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Kathlyn (Cosper) Dunagan

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Kathlyn (Cosper) Dunagan Obituary
MONAHANS Kathlyn Cosper Dunagan, age 97, died peacefully on March 2, 2012, in Austin, Texas, of natural causes. She was born April 7, 1914, in Shep, Texas, the daughter of William Harmon and Lillie Florine (Goode) Cosper. The family moved to Abilene in 1919 and later to Midland where she attended Midland High School, graduating summa cum laude. She married John Conrad Dunagan in 1933 and moved to Monahans, Texas, where Conrad worked as manager, partner, and ultimately president of the Monahans (later Permian) Coca-Cola Bottling Company. She attended the University of Texas at Austin where she was Assistant Curator of the Anthropology Museum and Secretary to the Chairman of the Department of Anthropology in 1935-36.

Kathlyn was always active in the community. A loyal member of the PTA and a devoted room mother for all her children, she was elected the first woman member of the Monahans-Wickett-Pyote Independent School Board (1952). She was also a staunch supporter of the Girl Scouts of America, serving five years as a member of the Permian Basin Council Executive Board and five years as a Troop Leader for two troops; she later received local and statewide Woman of Distinction Awards in recognition of her efforts. Kathlyn was an enthusiastic member of several civic clubs in Monahans. In 1938, she joined Wednesday Study Club, serving in many offices throughout the life of the organization. As a co-founder of the Desert Sands Garden Club, organized in 1961, she served as project chairman for numerous landscaping efforts in the region, including the West Texas Children's Home, the Ward County Library, the Monahans Chamber of Commerce, the Million Barrel Museum and Dunagan Square.

With her lifelong love of learning, Kathlyn was especially devoted to the Ward County Library, spearheading the bond election in 1966 that established the new library in its present location. She served as first president of the Friends of the Library Board and remained a member of the board and acting treasurer until 2010. She was also a supporter of the University of Texas at the Permian Basin, chairing the initial book drive that collected over 130,000 books for the University's new library in 1972. She served as president of the Board of Directors at the University's Presidential Museum in 1977, and endowed a Professorship in the Humanities at the institution in 1984. In 1990, the University awarded her a Medallion in appreciation of her efforts. She was also a charter member and president of the Permian Honor Scholarship Foundation, which she co-founded with her husband Conrad. An avid reader, Kathlyn was also an accomplished writer, authoring numerous newspaper articles and several histories for The Permian Historical Annual.

One of Kathlyn's most enduring accomplishments was her 10-year effort with her husband that resulted in the establishment of the Monahans Sandhills State Park in 1957. Later, during a period of state budget reductions, she chaired a drive to save the park from closure and in 1992 was elected President of the Friends of the Monahans Sandhills State Park, a capacity she retained until 2007. In 2008 she became President Emeritus. During her tenure, she chaired a drive to renovate the park's museum and entrance. In 1999, the museum building was dedicated as the J. Conrad and Kathlyn C. Dunagan Visitor Center.

Kathlyn was the recipient of many other awards. During her school years she won statewide recognition in mathematics and typing. She was also a state champion snare drummer. As an adult she was named Monahans Woman of the Year (1960), Outstanding Clubwoman of the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs (1968), and Monahans Outstanding Citizen from the Chamber of Commerce (1989). In addition, she received many prizes for flower arranging and horticulture, as well as numerous blue ribbons for her needlework, which included dressmaking, embroidery, and needlepoint.

Kathlyn was preceded in death by her mother and father and by sisters, Nez Arnett, Vic Young and Fauline Jacobs and brother, Frank Adams. She is survived by sister, Willie Theodocia Ernestine (Theo) Hatch of Tucson, Arizona; sisters-in-law, Lorena Blanche Jones of Midland and Virginia Ann Hardy of Abilene; five children, Deanna Dunagan of Chicago, Illinois; John Charles Dunagan and wife Kathleen Dunagan of Wellington, Florida; Carol Husbands and husband Thomas Luftus (Tom) Husbands of San Marcos, Texas; Kathleen (Kathy) Dunagan of Austin, Texas and William Claiborne (Clay) Dunagan and wife Terry Dunagan of St. Louis, Missouri and by 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

The family gratefully acknowledges the loving support, care and devotion of the following people: Joyce Crabtree, Liz Gonzales, Christy Pena, Wanda and Bud Rush, Rena and Don Shelton, and the Visiting Angels Senior Care agency, especially Lupe Quintanilla.

Services will be held at First United Methodist Church in Monahans on Friday, March 9, at 2:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be directed to the Friends of the Monahans Sandhills State Park (PO Box 387), Million Barrel Museum (PO Box 114), or First United Methodist Church (600 S. Alice), all in Monahans, TX 79756, or a charity of one's choosing.
Published in Odessa American on Mar. 8, 2012
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