Graveside services for S.M. Dodson will be conducted at 11 a.m., Tuesday, May 31, 2011, at South Park Cemetery, with Harold Hobson presiding. The Veterans Honor Guard will perform military rites.
Honorary pallbearers will be John Gilmore, Johnny Barajas, Doug Whitney, W.H â€œBillyâ€ Suggs, John Baylor, Bob Kille and Bob Jenkins. Sab passed away at Villa Del Rey, on Friday, May 27, 2011. Sab was born in Timbo, Ark., on March 29, 1925. He was the eighth child of George W. and Cenia Powell Dodson. Preceding him in death were his parents; two brothers, Aruis and Jim; and his sisters, Georgia Crymes, Zelda Furlow, Edith Brown, Irene Swonke and Evelyn Yancey.
Survivors include his wife Maurine of the home; daughter Janet Douglas, her husband Donald, and their sons, Whitney and Robert, of Williamsburg, Va.; his daughter, Alice Stiles and her husband Larry, of Roswell, and their children Alison, Julie and Jacob; his son, Jerome Dodson and his wife Debbie, and their daughters, Mellisa and Jamie, of Las Cruces; son, James M. Dodson, of Roswell; and 14 great-grandchildren. Sab was reared and received his schooling in Plummerville, Ark.
He later moved to McCrory, Ark., where he was engaged in farming with his father and brother, Jim. Sab was a rural letter carrier prior to military service. He served in the Army and transferred to the Army Air Corps in 1946, where he was assigned to the 509th Bomb Group, Roswell Army Air Field. The 509th was the final atomic strike force.
He was a member of the task force that dropped the first hydrogen bomb at Bikini Island in 1952. Separating from the Air Force in 1953 with the grade of master sergeant, he entered into private business. He owned and operated the Castle Egg Farm, north of Dexter, for 31 years. Sab and fellow airman, Milton Sprouse, of Escondido, Calif., were instrumental in obtaining a 1/10 scale model of one of the original B-29 bombers that hangs in the RIAC terminal today.
The Roswell Army Air Field/Walker Air Force Base Veterans Assn. presented this plane as a gift to the city of Roswell in April 2003, to leave a legacy to the B-29 and in recognition of its service during war and peace. This replica is Daveâ€™s Dream, a sister ship to Enola Gay and Bocks Car.
A brief history of its service is on display in the terminal. Sab was a member of the Dexter and East Grand Plains Lions clubs for 48 years, attaining life membership and receiving Lionisms highest achievement award, a Melvin Jones Fellow.
He was also a life member of Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge No. 969 of Roswell. Memorial contributions may be made in Sabâ€™s name to Lions International Sight Conservation Fund through any Lions Club, or to Elks National Foundation through the local Elks Lodge, or Cowboy Bell Scholarship of the First United Methodist Church of Roswell, 200 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Roswell, NM 88201.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at ballardfuneralhome. com.