Thomas C Dodgen

October 7, 1924June 27, 2020

COLUMBIA – A funeral service for Thomas Clayton Dodgen, 95, will be private on Monday, July 6, 2020 at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church. Burial will follow in St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church Cemetery. Dunbar Funeral Home, Dutch Fork Chapel, is assisting the family. Friends and family are encouraged to join services via live-streaming at 9:55 a.m. at

Mr. Dodgen died Saturday, June 27, 2020. He was the youngest son of the late John Henry Dodgen and Bessie Mills Dodgen.

Mr. Dodgen was born in the Mason community of rural Saluda County on October 7, 1924, and raised in the West End Mill Village in Newberry, SC. After his graduation from Newberry High School in 1941, Mr. Dodgen worked for eighteen months in the cotton mill alongside other family members. He was inducted into the U. S. Army in April 1943, and attended medical basic training at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. After seven months of additional medical training and stateside service, Mr. Dodgen shipped out to North Africa, where he received additional training. Assigned to the 20th General Hospital, Mr. Dodgen was transported by ship from North Africa, through the Suez Canal and across the Arabian Sea to Mumbai (Bombay), India, and then by rail across India to Ledo, the source terminus of the supply route “over the hump” into China. Mr. Dodgen served for two years in Ledo as a water supply technician, operating, servicing, and maintaining the mobile water purification equipment for the 2,000-bed military hospital located there. After the war’s end, Mr. Dodgen was shipped from Kolcota (Calcutta), India, across the Pacific Ocean to Portland, Oregon, then by rail across the country to Augusta, Georgia, and finally by bus back home to Newberry.

For twenty-five years, Mr. Dodgen worked as a mechanic, alongside his brother Ulysses (Wis), in the tractor-trailer shop of Gibbes Machinery Company in Columbia, SC. After leaving Gibbes, Mr. Dodgen went to trade school and became a machinist, and worked for Hewitt-Robins at the rock crusher manufacturing plant in northeast Columbia, SC, for another twenty years before retiring.

Mr. Dodgen was quite the storyteller (a skill inherited by his three sons), and he enjoyed working on his cars and fishing. In his younger years he was a good roller skater; later in life he enjoyed bowling and was a member of a senior bowling league for over twenty years, continuing to bowl weekly until bowling alleys were closed by the coronavirus crisis. After retirement he and his wife Nomalee traveled about the southeast with Nomalee’s sister, Sarah Bowles and her husband Jimmie.

Surviving are his sons, T. Wayne Dodgen (Cheryl) of Irmo, SC and John L. Dodgen (Elizabeth) of West Columbia, SC; five grandchildren, Melissa Lawhorn (Trent), David Dodgen (Brittany), Rachel Dodgen, Ben Dodgen, and AJ Dodgen; and three great-grandchildren, Olivia Lawhorn, Miles Lawhorn and Thomas Lawhorn.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his four brothers and five sisters; his wife of 51 years, Nomalee S. Dodgen; and his son, Robert E. Dodgen.

The family wishes to thank the nurses and doctors of the CCU at Lexington Medical Center for their skilled, compassionate care during Mr. Dodgen’s final days.

Memorials may be made to St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, 1416 Broad River Rd, Columbia, SC 29210; the Alzheimer’s Association (; or the American Cancer Society ( Memories may be shared at



Thomas C Dodgen

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Laurie Dodgen Ferguson

July 6, 2020

So sorry to hear of Uncle Clayton's passing. It is obvious that he was surrounded by loving family. At times like this I wish we had kept in closer contact over the years. But know that even with the distance of time and location, family still means a lot and we are grieving your loss with you.

Celia Dodgen

July 4, 2020

Wayne & John and all other family members:
We were sorry to learn of Clayton's passing on last Saturday. He was very special to Henry and I both. He had a good sense of humor and this was a special talent which God gave him. We will be remembering all of the family and praying that God will fill this void in your lives. To lose both of your parents is a great loss and it will take time to adjust. We will be remembering you each step of the way. Celia & Henry

Bernard and Faye Hawkins

July 3, 2020

Wayne, Cheryl, John and Elizabeth,

Our sincere condolences in the loss of your loved one. We had knowledge of the accident and thought he would be fine in time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this very difficult time.