Throughout the weekend folks gathered at Alexander Funeral Home to honor the memory of a beloved man, Maburn Earl Dyer, who passed away on March 26, 2009. At the close of the memorial service on Sunday afternoon, March 29th, his funeral precession was led by 19 various patrol cars, as well as a fire engine, all paying respects to a true community servant.
Maburn served the community in many roles, and was widely respected for his kindness, for the fairness he showed, and for his early vision of the community he lived in.
Maburn was married to Juanita Smith Dyer and together they had three children, Benton Earl Dyer, Janis Dyer Willis, and the late Dee Ann Givens. They also had five grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
In Maburn’s early work life he was an employee of the shirt factory and later worked for North Central Telephone Cooperative.
In April of 1966, when he announced his candidacy for Macon County Sheriff, he mentioned never having run for public office before and said, “I am a young man, 32 years of age and raised in this county, and I feel that most of you know me personally, not only my character, but also know that I will treat everyone equal. I also know that the young men of today are tomorrow’s leaders…”
And quickly, tomorrow’s leader he became.
He won his bid for election in 1966 and remained in office for three consecutive two-year terms, until 1972.
Maburn was instrumental in starting the Macon County Ambulance service and remained with them as Director until 1974, when he was elected as Macon County Trustee. He remained in the trustee position until 1986.
He returned to work for the Macon County Sheriff’s Department and also served in various roles as Civil Defense Director, with the Lafayette Fire Department, and with the Macon County Rescue.
Sheriff Mark Gammons was just two years old when Maburn was sheriff, however he had the opportunity to work with him when he was a deputy and Maburn was a bondsman with A1 Johnny Knowles.
“He was always courteous and respectful,” said Sheriff Gammons. “He was a well thought of person. You still hear people comment on the good things he did, even people that he arrested had a great deal of respect for him. He was a great help to me when I was running for office; he gave me good advice. He will be greatly missed.”
And though the community has suffered a great loss with the passing of Maburn, the family that loved him dearly, now misses him, they are assured of his home in Heaven as Maburn left testimony of his salvation as a 13-year-old boy and was a member of Days Cross Roads Missionary Baptist Church.
He was also a member of the Lafayette Masonic Lodge 543 and of the Scottish Rite of Nashville as a 32nd degree Mason.
Maburn’s funeral was conducted by Elder Danny Holland, Elder Jimmy Claiborne, and nephew Elder Dean Dyer, who commented, “He was just an all around good man.”
“Maburn never looked at a man for his earthly wealth. He treated all people alike,” adding, “He believed in rehabilitation and never held a person’s past against them.”
“He would lay his own life down for somebody else,” said Dean, about the man that loved and respected others. “He loved guns, whether it was long guns or hand guns. He was always involved with all police department activities.”
And no matter whom you talk to, those that knew Maburn best talked of the boundless love for his family, and what a “big” heart he had.
Maburn was preceded in death by his mother and father, two brothers, two sisters, Son-in-law Mike Willis, and his daughter Dee Ann Givens. “I feel like they’re having a reunion in Heaven today,” said Niece Mary D. Midgett, “He was well loved, and he loved back; he sure was a great guy.”
His zest for life, compassion for his fellow man, and love for his family were obvious in the manner he lived, and the fulfillment of his own dream of selfless sacrifice made the community, blessed to have known him, a much greater one.