Walla Wallan Ginger Kelly wants other hot air balloon enthusiasts to know about the death of Chauncey Morgan Dunn, who died Oct. 8, 2012.
He was the “inspiration for the Walla Walla Balloon Stampede,” Ginger said.
He brought his balloon and an all-girl crew to Walla Walla in 1972 for a demonstration at Whitman College.
He was balloonmeister in 1974 for the local stampede and returned on occasion to participate in the stampede with his hand-painted Western Spirit balloon, Ginger said.
The Lakewood, Colo., man was often dubbed “Dean of Modern Hot Air Ballooning,” perhaps because he set 15 world-class altitude records in 1971 to 32,956 feet and in August 1979 while attaining more than 53,000 feet, as sanctioned by the Federation Aeronautic Internationale and the National Aeronautical Association.
When he managed to climb into the stratosphere in an open, nonpressurized basket with his record-breaking ascent of 10 miles, he was honored by the FAI.
He carried master instructor and commercial ratings in gas and hot air balloons with flights totaling 3,479 hours, and flew the Goodyear Blimp Columbia.
He served as vice president and treasurer of the Balloon Federation Board of Directors and served as board director of and organized the Colorado Balloon Club.
The owner of 21 balloons, he loved designing them. His personal trademark came through the unique art designs of his balloons.
His first commissioned hand-painted balloon, Dream of Flight, is part of the Forbes Museum in Balleroy, France.
He strongly advocated safe, competitive flying, founded many first races and was balloonmeister for many races, including the U.S. Nationals.
He founded Rocky Mountain Gas Balloon Society and flew the first gas balloon across the Continental Divide, a feat featured in National Geographic.
Walla Walla Chapter 12 of Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington is offering its annual $500 scholarship to local schools, said Dorothy Hall, scholarship committee chairwoman.
Recipients must be descended from a pioneer who established residence in Washington during or prior to 1870 or in Oregon during or prior to 1853, Idaho during or prior to 1863 or Montana west of the Rocky Mountains crest during or prior to 1863.
Applicants should reside in Walla Walla County, or in the city or rural routes of Dayton or Milton-Freewater. Applications from high school juniors, seniors or grad students are accepted through May 15.
For additional details, contact Dorothy at 1054 Francis Ave., Walla Walla.
Contact Annie Charnley Eveland at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8313.