1967 Dobyns-Bennett alumnus legacy lives on through donation of original Dobyns Bennett High School building painting

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KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL)- A 1967 Dobyns-Bennett alumnus is allowing his legacy to live on in the Alumni Hall Fieldhouse.

The Dobyns-Bennett High School Alumni Association honored Charles David Broome with an unveiling of their gift at a reception Saturday morning.

His wife Harriet Broome Helton and his children Robert Broome, Melissa Broome and Teresa Broome Aton gave the painting, “The Days of Glory, Ole D-B” in his memory.

It’s an original painting by Lorraine Brewer that depicts the original Dobyns-Bennett High School, which now serves as John Sevier Middle School.

“He loved the school itself, the building itself. He was so glad that he was in the last graduating class,” said Harriet Broome Helton, his wife. “He was very honored to have gone to Dobyns-Bennett. Before he passed away, he had told me that he thought when we were older and through with the painting hanging in our home, he would like to see Dobyns-Bennett have the painting.”

He served in the army with the security agency in Arlington, Virginia. After returning to Kingsport, he attended ETSU where he majored in accounting. He went on to work at Eastman and was involved in leadership roles in their churches, First Christian Church and Indian Springs Baptist. He passed away of cancer in 2006.

“We actually met and started to date at a football game. That was our first date, was leaving a game and going to an after-party so, we had a fond remembrance of our days at Dobyns Bennett,” she recalled.

The couple enjoyed watching football and coming back to the high school to watch games. Broome Helton said he was a man of faith and loved their children. She described him as “jolly” and “everyone’s dad.”

“David Broome and Harriet Helton both- we appreciate what they have done in giving this gift to the alumni association and it will hang in perpetual bliss if you will here in Alumni Hall forever,” said D-B Alumni Association President, Thom Throp. “It’s an opportunity for this family to make a huge statement and for us to share their love of Dobyns Bennett with the community.”

The Broome family was also recognized during pre-game festivities before the Homecoming Game Friday night.

Broome Helton explains how she and her husband got the painting.

“This is probably her most famous I guess as far as for folks in Kingsport. To know that it’s the original that’s hanging on the wall is a really, really amazing thing,” Throp said of the painting. He says its value is around $20,000.

The D-B Alumni Association Hall of Fame was established in 2009 and has a goal of uniting DBHS alumni and to keep them informed of community and school news. The association’s mission is to support Dobyns-Bennett and to keep graduates engaged in those activities.

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