Dwight J. Munger, Sr., 68, of Emmett, Idaho, passed away suddenly of natural causes at his home on September 27, 2021.
A Graveside Service with military honors will be held at Emmett Cemetery on Friday, October 8, 2021 at 2:00 PM, under the direction of the Potter Funeral Chapel in Emmett.
Following the service, a reception will be held for family and friends will be held at The 4H Building at Gem County Fairgrounds in Emmett. A delicious meal of Mexican food from Dwight’s favorite restaurant will be provided to our guests.
Dwight was born on September 2, 1953, in Bristol, Connecticut to Dwight Munger and Doris Marion Fuller-Munger. Bristol was his childhood hometown until 1972 when he moved to Idaho following the death of his parents.
Almost instantly the beauty and majestic places of Idaho captivated his heart and became the place he called home.
A Winter wedding was held at The United Methodist Church on December 11, 1972, Dwight married Lynnea J. Wingate (Hire) of Emmett, Idaho.
Dwight felt and answered his personal calling to serve his country. Without hesitation, he joined The United States Marine Corps. (USMC).
Within days following the wedding, the two newlyweds, relocated to Camp Pendleton in California. Dwight and Lynnea had their two children while “in the service” and “on base”.
In 1978, after his honorable discharge, the newly formed family of four moved back “home” to Emmett, Idaho.
Dwight worked briefly at Boise Cascade Sawmill. Then he began his lifelong career of long haul truck driving. He always had affection for trucks, big rigs, and powerful engines. Very fittingly, he was both a truck driver and owner-operator throughout his 40-year career. He just retired last spring.
Dwight and Lynnea were divorced in 1997. In 1998 Lynnea married Ellis Hire. Dwight never remarried. Instead, he devoted his time and love to his work and to his kids. Lynnea, Ellis, and Dwight became and remained close friends. The three of them serve as proof that differences can be forgiven and forgotten. True friendship and forming a family is possible for anyone when they strive to be humble and kind. Dwight, Lynnea, Ellis, kids, grandkids, and relatives enjoyed holiday meals and no special occasion steak dinners together quite often. This is simply a testament of his strength, humility, and integrity.
Dwight is survived by his son, Dwight J. Munger, III, Emmett, Idaho. His daughter, Melissa A. Munger-Spaeth, son-in-law, John Spaeth, grandson, Tristen Spaeth, and granddaughter, Jaydin Spaeth, all of Rogue River, Oregon. His sister, Phyllis Duchaine, of Florida. His sister, Carol Winslow of Connecticut. His sister-in-law, Billie Hyde-Munger of Emmett, Idaho. His sister-in-law Ann Lucenti-Munger Crystal of Connecticut. His many beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins in Idaho, Connecticut, Florida and Vermont.
Dwight was preceded in death by his parents Dwight and Doris Munger, sister Jane Munger-Avery, brothers: Frederick “Bud” Munger, Richard “Dick” Munger, and Raymond “Ray” Munger.
Dwight was often seen or thought to be quiet or standoffish. In a way, this is true of him. But, it was only skin-deep. Those who took a moment to get to know him found a uniquely kind, funny, and enjoyable man.
Dwight enjoyed and appreciated the simple things in life. As an example, each week Dwight looked forward to eating a delicious meal at Jalapeno’s Mexican Restaurant in Nampa, Idaho. The owner of the restaurant, Irma Valdivia, was someone he thought of as his "daughter from another mother” [as younger folks now say]. Dwight’s kids and Irma have been friends since their childhood. For Dwight, Irma and her staff were as much his “people” as his children were. He appreciated his meals there and the sense of belonging he felt there. For him, it meant something, it was a highlight of his life for the past several years.
Dwight had a ‘son by proxy’ you might say as well. Brendan Grimsley, is his “son from another mother” [again in the vernacular of the young and hip folks of today]. Brendan, his son’s closest and dearest friend, quickly became his other kid. When Dwight’s son was injured in a bad car accident a few years back and lost his hand and arm, Brendan stepped up to the plate in every way to help. Not only did he help take care of his injured son, he also helped with the upkeep of the house, yard, and things. As with most families, they experienced their ups and downs. But, at the end of the day, he was proud of Brendan, and he loved him as a son.
Dwight was always truly proud to be a Marine. A little known secret to most everybody is that every year in December he went on a very special and unmentioned Christmas shopping spree. Without ever saying a word about it to anyone he would fill up two carts full of toys. One cart he filled with gifts for boys and one cart he filled with gifts for girls. Dozens and dozens of toys he bought for children that were unknown to him throughout the Treasure Valley.
After completing his purchase, he would push his overflowing carts to the front of the store. US Marines clad in their dress-blues, there to collect Toys For Tots were delighted as he surrendered his kind contribution to his fellows of The USMC. A customary “Semper Fi”, an “Oorah”, a hand shake, and a salute of gratitude was exchanged. Then in his quiet way he would go home and call it a day.
To honor him, to celebrate his life, and to carry on his legacy, of his little known charitable Christmas tradition, in lieu of flowers or plants, we ask that you please make a donation to the Dwight J. Munger, Sr. Memorial Toys For Tots Fund [Webpage].
You may make a safe, secure, and tax-deductible donation by visiting the following link:
We thank you in advance for your donation and contribution to remember our Dad. He believed in KINDNESS and in helping others. Your willingness to help The Marines and less fortunate children to have a Merry Christmas is something you can be proud of. Our Dad will be proud of you from Heaven too!
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dwight J. Munger, Sr., please visit our floral store.
Dwight J. Munger, Sr. Memorial Toys for Tots Donation Fund
18251 Quantico Gateway Drive, Triangle Gateway VA 22172