Laura  Dunham

Obituary of Laura Gail Adams Dunham

Laura Gail (Lees) Adams Dunham, 76, died in Perris California on June 15, 2019.

Laura had an extraordinary life and touched many people throughout. She held a BA in social sciences and an MA and PhD in English and published several books and her doctoral thesis on Norman Mailer. Following careers in higher education and financial planning (she wrote the finance column for the Trenton Times and was an administrator at Thomas Edison College), she felt God’s call to ministry and attended Columbia Theological Seminary. She received an MDiv and later a Certificate in Spiritual Formation from Columbia.  

Before retiring, Laura served as a pastor of churches in North Carolina as a Presbyterian Minister.  She also served in the governing body of the Presbyterian church and held leadership positions on nonprofit boards of directors. Her 2002 book, Graceful Living: Your Faith, Values, and Money in Changing Times, was commissioned by the Ecumenical Stewardship Center. In 2012 Laura published Path of the Purified Heart: The Spiritual Journey as Transformation (Cascade Books).After her retirement, Laura engaged in teaching, leading retreats, guiding the Ignatian Exercises and writing about Christian spirituality. In 2012 she led the formation of Friends of Christ School for Christian Spirituality in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The School contributes to the spiritual formation and transformation of participants, supplements what is already offered within their own faith communities, and provides a place for spiritual seekers to further investigate their call to a deeper relationship with God through the Christian tradition. Hundreds of students have participated. She continued to serve as a consultant and advisor to the School after she left to return to NJ and care for her husband.

In 2018 she published, Extraordinary Time, Spiritual Reflections from a Season with Cancer, Death and Transition (Cascade Books). She was also a Studium Scholar and Oblate affiliated with St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota where she professed her faith and became a Catholic.

She is preceded in death by her husband, E. Alden Dunham. She leaves behind her son, Thomas Adams in California and step children, Ed Dunham (Wendy), Ellen Dunham-Jones (Phil), Carroll Dunham-Kelly (Thomas) and Rob Dunham(Catherine). She is also survived by step-grandchildren, Kate Eskowitz, Liz Dunham, Liam Kelly, Galen Kelly, Kacie Dunham, and Alden Dunham and great grandchildren Max and Rowan.

A Memorial Mass is being held on August 3, 2019 at 10am at the Church of Saint Ann, Rev. R. Vincent Gartland, celebrant.

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