In Memoriam: Duane Ray Dahlum

June 2021 Posted in Obituary

Duane Ray Dahlum

Duane Ray Dahlum began his next journey at 4:45 p.m. on May 8, 2021. He left peacefully knowing he was doing it on his own terms. He passed with the knowledge that he was loved at Legacy Good Samaritan ICU in Portland, Oregon.

He was 79 years old, just days from his 80th birthday.

He loved helping people who were dealing with trauma and hard life issues. He arrived at his passion in VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) in New York City where he met and fell in love with Barbara Jo Morrison of Flint, Michigan. They married on May 18, 1965 in Flint, and their service in VISTA continued to New Haven, Connecticut. They returned to Tacoma after their VISTA service. They had one child, Michele Diane, who was born April 20, 1968.

While in Tacoma, Duane established a program with the Tacoma-PIerce County Opportunity and Development, Inc. for marginal youth to prevent rioting in the summers of 1966 and ‘67. With John Laster (who became his best friend and brother) he developed youth programs in the area. He received a scholarship to the University of Washington Graduate School of Social Work in 1970 due to this work.

He went to Jackson, Michigan after graduation where he was the director of the Emergency Counseling Center.
He returned to Tacoma in 1972, where he was a Psychiatric Social Worker at Child Study and Treatment Center at Western State Hospital.

In December of 1975, he moved to Keizer with the job of developing a Secure Treatment Program for children at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem. In 1978, he moved his family to Silverton. After his work with the State Hospital,
he worked with the Poyama Day Treatment Center in Independence, and obtained a part-time job as a Behavioral Specialist for Willamette ESD. In 1982, he opened his private practice, part-time, and in 2009 he retired from the ESD to provide service full-time to the kids and families who needed him.

When he wasn’t dealing with other people’s problems, he loved riding his Harley Davidson with Barbara and taking photographs of barns and bridges around the Northwest. In the previous two years, he suffered from his several illnesses, but still managed to devote his time to his clients.

He is survived by his wife Barbara Dahlum, 79, and his daughter Michele Dahlum Burgess, 53. In honor of his life, it is asked that you give yourself grace and do something to help or honor someone in need.

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