Pioneer cotton breeder and agricultural businessman James Rex Dunn died Sunday, October 4, just one day after his 74th wedding anniversary to his beloved wife Vera Fielder Dunn. A long-time resident of Lamesa, he was 95 years old and living in Southlake at the time of his passing.
Rex was the founder and owner of Dunn Seed Farms and Dunn Delinting Company in Gaines County. He was one of the earliest seed breeders in the country, holding Texas licensing permit #4. He was a pioneer in developing new varieties of cotton specifically developed for the West Texas environment and changing farming techniques that produced more quantity and quality cotton fiber. He was also influential in developing state guidelines and regulations that ensured and protected the quality seed that farmers rely on. Upon his retirement, he donated the seed he had in development to Texas A&M University’s Department of Agriculture and Life Sciences, which was, at the time, the largest gift of intellectual property in the University’s history.
Rex was also a proud WWII veteran as an E-4 and Purser on the U.S.S. Franklin, an Essex-class aircraft carrier.
He is survived by his wife, Vee, son Jim and daughter Rebecca, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.