Our Founders


Katherine W. Dumke

November 6, 1929 - November 16, 2014

Born on November 6, 1929 in Ogden, Utah to Reva Lewis and W. Rulon White, Kay was proud of her Ogden roots, her parents and her pioneer heritage. She attended Ogden High School and the University of Utah, where she was affiliated with Chi Omega and graduated with a bachelor's degree in home economics. In 1951, Kay married Ezekiel R. Dumke, Jr (Zeke) and together they raised four children in Salt Lake City. Over the ensuing 63 years their family continued to grow, adding grandchildren and great grandchildren. Kay carefully and lovingly cultivated strong relationships with each of her children and deeply influenced her grandchildren.

Kay and Zeke's relationship was filled with, at times, harrowing adventure, camping, exploring, hiking, raising children and spending time at the farm, Hebgen Lake, Lake Powell, Kapalua, and Rancho Mirage. Their pursuit of adventure and knowledge led them to travel the world. They shared this wanderlust with their children and grandchildren, who cherish memories of enjoying long dinners and exploring new places. Together they also loved simple things--desert colors, mountain wildflowers, sunsets, books, gathering with family and friends, partnering on community projects and holding hands across continents and decades.

Junior League of Salt Lake City instilled in Kay leadership skills, an understanding of the power of community and the importance of making an impact for good. Through the League she worked as a docent at the Salt Lake Art Center, Juvenile Court Intake Office, Red Cross and Utah Historical Society. As president and devoted board member of Neighborhood House, she facilitated the expansion of the Adult Day Care Center. Sharing a passion for the arts, she served as an early board member and promoter of the Kimball Art Center, National Endowment for the Arts Sculpture Committee and Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Always a Girl Scout, the outdoors was intrinsic to her nature and was most evident in her love for Red Butte Garden, Garden Club and as a member of the National Wildflower Research Center Advisory Council under Lady Bird Johnson. Kay served on the University of Utah Alumni Board and College of Nursing Development Board. The association with these organizations and others cemented lifelong friendships. Mentoring her grandchildren in the ways of philanthropy and community involvement was a highlight during her 25 years as president of the Katherine W. and Ezekiel R. Dumke Jr. Foundation.

Gracious, with the ability to make any occasion a memorable affair, Kay enjoyed entertaining and being with friends and family. An advocate of lifelong learning and lover of art and literature, Kay's quick wit combined with her bright mind made her an excellent conversationalist who made those she was with feel welcomed and valued. Those near to Kay loved her quiet, conscientious, and determined approach to life. Her associations and friendships in Town Club, Sewing Club, Bridge Groups, Owl & Fork, Gourmet, Book Club, among others, added to the richness and texture of her life.

Prayer and faith were important elements in Kay's life. Those near her learned the importance of gratitude, selflessness and kindness from her example, leaving a rich legacy for her children and community. Before her passing, Kay remarked that she loved her life, her family, her friends, her community and the world around her.

Ezekiel R. Dumke Jr.

Ezekiel R. (Zeke) Dumke Jr. was born in 1923 in Ogden, Utah, the son of Dr. Ezekiel Ricker and Edna Wattis Dumke.  He graduated from the New Mexico Military Institute with a commission in the cavalry, and later served with the Navy in the southern Pacific during World War II and with the Army reserve until 1960.  In 1950 he graduated from the University of Utah with a B.A. in Banking and Finance, and was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

Zeke was one of the founders and president of Western States Management, the Dr. Ezekiel R. and Edna Wattis Dumke Foundation, the University of Utah Hospital Foundation, the Salt Lake Rotary Foundation, Dumke Insurance Agency, Western States Thrift, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Utah and several mining companies.  He has also served as past president of the Museum of Natural History, Red Butte Garden, Alta Club, Salt Lake Rotary Club and Salt Lake Art Center advisory boards.  Other board positions included the Salt Lake Country Club, Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, University of Utah Hospital and National Advisory Council, the National Parks Concessionaires, Key Bank, Utah Hotel and Motel Association, Utah Pilots Association, Ballet West, and Utah Symphony.

Zeke was a founder of Bullfrog Resort on Lake Powell, where he served as general manager for 10 years.  A tireless promoter of Utah tourism, he is a recipient of the Governors Award for Tourism, the 1977-78 Utah Tourism Award, the 1984 Tourism Achievement Award, and an Honorary Life Membership Award from the Conference of National Park Concessionaires. Zeke has also received honorary doctorate degrees from Weber State University, Westminster College and University of Utah.  He is also the 1987 recipient from the University Of Utah David Eccles School Of Business Hall of Fame, the Rotarian Individual Service Citation, and was a member of the University of Utah Health Sciences Council and the National Guard Honorary Colonels.  

He feels very fortunate in life to have been associated with his loving family that is generous, successful and willing to help other people and their communities.  He has worked with and respected people, and in turn, earned their respect.  With such associations, they worked as a team, being innovative and accomplishing great things.   

His hobbies have included traveling, camping, skiing, hiking, golfing and working in the community and the state that have given Zeke and his family so much.

Along with his wife, Katherine White Dumke, they co-founded the Katherine W. and Ezekiel R. Dumke, Jr. Foundation in 1988.  Although Zeke and Kay have derived great pleasure in providing support to various community organizations, their greatest source of pride are their four children, Betsy (Scott) Thornton, Claire (Steve) Ryberg, Zeke (Angela) Dumke III, and Andrea (Mike) Manship, 14 grandchildren and great grandchildren.