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Richard Bennett Dupree
September 13, 1948 ~ October 30, 2023 (age 75) 75 Years Old
13 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Richard's family - View on Tribute Wall
Richard Bennett Dupree, 75, of Atlantic Beach, passed away on October 30, 2023, at Wake Medical Health in Raleigh.
RIchard was born to Bernard and Josephine Dupree on September 13th,1948. He always spoke fondly of his days growing up as a backyard cowboy galloping on his horse BlackJack and brandishing his toy six shooters. In addition to becoming an Eagle scout at a very young age his two loves were music and airplanes. He excelled in his instrument of choice, the trumpet. As an eighth grader he was the first chair of his highschool band. But what he really enjoyed was the smaller jazz band where he loved to improvise or as he called it “taking a ride” on that beautiful nickel plated, large bore trumpet. Before even acquiring a driver's license little Ricky was taking off on a small, bumpy runway in Johnsonton county and soaring through the skies as a licensed teenaged aviator a mere half century after the Wright Brothers first flew at Kitty Hawk.
A short time after graduating high school Richard found his way back in the classroom as a teacher, which would become his calling in life. He taught at Swansboro High to students only slightly younger than he was. He went back to college and graduated from East Carolina University undergrad then received his Masters in Business. The school immediately invited him to teach in the same program he just graduated in again revealing his propensity as an educator. Richard at the front of the classroom was like a duck in water. He had a gift for making sure his students grasped the main concept of whatever was being taught.
After a brief stint as an airplane salesman Richard was invited to lead the booster club at ECU. He was the executive director of the Pirate club from 1980 to 1985. He gave his blood sweat and tears to this job begetting a love for the program that lasted for years. During this time he had a son, Taylor, that he loved more than life itself and he met Gloria, his one true love.
Richard had done many things already but after all of this he owned a land developing firm then an accounting firm but in the end the teacher in him had to be let loose. He spent the last years of his professional life teaching at Wake Tech. As a professor of finance every first class of each semester he gave the same lecture, basically Accounting 101. He wanted to make sure everyone understood the fundamentals. Many times students in advanced classes would come up to him after that first class and express their gratitude as they had wished someone would have explained it this well earlier. He taught at Wake Tech for close to 20 years. He was many student’s favorite teacher they ever had.
He was the best version of himself with “G”, as she was called. They were never apart. All they wanted was to grow old with each other in their house which they affectionately referred to as “Magnolia Manor.” Richard cherished his time with her immensely. Richard’s devotion to Gloria was put in high gear in the last 3 years of her life when she battled cancer. There was never a husband more devoted, staying by her side and fighting every step of the way. It’s hard to express how much he loved this woman. When she died he was never quite the same again.
Richard enjoyed sailing, writing fiction, cruising in his Jaguar convertible, and playing golf with his son. Many of his last years were spent at his beach condo at Summerwinds where he was known as “Mayor of B Building.” Each evening with a glass of scotch by his side his main job was to make sure the sun set. He sat there on the walkdown where he held court for whoever would listen, entertaining and educating with stories and philosophical sermons to no end. The silver-haired, sun-tanned Pirate was a permanent fixture beach goers would pass coming in from their day in the sun. His last, best friendships were made here; they were friendships he cherished.
Richard was passionate, sensitive, generous, kind, and loving. He leaves behind a son Taylor Dupree, daughter-in-law Jessica Dupree, twin Grandsons Benedict and Thomas Dupree and his last Best Friend Shirley Brinkley who he held very dear to his heart.
He is also cherished by his four brothers, Joe Bernie, Johnny, Mike, David, his brother-in-law Jim Britt, their wives, and many nieces and nephews.
A Graveside service will be held at Hillcrest Cemetery on Thursday, November 9, 2023 at 2:00 PM.
West & Dunn Funeral Home of Newton Grove is honored to serve the Richard Dupree Family.