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Dobson was on the board of directors at Trustmark

Dopson more than just a banker

By Michael Butler

Arnold Dopson was known by most Tallasseeans as the longtime president of the Bank of Tallassee, but Dopson was so much more. Dopson died on Saturday. He was 84.

A philanthropist, a member of several boards and organizations, a singer in the choir at his church, a friend to so many; Dopson served in a variety of capacities in the Tallassee community.

"I've known Arnold since 1973," Delmar McCaig said. "We moved next door to the Dopsons in 1987. I started doing my banking with the Bank of Tallassee in 1973 when we moved to Tallassee. Arnold was a good friend and wonderful next door neighbor."  

McCaig, who worked at Neptune, aided Dopson with computer technology during the early transition years for banks.   

"Arnold set up a card table in his living room and we had several meetings where I exposed him to some very basic computer programming and computer operation around 1974. After that time, I always talked to Arnold exclusively about banking. I always enjoyed banking with Arnold because he was always fair and honest in all of our business dealings," McCaig added. "I never heard Arnold say one derogatory remark about anyone.  He will be truly missed in Tallassee because of his generous and active involvement in our community's civic activities. Most importantly, there will be a great void in his beloved First Methodist Church because of his absence."

Dopson was a member of the Masons that met in Tallassee. He was in the Tallassee Lions Club for more than 60 years. He served on the advisory board of directors with Trustmark and was a charter member of the board of directors at Community Hospital. He was a member of the McCraney-Cottle Ars Council and principal of the Blount Foundation. He was past president of the Alabama Bankers Association. He participated in several fundraising efforts for the Tuckabatchee Area Council of Boy Scouts. At Tallassee First United Methodist Church, Dopson sang in the choir.

Billy McKenzie said he knew Dopson longer than anybody with exception of Dopson's twin brother Donald. McKenzie and Dopson graduated from Tallassee High School together in 1948.

"We go a long way back," said McKenzie. "We both went to Auburn. Then he went to what is now Faulkner. He wound up going to New Orleans for his Masters in Banking. In 1952, we were drafted into the Marine Corps. We went to Paris Island at the same time but were not in the same platoon. We got out in '54.

"He went to work at the Bank of Tallassee. I went to work with my father-in-law at the funeral home. We were neighbors. We used to play cards together. We cooked out together."

Those get-togethers never ceased. "We had a good group of guys that would go out to my hunting lodge and cook steaks. We did that once a month and had a great time." McKenzie said Dopson was a "class act."
"He was always a straight up guy. Whatever he did, he did a good job. At the bank, he went from teller, to president, to chairman of the board."

Dopson had 50 years in the banking business.

Local businessman Ben Atkinson and Dopson had a long friendship. "Mr. Dopson was true example of   faithfulness to his creator, wife, family, church family and his town of Tallassee," Atkinson said. "Mr. Dopson and I met in September  1986 and he became a mentor to me.   He, Gene Lawrence, Mike Durham and I started meeting in 1993 to pray for our town and those on our hearts and minds who needed prayer. This has continued until this day. Aronld almost never missed our meetings. He checked on me every day and I checked on him and Joanne."

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