AARP to honor Ellzey, aunt

Published 5:55 am Friday, February 10, 2017

The Bogalusa AARP Chapter 4032 plans to honor its president emeritus, Willene Ellzey, at its monthly meeting on Thursday, Feb. 16. The event will be for the national Black History Month celebration.

“We recognize the importance of all of our elders and senior citizens, and especially this special lady, Ms. Willene Ellzey,” said Emma Dixon, president of the local AARP chapter.

In the past, Ellzey has received the “Outstanding Chapter Volunteer of the Year” award and was nominated in 2015 for the Louisiana AARP “Andrus Volunteer of the Year” award.

At the event, Ellzey will share a treasured family heirloom — a portrait of Melerson Guy Dunham. Dunham is Ellzey’s aunt and is also the author of The Centennial History of Alcorn A&M College. This book was published in 1971 by University and College Press of Mississippi, and is catalogued in the Library of Congress.

Dunham was born May 6, 1903, and passed away Dec. 23, 1985. She was the sister to Beulah Green, the mother of Willene Ellzey.

Among Dunham’s many accomplishments were serving as president of the Seventh District Federation of Women’s Clubs, vice president of the State Federation, statistician of the Southeastern Federation and member of the Credentials Committee of the National Federation. She served as an assistant professor of history at Alcorn A&M College (now Alcorn State University), as well as the college historian.

Dunham’s book is dedicated to the Alcorn family and a noted anonymous quote in the book states, “If no use was made of the labor of past ages, the world would remain always in the infancy of knowledge.”

“With this quote in mind, AARP Bogalusa acknowledges and recognizes the many contributions and volunteer service of Ms. Ina Willene Ellzey and salutes its president emeritus who will turn the glorious age of 92 in April of this year,” Dixon said. “And we are most proud to recognize and offer tribute to her aunt, Ms. Melerson Guy Dunham.”