Margaret Alliene Dunagan

November 9, 1920August 13, 2018

Margaret Alliene Godwin Dunagan, 97, of Hickory, NC, passed away peacefully on August 13, 2018. She was surrounded by loved ones in her apartment at Kingston Residence of Hickory.

Margaret is survived by a son, David Lee Dunagan, of Peachtree Corners, GA; a daughter, Martha Gail Dunagan Branyon, and son-in-law David Watterson Branyon, M.D., of Hickory; grandson Ben Watterson Branyon of South Lake Tahoe, CA; granddaughter Susanna Gail Branyon Klingenberg, her husband Bryan Klingenberg, and great-grandsons David Lewis Klingenberg and Samuel Godwin Klingenberg of Raleigh; great-nephew Russell Smith, niece June Smith, and great-niece Becky Smith of San Angelo, TX; nephew J. David Dunagan of Decatur, GA; niece Alicia Dunagan Ferguson of Madison, MS; niece Diane Godwin Beason and nephew John Kilgo Godwin III of Georgetown, SC. Margaret was preceded in death by Woodrow Wilson Dunagan, her husband of 68 years; parents John Kilgo Godwin, Sr. and Alliene Clemons Godwin, step-mother Bertha Blakeley Godwin of Oceda, SC; and her brother, John Kilgo Godwin Jr., of Georgetown, SC.

Margaret grew up in Greeleyville, SC, where she enjoyed friendships with neighborhood children, church activities, and her large extended family that lived in nearby towns. During this time, she acquired her beautiful Low Country accent that stayed with her throughout her life.

Margaret met a handsome young soldier from west TN named Woody Dunagan. According to family lore, on their first date, Margaret tore one of her silk stockings while walking on rocks along the Broad River in Columbia, SC. They married in 1941.

Three years later, Woody took part in the invasion of Europe at Normandy with the Army Corps of Engineers. After the war, Margaret joined Woody in Europe. The couple stayed in Paris where Woody worked with the United Nations helping refugees put their lives back together after the devastation of war.

Over the next year and a half, Margaret and Woody enjoyed traveling throughout France, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Italy. In 1947, they returned to the states to start their family. He earned a law degree from the University of TN.

In 1960, the family moved from Knoxville to Tucker, GA., an Atlanta suburb. They built a happy home full of love and warmth. Margaret and Woody enjoyed sitting in the bleachers to cheer David on in his Little League baseball games and rooting for Martha in her high school basketball games. Margaret also enjoyed membership in the Garden Club and the Susanna Wesley Circle at Clarkston United Methodist Church. In later years, they enjoyed volunteering for Meals on Wheels. Margaret also enjoyed close friendships with her neighbors. She found special joy in spending time with her beloved grandchildren, Ben and Susanna.

After 40 years in Atlanta, Woody and Margaret moved to Arden, NC for retirement. In 2009, Woody died and Margaret moved to Hickory to be near family. In early 2010, she moved to Kingston Residence of Hickory and enjoyed being part of that wonderful community until her death.

At first, she was shy in her new surroundings, but later a nurse said nobody on staff could have guessed how charming and funny she was “until we got to know her!” Margaret was known for her lovely smile and gracious style, as well as her sensitivity if she saw someone having a bad day. She’d offer a tender touch or a kind word and sometimes alert staff to the person’s need for help or encouragement. Margaret will be missed by many loving family members and friends.

The family wishes to express heart-felt thanks for the Kingston staff and Margaret’s many friends there. In addition, Margaret’s final years were enriched by the ladies who started as companions and became dear friends. Thank you to Seniors Helping Seniors and Home Instead.

A memorial service to celebrate Margaret’s life is planned for 4 PM, Sunday, August 26, in the Fellowship Hall of First Presbyterian Church in Hickory. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Catawba Regional Hospice, 3975 Robinson Rd. Newton, NC 28658.

Condolences may be sent to the Dunagan family at

Drum Funeral Home in Hickory is honored to be serving the Dunagan family.


Margaret Alliene Dunagan

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