Cover photo for Carroll Wayne Dunn's Obituary
Carroll Wayne Dunn Profile Photo

Carroll Wayne Dunn

June 22, 1935 — August 30, 2023

Carroll Wayne Dunn


Carroll Wayne Dunn, 88, of Little Rock, Arkansas peacefully passed away on August 30, 2023 in his most beloved spot - his home. Born June 22, 1935, Carroll was the seventh of eight children born to Jerry Truitt and Adrian Reddin Dunn of Hampton, Arkansas. Being a tall and gifted athlete throughout his childhood and teen years in Hampton, Carroll was offered and accepted a basketball scholarship from Coach Glen Rose at the University of Arkansas. During his four years as a Razorback, Carroll was the center and a three-year letterman. As co-captain in 1958, the Razorback basketball team won the Southwest Conference Championship. Carroll was a contributor to their success by scoring points and snagging rebounds at a rate of about 10 each game. An impressive statistic at the time. Allegedly, he led the conference in “most fouls” which matched his basketball philosophy of “why waste a good foul?”  In addition to being a basketball player, Carroll also joined the ROTC unit on campus. Upon graduation, he was commissioned by the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant and joined the Military Police Corps as he thought military policemen had the best-looking uniforms.


Carroll started his military career in Ft Carson, CO as a young officer in charge of many duties, the most important being the security of the base payroll. His next assignment was in Korea where he oversaw over 200 dogs as part of a K9 unit. After Korea, Carroll was sent to Governors Island in New York City. And it was there that he met Carol Lynn McCabe. They married at the Our Lady Star of the Sea Chapel on Governors Island in New York on October 26, 1963. Soon after came three sons - Stephen, Michael, and Andrew - each one being born at a different military installation. While stationed with his family at various military bases such as Fort Gordon in Georgia, Fort Sam Houston in Texas, Fort Buchanan in Puerto Rico and Coleman Barracks in Mannheim, Germany, it was Vietnam where Carroll had to leave his wife and sons behind in Arkansas from 1969-1970. While serving in Vietnam as the Provost Marshall at Long Binh Post, Carroll was awarded the Bronze Star for “meritorious achievement in ground operations against hostile forces.”  It was at Fort Bragg in North Carolina that Carroll retired from the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant Colonel with 20 years of service. At that time in 1979, he was a Deputy Provost Marshal, 18th Airborne Corps and Chief of Military Police Operations 16th Military Police Group. Carroll, Carol and sons next move was to Little Rock, Arkansas where he accepted a job as Manager of Corporate Security for Arkansas Power & Light, later to become Entergy. During this time in their lives, Carroll and Carol were busy raising their three sons and keeping up with their school activities at Holy Souls and Catholic High. Sadly, in January of 1984, Carol would pass away at age 40 of cancer. After a 16-year career with the energy company, Carroll retired for the second time in his life from Entergy in 1995.


Faced with time on his hands and no dress code regulations to follow, Carroll decided to take a break from his 40+ years of daily shaving. And the result of that decision was his most rewarding career move - he took on the role of Santa Claus. Carroll’s beard had come in “snow white.”  Add to that a 6’6” frame and sparkling blue eyes and you have the living image of ol’ Saint Nick. But the most heartwarming thing about Carroll was not his looking like Santa Claus, but actually acting like Santa Claus through his giving of time to various charitable organizations, churches, schools, and parades while refusing any form of compensation.  He had become a real-life Santa Claus. And it was not only his time that he gave so freely. Carroll had also taken up farming on his family land in Hampton, Arkansas with his brothers. They grew vegetables and watermelons and donated them to patients in the local nursing home. He allowed himself to be auctioned off at charity fundraisers for an appearance at a Christmas party. However, his biggest role as Santa was that as THE Santa Claus at the William J. Clinton Library and Museum. Almost every weekend in December, you would find him in his red suit, sitting in his chair while a thousand or so children patiently waited in line for the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas.


His volunteering extended beyond the red suit. Carroll has been the President and Vice President of the Hampton Lions Club, served for many years as an usher at Christ the King Catholic Church and was a member of the Retired Military Police Officers Association. This organization met once a year in various locations throughout the United States. Carroll was a meeting host in 2010 and was proud to show off his home state to fellow military retirees and their spouses. Carroll was also proud to be a Founding Volunteer at the Clinton Library and Museum, having signed up seven months before the library opened. His volunteer hours exceeded 3800 hours before retiring from the museum in 2020.


One might wonder how Carroll was able to coordinate all these volunteer activities. It’s quite simple - he had found love again with Marty Murphree. Introduced to Carroll by a fellow AP&L co-worker, Marty and Carroll dated for a lengthy amount of time and married on July 17, 2004. They celebrated 19 years of marriage this past July. Marty was always at his side at family events, church, Arkansas Razorback football and basketball games and was his “Mrs. Claus” at every Santa gig. And she was at his side in the home they shared in West Little Rock when Carroll departed from his loving family.


Preceded in death by his parents Jerry Truitt and Adrian Reddin Dunn, his siblings Horace Dunn, Joseph “Joe T” Dunn, Vernon “Red” Dunn, James Dunn and Louise Silen, he is survived by his wife Marty, his three sons Stephen (Robin), Michael (Beverly) and Andrew (Angela) and two stepsons Tracy Murphree and Kevin Murphree (Brooke) and nine grandchildren Jordan Joyce (Zachary), Taylor Dunn, Austen Dunn, Ethan Dunn, Catherine Dunn, Addison Dunn, Avery Dunn, Ansley Dunn and Leah Murphree.  He is also survived by his sister Ida “Chuckle” Johnson and his brother William Dunn plus a host of cousins, nieces, and nephews.


Family and friends may pay their respects at a viewing on Wednesday, September 6th from 6 - 8 pm at the Smith Family Funeral Home located at 8801 Knoedl Court in Little Rock. Thursday, September 7th at 10:30 am, a mass will be held at Christ the King Catholic Church located at 4000 North Rodney Parham Road in Little Rock. A private family graveside service to follow on Friday at the Little Rock National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital or Catholic High School For Boys in Little Rock, Arkansas.


Pat Boone is attributed with this quote - “The greatest thing is not to believe in Santa Claus; it is to be Santa Claus.”   Carroll Wayne Dunn - Razorback, military officer, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and volunteer - achieved the greatest thing.

Arrangements entrusted to Smith Little Rock Funeral Home.


In lieu of flowers the family asks to make donations in Carroll's memory to Children's Hospital and Catholic High School for Boys :!/donation/checkout



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Past Services


Wednesday, September 6, 2023

6:00 - 7:30 pm (Central time)

Smith Family Funeral Home Little Rock

8801 Knoedl Ct., Little Rock, AR 72205

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Christ the King Catholic Church

4000 N Rodney Parham Rd, Little Rock, AR 72212

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, September 8, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Little Rock National Cemetery

2523 Springer Blvd, Little Rock, AR 72206

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Hometown Memorial Service/Reception

Friday, September 8, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Faustina Methodist Church

7091 US-278, Hampton, AR 71744

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