Stanley Armour Dunham

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Stanley Dunham

Stanley Armour Dunham was the maternal grandfather of Barack Obama. he was the husband of Madelyn Dunham and the father of Stanley Ann Dunham.

Marrying Madelyn

Four years older, than Madelyn Payne, Stanley Armour Dunham lived 17 miles east, in El Dorado.

The Dunhams were Baptists. Unlike the Paynes, Stanley Dunham did not come from the white-collar crowd. Gregarious, friendly, challenging and loud, "he was such a loose wheel at times," said Clarence Kerns, from the El Dorado class of 1935. Others who knew Dunham described him as a salesman "who could charm the legs off a couch."

Madelyn Payne secretly married Stanley Armour Dunhamon the spring weekend of the annual junior-senior banquet in 1940, Madelyn's senior year, several weeks before graduation, according to friends. Continuing to live with her parents, Madelyn didn't tell them about her marriage until she got her diploma in June.

Post war moves

After the war, the Dunham family lived in Berkeley, California, for two years, Ponca City, Oklahoma, for two years, and Wichita Falls, Texas., for three years before they ventured to the Seattle area.[1]



The Dunhams moved to a bigger opportunity in 1955 -- a large store in downtown Seattle called Standard-Grunbaum Furniture at the corner of 2nd Avenue and Pine Street. "First in Furniture, Second at Pine," read the Yellow Pages ad in the Seattle telephone directory.

Madelyn and Stanley shed their Methodist and Baptist upbringing and began attending Sunday services at the East Shore Unitarian Church in nearby Bellevue.

"In the 1950s, this was sometimes known as 'the little Red church on the hill,' " said Peter Luton, the church's senior minister, referring to the effects of McCarthyism.[2]


  1. Washington P August 22, 2008
  2. Chicago Tribune March 27 2007