipyard. On January 31, 1952 TWD III was elected “Assistant Treasurer” of Dunham Shipyard & Sales.

During the summer of 1954, 25-year old Ted met Rosemary MacGregor. Rosemary was a stewardess aboard an American Airlines flight Ted had taken. The couple began dating and would come to marry June 25, 1955.

Nevertheless, in the latter part of 1954, Ted had a relationship with a woman named Dorothy Maffia. Dorothy became pregnant and a daughter named Nancy was born on June 9, 1955. (It would not be until August of 1994 that Ted, as well as his son Ted IV, would have the privilege of meeting Nancy).

Ted’s marriage with Rosemary lasted 7 years from 1955 to 1962. The couple had two children Ted IV born 6/9/57 and Robyne born 6/27/59.

During the seven years of his marriage to Rosemary (55-62), the business at the shipyard had been good. But pressures were mounting at the shipyard. Frank Staraus, a competitor down the street, began price cutting and managed to land the Chris Craft franchise for New Rochelle. Ted’s father, very ill from his heart attack in 1952, came to die in 1960. Ted’s brother Don was killed in a car accident in Mexico in 14 Sept. 1962. About this time, Ted decided to abandon his efforts at operating the yard in favor of leasing out the property (to Sagman).

With the ending of his marriage and vocation, Ted began traveling across multiple states of the U.S. working a variety of jobs. Ted and Robyne received postcards from various states.

By 1967, Ted had come to live in Honolulu, Hawaii where he worked as a deep sea diver and stevedore superintendent.

On May 3, 1968 39-year old Ted married 26-year old Diane Pinzari. They came to own and operate a charter fishing yacht – the Kailani.

About 1971, the couple migrated to Eugene, Oregon. Ted established a transport trucking business “Eugene Contractors and Supply”. (I believe that Dad worked for a brief period around 1974 on the Trans Alaska Pipeline Project.)

Between 1975-78, my Dad had 3 commercial fishing boats (trawlers) which operated along the Atlantic. Having worked on the boats for Dad, Jon Weiss has some interesting stories he can tell.

Dad told me one day that his great loves in life were “horses, boats and women – IN THAT ORDER!” Given his love for boats and believing in the waterfront potential of City Island, Ted returned to New York by the end of 1979.

Between 1979-1985, Ted went back and forth between Florida and New York. For awhile, he had a Florida business building trailers with one employee (Phillip Jones) working for him.

My father passed away of cardiac arrest on Thursday Nov. 18th 2004. He had been placed on a ventilator. He had had a foot wound which had become infected as he had disregarded his doctor’s instructions. The infection then got into his heart valve which led to a bacterial infection in his blood. The infection spread to his brain and central nervous system. He is buried in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Purchase N.Y.