Friday, December 2, 2022


 Donna Mae Dunagan McMillan went to her heavenly home on November 30, 2022. Born on December 28, 1948 in Tifton, GA, Mrs. McMillan was the wife of Emory David McMillan, Jr. and the youngest daughter of the late Rev. William Melvin and Frances Martin Dunagan.

Mrs. McMillan grew up as a preacher's daughter, spending much of her time playing the piano in church and praising the Lord through music. Upon marrying the love of her life, David, on June 29, 1969, she served as music director at Unity Baptist Church in Chattooga County and led a children's choir at West Rome Baptist Church in Rome, GA. She graduated from Shorter College in 1970 with a Bachelor of Music and later from Georgia College & State University with a Masters in Education. In addition to West Rome Baptist Church, she gave many years to children's choirs at First Baptist Church Vidalia, First Baptist Church Fitzgerald, and First Baptist Church Milledgeville. She also sang in adult choirs and was the organist at First Baptist Church Fitzgerald and pianist at First Baptist Church Milledgeville. She encouraged a love of music in children through choir festivals and children's musicals including We Like Sheep, It's Cool In The Furnace, and O Me, O My, O Nehemiah. Mrs. McMillan loved music and devoted her life to spreading the joy of music to her elementary students, church children's choirs, and church congregations.

Mrs. McMillan had a heart and calling for teaching. She taught many grades in elementary public schools before she began teaching elementary music where she was affectionately known as Mrs. McMusic to her youngest students. She led and co-directed many school musicals, including Annie Junior, Willie Wonka Junior, and Music Man Junior, and retired from Creekside Elementary School in Milledgeville in 2008. She also taught private piano lessons to many students, a few of whom have grown into professional musicians. Mrs. McMillan was also an active member of the Milledgeville and Clayton Music Clubs. Her joy and love for teaching inspired her students, coworkers, and family.

Following her retirement, Mrs. McMillan moved to Clayton in 2008. She and her husband found their home church at Rabun Gap Presbyterian Church. While there, Mrs. McMillan enjoyed serving once again through music by playing the piano, the organ, and singing in the choir. She also filled her days by participating in Presbyterian Women, book club, and Bible study. Mrs. McMillan lived to serve Jesus and love her husband, daughters, sons-in-laws, and granddaughters.

Mrs. McMillan is survived by her husband of 53 years, Emory David McMillan, Jr., her daughters, M'ryanne (Blaine) McMillan Peacock of Rabun County, Ga and Miriam (Kirk) McMillan Shook of Bogart, Ga, and granddaughters Emma Peacock, Abby Peacock, and Maggie Peacock.

Donna Mae Dunagan McMillan

The family will receive friends at the Rabun Gap Presbyterian Church from 1:00 pm until 2:00 pm on Saturday December 3, 2022.

A funeral service will be held at the Rabun Gap Presbyterian Church at 2:00 pm on Saturday December 3, 2022 with Rev. Don Barber and Rev. Grady Walden.

Burial will be held at the Brushy Creek Baptist Church Cemetery 454 Brushy Creek Road Ocilla, GA 31774 on Sunday December 4, 2022 at 2:00 pm with Rev. Robert Couey.

Beck Funeral Home, in Clayton, Georgia, is in charge of the arrangements. If there are any questions, please call 706-782-9599. An online Memorial Register Book is available at

Blogger Note: Donna Mae Dunagan McMillan is my 1st Cousin. She will be missed by all those who knew and loved her. 
I will miss especially seeing that warm welcoming smile and her sweet spirit.

William Bradley Dunagan

Monday, October 3, 2022


Summary of the October 2, 2022,
Dunagan Family Reunion
at the Gainesville Marina,

Including (unapproved) Business Meeting Minutes
We had 15 people at the reunion on October 2, 2022. We had a new
couple from South Carolina. The husband’s name is George Dunagan.
Wife is Mary. Kenny Dunagan, his two sons, and grandson attended last
year’s reunion for the first time. Kenny and his son Cody attended this
year, too. Jean Dunagan traveled the farthest from Greensboro, NC, (by
train) to attend this reunion.
The weather was a little windy and mildly cold, but it was a beautiful day at
the Gainesville Marina pavilion. After honoring the lives and passing of
Sandra Dunagan Deal and Roger Dunagan with a moment of silence, we
shared some vittles. The blessing was given by Michael Dunagan.
After the meal, we had a business meeting. The Secretary/Treasurer
Report was given by Michael Dunagan. There were no formal minutes to
be approved. The verbal report consisted of the current fund balance and
the following two motions made and approved at the 2021 reunion:
1) To postpone the placing of signage to the Ezekiel and Lydia Dunagan
gravesite and
2) To create a family tree centerpiece to feature at each reunion. Kenny
and his son, Cody, had volunteered to create the centerpiece.
Both motions were extended.
After the old business discussion was completed, Brad Dunagan led the
new business discussions. The following motions were presented,
discussed, and approved:
1) The attendees voted to continue the reunion as it is now, 1 year at a
time. [The original motion was to close down the reunion, but it was voted
down. Those present seemed to want to continue the reunion in spite of the
sparse attendance]

2) The attendees voted to approve Joan Wilson to supervise a project to
buy and sell Sandra Deal Camellias. [The selling price to relatives and
other interested individuals should cover the carrying cost and all related
expenses. This is not a fundraiser, but any surplus funds from this project
will be given to the Sandra Dunagan Deal Foundation. We will attempt to
procure wholesale costs.]
3) The attendees voted to give $500 from the reunion fund to the Sandra
Dunagan Deal Foundation.
A question was raised in passing about having entertainment at the reunion
meetings, which was formerly arranged by Brad Dunagan. An informal
recommendation was made, and the majority of the attendees seemed to
agree, that they wanted to have music at the next reunion [in particular, a
family jam].
The meeting was adjourned. We did not take a collection.
Respectfully submitted,
Michael Dunagan, Secretary/Treasurer

Not a part of the Minutes

Empirical Analysis
By Michael Dunagan,
October 2, 2022

1) An interesting observation was that only 4 out of 15 (27%) attendees
were local, that is from Hall County.
Gainesville - 4
Toccoa - 1
Cornelia - 1
Rome - 2
Madison - 2
Bethlehem - 2
South Carolina - 2
North Carolina - 1
2) Jean Dunagan traveled the longest distance. She said it was her first
time by train from Greensboro, NC.


Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Emilie Sandra Dunagan Deal


Former First Lady Emilie Sandra Dunagan Deal, age 80, of Demorest, passed away Tuesday, August 23, 2022.

Born on February 1, 1942, in Gainesville, Georgia, she was the eldest daughter of the late George Jeter and Ida Lou Waldrep Dunagan.

Mrs. Deal’s bright light shone throughout the state. As Georgia’s First Lady, Mrs. Deal promoted community service, volunteerism, and literacy initiatives alongside her husband of 56 years, Former Governor Nathan Deal. Mrs. Deal launched a statewide campaign called “With a Servant’s Heart” in 2011. In 2015, she co-authored a book, Memories of the Mansion. Mrs. Deal’s crowning achievement as First Lady was reading to more than 250,000 students across every Georgia county in over 1,000 classrooms.

Mrs. Deal was proud of her humble upbringing in the mill town of New Holland where she and her family attended New Holland Baptist Church. As a graduate of East Hall High School, she remained a vocal advocate of public education and community involvement. Prior to Mrs. Deal’s marriage to John Nathan Deal on June 12, 1966, she graduated from Georgia Women’s College (Georgia College and State University), where she later returned to earn her master’s degree in Education. As the daughter of two educators, Mrs. Deal made it her lifelong mission to teach and inspire all who would listen, particularly young children. 

Mrs. Deal remained dedicated to her community.  She was a long-time member of First Baptist Church of Gainesville, serving as a Sunday School teacher and a Prayer Group leader. She was dedicated to helping those in need and graciously gave her time and resources to local charitable organizations, such as Randy & Friends, Good News Clinic, and local food banks. Mrs. Deal served on several boards throughout her life, most recently Piedmont University and her alma mater, Georgia College and State University.

Survivors include her devoted husband, Governor Nathan Deal, son and daughter-in-law, Jason and Denise Deal of Gainesville; daughter, Mary Emily Deal of Atlanta; daughter and son-in-law, Carrie Deal and Clint Wilder of Rome; daughter and son-in-law, Katie Deal and Sam Comeau of Demorest; grandchildren: Fallin Deal, Rosemily O’Bradovich, Noah Deal, Dawson Deal, Cordelia O’Bradovich, Ethan Wilder; sister and brother-in-law, Brenda Dunagan and Frank Sims of Clermont; brother, Michael Dunagan of Cornelia; brother and sister-in-law, William Bradley and Mary Grant Dunagan of Rome; along with many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Reverend Bruce Morgan, who officiated the wedding of Governor and Mrs. Deal, will officiate the private service and interment. A public Celebration of Life is scheduled for 2:00 pm on Saturday, August 27, 2022, at Lanier Technical College, Ramsey Conference Center in Gainesville with Reverend Bill Coates officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages honoring First Lady Deal by supporting The Deal Foundation. The Foundation will continue her commitment to spreading the importance of lifelong learning and community leadership through scholarships, book distribution, and literacy programs. Donations can be made to The Deal Foundation, PO Box 2, Demorest, Georgia 30535.

The Celebration of Life service will be live-streamed, and details can be found at Memorial Park Funeral Home of Gainesville, Georgia.

Saturday, June 11, 2022



When John D Dunagan was born on 16 August 1799, in Jackson(Hall), Georgia, United States, his father, Ezekiel Dunagan, was 28 and his mother, Lydia Ann Brown, was 23. He was the 4th child born to this family. He married Martha Harlan on 17 March 1828, in Jackson, Georgia, United States. They were the parents of at least 7 sons and 6 daughters. He died on 10 August 1857, in Whitfield, Georgia, United States, at the age of 57, and was buried in Dunagan Cemetery, Rocky Face, Whitfield, Georgia, United States.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022


 We recently visited the small town of Summerville GA where my father was the Assistant Principal circa 1943-46. My sister, Brenda was born there and I believe this was dad's first job as a school administrator. The old school was still standing but abandoned for many years.

Brenda was with me and remembered the house they lived in at the time and is now being restored

Tuesday, May 10, 2022


William Bradley Dunagan

After 6 years and five different Neurologists I finally received a diagnosis. They determined I do have a brain. However, that's not the problem. I was recently diagnosed with Sporadic Inclusion Body Myositis.

This is a recent photo on my 69th birthday. The first thing you may notice is the muscle tissue in my forearms are gone, just hanging skin. I have very little strength remaining in my hands, wrists and feet which for a long time I thought was arthritis developing in my extremities. Turns out, not to be the case. My quadriceps muscles, the large muscles on the front part of the thighs, have weakened to the point it's becoming a real challenge to stand up from a sitting or lying position. When I first begin to notice these developing symptoms, almost six years ago, I was scared to death that it might be ALS. However, the diagnosis of Sporadic Inclusion Body Myositis now has been confirmed by three Neurologist from Emory and The VA. They still want to do a nerve and muscle biopsy to be sure.

There is good news though! Life is Good! I've been told that this rare muscular degenerative disease should not shorten my life expectancy. However, the probability of me ending up in a wheel chair in a few years is very likely. The best news of all is it is not believed to be genetic or hereditary and this is the reason I wanted to post this information on the family blog primarily for the benefit of my children and my10 grandchildren. As I understand it, there is an autoimmune factor involved and it happens to mostly men past the age of 50. They don't know the cause or cure.

What is inclusion body myositis (IBM)?

Inclusion body myositis (IBM) is an inflammatory and degenerative muscle disease that causes painless weakening of muscle.

IBM gets worse slowly and is sometimes misdiagnosed as treatment-resistant polymyositis, another inflammatory muscle disease that causes muscle weakness. IBM also may be misdiagnosed as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease).

Symptoms of the disease usually begin after the age of 50, although the disease can occur earlier. IBM occurs more frequently in men than in women and is the most common muscle disease in people aged 50 and older.
What are the symptoms of inclusion body myositis (IBM)?

In IBM, the onset of muscle weakness usually is gradual, occurring over months or years. 
Falling and tripping usually are the first noticeable symptoms. 
For some people, IBM begins with weakness in the hands. 
People with IBM may have: Difficulty with gripping, pinching, and buttoning.
Weakness of the wrist and finger muscles.
Atrophy (shrinking or wasting) of the muscles of the forearms.
Weakness and visible wasting of the quadriceps muscles (the large muscles on the front part of the thighs.)
Weakness of the lower leg muscles, below the knees.
Weakness of the esophageal muscles, which can cause dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) in about 30 to 40 percent of patients.
Weakness of other muscle groups as the disease progresses.

From a medical historical perspective for the Dunagan Family on my side:

My father, George Dunagan, died a few weeks shy of his 93rd birthday from kidney failure and just old age. His brother, William Melvin Dunagan, suffered from diabetes before his death.

My Grandfather, William Andrew Dunagan, suffered from diabetes and heart disease. He died at age 59 from complications of Diabetes.

My great Grandfather, Jeter Andrew Dunagan, died in 1923, at the age of 60. Dad told me he was a builder and a craftsman carpenter. He fell from a scaffold working on a house and he never fully recovered from his injuries. I'm not aware of any health issues he may of had.

My 2nd Great Grandfather, John Franklin Dunagan, died at the ripe old age of 58. The only photo we have of him, he is sitting in a wheel chair and looks like he is at least 90 years old. He fought with the 43rd Infantry Regiment of Georgia in the Civil War and participated in over 100 battle campaigns which had to have taken a lot of years off his life.

My 3rd Great Grandfather, Joseph Ellis Dunagan, died at the age of 68. As far as we know he had no serious health issues but died from what they called "the fever" on his return trip back to Georgia from his second gold prospecting adventure out west.

Darline Dunagan Scroggs thinks that her great grandfather, Joseph Alexander Dunagan, one of 4 sons of John Franklin, may have had Parkinson's.

Ezekiel Dunagan, the patriarch of us Georgia Dunagans, and beyond, was my 4th great grandfather, died at the age of 66 in 1837, after fathering 19 children before viagra was invented, I might add. I stand in awe of this man! Veteran of the War of 1812, as was his first born son, Joseph Ellis Dunagan. To my knowledge he had no specific health issues that contributed to his death other than he was one horny dude. 😂