Dunagan returns Natchez kindness

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 17, 1999

Ask Barbara &uot;Kitty&uot; Dunagan why she volunteers with so many groups, and she’ll tell you it is her way of passing on the goodwill residents have shown her since she moved to Natchez seven years ago.

&uot;You hear of small towns being closed to outsiders, but I found that wasn’t the case here at all,&uot; Dunagan said. &uot;One thing that impressed me was the volunteer spirit of Natchez.&uot;

Shortly after the Dunagans moved to the area in 1995, her husband George, a U.S. Navy colonel and Korean War veteran, encouraged Dunagan to get involved with the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9573. The military was already close to her heart, since many relatives had fought in Americas wars, so she said yes – and she has been involved with the organization ever since.

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&uot;Basically, we sponsor programs that increase peoples knowledge of and appreciation for military history,&uot; Dunagan said.

Now, Dunagan helps place silk flowers on the graves of veterans who have just died, to mark the graves until headstones can be placed there. And since her husband passed away in January, she knows how much such remembrances mean.

Her latest project is finding materials to teach first-graders about the Pledge of Allegiance. Closer to Veterans Day, she wants to help Wal-Mart publicize its collection of donations to help pay for a national memorial World War II – a fund-raising effort that is already quietly taking place at the Natchez Wal-Mart.

Dunagan also plans to help identify the graves of Civil War veterans at the Natchez City Cemetery beginning this fall.

Dunagan also works with the Daughters of the American Revolution, Krewe of Killarney, and the Natchez Opera Festival.

&uot;I can’t not be busy,&uot; she said. &uot;Besides, I believe that when someone does you a kindness, its your job to pass it along.&uot;