KINGSPORT — An original painting of the old Dobyns-Bennett High School from a local artist now hangs next to one she painted of the modern D-B, thanks to a donation from the family of Charles David Broome.
The late Broome was in the last class to graduate from the old building, opened in 1926, before the modern D-B opened in 1968.
Broome’s painting was given to the Dobyns-Bennett Alumni Association, which unveiled “The Days of Glory, Ole D-B” by Hawkins County artist Lorraine Brewer on Saturday morning.
The Brewer paintings are on display in the lobby of the D-B Alumni Hall Field House adjoining J. Fred Johnson Stadium. She painted the modern D-B in 1998, so the school looks a bit different now due a glass-front addition and new front entrance added to the building in 2019.
Thom Throp, president of the alumni group, said the reception was to honor the family of Charles David Broome for entrusting the painting of the old school to the association.
“This was somebody who truly cared about Dobyns-Bennett,” Throp said.
The undated circa 1980s artwork was given in loving memory of Broome, D-B Class of 1967, by his wife, Harriet Broome Helton, and their children: Robert Broome of Raleigh, North Carolina; Melissa Broome of Kingsport; and Teresa Broome Aton of Chugiak, Alaska.
“We had several of her paintings in our home,” Helton said after the ceremony, adding that the family also had prints of some of Brewer’s work. “Because he was in the last graduating class from the old school, he decided he wanted the painting donated to the school,” she said oh her father.
Helton, 70, graduated from the modern D-B in 1969.
She said her late husband died in 2006 and talked with her about donating the painting. “We discussed it,” Helton said. “He was sick at the time. He died of cancer.”
Broome earned a degree from East Tennessee State University and became an accountant at Eastman Chemical Co. He was active as an elder at First Christian Church in Kingsport and later as a Sunday school president at Indian Springs Baptist Church.
He also served four years in Army Security in Ethiopia and Arlington, Virginia.
Broome and his family were recognized during pregame festivities of Friday night’s homecoming football game against West Ridge, attended by Helton, Melissa Broome, and two grandchildren of Helton and her late husband.
The old D-B building, dating back to 1926 with subsequent additions and renovations, became Sevier Middle School. It is slated to become the new home of Jackson Elementary after the former Sullivan North High/Middle campus near Bloomingdale becomes the new Sevier in the fall of 2023.
According to Throp, the association seeks to unite D-B alumni and keep them informed of community and school news. Its mission is to support the school and keep its graduates engaged in those activities. For more information, visit D-B Alumni Association & Reunions online at dbhs.k12k.com.
The D-B Alumni Association Hall of Fame was established in 2009 and information regarding all past inductees (photos and biographies) can be found online at D-B Alumni Hall of Fame at dbhs.k12k.com — Alumni, Alumni Association.
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