Funeral Saturday for well-known Rowan County band director

Charles “Chuck” Dunlap passed away on January 23

Funeral Saturday for well-known Rowan County band director
The service will be held in the gym at North Rowan High School at 2 pm. (Source: Lyerly Funeral Home)

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A special service to remember the life of well-known and much-loved band director Charles “Chuck" Dunlap will be held on Saturday in the gym at North Rowan High School in Spencer.

Dunlap passed away on January 23.

To honor the memory and influence of Mr. Dunlap, a special “alumni band” made up of his past students is set to perform at the service.

Dunlap was born on December 6th, 1935 in Meridian, Mississippi, according to his obituary. He spent his first year of college at The University of Kentucky then transferred to East Tennessee State University where he graduated with a B.A. in Music. He also served in the U.S. Army during his time at East Tennessee State University. Charles was a faithful steward to God.

“He used his talent to serve many churches in Rowan County over the years by leading worship through music,” the obituary states. “His passion was helping to foster a love of music in others spending 40 plus years in public education carrying out his vision.”

Dunlap was beloved by the community in the North Rowan area as a long-time band and choral director.

“Chuck was a friend and mentor to me as a young Band Director forty years ago,” wrote Ron Turbyfill. “His influence extended far beyond North Rowan as he helped guide music education as a supervisor after his retirement.”

“Personally, he was a tremendous helper as to me as a young band director,” wrote Keith Howe. "He was always willing to help me as I was beginning my career. But more important Charlie became a very close friend which I will always cherish.

Dunlap gave the “gift” of music to hundreds, if not thousands of students and was known for his compassion and strong will. He taught that excellence could be achieved through hard work and dedication, thus establishing a sense of pride within students for their accomplishments.

After retiring Charles focused on caring for family, spending many enjoyable years living in New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina, Charles returned back to Salisbury where he spent his remaining years “welcoming family and friends into his home with open arms.”

Service: A celebration of life will be fittingly held at North Rowan High School Auditorium on Saturday, February 8th, 2020 at 2pm. Memorials: Flowers may be sent to NRHS auditorium for the 2 pm service or donations made to North Rowan Band Boosters, earmarked Mr. Dunlap. 300 N. Whitehead Ave, Spencer NC 28159

Lyerly Funeral Home is serving the Dunlap family. Online condolences may be made at

Copyright 2020 WBTV. All rights reserved.