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Standing By Her Man

DOUGAN’S STORY BECOMES A LIVING EPISTLE by Mark Humphrey | September 22, 2021 at 12:00 p.m.
MARK HUMPHREY ENTERPRISE-LEADER/Former Prairie Grove varsity assistant and head junior high girls basketball coach Shelley Dougan faced many challenges during her 15-year coaching career, but now faces an even bigger challenge caring for her husband, Dustin, who suffered a stroke after having his left eye removed during the spring.

PRAIRIE GROVE -- Fifty-two years ago this week Tammy Wynette released "Stand by Your Man" co-written by Wynette with Billy Sherrill on September 20, 1969, a song Shelley Dougan's living out daily.

Shelley, a former Prairie Grove assistant varsity and head junior high girls basketball coach, smiles when asked about beating head coach Kevin Froud during split squad scrimmages in the annual "Black and Gold game."

Shelley modestly says she really doesn't know how many times the squad she coached won that scrimmage, but simply admits, "I don't like to lose."

That tenacity serves her well as the lives of she and her husband, Dustin, became "a living epistle" thrust under the microscope of the medical community since Dustin was diagnosed with Maximillary Sinus Cancer in 2019.

Dustin underwent chemotherapy to shrink it and in January of 2020 a mass was removed from Dustin's cheekbone. This past March doctors found another cancerous spot and scheduled surgery to remove his left eye on April 26.

Prior to the procedure Dustin found himself encouraging family members as well as his church family from the Center Street Church of Christ in Fayetteville as they collectively prepared for the next step.

An aunt, June Kitchen, testified of "the peace and courage" Dustin shared attributing those statements to his faith and the promises given in the Holy Bible to believers.

She, like many others, put themselves into a continual state of prayer, "praying every minute of every day" for Dustin's surgery and recovery to be successful and telling him what often goes unspoken that needs to be said, that he's "loved by so many" and "taught the most beautiful lessons."

Doctors went in to remove Dustin's left eye and there were complications. He suffered a stroke during the complications. Among the debilitating effects Dustin has been unable to speak and has had to learn to walk again.

"God saved his life that day for a reason. We don't know it all but he has a plan and it's perfect," Shelley said.

Shelley plays an essential part of that plan knowing her role is to "Stand by Your Man."

The all-time classic song became the first single and title track from Wynette's same titled album "Stand by Your Man," and went on to become the most successful record of Wynette's career as well as one of the most familiar songs in the history of country music. The song was voted No. 1 on CMT's list of the Top 100 Country Music Songs and does more to represent the heart of its creator more than any of her other body of work.

"Stand By Your Man" as performed by Tammy Wynette

Sometimes it's hard to be a woman

Giving all your love to just one man

You'll have bad times, and he'll have good times

Doin' things that you don't understand

But if you love him, you'll forgive him

Even though he's hard to understand

And if you love him, oh, be proud of him

'Cause after all, he's just a man

Stand by your man

Give him two arms to cling to

And something warm to come to

When nights are cold and lonely

Stand by your man

And show the world you love him

Keep giving all the love you can

Stand by your man

Stand by your man

And show the world you love him

Keep giving all the love you can

Stand by your man

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“Stand By Your Man”

Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman

Giving all your love to just one man

You’ll have bad times, and he’ll have good times

Doin’ things that you don’t understand

But if you love him, you’ll forgive him

Even though he’s hard to understand

And if you love him, oh, be proud of him

‘Cause after all, he’s just a man

Stand by your man

Give him two arms to cling to

And something warm to come to

When nights are cold and lonely

Stand by your man

And show the world you love him

Keep giving all the love you can

Stand by your man

Stand by your man

And show the world you love him

Keep giving all the love you can

Stand by your man

As performed by Tammy Wynette

Print Headline: Standing By Her Man

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