Eugene Cox Dunwody, 87, peacefully passed away at home on Saturday, January 9, 2021. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Macon with the Reverend Bill Heard officiating. The family will greet friends Tuesday, January 12, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at Hart’s Mortuary on Cherry Street. Please observe COVID-19 protocols. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery (North Gate). He was predeceased by his parents Mary Bennet Cox and W. Elliott Dunwody, Jr. and his brother W. Elliott Dunwody, V. Gene was born during the depression in 1933, and learned the advantages of thrift during his childhood. After finishing Alexander IV grammar school, he attended Lanier High School. Graduating from Lanier with honors, he entered Georgia Tech as part of the last all male freshman class at that Institution.
There he joined the Kappa Alpha Order and was later invited to be a member of the Ramblin' Reck Club, Koseme Society, Phi Eta Sigma, Tau Beta Pi and ANAK. Elected to the Student Council as a freshman, he served for four years before becoming President of the Council/Student Body in his senior year. He was also a member of the Georgia Tech Athletic Association and listed in Who's Who in Colleges and Universities. He graduated with honors and was number one in the School of Architecture where he earned his Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Architecture degrees.
Upon graduation he was selected to attend the Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, where he earned the rank of Ensign in the Navy's Civil Engineering Corp. Upon further training he was assigned to the Naval Industrial Reserve Shipyard in Tampa where he was the Resident Officer in-Charge of Construction. While there, he married Susan Howe Foxworth, whom he had met at a KA rush party in 1954. In December of 1958 he was transferred to Patrick Airforce Base where the CEC oversaw the down range missile tracking stations for Cape Canaveral. It was an exciting time to be at the Cape, and he was fortunate to have been able to write his name on the rocket that boosted the first missile to hit the moon. At the end of his elective service, he moved back home to Macon and joined the firm of his father W. Elliott Dunwody, Jr. Architect. Projects under his direction while there included Willet Library at Wesleyan, The Tarver Library at Mercer and the General Classroom Complex at the University of Georgia.
His interest in public affairs began with his appointment to the Macon-Bibb County Planning and Zoning Commission where he served as Chairman during a time when Macon Mall emptied the downtown area and the City lost title to Baconsfield Park. He saw leadership in the City was needed and ran for City Council after the city's charter was amended to allow representation by minorities. In late 1975 he was elected President of the first integrated City Council and served for 12 years under the leadership of Mayors Buck Melton and George Israel. Huge progress was made in turning the city around. His service was not limited to Macon, as he became a member of the National League of Cities where he served as Chairman of the Community and Economic Development Committee supporting changes in national laws and policies to be more equitable. He also served as President of the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, President of the Macon Rotary Club, Chairman of the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, the Macon Economic Development Commission. He was named Community Leader of the Year by Robins Air Logistics Center, received the Motie Wiggins Award for outstanding elected official by the Georgia Municipal Association, Georgia Tech's Dean Griffin Community Service Award, Macon Arts Alliance Cultural award, and NewTown's Kirby Godsey Leadership Award. Even with his commitment to community service, it was not all work and no play. Each summer, he, his wife Susan, children Susan, Gene, Jr., George, and Mary Bennet would take vacations both on the Atlantic coast and on the Gulf Coast as a family group. There were times when he had 20-25 members in one house, where he and Susan prepared all meals for a week (he was too thrifty to take them all out to eat).
Gene and Susan also enjoyed international travel, including trips to Mexico and cruises to Alaska, Nova Scotia, the Greek Islands and the Black Sea, including historical sites that he had studied in school, particularly those in Athens, Istanbul, and Cairo. One memorable non-cruise trip was a train trip across Canada from Toronto to Vancouver in January with temperatures 40° below zero. Another trip was going up the Columbia river in a paddle wheeler back tracking the Lewis and Clark Expedition. In Macon he spent his weekends on the golf course and attending First Presbyterian Church where he served as a Deacon, a Sunday School teacher, and a member of the choir. His love of music embraced a variety from Bluegrass to Classical. As a youngster he listened to the Lone Ranger on the radio every afternoon and spent many years tracking down its music from Rossini's William Tell Overture to Franz Liszt's Les Prelude. Later he was invited to join the Board of the Macon Symphony where he served several terms as President until local support waned.
He enjoyed playing golf at the Idle Hour Club. In 1976 he oversaw the first Diamond Cup Golf Tournament which continued for over forty years. This group of twelve would hold annual tournament at various locations including Sea Island, Hilton Head, Amelia Island, Deer Valley and Nyon, Switzerland. Because of his willingness to oversee arrangements, he was given the title Ayatollah, a term not universally recognized as an honor. Nevertheless, he was proud to accept it. Left to enjoy memories of Gene are his wife Susan, children Susan and Rob Andes, Gene and BJ Dunwody, George Dunwody, Mary Bennet and Matt Rose; grandchildren Cody Dunwody, Chason Dunwody, Peter Andes, George Dunwody, Jr., Mary Bennet Rose, II, Sam Dunwody, Matt Rose, Weston Dunwody, Ike Dunwody, and Jack Dunwody as well as Danielle Lasker, Jordan Lasker and Mackenzie Lasker; nephew, Elliott Dunwody VI (Beth); and niece, Kimbrough Donner (Beau); and many great nieces, great nephews, and cousins.
Other honors included being named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, membership in Gridiron, a Trustee of Wesleyan College, and Mercer's National Engineering Advisory Board, The United Givers Fund, Hay House Foundation, Museum of Arts and Science Trustee, Macon Nursery Schools, Alumni Trustee Georgia Tech, and the Museum of Aviation Foundation, and Who's Who in America.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the following: Alexander Tharpe Fund at Georgia Tech, Paul Harris Rotary Foundation, First Presbyterian Day School, or the donor's favorite charity.
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Hart’s Mortuary and Cremation Center, 765 Cherry Street, Macon, GA 31201 has charge of arrangements.
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