A Life Lived: Walter “Clyde” Dugger enjoyed people and being a friend to those in need

Published 11:14 am Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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Editorial Director
Reader’s Digest recently carried this quote from Veronica Roth: “I belong to the people I love and they belong to me – they and the love and loyalty I give them, form my identity far more than any word or group ever could.”
Clyde Dugger had a lot of love. It stretched to include a lot of people – his family, neighbors, church family, co-workers, and just people in general.
“He was one of those people who never met a stranger. He enjoyed people and he could always find someone to talk to,” said his son, Glenn Dugger.
Clyde was one of nine children of Arthur and Blanche Finney Dugger and grew up in the Buntontown community near Watauga Lake. He grew up playing baseball in the Depression era,
and enjoyed traveling around to communities in the area to play ball. His love for sports never diminished as he enjoyed watching his sons and grandsons play sports and he carried the chains for the Hampton High School football team. “He did that for at least 15 years,” said Glenn.
He was also a big fan of the Elizabethton Twins. In addition to sports, Clyde enjoyed attending the Bluegrass Festivals at Slagle’s Pasture and Covered Bridge Days in Elizabethton. “If there were people there, you’d probably find Dad,” said Glenn.
Clyde also enjoyed collecting Dale Earnhardt memorabilia, especially caps.
For a number of years, Clyde worked for Summers-Taylor Construction Company, but retired from the Carter County Highway Department. “He could do a lot of things and enjoyed helping people. I recall that he helped a church friend pour concrete for his basement and dig a waterline,” said Glenn.
“He was a hard worker and never missed a day of work. In the beginning when he worked for Summers-Taylor, he would work 10 to 12 hours a day. He grew up hard. The family raised tobacco and farmed. I remember my dad as an extremely happy person, who was never afraid of hard work,” shared his son.
Clyde was a faithful member of Valley Forge Christian Church and had mowed the church lawn for a number of years. “He quit mowing when he was 85 years old,” said Glenn.
Clyde was 92 years old when he died February 9 at his home. He was preceded in death by his wife, Norma Ruth Irick Dugger, a son, Steve Dugger, and all of his brothers and sisters except two.
In addition to Glenn and his wife, Greta, Clyde had a daughter, Sherry Ayers and husband, Steve, and a daughter-in-law, Ginger Dugger. He had several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He also had two surviving sisters, Betty Jo Montgomery and Peggy Brown.
Glenn shared that his father was baptized at Elk River Baptist Church in his younger years, but after his mother died, he began attending church regularly at Valley Forge Christian. “He was a faithful member. He was there for services Sunday, Wednesday, and on any other occasion. He loved the Lord and his church family,” shared Glenn.
After his retirement, Clyde enjoyed hanging out with friends at Blackberry Station in Valley Forge. “He enjoyed stopping in for a cup of coffee and talking to his buddies,” said Glenn.
Clyde also enjoyed fishing and the outdoors…and he enjoyed listening to gospel music.
“My dad never met a stranger…at least not for long,” shared Glenn.
Clyde was laid to rest Feb. 12 in the Whitehead Cemetery in the Little Milligan community.
A friend wrote on the funeral home tribute page: “I always enjoyed Clyde’s sense of humor and if there is fishing in heaven, and if he’s not too busy saying hello to everyone there, he can be found sitting on a creek bank.”
Walter “Clyde” Dugger definitely was a people person, who saw the good in people, appreciated it, and wanted to be a help to those around him. Definitely, he loved socializing and having a good conversation.

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