DITCHLEY—Virgin Waddy “Gus” Dunaway, affectionally known as Captain Gus and Daddy Gus, was born on July 21, 1929, and was the oldest child of Clarence and Clara Waddy Dunaway.
He grew up in Weems, also known as “Black Stump or The Branch,” and was educated in the public school system. Gus grew up and became a kind and caring man who was loved by all who knew him, both near and far. He never met a stranger he didn’t engage and would talk to everyone. Gus was born and grew up around water, and thus developed a love for anything and everything that had to do with water.
Gus served in the United States Army from 1952 to 1953 during the Korean War as a soldier in the 58th Float Bridge, building pontoon bridges. He loved and looked forward to his reunions with his Army buddies. When greeted with “Thank you for Your Service,” he always followed with “My Country ’tis of Thee.” After leaving the Army, Gus was employed by the Smith Corporation in Port Monmouth, N.J., where he served as a boat crew member. Later in life, he was employed by Zapata Haynie in Cameron, La., and Omega Protein for 47 years. Gus retired as a captain of his beloved vessel, The Q.O. Dunn.
In 1956, Gus married the love of his life, Theresa “Louise” Morris, and together they were blessed with seven children: two sons, Barry and Dean (Leslie) Dunaway, and five daughters, Chandra (Ernest) Robbins, Lynette (Glynis) Hall, Vernette (Patrick) Young, Sharon (Cartelis Sr.) Wilson and Shawan (Rev. Ashley) Davis. They were happily married for 64 years, and May 2021 would have been their 65th wedding anniversary. Gus loved himself some “Louise” and Louise loved herself some “Gus.” They were a great model of marriage for their children.
He joined his wife and moved his membership to Calvary Baptist Church, where he served as Sunday school teacher, trustee and deacon. When he wasn’t talking about his children, he’d gladly tell you about his grandkids. He was a proud “Daddy Gus.”
Gus was a man of many skills to include a great barber and oysterman. He loved traveling to Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York to sell oysters. Gus remained active in his retirement and just could not sit and do nothing. He continued working as a landscaper well into his 80s. He also chartered tours and served as tour guide to Tangier Island.
Although he was very busy, he took pride in and always made time for his family. Gus truly loved the Lord and doing the Lord’s work. He always had a smile on his face and genuinely loved people. He was looked up to throughout his community. He also cherished and loved his relationship with the crew members of his ship, and many of them looked to him as a father figure. In his later years in life, one could always find Gus at Lee’s Restaurant or Subway in Kilmarnock. The staff always knew exactly what he wanted to eat by simply how he walked in the door.
Gus transitioned peacefully to his heavenly home on Thursday morning, March 4, 2021. Gus was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Clara; his sisters, Fannie and Viola; his brothers; Bernard and Donnie Dunaway, and Paul and Floyd Carter.
He is survived by his brother, George (Shirley); sister, Carrie Carter; sisters-in-laws, Helen Carter, Pauline Carter, Martha Carter, Lillian and Bertine Dunaway; brother in-law, Thornton Waller; 16 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, one great-great-granddaughter; a goddaughter, Sherry Gregory; special friend, Deacon Johnny James; “Like Daughters,” Glenda Brown-Snowden and Michelle Davis; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and many other extended family members.
A funeral service was held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 13, at Calvary Baptist Church. Interment followed in Calvary Cemetery, Kilmarnock.