Published 7:37 pm Tuesday, September 14, 2021

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TRYON – Vernon L. Dusenbury, Jr., 71, of Tryon, passed away, Saturday morning, September 11, 2021, at Upstate Community Hospice House.

He was born June 23, 1950, in Marion, SC to the late Vernon and Ethel Dusenbury. In 1963, he moved to Tryon, NC from the SC low country when his father, Vernon Sr. was hired as the Tryon City Schools Superintendent. In 1968, he graduated from Tryon High School where he was Quarterback of the football team, earning All-Conference, All-Scholastic and MVP.

After graduation, he attended Western Carolina University and graduated in 1972 with a degree in Business Administration. While at WCU, he married Raye Ormand of Columbus, NC. Upon graduation, he worked in Real Estate sales for Connestee Falls in Brevard, NC and later worked for Nelson Jackson at Jackson and Jackson Inc. (Cloth of Gold) in Tryon as a Regional Salesman for a number of years. 

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In 1975, he opened Dusenbury Insurance Agency as a Nationwide Agent. While an agent, he served for many years on the Ad Council for the state of NC, as well as earned many distinctions such as Presidents Citation, Life Eagle Award, Champions Conference Award and District Service Award just to name a few. He also served as an instructor on occasion for the Nationwide Sales Academy in Columbus, Ohio. He retired in 2012 after 37 years as the Principal Agent. His children Vernon (Trey) Dusenbury III and Renae Dusenbury Waldman carried on the agency as a 2nd Generation, Nationwide Heritage Elite Agency still in operation today for its 46th year.

He was a member First Baptist Church of Tryon, Former Member of the Polk County Jaycees, Former Member of the Tryon Volunteer Fire Department, Founded the Tryon Youth Football Program in 1982, where he also coached, an avid golfer-member of Links O’ Tryon for several years and a lifelong member of Tryon Country Club where he was known for his fast pace of play, putting prowess and providing lots of laughter and fun for his playing partners. He earned several Member-Member Championship titles with his son Trey and accomplished 2 Holes-In-One.

In addition to a love of golf, he enjoyed many days of lake life at his Lake Keowee cabin and on his pontoon with his family: he was known as a Master Griller entering competitions on occasion and loved to cook, especially his famous old family recipe of low country Chicken Bogg. He loved laughter, a good joke and to shag on the dance floor.

He was married to Raye Ella Ormand Dusenbury for 52 years and most recently celebrated their 50th anniversary with a cruise to Cuba.

He is predeceased by his parents, Vernon Sr. and Ethel Cook Dusenbury. 

He is survived by his wife Raye Ella Dusenbury of Tryon; son Vernon L. (Trey) Dusenbury III (Cindy) of Columbus, NC; daughter Renae Dusenbury Waldman (Ethan) of Tryon, NC; sister Diane Dusenbury Skillman of Hendersonville, NC. He is also survived by grandchildren Tanner, Haley, Georgia, Conner, Sydney, Ella and Charley as well as numerous nieces and nephews to whom he was fondly known as “Uncle Bubba”. 

Over the years, Vernon made many life-long friendships with his Nationwide family from across NC, his employees who often referred to him as “the best person for whom they ever worked” and many cherished family friends.

As Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, “The man is a success who has lived well, loved much, and laughed often.” Vernon Dusenbury Jr. was a success.

A private family memorial service will be held at a later date.

Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church of Tryon Scholarship Fund or Capital Fund.

An online guest register is available at

McFarland Funeral Chapel & Crematory

Tryon, NC