Dunagan proud to be an active part of Natchez

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 5, 1999

When Kitty and George Dunagan married in December of 1994, they made an immediate move from California back to George’s childhood home in Natchez.

It’s a marriage and a move that Kitty Dunagan said was two of the best things she’s ever done.

Even though George died from cancer January 15 of this year, Kitty is glad she’s in Natchez.

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&uot;My family and friends in California asked when I planned to move home,&uot; she said. &uot;I told them I am home.&uot;

The community in Natchez has helped her through the grief.

&uot;I can’t express my gratitude to so many in Natchez who have helped me so much since my husband died.&uot;

Dunagan is quick to return the support she’s received. Active in the VFW Auxiliary, she is proud to put together the welcoming basket for the national VFW Auxiliary President when she visits Natchez on April 8.

When Dunagan was told that there is a three-month wait for headstones in the National Cemetery, she organized a group of three ladies from the Auxiliary who will lay red, white and blue carnations on the graves that are awaiting headstones.

Dunagan has also joined the local Historical Society. She is proud to say that her connections in the Historical Society aided her in locating her husband’s great-grandfathers’ graves in the National Cemetery. The confirmation of these ancestors as Confederate veterans of the Civil War enabled George Dunagan to fulfill a long-time dream of joining the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The notification of his acceptance in the organization came in the weeks just prior to his death.

Dunagan enjoys courses at Co-Lin Community College and is active in the Learning In Retirement program. She will host guests during the Literary Festival in June and the Opera Festival in May.

A retired commercial property manager and realtor, Dunagan has nine grown children and four feline kids who keep life active.

Dunagan has a wonderful perspective on life. Humor is critical, she said. You also have to make the most of what you have.

When planning her wedding years ago, thought of a simple ceremony in a judge’s chambers. Then, friend Jeff Farish gave George Dunagan a Confederate officer’s uniform. &uot;That’s when we decided to do the antebellum wedding,&uot; she said. Not one to go halfway, Dunagan rented her wedding dress from a costume shop in San Francisco, noting with pleasure that it was a costume used in a production of &uot;Show Boat.&uot;

The wedding was wonderful despite the bad news that immediately preceeded it.

Doctors in California told George Dunagan that he had prostate cancer at a time when he and Kitty were first considering marriage. &uot;The doctors told him, ‘You’re in Phase II, and chances are you’ll die in five years.’ Well, we piled a lifetime of life and love in a few years and had a wonderful marriage.&uot;

If she hadn’t married George, she would have missed the man of her dreams and the home of her future.

&uot;Natchez has a wealth of knowledge and so much pride in who we are and what we stand for, and I’m so proud to be part of that ‘we.’&uot;