Thomas Scott Dabney

Thomas Scott Dabney

Thomas Scott Dabney II, 97, died on March 26, 2014

Mr. Dabney was a long-time resident, businessman, and civic leader in Lake Village.

He was born on January 23, 1917 in Helena and was the son of the late Alva Earl Dabney and Catherine Elizabeth “Bess” Bailey Dabney.

After graduating from Lakeside High School in 1933 at the age of 16 and too young for college, Mr. Dabney worked days at the City Drug Store located on Court Street across from the court house square. At night, he entertained with his dance band which he advertised as “Scott Dabney and his Orchestra. Music that pleases; rhythm that teases.”

He attended Marion Institute in Marion, Ala., the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas. It was here that he met and married Mary Julia Armstrong, daughter of James Edward “Doctor” Armstrong and Mattie Othello Hagood.

In 1941, Mr. Dabney went to work as an electrical engineer for the General Electric Company, first in Houston, Texas, then in Schenectady, NY, and then in Beaumont, Texas.

During World War II, Mr. Dabney worked 16 hours a day, seven days a week, designing and commissioning electrical systems manufactured by General Electric and installed into war ships. On December 1, 1946, based on work during the war, General Electric awarded Mr. Dabney the company’s most prestigious award for achievement in the field of electrical engineering: the Charles Coffin Award.

From 1943 to 1955, he lived in Beaumont and Dallas working for General Electric Company, and became an expert in diesel-electric oil drilling rigs.

Mr. Dabney returned to Lake Village in 1955, and after farming briefly, he started a surveying company which became Dabney Engineering, a company that expanded from surveying into civil engineering and utility construction with projects throughout Arkansas and in Mississippi and Louisiana.

He was the Chicot County Surveyor in the 1960s and in 1977 he became president of Lake Village Chamber of Commerce. While serving as the chamber president he fought to keep the Lake Chicot Restoration project from succumbing to a federal budget cut.

In April 1977, Mr. Dabney married Dorothy Jean (Dot) Rhodes.

He retired at the age of 91 and lived in Flat Rock, NC with his daughter, Sandra. Last year, he moved to Tomball, Texas to live with his son, George.

Mr. Dabney loved playing golf, playing music, and especially being with his family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Julia Armstrong; grandson, Davis Lowry, second wife, Dorothy Rhodes; and step-daughter Sharon McCord.

He is survived by his three children, Tommy and wife Sherry Dabney of Plano, Texas, Sandra and husband Jim Thaxton of Flat Rock, NC, and George and wife Barbara Dabney of Tomball, Texas; four step-daughters, Donna and husband Gary Belyeu of Memphis, Tenn., Glenna Ridgway of Memphis, Tenn., Polly and husband John Fricke of Bryant, Jenny and husband Rick Avery of Bella Vista; and 23 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held March 31 at 2 p.m., at Lakeside United Methodist Church with Rev. Rita Kopecki officiating. Burial will follow at Lake Village Cemetery under the direction of Bishop Funeral Home of Lake Village.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to your favorite charity.