Services
Canale Funeral Directors
2700 Union Avenue Extended
Memphis, TN 38112
(901) 452-6400
Visitation
Saturday, Jul. 13, 2019
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Second Presbyterian Church
Funeral service
Saturday, Jul. 13, 2019
2:00 PM
Second Presbyterian Church
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Dunbar Abston Jr.


1931 - 2019
Dunbar Abston Jr. Obituary
Dunbar Abston, Jr.

Memphis - Dunbar Abston, Jr., noble-minded Christian, husband, parent, brother, uncle, scholar and friend, died peacefully at home on July 9, 2019. He was born in Memphis to Esther Cook Abston and Dunbar Abston, Sr. He was educated at The Lawrenceville School where he was valedictorian, then went to Harrow School as an exchange student in England where he was fortunate enough to meet Winston Churchill. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University, followed by Harvard Business School where he was a Baker Scholar. He then joined the Navy with an officer commission and served in the Intelligence Division in Morocco.

Upon return to Memphis he joined the family business, Ozburn-Abston, founded by his father and godfather Field Ozburn. The company later became Parts, Inc. His career there as President and CEO spanned three decades with his brother, Frank Norfleet serving as board chairman. At the age of 56 Dunbar retired and went to Oxford University in England where he was awarded a Master of Philosophy Degree in 1989.

Dunbar was devoted to the Memphis community and served on many boards including Rhodes College, The Memphis Zoo, Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis Symphony, The Memphis Library Foundation Board, the Hutchison School, the Plough Community Foundation, the Suicide and Crisis Prevention Center, and First Tennessee Bank.

His love of learning and his enthusiasm for education revealed itself in the establishment of a chair at Lawrenceville School in honor of his father, Dunbar Abston, Sr. He served on the board there and led a successful capital campaign. He established a chair at Rhodes College, The Connie Abston Chair of Literature. He built the Abston Early Childhood Center at The Hutchison School. In recognition of his love for education his family established the Dunbar Abston Chair for Sustainable Excellence with the Tennessee Shakespeare Company, an organization which reaches and educates many hundreds of children in the public schools each year.

At Rhodes College's Meeman Center, he designed and established in 1987 a program "The Lore of Literature" which he taught for some 15 years!

Dunbar was predeceased by his brothers, Frank Norfleet and Everett Norfleet. He is survived by his beloved wife of 41 years, Connie Condon Abston. He leaves his children, Lauri Arnold (Jon), Josh Abston (Jennifer), Linda Larsen (Robbie), Fleet Abston (Amy) and his adopted children, Selden Popwell (David), Martha Early, Cole Early, and Elizabeth Gore (Jeff). He also leaves sixteen grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and one great great-grandchild, who all brought him great joy.

Dunbar was a faithful member of Second Presbyterian Church and joyfully sang in its choir for many years. The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Church Health Center or a . The family wishes to express gratitude to Genella Hopkins for her loving care and to Nicole Wells, Lucatheryn Wilson, and Jeanette Thomas, as well as the Trinity Hospice care.

There will be a visitation at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 13 at Second Presbyterian Church followed by the funeral service celebrating Dunbar's life at 2:00 p.m. Burial at Elmwood Cemetery will be private at a later date. Thanks be to God for the life of this wonderful man.
Published in The Commercial Appeal on July 12, 2019
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