Obituary: Kay Lynn (Bowman) Dunton
November 25, 1946 – April 9, 2021
Kay was born on her parent’s first wedding anniversary, on the cusp of that first wave of the baby boom generation. She was the progeny of a returning soldier, Rogers Bowman, and his high school sweetheart, Marilyn Gorsuch, who waited five years for him to come back from the Pacific.
Kay wasted little time in establishing her strong personality. As her mother often remarked, “we raised Kay for the first five years, and she raised the family for the next twenty.” After early schooling in Batangas, The Philippines, where her father worked for Standard Oil of California, the family returned to her parent’s hometown of Grand Junction, CO where Kay excelled as an artist as well as in her classes, eventually graduating as a Co-Valedictorian of her GJHS Class of 1965.
Four years later, she graduated with honors from the University of Colorado, enjoying her time as a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority and with a degree in Art History. Her father voiced the opinion that it was a waste of tuition to pursue such a degree and encouraged Kay to enroll in some business classes – which she did. Little did he know that Kay would become one of Denver’s top realtors and a founding partner of Distinctive Properties, Ltd. She specialized in selling Denver’s finest historical homes as well as taking a leading role in historic preservation. She played a significant part in the renovation of Denver’s Historic Queen Anne Neighborhood.
In the mid 1980’s, Kay and her first husband, Will James, divorced. She later met Tom Dunton, an international banker, in Denver. She told her partners at Distinctive Properties she was leaving, Tom and Kay married, and the two embarked on 35 years of happiness, world travel and adventure, living at times in Athens, London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Honolulu, Park City and Aspen.
In every city where she and Tom lived, Kay used her eye and talent for artwork, design and decoration in remodeling, renovating and building homes. They built two magnificent homes, one in Park City and the other in Sydney and completed spectacular renovations in Aspen and Honolulu. Kay liked to think of her house projects as a form of 3D art. While living in Park City she returned to her love of real estate beginning with East West Partners’ Empire Pass development in Deer Valley, later she joined Lewis Wolcott & Dornbush, which subsequently became Sotheby’s International, and she reestablished herself as a premier residential broker.
During a brief remission in her ovarian cancer, she and Tom planned and began the remodel of a home in the Cherry Creek neighborhood of Denver. Her focus on this project, even during the waning days of her life, was remarkable. One of her dying wishes was for Tom to see the remodel completed.
Kay is survived by her husband, Tom Dunton, Denver, her brother Scott Bowman (Karen), Grand Junction, her niece, Kate Clark (Gordon), Denver, and her nephew, Andrew Bowman (Jasmine), Seattle. She adored her dogs, in particular, Cullian (Gordon Setter), Belle and Sabine (English Setters). Sabine was by her side when she passed. Sabine now is with Tom and helping him through these difficult times.
Kay loved to ski, developing her exquisite form by tagging along behind Stein Erickson at Aspen Highlands in the early 1960’s. She was a pleasure to watch carving her path down Flora Dora. Kay’s immortality exists in the memories of all who were fortunate enough to know her and to be in her company. We all will keep her memory in our hearts forever.
Kay’s preference was that there be no memorial or service. In lieu of a memorial, Kay has requested that donations be made to ovarian cancer research. Please consider a gift to the Kay L. Dunton Memorial Ovarian Cancer Research Fund at the University of Colorado. Checks can be made out to the CU Foundation, mailed to The CU Foundation, P.O. Box 17126, Denver, CO 80217-9155. Please write “In Memory of Kay Dunton” on the memo line of the check. This Fund is designated specifically for research into early detection of ovarian cancer under the guidance of Kian Behbakht, MD.
Her family will place her ashes at the location near Aspen she requested.
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