Arthur Dunn

Published 5:51 pm Thursday, May 26, 2022

Life: Arthur Dunn grew up as the oldest child of the late Arthur Dunn Sr. and the late Petronia Avery Dunn of Cusseta, Alabama and was born on Oct. 5, 1929, in Chambers County. He departed this life on Friday, May 20, 2022. Early in life, he accepted Christ and was a faithful member of Hall Memorial C.M.E. Church in Valley. Through his years at Hall Memorial, he served in many capacities such as Sunday school superintendent, steward and choir member.

He attended grade school and junior high in Shawmut and graduated from Lanier High in Lanett and Tuskegee University, where he earned numerous medals in track and field. He has also studied at the University of Maine and the University of San Francisco.

Arthur was a second lieutenant in the U. S. Army and was honorably discharged.

On December 23, 1954, Arthur made a lifelong commitment of love and faithfulness to the late Ollye Shaver Dunn. To this union, three children were born: Tamalita, Aquenda and Kevin.

Preceding him in death are Ollye Shaver Dunn, his loving wife for over 54 years; his brother, Ross Dunn; his sisters, Letronia Dunn and Elizabeth Barnes; and his daughter-in-law, Deborah Dunn.

Coach Dunn spent 37 years in the field of education, including 16 years as a coach and math teacher at Valley High School and five additional years teaching after his retirement from coaching. Before beginning his career at Valley High, Dunn taught at Davis Trade School in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, taught at Five Points School in Five Points, Alabama, and taught and coached at his beloved Rehobeth High School in Valley. He was principal of Hopewell Junior High in Hopewell (Milltown) and also taught mathematics at Greenville High School in Greenville, Georgia, for two years.

When he retired as coach in 1986, his teams had accumulated a record of 379 wins and 161 losses. Coach Dunn earned a Meritorious Service Award from the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association. 

While at Rehobeth, he believed it was his job to take the boys home after practices. When they had a game, he took all the players home after the game. He used his truck for many purposes such as driving through the crowd in the field when his boys were “misbehaving.” He rode around town at night checking to see if any players were missing their coach-mandated curfew. His wife, Ollye, rode with him.

Coach Dunn ruled his students with “a short hose pipe and a stern voice, but students still loved him because they knew he cared.” When Coach walked the hall, things changed. People would say, “Here comes Coach Dunn!” Teachers would run as well as students.

Coach went to Valley High School in 1970 under integration laws. He made history by becoming the first Black basketball coach at Valley High School. Coach faced this situation as a great man for a great task. The Valley High Rams were champions that year. God always has a plan; just look at Jeremiah 29:11. In his retirement, he continued to be a dedicated Mathematics tutor.

Legacy: The new gymnasium at W. F. Burns Middle School officially became the Coach Arthur Dunn, Jr. Gym, named for an amazing legend who was a longtime educator and coach.

He leaves to cherish his precious memories a loving and devoted daughter, Minister Tamalita (Reverend Leonard) Autry of Lanett; two loving and dedicated sons, Aquenda (Patricia) Dunn of Covington, Georgia and Kevin R. Dunn of LaGrange; grandchildren: Shaver Autry, Clifton (Crystal) Autry, Latoya Ash-Dunn, Heather Dunn, Cameron Dunn, Olivia Dunn, Daniel Quen Dunn, Annslee Dunn and J’Arthur Dunn; great-grandchildren who lovingly call him “Paw Paw:” Ian Crim-Davis, S. J. Autry, McKinley Grace Autry, Matthew Dunn, Jordyn Morgan, Cayden Dunn and Princeton Dunn; one sister-in-law, Rosa Leatherwood Dunn; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

A home-going celebration for Coach Dunn will be held on Saturday, May 28, 2022, at noon EDT in Ram Stadium with Rev. Micheal Stiggers as the officiant, Rev. Eric Stamp as the eulogist and  Rev. Michael Winston, Rev. Jesse Walker, II, Rev. Richard Carter, Bishop Donald Lancaster, Rev. Frederick James, PhD, and Rev. Willie G. Wimberly assisting.

Public viewing will be held on Friday, May 27, 2022, from 2 p.m. EDT until 4:30 p.m. EDT at the mortuary. The family will receive friends on Friday, May 27, 2022, at the Hall Memorial CME Church at 208 Huguley Road, Valley, Alabama 36854, from 6  p.m EDT until 8 p.m. EDT.

To express online condolences to the family, visit www.mwleemortuary.com

Arrangements entrusted to M. W. Lee Mortuary of West Point.