January 12, 2014 1:40:56 AM
This is how people described him:
A proud veteran. A tireless volunteer. A man who never shied away from voicing his opinions. A man who held his faith dear.
His name was Buzzie Dorn and he lived in Columbus. He died Jan. 4 at the age of 92.
"An ambassador for the city," was what Thomas Lee, with Lee-Sykes Funeral Home Chapel, said when asked for his description of Dorn.
Dorn was a retired Army veteran who spent his late years in Columbus believing in the city's youth and in the community's potential, others said.
Ward 5 Councilman Kabir Karriem saw him often at City Hall, where Dorn was always ready to bend his ears on how he felt about issues.
"I pray that when I get to be his age, I have that much spirit, that much fire in the things I believe in," Karriem said Friday. "He was a fighter. That's how I'll remember him."
Dorn was in the U.S. Army from 1944 until his retirement in 1964. After that, he worked for the police department in Lafayette, La. Then he moved to Columbus.
The moment he showed up, he got involved in the community. That is something that impressed Lee.
"It was like he was always here," Lee said. "From day one, he was out and about, trying to help."
One of Dorn's main focuses was the city's youth. He spent many hours volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club of the Golden Triangle.
He was also someone who pressed on people the need to vote and be involved in politics on the local level, said Pastor Joe Peoples, who leads Stephen Chapel Baptist Church, where Dorn attended during the last three years of his life.
"Black or white," Peoples said, "he didn't care. He wanted the best for everyone -- especially children."
Peoples said Dorn believed an elected official should do what the people wanted, not what he or she personally wanted. He wasn't shy about sharing that, either, the pastor said.
When not volunteering or chasing down council members, Dorn often ate breakfast and lunch at Helen's Kitchen on 15th Street North. Karriem said his breakfast would be light, but at lunch he always enjoyed the whole catfish. And everyone respected him, even in his old age.
"You couldn't help but respect a man like Mr. Dorn," Karriem said. "As seasoned as he was, he still had passion. It was incredible."
Following services at Stephen Chapel Baptist Church on Saturday, Dorn was buried at Sandfield Cemetery. There was a 21-gun salute at the graveside.
Speaking a day before the funeral, Lee said Dorn would be smiling during the military salute.
"I know he'll be looking down and proud to see that," Lee said. "He was proud of his military service."
William Browning was managing editor for The Dispatch until June 2016.
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