Carlsbad has more sad news this week about two prominent citizens passing away.
Ed Dunagan, a World War II veteran, died this week at age 103. Dunagan was one of the World War II Veterans honored at our previous two Independence Day celebrations.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1942 through 1945, rising in rank from Private to Captain in the Pacific Theatre. He served in the 879th Ordnance Company that maintained heavy equipment and firearms.
Ed’s son, George, has shared a story with us about Ed’s closest friend, Bob White. The two did everything together in high school. Bob enlisted when Ed was drafted into the War. They parted ways going to officer candidate school, and Bob became a pilot of Mustang fighter airplanes in Europe. He was shot down over the English Channel in 1944. His body was never recovered.
“Ed came home and was married, raised a family, has led a full life,” George Dunagan wrote. “He never forgot his best friend Bob, who enlisted so that he and Ed could be together. We must remember them. They are the ones who have given their lives so that we can pursue the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that is still the promise of America.”
So today, as we mourn Ed’s passing, we also celebrate his remarkable life, and we salute the heroism of men such as Ed Dunagan and Bob White, who made such a life possible.
Carlsbad also lost one of its most recognized artists, Grace Knox, who passed away on March 31. Knox is nationally recognized for her work on cowboy and western paintings.
Grace lost her parents at a young age, but she put herself through college because she dreamed of becoming an artist. She moved to Carlsbad after college, where she met Robert “Bob” Knox. They married in 1951.
Grace was one of the nation’s most accomplished cowboy artists. She displayed her paintings at the prestigious Mountain Oyster Club’s Invitational Western Art Show for many years, and a variety of other locations. She painted two of the life sized horse statues in the “Trail of the Painted Ponies.” Her painting of a historical train robbery were used in the book “:Heritage of an Outlaw” and her paintings were purchased by numerous celebrities.
More recently, she enjoyed teaching art at the North Mesa Senior Center. We offer our condolences to Grace’s family and friends, and we were honored to have such a talented artist teach classes in Carlsbad for many years.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway