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Samuel Dunbar

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Samuel Ross "Sammy" Dunbar Sr.
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175px Samuel_Dunbar_of_Alexandria,_LA.jpg
Born(1931-11-05)November 5, 1931
Alexandria, Rapides Parish
Baptised(1931-11-05)November 5, 1931
DiedAugust 31, 2014(2014-08-31) (aged 82)
Alexandria, LouisianaAugust 31, 2014(2014-08-31) (aged 82)
Resting placeGreenwood Memorial Park in Pineville, Louisiana
ResidenceAlexandria, Louisiana
Other names
Alma materBolton High School
Tulane University
Known for
Spouse(s)Phyllis Dean Nanney Dunbar
ChildrenSamuel Dunbar, Jr.

Melanie D. Jurgensen
Dianna Kathleen Dunbar

Four grandchildren
Parent(s)Ida Davis and Ross Hawkins Dunbar

Samuel Ross Dunbar, Sr., known as Sammy Dunbar (November 5, 1931 – August 31, 2014), was a businessman, landowner, and civic figure in his native Alexandria, Louisiana.


The son of Ita Davis (1897-1986) and Ross Hawkins Dunbar (1890-1967),[1] he graduated second in his class in 1949 from Bolton High School in the Alexandria Garden District. In 1953, he was awarded with honors a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Tulane University in New Orleans,[2] where he was president of Delta Sigma Pi, a business fraternity. He was the student body president of the School of Business and received the "Outstanding Graduating Senior" award. He was inducted into the Tulane Hall of Fame and Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. Upon graduation from Tulane, he served two years in the United States Army with the occupation force in South Korea. He achieved the rank of first lieutenant.[3]


In 1955, Dunbar returned to Alexandria and joined Clark-Dunbar, Inc., a furniture business, first as treasurer and then vice-president. Upon his father's death in 1967, he became president and chairman of the board. In 1981, Clark-Dunbar was named the state's "Distinguished Retailer of the Year" by the Louisiana Home Furnishings Association. He was president of the Louisiana and Southwest home furnishings associations and chairman of the board of the National Home Furnishings International Association. Eventually, Dunbar left the up-scale furniture business and turned his building into a successful office complex known as Dunbar Plaza, located on Jackson Street Extension. The Dunbar family held much timberland on which petroleum was discovered.[4]

In 1979, Dunbar was elected the youngest director of the former Guaranty Bank & Trust Company, housed in the tallest building on Third Street in downtown Alexandria. Subsequently, he was the city director of the former Hibernia National Bank. Guaranty merged in 1987 into Capital One;[5] Hibernia did so as well in 2005. For twenty-eight years, Dunbar was president of Cotton Land Corporation of Alexandria.[3]

His civic contributions included the Salvation Army, United Givers Fund, Chamber of Commerce, Young Men's Christian Association, Little Theater, and the Rapides Symphony Orchestra. For nearly six decades, he was a member and president of the Alexandria chapter of Rotary International and a Paul Harris Fellow. With his lifelong friend Edwin Caplan, an Alexandria clothing merchant, Dunbar created the Rotary "Service Above Self" Award to honor those who work generously for community needs. He was a senior warden and member of the vestry of St. James Episcopal Church in Alexandria.[4]

Death and family[edit]

Dunbar died in 2014 at the age of eighty-two. He was predeceased by his wife, the former Phyllis Dean Nanney (1935-2001), a native of Hendersonville, North Carolina. The couple had three surviving children, Dr. S. Ross Dunbar of Prescott, Arizona; Melanie Dunbar Jurgensen and husband, Michael, of Alexandria; and Dianna Kathleen Dunbar of Denver, Colorado, and four grandchildren.[3]

The Dunbars are interred along with his parents at Greenwood Memorial Park in Pineville, Louisiana.[1]

Others articles of the Topics Louisiana AND Business and Economics : Dan Hollingsworth, Nelder Dawson, Buddy Tudor, P. Elmo Futrell Jr., Jack Breaux, Jack Batton, Morgan W. Walker Jr.

Others articles of the Topics Business and Economics AND Christianity : Morgan W. Walker Jr.

Others articles of the Topics Louisiana AND Christianity : Morgan W. Walker Jr., Angelo Roppolo

Others articles of the Topic Louisiana : Henry L. Bridges, Jasper Goodwill, Billy Guin, John Henry Baker, Roy O. Martin Jr., George E. Hearn, Julius Patrick

Others articles of the Topic Business and Economics : Dan Hollingsworth, Buddy Tudor, Freemium, Zach Dasher, BearQuick, Morgan W. Walker Jr., Nelder Dawson

Others articles of the Topic Christianity : Dean Burgon Society, Mike Schmitz, International Christian Church, Christian Life College, Morgan W. Walker Jr., Church of the Good Shepherd (Raleigh, North Carolina), Major basilica


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Dunbar in Rapides Parish, Louisiana". Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  2. "Alexandria businessman Samuel Dunbar has passed away at 82". KALB-TV. September 4, 2014. Archived from the original on September 21, 2014. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Samuel Ross Dunbar". 'The Alexandria Town Talk. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Richard P. Sharkey (September 3, 2014). "Alexandria businessman Dunbar left legacy of success". The Alexandria Town Talk. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  5. "Guaranty Bank and Trust Company". Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Retrieved September 21, 2014.

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