Leolen Dwain Vinson

October 30, 1948 ~ February 26, 2024

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Leolen Dwain Vinson, 75, died peacefully at his home on Monday, February 26, 2024. Friends are welcome to visit the family at their home on Saturday, March 2, 2024, from 11:00 A.M. until 1:00 P.M. for a reception celebrating the life of Dwain.

Dwain was born in Anniston, Alabama on October 30, 1948, to the late James Vinson and Luna Vinson. He attended Walter Wellborn High School in Anniston, followed by Auburn University where he received his BA degree in 1970, in Aviation Management. He received his MBA in 1976 from Southern Illinois University. Upon graduation from Auburn, Dwain joined the Air Force, and completed Officers Training, followed by one year of pilot training in Del Rio, TX. After graduating from pilot training, he was stationed in Charleston, SC where he flew the C141 and subsequently became Aircraft Commander of the C141, flying in and out of Vietnam during the Vietnam War. He was a proud veteran and never forgot all the soldiers on the ground who fought the fight and lost their lives for our country.

Dwain loved aviation and began working at the Anniston, AL airport when he was 14. He received his pilot’s license before he received his driver’s license, at age 15. He was a natural pilot, and it showed in pilot training, where he graduated first in his class. After Dwain retired from Homeland Security, his truck was a familiar sight every morning at College Hill Road as he drove to the boat landing to see the sun rise. He would beep his horn and wave to any early birds who happened to be outside at that hour. He enjoyed nature and never got tired of driving around Lafayette County.

Though a proud Ole Miss dad, his heart remained with the Auburn Tigers. Win or lose, he was their biggest supporter. War Eagle!

He was a quietly spiritual man, a man of integrity. He was loved, and he loved back. He will be truly missed.

In addition to his parents, Dwain was predeceased by his two sisters, Camelia Bryant and Gayle White.

He found his greatest purpose in his family. Dwain is survived by the love of his life for 53 years, Barbara Vinson; two sons, Christopher Vinson and his wife, Melissa, of Rincon, GA and Eric of Oxford, MS; two grandsons, Nicholas and Geraty; and his beloved cousin Charles Vinson and his wife, Saundra.

Expressions of sympathy or memorial contributions in Dwain’s memory may be made to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, 2361 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10306 or online at https://t2t.org/donate/ .

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