My dad, our papa, George Dunavin was independent up until the last week of his life. Six days’ shy of his 95th birthday, he lived his life his way! Born in Hulbert Oklahoma on August 26th, 1922 the family moved to Tahlequah early in his life. His father’s Real Estate office was the old Dawes Commission office above todays Meigs Jewelry store. He graduated from Bagley High School in Tahlequah.
George is a Veteran of both WWII and the Korean wars. He chuckled telling the story of how he and a couple of friends went down town to enlist for WWII; dad was the only one who passed his physical exam, that’s when his friends just waved bye he said! He used to say he was in long enough that he joined the Army Air Corp and came out of the United States Air Force. Dad served in the Pacific Islands on Tarawa and IE SHIMA as a supervisor for Air Traffic Control (ATC). IE SHIMA had three landing strips; he landed General MacArthur and the plane of Emperor Hirohito during the beginning of surrender proceedings. He was also classified as a Sharp Shooter. He was Recalled into service for Korea as an instructor for ATC. When discharged, he returned to his beloved Cherokee County and Tahlequah. He married Marie Teters in a union that lasted for 35 years. Both never remarried. They and their son Tom moved to California in the 50's where he began a lifelong career with Allstate Insurance Company as a Senior Claims Adjustor. I was born in Los Angles and dad again was missing Cherokee County. He requested a transfer to get back to Oklahoma, and took the closest one with Allstate in 1959 in Ft Worth, Tx. In 1961 Allstate called him and said there was an opening in Tulsa, OK. We moved HOME to Cherokee County! He finally settled in the Muskogee office at the time when Allstate worked out of Sears Department Store. He traveled to disaster sites, one being Hurricane Camille!
Dad owned two farms, both with approximately 200 acres. One in the Shady Grove area which he sold in the mid-seventies and then purchased the old Judge Miller place on East Allen Road. Dad loved his Saturday morning trips to town and having coffee at a few selected 'coffee shops'. He loved cooking and taught his granddaughters how to make omelets. Within the last couple of years, he taught one of his caregivers (who was getting married) how to make gravy and fried chicken. He was a devout Democrat who loved talking politics, up until the week he passed!
After retirement from Allstate, he found a passion for golf and in 1994 had a stroke while playing his second round of 18 holes at Cherry Springs. His stroke was the end of his golf game, but not the end of his game of life. He was in control of what he did and was going to do up until the end, when he again decided he was ready to move his home into the heavens. He had many friends and acquaintances from the old to the young or young at heart in Tahlequah, at Cherokee Elder Care, and his Wisdom Keepers residence. Anyone who knew George had to appreciate his dry wit and humor or not! But he was straight and he was smart. He was one-of-a-kind for sure. His humor will be missed, Heaven I am sure is just now getting a peak at it....
George was a member of Bedouin Temple (Shriner), charter member of Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks, The American Legion, DAV, and the Cherokee Nation. George was very proud of his Cherokee heritage, and loved the Cherokee Veterans Center.
He is preceded in death by his son, Tom Dunavin, his parents A.J (Bud) Dunavin and Amy Potts Dunavin. His sisters Neoma LaFevers and Lydia Adams. He is survived by his daughter Connie Dunavin of Tahlequah, his granddaughters Tonia Brown (Tulsa), Whitney (Tahlequah) and Brittany Dunavin of Muskogee. His great-grand sons Zachary, Peyton, Joshua and Noah.
Connie Darling, never more beautifully have I seen a more elegant story written of a person that you described your father in! I AM so Blessed for your friendship & those of our parents!!! I was the lucky girl you & your family moved within a mile from! All prayers, love & hugs to you my PRECIOUS FRIEND!
Freda MedlinHulbert, OK
Hope him and Daddy are having a good visit. You are in my prayers.
Annette BrightwellRogers, AR
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dad! George was always so inviting to all the neighborhood kids in the Shady Grove area. He allowed us to swim and play in the creek on his property and I have many fond memories of playing on your farm, picking watercress, catching cray dad's at the slab. He always joked and talked with us and was interested in what we were doing. He even invited a bunch of students (FBLA) to come to his office to see what he did and he tirelessly answered a million questions. We went away with a much better understanding of the insurance process that has stayed with me through the years. This is a very nice picture of your dad, he hasn't changed much through the years, I recognized him immediately. My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of loss.
Kathey Medlin KellerHarvey, OK
Connie, your dad was a great man who raised an amazing daughter. Love you and our thoughts and prayers are with you. Tom and Teensie
Tom and Teensie EckertTahlequah, OK
Connie, you were the best daughter anyone could ask for. All my love and prayers during this difficult time. Nubbie
Laura RobertsonBroken Arrow, OK