Cover photo for Benjamin Allen Dunn's Obituary
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Benjamin Allen Dunn

August 3, 1941 — December 25, 2023

Central

Benjamin Allen Dunn

 

          Benjamin Allen Dunn passed away on Christmas Day after a long battle with dementia. Though his passing was heartbreaking to us, for him it was truly the most joyful and triumphant Advent as he stood in the presence of Christ. Whether you knew him as Allen, Dr. Dunn, Dad, or Poppy, he was a man of great love, great faith, great wisdom, great humility, great courage, and great compassion. In short, he was a great man, and the world is poorer for his loss.

         Born on August 3, 1941, in Etowah, Tennessee, Ben Allen, as he was known growing up, was the oldest of four children. He enjoyed a near idyllic childhood in Alcoa, Tennessee and graduated from Alcoa High School in 1960. Interested in a career that would lead him outdoors, he enrolled in the University of Georgia’s School of Forest Resources where he studied Forestry and served as president of FarmHouse Fraternity. Most importantly, in the summer of 1963, he met the love of his life, Joyce Moss, while completing his required summer forestry camp. Allen graduated in 1965 receiving his B.S.F. in Forest Resource Management and was simultaneously commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army. A few days later, he and Joyce were married and began their lifelong journey together. After training at Ft. Moore (formerly Ft. Benning), Georgia he joined the 1st Infantry Division in Ft. Riley, Kansas, which almost immediately deployed to the Republic of Vietnam. Allen led the Reconnaissance Platoon of the 2/28th Infantry Battalion (“Black Lions”) for the next several months before transitioning to serve as the Executive Officer of Headquarters Company. In June of 1966, his understrength Recon Platoon was ambushed by the Viet Cong while on what was supposed to be a relatively safe mission, resulting in the entire 16-man patrol being killed. The toughest duty Allen ever performed was identifying the remains of these soldiers who had become his brothers.

        After leaving the Army, Allen returned to the University of Georgia where he earned his M.F. (1968) and Ph.D. (1971) in Forestry before embarking on a career in academia. He joined Clemson University’s Department of Forest Resources in 1973 and for the next 33 years enjoyed a career in teaching, research, and administration at the University. In addition to being a Professor of Forestry, he served as President of the Faculty Senate from 1990 to 1991, Chair of the Forestry Department from 1994 to 1995, Director of the School of Natural Resources from 1995 to 2001, Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences from 2001 to 2004, and Director of the Institute of Environmental Toxicology from 2004 until his retirement in 2006. Allen further demonstrated his devotion to education and public service through his work on numerous boards and associations. He was elected to the Pickens County School Board in 1982 and served for 12 years, including several years as Chair. He was a member of the Six Mile Lions Club, served on the Board of the Great Smoky Mountains Association, was active in the Society of American Foresters, served on the South Carolina Forestry Commission, and on the board of the Forestry Association of South Carolina, among others. After retiring, Allen lavished his time on his family, friends, and particularly his grandchildren.     

       Above all, Allen was a disciple of Jesus Christ who lived out his faith on a daily basis. Over the years he taught Sunday School and served as a deacon, but his greatest ministry was demonstrating the love and compassion of Christ to everyone he met. No one was greater or lesser in Allen’s eyes; he treated everyone with kindness, dignity, and respect. He was a constant encouragement and an unceasing source of wisdom and counsel to all who knew him. Micah 6:8 states:

        He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

        Allen lived out these commands to the end and could say, as Paul did to Timothy, that he had fought the good fight, he had finished the race, he had kept the faith.

        Allen was predeceased by his parents, Ben and Imogene Dunn, and his sister, Jean Dunn. He is survived by the highlights of his life, Joyce (nee Moss) his beloved wife of 58 years: his three children, Benjamin (Maureen) of Chapin, SC, Sonya of Central, SC, and Boyce (Karen) of Central, SC: and ten grandchildren, Benjamin Dunn, Patrick Dunn, Molly Dunn, Luke Dunn, Katie Bryant (Ethan), Palmer Story, Eli Story, Owen Dunn, Brooks Dunn, and Grace Dunn: and two greatgrandchildren, Harper Bryant and Knox Bryant: siblings, Mike Dunn (Sandy) and Judy Ivens, both of Alcoa, TN: and numerous nieces and nephews.

        The family will receive friends at 1 pm on Saturday, December 30th, at Crosspoint Church, 1019 Tiger Blvd, Clemson, followed by a Memorial Service at 2 pm. Thereafter, burial will be at Memory Gardens, 586 Issaqueena Trail, Central.   

        In Lieu of Flowers, please send memorials to Disabled American Veterans, https://www.ihelpveterans.org/; or the Dementia Society of America,  https://www.dementiasociety.org/; PO Box 600,  Doylestown, PA 18901, 1-800- DEMENTIA (800-336-3684).

Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home is assisting the Dunn family.

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Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, December 30, 2023

1:00 - 1:45 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, December 30, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Burial

Saturday, December 30, 2023

3:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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