Joshua R. Dumaw was remembered Thursday as a man of courage, loyalty, and leadership; a man of adventure who had an endless smile for any soul who crossed his path.
At a standing-room-only memorial service at Opportunity Presbyterian Church in Spokane Valley, uniformed members of the U.S. Marine Corps, including a commanding officer and first sergeant, presented the 23-year-old corporal’s family with a Purple Heart for Dumaw’s service in Afghanistan.
Dumaw, a military policeman assigned to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, II Marine Expeditionary Force based in Cherry Point, N.C., was killed by an improvised explosive device while on patrol June 22 in the Nimruz province.
“He had a desire to be something greater than himself,” and his service to the country reflected that aspiration, said the Rev. Matthew Paul, who officiated Thursday’s services along with Chaplain John Dobbs of the United States Air Force.
Dumaw grew up in Spokane Valley, graduating from West Valley High School in 2005. After high school he explored a career in the electrical field, but “soon discovered that it did not provide enough adventure for him,” his family wrote in the program for the memorial service.
He joined the Marines, and in two short years rose from the rank of private to corporal, receiving one of his promotions while serving a tour of duty in Iraq in 2008.
“When Josh committed to do something…he was all in,” Andrew Dahlman Jr., said in a eulogy to his son. Dumaw was proud to be a Marine, and proud to serve his country, his family said.
Before the service, members of the Patriot Guard lined the church building with American flags. During the services, a chorister sang “On Eagle’s Wings.”
Dumaw was described as a young man who could befriend anyone, and always had a smile.
“The empathy and caring he possessed was very rare and genuine,” Dahlman said. “He astonished the adults around him.”
Dumaw was also remembered as the adventurous guy who loved anything outdoors, from snowboarding to skateboarding, camping, riding motorcycles and fishing. A “country boy” at heart, he loved to visit his friend’s farm back East on the weekend and ride on the tractor.
“There was definitely never a dull moment when Josh was around,” said his wife, Kailyn Dumaw, who is expecting the couple’s first child in September, Joshua Bodie Robert Dumaw. The Dumaws were married in August.
“His smile could comfort me even in the most unknown territory,” Kailyn Dumaw said.
Dumaw’s mother, Jenifer Dumaw-Gorman, wrote in a statement that her son “had chosen a wonderful girl who understood him, and loved him as much as I did. She let him have his fun, even enjoyed it with him, but was there to watch over him.”
Dumaw-Gorman said she named her son Joshua because it means “a gift from God.”
“The number of people Josh touched is truly overwhelming and says a lot about the person he was when words will never accurately tell his whole story,” his family wrote.
Dumaw is survived by his wife; his mother and stepfather, Mike Gorman; his father and stepmother, Gia Dahlman; siblings, Adam, Kyle, Christopher, and Abby; step-siblings, Austin and Ann; grandparents, Andrew Reid and Connie Rae Dahlman, and Pat and Eilene Dumaw; as well as uncles, aunts, in-laws, and cousins.