My sister, Mary Clyde Truitt Dunn, was born in Oriental, North Carolina, on January 14, 1953, to Lucille and Billy Truitt, who were owners of Oriental’s Ol’ Store. Her love of singing and playing the piano led her to ECU where she majored in voice and piano. While at college, she met and married Ernest Dunn Jr., then helped put him through medical school by teaching piano lessons.
After Ernest became a doctor, they moved back to Oriental to raise their four children, Holly, Ethan, Summer, and Jason. During that time Mary Clyde also became a Realtor and volunteered her musical services to various churches and the local theater. For years, Mary Clyde was the organist and pianist for the Oriental United Methodist Church, the church she attended while growing up.
At the 2015 Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival, Mary Clyde entertained the audience with stories about the Ol’ Store and surrounding areas as it was back in the 1980’s. Just like in those earlier years, her husband, Dr. Dunn, was making music on the fiddle and guitar with the Green Creek Bluegrass Band, which he had formed. All these years later, it is still a family affair that includes my husband, Ken Belangia, lead vocal and guitar. They get back together every year for this festival.
Mary Clyde died January 1, 2016. It is a great honor that this 3rd Annual Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival is being dedicated to the memory of my sister, Mary Clyde Truitt Dunn.
— Sally Truitt Belangia, Mary Clyde’s little sister