Alton L. Dewlen

December 14, 2011

Alton L. Dewlen, '42, of Waco, died Aug. 17. He was an award-winning novelist, magazine writer and newspaperman. Two of his best-known novels are The Bone Pickers and Twilight of Honor. His short fiction and articles appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Reader's Digest and many other publications. Dewlen stirred controversy with his much-reprinted article "Report to a Sleeping Son," which dealt with the 1968 Vietnam combat death of his decorated Marine officer son, Mike Dewlen, BS '67, and the domestic turmoil over Vietnam policy. He undertook many writing assignments from the CIA in support of American interests all over the world, earning the CIA's Distinguished Service Medal and commendations from Vice President Walter Mondale and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Dewlen was a major donor to Baylor and taught writing in short courses at Baylor and other universities. He attended Baylor on a football scholarship, but left school to become a radio-gunner in the U.S. Marines First Air Wing in the Pacific.