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Col. Noble Horace Dunson Sr. / July 06, 2010
South Boston News
Col. Noble Horace Dunson Sr.
Col. Noble Horace Dunson Sr., a long-time resident of Loudoun Heights, Va., and current resident of Fayetteville, N.C., peacefully left this world June 24, 2010 in the lakeside cabin he hand built on the shores of Kerr Reservoir near Clarksville.

Col. Dunson was born Jan. 17, 1920 in DeKalb, Texas, the oldest child of Arthur Elijah Dunson and Madie Ora (Cowen) Dunson. Col. Dunson grew up in Godley, Texas and graduated from Godley High School. After enlisting in the United States Army in 1938, he completed his basic training at Fort Polk, La. His first duty station was at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, where he met his wife, Evelyn Inez Oliver.

They enjoyed a 57-year marriage, sharing an adventurous life around the world and the U.S. while raising four sons. They were married in Macon, Ga., at her sister Rebecca Jones’ home and set up housekeeping in Fayetteville, N.C., where he was stationed at Fort Bragg. Their next duty station was at Camp Stoneman, which was the Army’s staging center for troops being sent to the Pacific Front during WW II. In November 1942 Master Sergeant Dunson was nominated to attend West Point but was over age by just months. His army sponsors sent him to Officer Candidate School at Fort Holabird, Md., where he earned a Reserve Officer’s commission as a lieutenant in Ordnance.

In October 1945 he was among the first foreign troops to occupy Japan. While stationed there, he was involved in setting up the occupation army’s government to pacify Japan. From Japan, Capt. Dunson was sent to China and was one of the last U.S. Army officers to leave China ahead of the Communist takeover.

Back in the States he was assigned to Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas in June 1946. In June 1949 Capt. Dunson and his family were sent to Bremen, Germany. Promoted to major, Dunson was a member of the Counter Intelligence Corps, which was charged with rooting out Communists in the German government.

In March 1951, Major Dunson was assigned to Stuttgart, Germany. In August 1952 Major Dunson was sent home to Fort Holabird, Md.

In 1954 he was sent to the Army War College and later to Command and General Staff College. In May 1955 Major Dunson was stationed back at Fort Sam Houston, where he received a promotion to lieutenant colonel and was awarded a regular army Commission. Next he served a hardship tour in Korea following which now Col. Dunson was assigned to the Pentagon in the personnel department in charge of duty assignments for all officers below the rank of Colonel.

His next duty assignment was another hardship tour in Vietnam. He was stationed at the airport in Saigon where his housing quarters were bombed in the evening by sappers, resulting in many casualties.

Col. Dunson’s work habits saved him as he was still at the office.

Another close call came when Col. Dunson was in the helicopter with his commander Gen Joseph Stillwell Jr., when it was shot down.

Returning to the Pentagon Col. Dunson was made the Chief of the Courier Service. During his Army service, Col. Dunson earned many awards and commendations, including The Legion of Merit, the Army Commendation Award with three clusters, and the Bronze Star.

Col. Dunson was a Mason.

Col. Dunson retired from active duty in 1971 after 33 years in his nation’s service. Along the way he had many outside interests.

Col. Dunson was a master poker player. He hunted and fished in numerous locales including the Black Forest of Germany, the North Sea, Alaska, Canada, as well as Texas, Virginia and Maine.

He had permanent party status at Fort AP. Hill, He was the first president of the Hideaway Association of Clarksville.

In his retirement he collected an enormous number of Indian arrowheads around Kerr Reservoir.

He enjoyed gardening and telling stories of his adventures to his loving and large family as well as his numerous friends.

He enjoyed playing with his grand children and great-grandchildren who affectionately called him “Como.”

Col. Dunson was predeceased by his wife Evelyn in July 1998, his brothers John, Buster, Jackie and Eddie, and a sister Faye.

He is survived by his brother Frankie of Joshua, Texas, and sisters Dolores Crook of Irving, Texas, Flora West of Godley, Texas, and Shirley Inglis of Arlington, Texas. Col. Dunson is survived by four sons, Noble Horace Dunson Jr. and wife Marcia of Bucerias, Mexico; Keith Lionell Dunson and wife Linda of Belfast, Maine.; Russell Allan Dunson and wife Joy, of Fayetteville, N.C.; and Jeffrey Clark Dunson of Purcellville, His grandchildren are: Anya Pollara of Montague, N.J.; Karen Sokol, Md., of Burlington, Vt.; Jennifer Kirchoff of Hope, Maine, Jessica Dunson-Todd of Belfast, Maine; Shea Howard of Bud a Texas; Leigh Dunson of Austin, Texas; Ryan Dunson of Fayetteville N.C.; Randall Dunson of Cleveland, Tenn.; Colette Dunson of Purcellville; and Alyssa Dunson of Purcellville, Col. Dunson had eleven great-grandchildren.

Col. Dunson will be interred at 9 a.m. on Oct. 12,2010, at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors, beginning at the old Fort Myer Post Chapel.

There will be a reception at the Officers’ Club following the graveside service.

There will be a time of remembrance and celebration on July 3, 2010 at the ReCon pavilion, Clarksville, and a memorial service at the Ebenezer United Methodist Church of Neersville, Va., Sunday, July 25 at 2:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory can be made to the American Diabetes Association at

Col. Dunson cast a long shadow and will be sorely missed by his large and loving family and his many friends. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at

Arrangements are by Watkins Cooper Lyon Funeral Home of Clarksville.

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