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Originally published: 2013-12-09 09:38:52
Last modified: 2013-12-09 09:39:37

Dana Tugman

Dana Tugman passed away at his home on Dec. 6, 2013.

Born March 31, 1927, in Watauga County, to Grady and Margaret Tugman, he graduated from Appalachian High School in 1943. Mr. Tugman graduated from NC State with a Bachelor of Science degree in animal husbandry in 1949, but his college career was interrupted when he joined the United States Navy from 1944 to 1946. Upon graduation, Dana moved to Ashe County to become an Assistant County Agent in 1949, and served as the County Agent from 1950 to June 30, 1952. He was appointed Superintendent of the Upper Mountain Research Station July 1, 1952, where he remained until his retirement on June 30, 1988.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Tugman was preceded in death by two brothers, Ralph and Earl Tugman.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mary Gordon Austin Tugman. Also surviving are his children, Dana Gordon Tugman Colvard (Shane) and Neal Austin Tugman (Sarah); grandchildren, Ashley Brynn Tugman Hinton (Forrest), Nathan Davis Colvard, Chelsea Gordon Colvard, Amanda Neal Tugman, and Mary-Austin Jones Tugman; one brother, Stuart Tugman (Linda) of Greensboro; and a number of nieces, nephews, and cousins.

An active member of Jefferson United Methodist Church since 1950, Mr. Tugman served in many capacities, including Sunday school teacher, chairman of the administrative board, chairman of the finance committee, and chairman of the trustees. He served as a Lay Leader from 1974 to 1991.

In addition, Mr. Tugman contributed to his community through numerous organizations including the N.C. Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, the Jefferson Rotary Club, The North Carolina Cattlemen's Association, Ashe Civic Center Board, Ashe Partnership for Children, and the State Employees Credit Union. Mr. Tugman served on the Board of SkyLine Telephone from 1970 to 1988; he was a trustee at Ashe Memorial Hospital from 1982 to 2009, serving as President for fourteen years. Mr. Tugman served on the Board of Ashe Services for Aging from 1995 to 2013; he was chairperson during his tenure on that board.

Mr. Tugman was elected to the Board of Alderman for the town of Jefferson in 1993 and served until 1999 when he was elected Mayor serving until Nov. 25, 2013, when he resigned due to his health. In addition, he served on the Region D Council of Government from 1995 to 2013.

On Nov. 26, 2013, Mr. Tugman was awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine by the Governor and the State of North Carolina for his many contributions to his community.

Funeral services were held 2 p.m. Monday, Dec9, 2013, at Jefferson United Methodist Church with the Rev. Karen Miller and the Rev. Thomas Griffis officiating. Burial followed at the Jefferson City Cemetery. Visitation was at Badger Funeral Home in West Jefferson, prior to the funeral from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Memorials may be made to Ashe Services for Aging, 180 Chattyrob Lane, West Jefferson, NC 28694, or Jefferson United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 236, Jefferson, NC 28640.

Words of comfort and remembrance may be viewed or sent to the family through our website at

Badger Funeral Home was entrusted with Mr. Tugman's arrangements.