Margaret Ann Dunbar, age 86, of Grants Pass, passed away June 1, 2020, at her home surrounded by family. She was born in Chicago, IL, to Andrew and Mary Kanger. She moved to the Illinois Valley in 1947 and lived near Six-Mile Creek on the Illinois River. She graduated from Illinois Valley High School in 1951. Her future husband, Ernest Stephen Dunbar, lived further down the Illinois River on the Weaver Ranch at Pine Flat. They married June 20, 1953, built their cabin at Panther Flat at the mouth of Briggs Creek and started their family. As their family grew, they moved to Grants Pass and raised their nine children in the Ojai Avenue neighborhood.
Margaret was a skilled artist, taught art in Southern Oregon, and was one of the founding members of the Grants Pass Museum of Art. She founded the Open Door Gallery – which is an artist co-op, teaching space and gallery that still exists today. Her art has been displayed in galleries up and down the western United States. She enjoyed drives in the woods and painting the landscapes she saw with the colors of our beautiful country.
She loved sewing clothes for her family, sewing dolls and doll clothes for her grandkids and great grandkids, and then seeing how much fun they would have picking their favorite outfits. She enjoyed creating quilts for all of her family and friends. She also made quilts to sell and always made sure to donate many to those in need.
Margaret had a great sense of humor and loved to laugh. She enjoyed playing games and working on puzzles. When she turned 70 her family gifted her a PlayStation2. She was a fierce game competitor, but always generous with her time and knowledge of the games. She was a very popular grandmother.
From the heart of her children, we want to share that she was an amazing teacher, nurturer and mentor for her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. We are profoundly grateful for the love, respect, and understanding that was shared with us. We were taught how to be good to each other – even when we disagreed. This was not easy with nine children. She instilled in us common sense and kindness. She loved to participate in our lives, sharing with us her advice and guidance. She kept us all together as a family and helped to organize gatherings every few years for family reunions, the count sometimes reaching close to one hundred attending. The life lessons passed to us from our mother and father will bless us all for generations to come.
Margaret was preceded in death by her husband Ernest and two of their children, Gilbert and Mary; and her brother Tom Kanger.
She is survived by her seven children and their families. She has 17 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Memorial contributions can be made to St. Anne Catholic School, 1131 NE 10th Street, Grants Pass, OR, 97526.
Julie & Donnie Tyree
• Jesse & Karen Deming
o Blake, Josh, Ellie
• Rachael Deming & Peter Wierzbicki
• Caleb Deming & Chelan Kaufman
o Mystique, Maggie
Stephen and Dani Dunbar
• Casey & Rob Burnaroos
o Kayden, Cannon
• Steve Dunbar
• Jason & Molly Dunbar
o Braydon, Gabe, Tenley
• Tera & Charlie LaPari
• Victor Serra & Jamie Marsh
o Victoria & Taylor
o Dean, Brooke, Victor, Alex, Chloe
• Ryan Serra & Cheyenne Vasquez
• Joni & Brandon Thompson
o Owen, Logan, Baya, Harper
• Logan & Haley Serra
• Lon & Cynthia Kreckman
• Sabrina & Frankie Rule
Christina & Leo Pate
• Paul Allen
o Sequoia, Melchiah, Aiden, Kira
• Mellisa & Nate Leonard
o Kian, Trevyr
• Tiffany Pate
Joe & Karin Dunbar
Michael & Heidi Dunbar