|Samuel Ross "Sammy" Dunbar Sr.|
Alexandria, Rapides Parish
LouisianaNovember 5, 1931
|Died||August 31, 2014 (aged 82)|
|Resting place||Greenwood Memorial Park in Pineville, Louisiana|
|Alma mater||Bolton High School|
|Spouse(s)||Phyllis Dean Nanney Dunbar|
|Children||Samuel Dunbar, Jr.|
Melanie D. Jurgensen
|Parent(s)||Ida Davis and Ross Hawkins Dunbar|
Background[edit | edit source]
The son of Ita Davis (1897-1986) and Ross Hawkins Dunbar (1890-1967), 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, 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.
Career[edit | edit source]
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.
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; Hibernia did so as well in 2005. For twenty-eight years, Dunbar was president of Cotton Land Corporation of Alexandria.
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.
Death and family[edit | edit source]
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.
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References[edit | edit source]
- "Dunbar in Rapides Parish, Louisiana". findagrave.com. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
- "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.
- "Samuel Ross Dunbar". 'The Alexandria Town Talk. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
- Richard P. Sharkey (September 3, 2014). "Alexandria businessman Dunbar left legacy of success". The Alexandria Town Talk. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
- "Guaranty Bank and Trust Company". Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
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