If there’s a major high school sporting event in the area, particularly basketball, chances are Ron and Myrt Dunigan will be there.
“We just love sports. We both played basketball in high school and we both still like to watch it today,” Myrt said. “We’ve made a lot of connections and friends. If there’s a good game, we’re going. We even go to Columbia every year for the state finals, even if a local team isn’t there.”
And it’s not just basketball.
The Dunigan couple takes in high school football games during the fall, and baseball games and golf meets in the spring.
“I’m at a football game every Friday night,” Ron said. “We also get to some of the freshman and junior varsity games.”
Ron and Myrt have lived in Union for the last 15 years.
They moved to the area after retiring to be closer to their son, Greg Dunigan, and his family.
Greg Dunigan is a well-known high school sports figure in the area. He’s currently the athletic director at St. Clair High School and formerly was the head boys basketball coach at Union, Washington and St. Clair.
Because Greg is now at St. Clair, Ron and Myrt attend St. Clair events most often. But it’s also common to see them at games involving Washington, Borgia, Union and Pacific.
“We’re glad we moved here. It’s been great,” Myrt said. “We have no intentions of going anywhere.”
Ron and Myrt have been married for 56 years. They have two sons, Greg and Grant, who is a financial consultant in Ohio.
The Dunigan boys were raised in St. Joseph and both attended Benton High School and Missouri Western State University.
They both played high school basketball and Greg went on to play at Missouri Western.
But Ron and Myrt started watching basketball long before their boys played in high school.
“We’ve seen a lot of games and a lot of things happen,” Ron said. “We’ve watched riots break out in the stands in two different games back in the early 1970s in the Kansas City area before Greg got to high school.”
Ron coached Greg and Grant when they were boys.
The Dunigans, who have six grandchildren and one great grandchild, grew up in different small towns in the northwest part of Missouri.
They both played high school basketball. Myrt’s girls games were half court basketball.
“We were 22-2 my junior year,” Myrt bragged.
“I played pickup basketball with Myrt’s brother and that’s how I met her,” Ron said.
With Ron working as a cattle buyer during his career, the Dunigans moved to Colorado in 1979 and then to Kansas in 1987 before retiring, which is when they moved to Missouri in 1999.
Myrt retired as a district administrator supervisor for the State of Kansas Welfare Department.
In addition to taking in various high school sporting events, Ron and Myrt also are heavily involved with their church, Zion United Church of Christ in Union.
Ron and Myrt both enjoy playing golf. Ron joins a group of approximately 20 golfers once a week during the golf season to play at different courses throughout the area.
Additionally, Ron is a three-time world champion in team penning, which is a horse riding activity that gives a team of three riders on horseback from 60 to 90 seconds (depending on the class or the sanctioning of the event) to separate three specifically identified cattle from a herd of 30, and put them into a 16-foot x 24-foot pen through a 10-foot opening, at the opposite end of the arena.
When Greg still was coaching in the area, Myrt helped at all of his summer camps with registration and any other functions that needed attention.
“I got to know a lot of the kids through those camps, and some of them are in high school now,” she said. “It’s neat for us to watch a lot of these kids grow up and play.”