Joyce Ellen Johnston Wells, a Bibb County kindergarten teacher, died Dec. 31 at the age of 63. Wells, a native of Shreveport, Louisiana, had lived in Macon 22 years. She was a kindergarten teacher at Burdell-Hunt Magnet Elementary School and previously taught at Brookdale Elementary and schools in Florida and Louisiana. According to her obituary, she had a passion for school supplies, books and dolls.Click here to read more obituaries.
Edwin Speir Jr., a former president of Georgia College who championed its international program and accepted the mission of turning the school into the state's public liberal arts college, died Dec. 30 in Milledgeville. Speir was at the helm from 1981 until he retired in 1997, soon after the college was renamed Georgia College & State University. Early on, Speir was interested in expanding the college's influence in the region by bolstering or creating branch campuses in Macon, Warner Robins and Dublin. But he later did an about-face and embraced the University System's Board of Regents' plan for Georgia College to become the state's public liberal arts college. He was 80.Click here to read more obituaries.
Thomas Clough Beall, who was inducted into the Macon Sports Hall of Fame for his softball skills, died Dec. 24 at the age of 61. In a sports career that spanned from 1975 to 1984, Beall played professional softball and earned five All-American selections playing for the Reed's Nuts from Pinehurst; Howard and Carroll from Sherill's Ford, North Carolina; and Howard's-Western Steer from Denver, North Carolina. When he played with Howard's, he hit 995 home runs and had a six-year batting average of .662. He was inducted into the Macon Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. Click here to read more obituaries.
Helen Solomon, whose family was chosen as the 1958 March of Dimes poster family, an honor that landed her on the Ed Sullivan Show and at a fashion show with Marilyn Monroe, died Dec. 24. Her affiliation with the March of Dimes came after she and her three children contracted polio. Solomon, who was known to those close to her as "Sweetie," was a Nebraska native who lived much of her later life in Warner Robins. In the 1950s, Solomon served as the Georgia State Advisor on Women's Activities and was secretary of the Houston County chapter of the March of Dimes. Solomon was 97. Click here to read more obituaries.
Johnnie LaFayette Caldwell, a former state representative and state comptroller general, died Dec. 15. Caldwell, of Thomaston, served as a state representative for 16 years. He was instrumental in securing in Thomaston the 3rd District Office of the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Georgia High School Association state office. Caldwell also wrote the bill for the inception of Georgia technical colleges. He was 92.Click here to read more obituaries.
The Rev. Frank Ray, a well-known Macon minister and organizer of the Middle Georgia Amateur Boxing Club for several years, died Dec. 15. In August, the new boxing facility at Macon's Freedom Park was named in his honor. Ray, seen with Mayor Robert Reichert in 2012, also took a keen interest in local politics, and Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert credited him with helping him win the mayor's office in 2007, 2011 and 2013. Ray was 85.Click here to read more obituaries.
Emily S. Carey, who taught chemistry and physics at Northeast High School in Macon for 21 years, died Dec. 12. A former STAR teacher, Carey was the head of the science departments at Tabor Junior High and Northeast High. After retirement, she volunteered at the Houston Medical Center, Sacred Heart Christian Service Center and the soup kitchen at First Methodist Church in Warner Robins. She was 80.Click here to read more obituaries.
Anita McLellan, the longtime secretary for the late U.S. District Judge Wilbur Owens who recorded a deposition of President Jimmy Carter in the White House, died Dec. 11 at the age of 93. A lifelong Macon resident, McLellan was beloved by midstate lawyers and judges. According to her cousin Phil Comer, she asked for a photo with the president when she was in Washington for the Carter deposition. "Mr. President, how about a picture just with the ladies?" she asked, capturing a treasured memento. Additionally, McLellan held offices for the Macon Women's Club, National Association of Retired Federal Employees and the Garden Club. She was a Cherry Blossom Festival volunteer, and in addition to working for Judge Owens, she worked for the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Attorney's Office.Click here to read more obituaries.
Herbert "Jim" Miller, a former fire chief at Robins Air Force Base, died Dec. 7. Born in Los Angeles, Miller served in the United States Air Force Reserves as a master sergeant during the Korean War and retired as Robins' fire chief. He was 84.Click here to read more obituaries.
Dr. John G. Etheridge, whose extensive work in the medical field culminated in 2010 when he was named Physician of the Year by the Bibb County Medical Association, died Dec. 7. The lifelong Macon resident graduated from Lanier High School in 1950 and worked at the family-owned B-Thrifty grocery store on Houston Road during high school and college. After earning degrees from Mercer University and the Medical College of Georgia, he joined the late Dr. Joseph Eversole and Dr. Robert Donner in establishing Ocmulgee Medical Pathology Associates. The practice grew to 12 doctors serving all area hospitals, according to his obituary. He was laboratory director for 10 years at the Medical Center of Central Georgia and was acting medical director and chief of staff in 1981. From 1982-2000, he helped foster the relationships among the Mercer University School of Medicine, the Medical Center and Pathology Associates. Additionally, Etheridge served as president of the Bibb County Medical Society in 1975 and was a delegate to the Medical Association of Georgia. He also worked to establish the MedCen Foundation, serving on the MedCen's board of directors as president emeritus until his death. Etheridge was 82 years old.Click here to read more obituaries.
Ulysses Stevenson Marshall Sr., a lifelong educator and a former athletic director in Houston County schools, died Dec. 6. Born in Macon County, Marshall attended the Tuskegee Institute on a football scholarship and went on to earn a master's degree from what is now Fort Valley State University. During his 45-year education career, he taught in Wilkes County before his stint in Houston County. Later, he worked for 33 years at Fort Valley State, where he was head baseball coach and assistant football coach. Marshall also retired as a licensed Emergency Medical Technician in Peach County. He was 75 years old.Click here to read more obituaries.
Dr. William H.M. Weaver, a former chief of staff at the Medical Center of Central Georgia and the Middle Georgia Hospital, died Dec. 6 at the age of 88. Weaver attended Macon schools, spent two years in the Air Corps Reserves and returned to Macon to attend Mercer University. He enrolled in the Medical College of Georgia in 1948, and after an internship and residency at the Medical College of Virginia, he returned to Macon to practice internal medicine for 35 years. According to Weaver's obituary, his mentor was his great uncle, Dr. O.H. Weaver, who was the first director of the Macon Hospital when it opened in 1895.Click here to read more obituaries.
Known as "Mr. Peach," a co-founder of Lane Packing Co. died Dec. 4. John David Duke Lane Sr. was 87 years old. Lane and his father, Dave Lane, established the company, which specialized in peach production. In 2002, he was given the name "Mr. Peach" by his peers. Lane was a member of the First South Bank board of directors for several years and had interests in hunting, saltwater fishing and collecting Indian artifacts.Click here to read more obituaries.
George B. Culpepper III, a retired Bibb County Superior Court judge, died Nov. 29. Culpepper was born in Fort Valley and attended Mars Hill College in North Carolina, then Mercer University law school. On the day he graduated from law school, he enlisted in the Navy, serving primarily in the South Pacific during World War II. After the war, he joined his father in a Fort Valley law practice. He practiced for 20 years before his 1967 appointment to a Superior Court judgeship for the Macon Judicial Circuit. He became a senior judge in 1983. Culpepper was 93.Click here to read more obituaries.
Col. Joe Curtis, an Atlanta Falcons football fan who probably attended more Atlanta Falcons games in person than anyone in history, died Nov. 18. Curtis, of Macon, saw 376 Falcons home games in a row over 48 seasons. His streak ended in 2013, as he didn't attend any 2014 contests. Through the years, Curtis befriended several sports figures, ranging from golf icon Arnold Palmer and former Falcons center Jeff Van Note, among others. The Valparaiso, Indiana, native played college football and basketball at Indiana State and served as a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot in Europe during World War II. Curtis was 96.Click here to read more obituaries.
Betty Jean Haynes, a gospel singer and substitute teacher in the Bibb County school system, died Nov. 12. The Macon native attended Mercer University and received her bachelor and master's degrees, as well as a doctorate in theology. Haynes founded the group the Gospel Pearls of Harmony, and she became known as the Gospel Pearl. According to Bibb County schools, Haynes worked as a substitute teacher from January 2005 through September 2014. Although she worked at several schools, most of her substitute work was at Hutchings Career Center. She was 61.Click here to read more obituaries.
Dean Fripp, a motorcycle and horse enthusiast who was chairman of the Crawford County Commission, died Oct. 27. Fripp served nearly six years on the board, the last three as chairman. Unconventional, Fripp sometimes rode his motorcycle to commission meetings and earned the nickname "4-to-1 Fripp" because of his opposing views during the first few years on the board. Fripp was 63.Click here to read more obituaries.
Carolyn Stewart, a longtime Houston County educator who helped develop a gifted program for students, died Oct. 27. Stewart taught in Houston County schools for more than 30 years and was one of the teachers selected to form the Focus Program for gifted students.A religious woman, she was a founding member of Northview United Methodist Church and once held the position of chairwoman of the church's board. She was 85.Click here to read more obituaries.
Ronald Gerald Payne Sr., an Ozark, Alabama, native who played football for legendary University of Alabama Coach "Bear" Bryant and went on to become president of Farmer's Furniture, died Oct. 27. Payne moved to Middle Georgia 35 years before his death. He was an "industry giant" in the furniture business for more than three decades and was a past president of Farmer's Furniture, according to his obituary. Payne was 65.Click here to read more obituaries.
Jack Lucas, a Bleckley County teacher and principal who was a founder of a retired teachers group in the county, died Oct. 14. Lucas taught in the Bleckley school system at Salem, was a teacher and principal at Limestone and was principal at Bleckley County Elementary School until he retired in 1982. He was a founder of the Bleckley County Retired Teachers Association and headed the committee that worked to restore Mae Chapel, a one-room school in the county. Lucas was 83. Click here to read more obituaries.
Jessye Lundy Scott, a much-loved teacher in the Bibb County school system, died Oct. 12 at the age of 80. Scott, from Macon, left Georgia after graduating with an English degree from Clark College in Atlanta to join her husband, Robert L. Scott Jr., at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. After he left the Army, the Scotts returned to Macon where they began their teaching careers. Jessye Scott served as chairwoman of the English Department at Southwest-Ballard A Junior High School and retired in 1992. Click here to read more obituaries.
Waddell Barnes, a retired Macon physician credited with developing the botanical gardens at Middle Georgia State College, died Oct. 7. Barnes attended Mercer University and Harvard Medical School, and he twice served in the U.S. Navy. After his military service, he returned to Macon and practiced medicine from 1955 until his retirement in1991. Later in life, Barnes served on the Middle Georgia State College -- then Macon State College -- foundation and board of trustees. He first had the idea to develop botanical gardens on the college campus, and he pushed for expansion of the gardens through the years. In 2003, the Georgia Board of Regents named the gardens in his honor.Click here to read more obituaries.
James Leonard "Jimmy" Swartz, a senior master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, died Oct. 5 when he was swept to sea during a typhoon in Japan. Swartz was a propulsion flight superintendent in the 116th Air Control Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard. Swartz was an active member of the Middle Georgia ACTS Community. He was a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church. He was 51. Click here to read more obituaries.
Daniel Adair Paschal, an Air Force master sergeant from Robins Air Force Base, was swept out to sea and killed Oct. 5 during a typhoon in Japan. Paschal was a propulsion systems supervisor in the Georgia Air National Guard and had previously served in the U.S. Army in Iraq. Paschal loved the outdoors, wildlife, music and working on cars. He was 34.Click here to read more obituaries.
Joshua Schoenhoff, an Air Force staff sergeant stationed at Robins Air Force Base, died Oct. 5 in a typhoon in Okinowa, Japan while trying to save a fellow airman. Schoenhoff was one of three Robins airmen killed in the storm. Schoenhoff served in the 461st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron as an instruments and flight-control specialist. The Missouri native enjoyed working on automobiles and was a St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan. He was 27 years old.Click here to read more obituaries.
Johnny Fambro, an advocate for gay rights who was among the first in Macon to sound a call to action when the AIDS epidemic hit in the early 1980s, died Oct. 3. Fambro was a longtime executive director of the Central City AIDS Network and was known for reaching out to anyone who needed help, especially those affected by HIV and AIDS. Fambro also worked on behalf of the homeless in Macon. He was 63. Click here to read more obituaries.
Seaborn Jones, a U.S. Marine veteran, certified zookeeper and poet who was the lighting and technical director for the children's show "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood," died Oct. 3. Jones, of Lizella, was born in Macon, and attended Bibb County public schools and Mercer University. He taught poetry in Macon and San Francisco. Jones wrote several books of poetry, including "Going Farther into the Woods than the Woods Go." Published in 2012, it was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. His honors include the Georgia Author of the Year Award in poetry, the Violet Reed Haas Poetry Award and selection as a Broadleaf Scholar. Jones was 71. Click here to read more obituaries.
David Moore, a legendary basketball coach in Wilkinson County who led his teams to roughly 500 wins over three decades, died Sept. 27. During segregation, Moore led the all-black Calhoun Consolidated School to Georgia Interscholastic Association titles in 1966, 1969 and 1970. Once schools integrated, Moore coached five Wilkinson County High School teams to the Sweet 16 or better in the Georgia High School Association, including the Class A semifinals in 1976. Moore, who also was a school board member and presiding elder in the AME Church, was 75 years old.Click here to read more obituaries.
Alec Glenn Dorsey, a well-known businessman who retired in June 2014 as chief magistrate of Wilcox County, died Sept. 23. Born in Macon, Dorsey also was a former mayor of Abbeville. Additionally Dorsey made a name for himself in the business world. He was president of Dorsey Chevrolet, Dorsey State Bank and Dorsey Oil Co. He was 70.Click here to read more obituaries.
William "Mitch" Mitchell Sr., who played in the 1953 Tangerine Bowl and was a mentor to young athletes whom he coached in football, basketball and baseball, died Sept. 22. Mitchell was born in Toccoa and graduated from Thomasville High School before attending Tennessee Tech University on an athletic scholarship. In 1963, he moved to Macon to work with his brother in the cabinet business and later started his own business, Mitchell Construction Co. In 1975, his family was selected as the Macon Service League's Family of the Year. Mitchell was 82.Click here to read more obituaries.
William L. Brown, a Montezuma farmer who was chairman of the board of directors for Flint Energies, died Sept. 18. Brown owned William Brown Farms and Farm Market in Montezuma and was a part owner of Fresh Plants-Green Beans in Americus. He was appointed by Gov. Zell Miller to the Governor's Science and Technology Board and was appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue to the Rural Development Council. Brown served on several other agricultural boards, including the Ag Georgia Farm Credit Board of Directors and the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service Board. Brown was 74.Click here to read more obituaries.
Michael Andrew Norris, a Monroe County sheriff's deputy who was shot while responding to a call about a suicidal man, died Sept. 14. Norris, who was born in Upson County and grew up in Culloden, graduated from Mary Persons High School in 2008 and received an associate degree in criminal justice from Gordon State College. Sheriff John Cary Bittick said Norris is the first sheriff's deputy in the county to ever die in the line of duty. Norris was 24.Click here to read more obituaries.
Richard Carl Bexten, a retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force who was a former executive director of the Houston Drug Action Council, died Sept. 9. Bexten, who retired from HODAC in 2000, oversaw many of the organization's accomplishments, including the Gateway Cottage, Teen Headquarters and the Victim's Assistance Program. Bexten served on several Warner Robins organizations, including the Warner Robins Convention and Visitors board, YMCA board of directors, Warner Robins Chamber of Commerce and Warner Robins Rotary Club. He was 82.Click here to read more obituaries.
Elizabeth "Bettie" Manning Ott, a vocalist who performed with choirs across the country, died Sept. 7. Ott, of Macon, was a gifted vocalist in her church choirs, the Chautauqua Opera Chorus, Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, Akron Symphony Chorus and San Francisco Symphony Chorus. Ott lived in several U.S. cities as she moved with her husband, the late William Anthony Ott, who worked for Knight Ridder newspapers. Bettie Ott was involved in various philanthropic organizations, including the San Jose Symphony Board, Ohio Ballet Women's Committee, Florida Philharmonic Guild and the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon. Ott was 89.Click here to read more obituaries.
Martha Thomas Jackson, who taught at two Bibb County elementary schools during her career, died Aug. 26. A native of Winder, Jackson graduated from what is now Fort Valley State University. She began working in the Bibb County school system, at both Porter and Barden elementary schools. Jackson was 72.Click here to read more obituaries.
Zerelda Sprayberry Cosey, a co-founder of Mother Goose Kindergarten, died Aug. 26. Cosey taught at the school for 14 years. Additionally, she loved handmade arts and crafts and was a collector of "Gone With the Wind" memorabilia. Cosey was 74 years old.Click here to read more obituaries.
James B. Hammock, a Dublin car dealer and restauranteur who served on three state boards and served for years on the Georgia Public Service Commission, died Aug. 26. Hammock was owner of the Jim Hammock Pontiac-Buick dealership in Dublin and owned several restaurants in the midstate. He was appointed to the Georgia Department of Human Resources board by Gov. George Busbee, to the Industry, Trade and Tourism board by Gov. Zell Miller and to the state's Economic Development board by Gov. Sonny Perdue. Serving as vice chairman of the Human Resources Board and chairman of the Cost Effectiveness Committee, Hammock proposed the provision that all Medicaid recipients receive generic drugs unless otherwise directed by a doctor. His obituary said this move saved the state of Georgia billions of dollars in Medicaid-related health care costs. Busbee's political work continued when he was appointed to the Georgia Public Service Commission to fill an unexpired term, and then was elected to two other terms. After his time on the PSC, Hammock formed Omni Resource Group Inc, which represented firms such as Motorola, SunTrust Bank, Anheuser-Busch and the Corrections Corporation of America. Hammock was 80 years old.Click here to read more obituaries.
Richard Patrick Sheridan, a Macon businessman whose name is synonymous with local real estate, died Aug. 24. After serving in the U.S. military in the late 1940s and then again in the 1950s during the Korean War, Sheridan entered the world of real estate in 1960 when he began working for the firm of Murphy, Taylor and Ellis. He worked several years before creating his own company, Sheridan Realty. According to his obituary, he later joined the Fickling and Walker firm and had been working with Sheridan Solomon and Associates. Sheridan was a member of Idle Hour Country Club, the Macon Elks Club and the Macon Civic Club. He was 86.Click here to read more obituaries.
George Potter, a retired chief of police in Perry and the city's former director of public safety, died Aug. 20 following a long battle with cancer. Before moving to Perry in the mid-1990s, Potter had worked in the Columbus Police Department for 26 years. He was a life member of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police and was president of the association from 2003-2004. He also worked as an adjunct professor at Fort Valley State University and taught courses at Troy State and Columbus State universities. Additionally, he was appointed by the governor to serve on the state Board of Corrections. In his time away from the office, Potter enjoyed playing golf. He was a Mason, Shriner and a member of the Perry Rotary Club. Potter was 65 years old.Click here to read more obituaries.
Dr. Louis S. Berger, whose family fled Czechoslovakia when he was a child and who later played the cello in the Boston Symphony Orchestra, died Aug. 17. He and his wife spent the last years of his life at their home in Monroe County. Born in Prague, Berger fled his home country with his family to New York. He went on to graduate from Princeton University and also earned degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, Trinity University and the University of Tennessee. In Texas, he worked as a clinical psychologist and published articles and books on subjects ranging from mathematics to psychology and philosophy. His last book will be published posthumously, according to his obituary. He was 86.Click here to read more obituaries.
William Newton Hudson, a former extension agent for Wilcox County and a 20-year veteran of the Georgia House of Representatives, died Aug. 12. Hudson, who was known as "Newt," served as co-chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and the Health and Ecology Committee, and he was chairman of the Industry and Trade Committee, among other assignments. During his tenure in the Legislature, he was instrumental in getting passed significant educational, agricultural and industrial legislation that benefited his area, according to his obituary. Hudson was an avid outdoorsman who loved growing pecans and spending time on his farm with his family. He was 87.Click here to read more obituaries.
Robert Granville Gardner, a pastor of four Baptist churches and author of several books, died Aug. 11. An Ohio native who lived in Macon in his later life, Gardner pastored four churches in Georgia and North Carolina during his lifetime. In 1957 he began teaching religion courses at Shorter College in Rome and for 25 years was the college historian and archivist. Additionally, Gardner was a senior researcher in Baptist history at Mercer University in Macon from 1995 until 2012. He authored six books and numerous pamphlets, articles and reviews on the history of Baptists. Gardner was 90 years old.Click here to read more obituaries.
Wesley James Turner, a Morse code radio operator during World War II who was a former band director for the Wilkinson County school system, died Aug. 11. Turner was born in Ohio but grew up in Lancaster, England. He returned to the U.S. to join the Army during the build-up to World War II. He served in the Civilian Conservation Corps and volunteered for the Army after war was declared. He was a Morse code radio operator in Gen. Patton's Fourth Armored Division and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, according to his obituary. He was awarded a Bronze Star for meritorious service in a combat zone. After the war, Turner studied piano at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and received degrees from Loyola College and Southern Louisiana State University. In the early 1960s, he was Wilkinson County public schools' band director. Turner was 96.Click here to read more obituaries.
Paul Reehling, a five-term mayor of Fort Valley and former owner of two radio stations, died Aug. 11. Growing up on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, Reehling later served in the U.S. Air Force and was on the USAF swim team. After he left the military, he went on to a broadcasting career and owned radio stations in both St. Simons Island and Fort Valley. He served five terms as Fort Valley's mayor and was credited with helping rebuild the city's downtown after a tornado in 1975. In the early 1980s, he and his wife moved to Florida but returned to Middle Georgia, this time to Macon, in 1991 to retire. Reehling was 81 years old.Click here to read more obituaries.
Jerry Lee Bowden, a Macon-born airplane pilot instrumental in forming BellSouth's corporate flight operations, died Aug. 9. Bowden ultimately rose to become the company's chief pilot. He earned BellSouth's prestigious White Hat Award for his leadership and the success of the company's aviation response to Hurricane Andrew in August 1992. He enjoyed the outdoors and "gentleman farming" as well as amateur radio and NASCAR. Bowden was 70 years old.Click here to read more obituaries.
Ernestine Lucille Vance Clay, a registered nurse who was instrumental in establishing the obstetrics wing at what was then known as Coliseum Park Hospital, died Aug. 9. A Cedartown native, Clay went to high school in Tifton and in 1949 moved to Macon, where she attended the Macon Hospital School of Nursing. She worked at The Medical Center of Central Georgia, the Bibb County Health Department and Coliseum Medical Centers. She was 82. Click here to read more obituaries.
Landon Haines Brent Sr., a decorated World War II flyer who later taught and coached at Macon's Lanier High School, died Aug. 7. During the war, he was a flight engineer and ball turret gunner on B-24 Liberators. For his war efforts, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and a Purple Heart. After the war he returned to Macon and graduated from Mercer University. He taught and coached at Lanier High from 1949 until 1977. Additionally, Brent was a ranked tennis player in Georgia, Florida and the country in his age division. In retirement, he and his wife were living in Spring Creek, Florida. His age was not listed in his obituary. Click here to read more obituaries.
John Nolan McGarity, a Fort Valley dentist and a World War II veteran, died Aug. 7. McGarity served in the Army Air Corp's 8th Air Force during the war. He later practiced dentistry for three years at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville before opening a private practice in Fort Valley, which was open more than 30 years. McGarity was a member of the American Dental Association, Georgia Dental Association and Central District Dental Society, among others. He was 92. Click here to read more obituaries.
Ronnie Thrift, a co-manager for a Kroger store in Macon who was involved with animal and children's organizations, died Aug. 4. Thrift was active in dachshund rescue, sea turtle conservation and children's charities, according to his obituary. He was a runner and an active volunteer at the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins. Thrift was 42. Click here to read more obituaries.
Elizabeth Baker "BeBe" Cook, a lifelong teacher who was beloved by students and co-workers across several generations, died Aug. 3. Born in Macon, Cook taught elementary school for years before being named elementary curriculum director in Bibb County schools. She held that job until she retired in 1993. After retirement, Cook taught classes for the school system, was an educational consultant, presented workshops across Georgia and began a new career as a professional storyteller. Cook loved costumes and was known for lightening up serious meetings by appearing in an "outlandish mask or costume," according to her obituary. At the time of her death, Cook was living in Fernandina Beach, Florida. She was 80.Click here to read more obituaries.
Charles A. NeSmith, a thespian who starred in or directed local theater productions in Macon and St. Simons Island for more than 50 years, died July 30. Although he was not a great singer, his acting abilities were so good that he was nevertheless cast as the male lead in several musicals, including "Guys and Dolls," according to his obituary. Of particular note, NeSmith came full circle when he directed a production of Macon Little Theatre's "A Streetcar Named Desire." More than four decades earlier he landed a starring role in the same play. He also acted in training videos for the Federal Law Enforcement and Training Center in Brunswick and had a membership in the Screen Actors Guild. Born in Thomaston, NeSmith went to high school in Macon and attended Georgia College in Milledgeville. He was in the U.S. Air Force and Georgia Air National Guard, serving in "Operation Redwing" in the South Pacific during the Korean War. Additionally, he was news director for a variety of Brunswick-based radio stations. He was 78 years old.Click here to read more obituaries.
John Paul Gaddy, who coached the Stratford Academy girls basketball team to four regional championships and two GISA championships, died July 19 after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Gaddy's girls teams rolled to a 137-53 record over seven years. Additionally, Gaddy's boys basketball squads amassed an 84-47 record, winning one region championship. And in football, Gaddy was the defensive coordinator on Stratford's 2004 GISA championship team. Gaddy forged a close friendship with Russell Henley, who played basketball for Gaddy in high school before finding success as a professional golfer. Gaddy first was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and thought he beat it. But early in the 2013-14 school year, Gaddy became ill and took a leave from his job as Stratford admissions director. Gaddy was 47 years old.Click here to read more obituaries.
Thomas I. Sangster, a member of the Georgia House of Representatives who became director of the state Revenue Department's Property Tax Division, died July 18. Born in Dooly County's Vienna, Sangster was one of the youngest members ever elected to the Legislature. In the House, he was instrumental in passing laws to assist cities and counties develop legal property tax systems, according to his obituary. In the early 1960s, Gov. Carl Sanders asked Sangster to head the state's Property Tax Division. Under his administration, the state established schools for tax officials in conjunction with the University of Georgia's Center for Continuing Education. In the mid-1980s, Sangster joined forces with Atlanta publisher Gloria Lane, who printed a magazine called "Presenting the Season," which highlighted charities and nonprofits. Sangster helped guide the magazine -- later renamed simply "Season" -- to becoming a "vital force" in the Atlanta community, according to his obituary. Sangster was 82.Click here to read more obituaries.
Lillian Tripp Collins, a 34-year veteran teacher in public schools in Middle Georgia, died July 17. Born in Macon and a product of the Bibb County school system, Collins earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from what is now Fort Valley State University. She taught in both Bleckley and Bibb's school systems. Collins was 84.Click here to read more obituaries.
Barry D. Vandigriff, a coach at Warner Robins High School and a midstate business owner, died July 16. Vandigriff coached football, girls basketball and track at Warner Robins High. He also owned Acoustical Floors Inc. in Warner Robins for 30 years. A longtime member of Houston Lake Country Club, Vandigriff loved golf, hunting and fishing. He was 70.Click here to read more obituaries.
Dick Walden, who led what was then known as the Warner Robins Chamber of Commerce for 14 years, died July 7. Walden headed the chamber from the mid-1980s until his retirement in 2000. The chamber has since been renamed the Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce. Walden previously was president of both the Vidalia and the Lake City, Florida chambers.The Robins Regional Chamber's "Person of the Year" award is named after Walden. He was 77.Click here to read more obituaries.
William Augustus Sanders Jr., a star football player at Macon's Lanier High School who later owned a popular downtown business, died July 1. Sanders was a linebacker and guard for the Lanier High football team in the early 1950s and signed a full scholarship at UGA to play under Coach Wally Butts. Later in life, he opened his own business, The Sportsman Club, on Third Street in downtown Macon. He also loved socializing and drinking coffee with his friends -- usually twice a day -- at a local Waffle House, where he was one of the restaurant's regulars. Sanders was 78.Click here to read more obituaries.
Leonard C. Grace, the chairman of the committee that organized Forest Hills United Methodist Church and who was a fixture in Macon Little Theatre productions, died June 26. Grace was a charter member of the Exchange Club of Bibb County and served as state president of the Georgia District Exchange Clubs, according to his obituary. Notably, Grace edited the club's weekly bulletin, which was selected as the best Exchange Club bulletin in the country in 1993. In 2004, he became a member of the Exchange Club of Macon. Grace also was involved in Macon Little Theatre and served as a member of its board of trustees. He participated in several of the theater's productions, most notably as Santa Claus for 12 years in "Holiday Spectacular." He also had roles in other shows, including "My Fair Lady," "Oklahoma," "Hello, Dolly" and "L'il Abner." Grace was 83 years old.Click here to read more obituaries.
Joann Peterson Floyd, a Macon writer whose works won state and national awards, died June 21. Born in Ailey, she and her husband, Dr. Waldo Floyd Jr., moved to Macon in 1961 to establish his medical practice. They had four children, including Joanna Floyd Jones, a Macon Realtor who stars in "Beat the House" on HGTV. Floyd was a teacher who worked in the Baltimore public school system as well as the Augusta Episcopal Day School, Macon State College and Mercer University. A published author, her book "The Birthday Book" was awarded first place by the Georgia Press Women and the National Press Women, according to her obituary. Pepperdine University awarded her first place in a national competition for her short story "The Short Run." Floyd, who was known as "Petie" by her family and close friends, also served as an associate editor of the Georgia Journal Magazine and was coordinator for the Mercer University School of Medicine's "Mornin' Show." According to her obituary, Floyd also loved traveling and once coordinated and conducted a literary tour of the British Isles. Floyd was 84 years old.Click here to read more obituaries.
Ruby Jo Argo, a 43-year teaching veteran who had a humanitarian award at Tattnall Square Academy named in her honor, died June 16. Argo was born in Uvalda, later graduating from Macon's A.L. Miller High School and Mercer University. She taught more than four decades, in Macon's public schools as well as at Stratford and Tattnall academies. For several years she organized Red Cross blood drives at area high schools, volunteered at the local Special Olympics games, worked with the Girl Scouts and helped with neighborhood drives to raise money to combat heart problems, cancer and leukemia. At her retirement from Tattnall Square Academy, the Ruby Jo Argo Humanitarian Award was created to be given each year to the graduating senior who most exemplified her devotion to service and commitment to those in need. She was 87.Click here to read more obituaries.
Mayme Thomasenor Walker Pearson, a former teacher who owned several midstate businesses and was deeply involved in civic affairs, died June 11. Pearson was owner of the Dudley Funeral Home of Dublin as well as Thomasenor's Beauty & Barber Shop, and Dudley's Retreat Cafe. She taught school at Danville Elementary and in the Wilkinson County school system, and she worked as the first arts teacher at all three schools in the Laurens County school system before racial integration. Pearson also served on several community boards, including the Georgia Governors Council for Arts and Humanities, the American Cancer Society and the Dublin Communities in Schools, among others. She additionally served on The Blarney Stones, previously as chairwoman, for the Dublin St. Patrick's Day Festival and was involved with the Laurens County Historical Society, the Dublin-Laurens County branch of the NAACP and the Dublin-Laurens County Chamber of Commerce. She was 80 years old.Click here to read more obituaries.
Donald A.B. Herring, a former city commissioner in Hawkinsville who owned A.B.'s Barbeque restaurant, died June 9. A native of Enterprise, Alabama, Herring died at a local retirement home. He was 68.Click here to read more obituaries.
Mike Garvin, the architect of the Mount de Sales Academy football program whose team won three GHSA state championships in a four-year span beginning in 1970, died June 8. Garvin became head football coach at the private school in 1967, and his teams went 163-86-5 in 24 seasons. The school's stadium is named in his honor. Garvin led the Mount de Sales Cavaliers to five region championships in the GHSA and another five after Mount de Sales joined the GISA in 1980. The Cavaliers didn't have a losing record under Garvin until 1988. Garvin remained head coach until 1990. In addition, Garvin was a charter member of the school's athletics hall of fame class and won The Telegraph's Sam Burke Award in 1993 for contributions to athletics. Garvin was 79 years old.Click here to read more obituaries.
Sandra Hardage Bunn, who was postmistress in Bolingbroke for most of her 27-year career with the U.S. Postal Service, died June 2. Bunn, who was a well-known fixture in the small Monroe County hamlet where she worked, had battled leiomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer, for more than four years. Bunn was 65.Click here to read more obituaries.
Jane Morgan Haddock, who worked with the American Red Cross during World War II and later became a Middle Georgia rancher, died May 20. Haddock, who lived in Haddock, worked with the Red Cross in military and veterans' hospitals in Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina during the war. For more than 30 years she worked at Central State Hospital, where she was coordinator of the Volunteer Services Department. In 1950, Haddock began buying land, establishing a beef cattle herd that she managed for more than half a century. She was a charter member of the Cattlemen's Association serving Baldwin, Jones and Putnam counties. She was made a life member of the association in 2002. At her death, Haddock was 96.Click here to read more obituaries.
Florence Smith Cromartie Harrison spent more than half of her life in the classroom. Harrison, who died May 16, taught at Perry High School for 30 years beginning in 1940 before moving to The Westfield School where she taught until her retirement in 1990. A multi-nominated STAR teacher, Harrison was inducted into the Houston County Teacher Hall of Fame at the inaugural induction in 2007. Harrison was 99 years old.Click here to read more obituaries.
Forsyth's "voice of the Bulldogs" has been silenced. Vernon Elbert Sanders Jr., who called play-by-play action for Mary Persons High School's football team during home games, died May 13. Earlier in 2014, the school's press box was named in his honor. A 1962 graduate of the school, Sanders played football for Mary Persons from 1958 through the 1961 season. He went on to play for two years for Clemson University. Sanders was a former president of the Mary Persons Touchdown Club and was active in several community organizations. Sanders was 70.Click here to read more obituaries.
Paulette Winters, a beloved, longtime Bibb County educator whose 10-year tenure as principal of Vineville Academy in Macon capped nearly four decades in the school system, died May 11 at the age of 59. Winters was known for being a champion of the arts and was former school Superintendent Sharon Patterson's choice to lead Vineville Academy when it opened as a fine arts magnet school in 2002. Winters retired from the school system in November 2013.Click here to read more obituaries.
Stanley Lester, who served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War during a military career that included service in both the U.S. Army and Air Force, died May 10 in Warner Robins. Lester was a highly decorated military man, earning the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Silver Star and Bronze Star. Arguably his crowning achievement was being named a knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honour by the president of France. The Legion of Honour dates back to 1802 when Napoleon Bonaparte bestowed the first awards. Lester was 89 and is buried in Warner Robins.Click here to read more obituaries.
Ellis "Buddy" Norris, who began attending college at age 16 and went on to open a well-known pharmacy in Warner Robins, died May 6. Norris was owner of Norris Pharmacy on Hospital Drive for 30 years, and he served for three decades on the Warner Robins Planning and Zoning Board. Norris was 83. Click here to read more obituaries.
Walter "Randy" Randall, who was chairman of the Warner Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce, died May 3 of heart disease. Randall spent 25 years in the U.S. Air Force and was senior vice president of Progressive Consulting Technologies Inc. when he died at age 67. Click here to read more obituaries.
Mazie Walker, who was known as Middle Georgia's "Mother of Literacy," died April 24 in Palm Bay, Florida. The former Macon resident taught adults to read for more than 35 years, and Macon's Project Read presented the Mazie Walker Award to outstanding adult literacy volunteers. Walker also promoted religious missions at home and abroad and was the state Women's Missionary Union president for several years. In 1960, she was named the Georgia Homemaker of the Year for the 6th District in the UGA Extension Program. Walker was 90.Click here to read more obituaries.
Dr. Phil Anthony Mathias, an OB-GYN who delivered more than 5,000 babies in his long career, died April 18 in a Macon hospice. The Iowa-born Mathias conducted research that was instrumental in progressing leukemia research. Earlier in his career, Mathias was an Army surgeon during the Vietnam War and was chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Fort Benning in Columbus. He declined a pending promotion to colonel, instead choosing to pursue a career in private-practice medicine, according to his obituary. He was once awarded Educator of the Year by the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians and was licensed to practice medicine in four states, including Georgia. Mathias had a successful practice in Perry for years before he retired. He was 72.Click here to read more obituaries.
William Cox, a Purcell, Okla., native who served in the cavalry of the U.S. Army, retired from Robins Air Force Base and was a former deputy coroner of Houston County, died April 16. He was 102.Click here to read more obituaries.
Lester E. Farr, a beloved teacher and coach in Laurens County who had several winning basketball teams, died April 16. In 1951, he took the Cedar Grove High School girls basketball team to a state championship with a record of 35-1. Twenty years later, his girls basketball team was the 1971 state runner-up in its class. He was 101 years old.Click here to read more obituaries.
Wiley Baxter, the inspiration for the character "Wiley" in the B.C. comic strip, died April 14 and was buried in Macon Memorial Park Cemetery. His brother-in-law, the late Johnny Hart, drew the characters in B.C., which at one point was considered the most popular comic strip in the world. Hart served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was awarded a Purple Heart and fought the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge. The Louisville, Ala., native also was an avid fan of the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves baseball teams. Hart was 92 years old.Click here to read more obituaries.
Paul Slappey, a well-known Macon businessman who specialized in glass, died April 9. He retired from P.P.G. Glass Industry and later owned and operated Glass Service Center of Macon, located on Riverside Drive. A native of Opelika, Ala., Slappey was a huge University of Alabama fan from the 1940s until his death, according to his obituary. He was 82.Click here to read more obituaries.
A.C. Daniels, a Dooly County politician and business owner, died April 7. Daniels was a past chairman of the Dooly County Commission and a former member of the Vienna City Council. The owner of Pinehurst Equipment Co., Daniels also was a former chairman of the Dooly Medical Center Hospital Authority and was a member of the Middle Georgia Technical College board of directors. He is credited in his obituary with forming the Dooly County Economic Council. Daniels was 90 years old. Click here to read more obituaries.
W.M. "Dick" Dickey Jr., a career banker who served in Georgia's state House and on the Macon City Council, died April 6. A staunch Republican, Dickey served one term in the state House of Representatives in the early 1970s and served on the Macon City Council from 1991-2003.Click here to read more obituaries.
Hulda Yawn Cook, who led a decade-long effort to get the first group home built for the Heart of Georgia Developmental Disabilities Ministry, died April 3. The home is named in her honor. Cook, of Warner Robins, was a retired teacher and an avid gardener. She was 82.Click here to read more obituaries.
Dr. W.C. "Doc" Whitley, a longtime Macon politician and educator who was principal of two high schools, died March 30. Whitley was an educator for more than 30 years, serving as principal of the former Dudley Hughes High School as well as Southwest High School. Whitley also was involved in politics for a number of years, serving on the Macon City Council from 1969-1995. He was 89. Click here to read more obituaries.
Dorothy Cumbess Hyatt, who in 1969 became the first female certified police officer for The Medical Center of Central Georgia, died March 29 at the age of 88. Hyatt was involved in numerous civic groups, including the Freedom Park Seniors Joy Club and the Fraternal Order of Eagles Club. She also served as chairwoman for veterans at the Dublin VA Hospital and the Georgia War Veterans Home in Milledgeville. Click here to read more obituaries.
Donald William Horne, who moved to Macon more than 50 years ago and started Lucky Oil Co., died March 28. Horne arrived in Macon in 1960 as the Georgia representative of Colonial Oil Co., but he soon started his own business. He served on the board of directors of the Georgia Independent Oilmen's Association and the Southeastern Independent Oilmen Association. Horne was a Korean War veteran and a Gideon. He was 78. Click here to read more obituaries.
Kathleen "Kathy" Prickett Powers, a New Jersey native who moved to Marshallville in 1972, was a competitive barrel racer who was famous statewide for her equestrian expertise. Powers died March 28. Powers held positions in the Houston County Saddle Club and the Heart of Georgia Saddle Club as well as the Georgia Federation of Saddle Clubs. She was 65. Click here to read more obituaries.
Dr. Toof Boone Jr., a well-known Macon orthodontist and a star basketball player at Lanier High School, died March 24. Boone attained All-Region and All-State honors in basketball while he attended Lanier High, before going on to play for Mercer University. Boone was a founder and participating doctor with Children's Medical Services, which specializes in the care of children born with cleft palates and severe facial deformities. He was 79. Click here to read more obituaries.
Carey Tate Rutland, who organized the Macon chapter of AFGE, the labor union of federal workers, and served as one of its presidents, died March 24. Rutland also volunteered with the Outreach Ministry of Mulberry Street United Methodist Church and served as a librarian at the Bibb County jail. He was 94. Click here to read more obituaries.
Tullie Jones, a longtime Milledgeville banker who was heavily involved in civic activities, died March 22 at age 68. Jones retired as regional president of Magnolia State Bank and was a founding member of Forward Baldwin, a group formed to promote businesses and the community in Milledgeville and Baldwin County. Jones served as chairman of the Milledgeville Chamber of Commerce board from 1994-1995. Click here to read more obituaries.
Harold Merlin Woodell, a former pro at Oak Haven Golf Course who also was a former president of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union Local 472 that later joined Local 72, died March 17. Woodell was 79 years old. Click here to read more obituaries.
The Rev. Clarence Lee Bennett Jr., who was pastor of Ingleside United Methodist Church in Macon, died March 16. Bennett previously served at Cross Keys United Methodist, also in Macon. Bennett lived in Jeffersonville and was 71. Click here to read more obituaries.
Buck Melton Sr., a former Macon mayor credited with pushing for a penny-on-the-dollar sales tax as a way to reduce property taxes and with helping establish Mercer University's School of Medicine, died March 5 at the age of 90. Melton was mayor from 1975-1979 and was honored in 2009 when a community center was named in his honor. Late in life, Melton attempted a political comeback when he sought to become the Democratic Party's mayoral candidate in 1999. He lost that race to C. Jack Ellis, who went on to become the first black mayor in Macon's history. Click here to read more obituaries.
Donnie Haralson, the longtime sheriff of Crisp County, lost a decade-long battle with cancer March 4. Haralson, the son of a Cordele police officer, was named the 2010 Sheriff of the Year by the Georgia Sheriffs' Association. He was 58. Click here to read more obituaries.
Ernest Braziel Jr., a retired Wilcox County tax collector and the oldest member of First Baptist Church of Rochelle, died March 1. Braziel, who was 97 years old, served on the board of directors of Rochelle State Bank, was a World War II veteran and was a 65-year member of his Masonic lodge. Click here to read more obituaries.
Patricia Hellmuth Warnock, a Chicago native who served in the Red Cross during World War II and who later worked in the Bibb County school system for 25 years, died Feb. 28 at the age of 93. Warnock worked as a Bibb County schools counselor and was vice principal at various high schools in the system. Click here to read more obituaries.
Austin Christopher Childers, whose courage in the face of uncertainty uplifted a community, died Feb. 26. Childers was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease when he played football as a seventh-grader for First Presbyterian Day School in Macon. Last summer, the school's football field was named in his honor. Childers was 23. Click here to read more obituaries.
Richard L. Michie, a decorated retired lieutenant colonel of the U.S. Army who later was the first administrator for Covenant Academy in Macon, died Feb. 25 at the age of 75. Michie earned multiple military honors including the National Defense Service Medal, the Army of Occupation Medal-Berlin, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Bronze Star. Click here to read more obituaries.
Willie Pearl Joyner, a former mayor of the city of Irwinton, died Feb. 24. Joyner was elected mayor of the Wilkinson County town in November 2011 and resigned at the end of December 2013, just two years into her four-year term. Click here to read more obituaries.
L.A. Sturdivant, who was a former chairman of Macon's Downtown Council and served on the board of directors of the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, died Feb. 22. Born Lathan Adolph Sturdivant Jr., he was known for his love of Macon. He worked as a former general manager of NBC-TV affiliate WMGT 41 and retired in 1998. Later, he and his wife, Kathy, bought The Woodpile Unfinished Store, which they ran until 2008. Sturdivant was 73. Click here to read more obituaries.
Fred Key, who was part of one of the area's largest manufactured home businesses, died Feb. 20. Key, who grew up in Eatonton, was co-founder of Horton Homes, which builds manufactured homes as well as mobile classrooms and offices, according to his obituary. Key was 82. Click here to read more obituaries.
Mary Jean Smith Yates, a former travel columnist for The Macon Telegraph who later created "Faces in the Crowd" for Macon Magazine, died Feb. 20 at age 84. Yates was involved in multiple civic organizations, serving on the boards of the Macon Arts Alliance and the Museum of Arts and Sciences. She was a member of the Nathaniel Macon chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Morning Music Club, and the Hill and Dale Garden Club, among others. With members of her bridge club, she published the cookbook "Table Talk." Yates notably served on the Coliseum Authority during restoration of the City Auditorium and served a five-year stint on the Mercer University Board of Trustees. Click here to read more obituaries.
Don "Billy" Crafton, a banker whose contributions to the business and civic communities in Pulaski and Laurens counties were virtually unparalleled, died Feb. 16. Born in Laurens County, Crafton was a World War II veteran who was president and CEO of Planters Bank of Hawkinsville and who later headed up Morris State Bank in Dublin. Among other accomplishments, Crafton was a past president of the Georgia Bankers Association, former vice chairman of the Hawkinsville City Board of Education and a former Hawkinsville Lions Club Citizen of the Year. He also was a former president of the chambers of commerce in both Pulaski and Laurens counties and was a past chairman of the St. Patrick's Festival in Dublin. Crafton was 85. Click here to read more obituaries.
Irving Martinez, a Macon political activist who unsuccessfully ran for a state Senate seat in 2012, died Feb. 16. Martinez jumped in the Senate race and ultimately drew enough votes to force a runoff between incumbent Sen. Miriam Paris and former state Rep. David Lucas in a contest that Lucas won. Martinez spoke out about a police shooting, failing schools and other local issues. Martinez, a New York native, was 51. Click here to read more obituaries.
Larry Eugene Smith Sr., who retired as a captain from the Macon-Bibb County Fire Department and who later worked with his son as a computer technician for the Bibb County Board of Elections, died Feb. 16. He was 68. Click here to read more obituaries.
William Moorehead, a longtime Fort Valley State University professor and a former chairman of the Peach County Development Authority, died Feb. 10. Moorehead's FVSU career began when he was hired as a biology professor in 1954. During his 38-year tenure there, he served in several capacities, including acting president. Among his accomplishments, he was chosen as Teacher of the Year at the university for four consecutive years. Moorehead was 84. Click here to read more obituaries.
James "Jim" Pearsall, the founder of the Centerville Friends of the Library and a former chairman of the Houston County Democratic Committee, died Feb. 8. Pearsall grew up in New York but found a home in Middle Georgia. Over the years, the U.S. Army veteran volunteered in Montezuma during the Flood of 1994, was a volunteer firefighter for the Blue Point Fire Department, was an assistant Cub Scout master and was a former president of Warner Robins Little Theatre. Pearsall was 82. Click here to read more obituaries.
Alfonso "Al" Wendell Gerhardt Jr., a Lanier High School sports standout who played football at Georgia Tech and was inducted into the Macon Sports Hall of Fame, died Feb. 3. Gerhardt served as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps in Vietnam and returned to Macon after the war to open Gerhardt Construction Co. Late in life he was named Volunteer of the Year by Family Advancement Ministries and used his construction skills to help build the Daybreak Homeless Center in downtown Macon. Gerhardt was 67. Click here to read more obituaries.
Larry West, the second chief of the Warner Robins Fire Department, died Feb. 2 at the age of 72. West served the department for 36 years, with the last 15 spent as fire chief before retiring in October 1999. West joined the fire department when he was 21 and rose through the ranks. He was a training officer before taking over when Chief Ernest Wood retired. West oversaw the opening of a fire station on the west side of the city and helped with plans to put a station on the south end of town. Click here to read more obituaries.
Bishop John Lester Cotton, a well-loved entrepreneur and preacher who pastored Greater Overcoming Church of God in Macon for 46 years and owned the popular fried-chicken restaurant Saint Cotton Southern Cafeteria on Pio Nono Avenue, died Jan. 31. He was 75. Click here to read more obituaries.
Harold Lee Perdue Jr., who created Youth Leadership Bibb County and was a bedrock of the Macon-Bibb County civic community, died Jan. 31. Perdue, who succumbed to a rare form of cancer, was the first black pediatric cancer patient at Emory University in Atlanta and was the first black teacher at Macon's Stratford Academy, according to his obituary. Earlier in life, Perdue wrote the words and composed the music for Northeast High School's alma mater, which is still used as the school's anthem. He served on numerous boards including the American Cancer Society, Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Georgia, Tubman African American Museum, Leadership Macon and Macon Little Theatre. Perdue was 53. Click here to read more obituaries.
Nicholas Maro Block II, who from 1964-1977 was owner and president of downtown Macon's Dempsey Hotel which had been in his family since 1913, died Jan. 29. Block was president of the Block Corp. and was a former president of the Georgia Hotel Association. He was 87.Click here to read more obituaries.
Kitty Oliver, who was director of the Middle Georgia Historical Society from 1982 until 2002 and whose family owned the Raines-Carmichael House in Macon, died Jan. 26. She was 86. Click here to read more obituaries.
Cedric Leslie, who grew up in Macon and went on to become an associate civil and Magistrate Court judge in Bibb County, died Jan. 25. Leslie, a Vietnam veteran, was 62. Click here to read more obituaries.
The Rev. Oscar L. Ross Jr. was a well-known midstate preacher who was pastor of Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Kathleen when he died Jan. 21. For 15 years, Ross was pastor of Memorial Baptist Church in Macon. He was 62. Click here to read more obituaries.
Edward Hawthorne Fluker, who helped form the Macon-Bibb County Convention and Visitors Center and whose marketing and advertising agency created the "Macon Believer" tourism ad campaign, died Jan. 20 at the age of 88. Fluker, who enlisted in the U.S. Navy after high school, volunteered to fly reconnaissance flights over the Mariana Islands before Iwo Jima and the surrender of Japan. He also served for 10 years on the Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority board. Click here to read more obituaries.
Carroll S. Barnwell, whose camera captured World War II-era images from the skies over China and India while he flew with the 14th Air Force's "Flying Tigers," died Jan. 15. Barnwell, a Macon native, went on to work at Bibb Manufacturing Co., where he was director of research and development. Barnwell's obituary said he helped create the kind of fabric used to make the American flag on the first manned moon mission in 1969. Click here to read more obituaries.
Pearlie T. Pyles, who was first to be crowned senior Cherry Blossom queen in 1984, died Jan. 12 at the age of 92. The Macon native was a charter member of Shurlington United Methodist Church and was a volunteer librarian at the Bibb County jail. Click here to read more obituaries.
Wendell Morris Harvey rose through the ranks of the Macon-Bibb County Fire Department to become district fire chief in 1973. Harvey had a love of music and once joined Jerry Lee Lewis onstage at the Macon Coliseum to play his guitar during the concert. Harvey, who was 70 when he died Jan. 12 of complications from cancer, was a member of the fire department's Wildfire Band.Click here to read more obituaries.
Ashley Nicole Hudgens, who played on Perry High School's girls basketball team, served on the Student Council and was crowned Miss Perry High School, died Jan. 10 at the age of 20. Hudgens had recently joined the U.S. Army. Click here to read more obituaries.
Gary Lee Myers, a flying aficionado who started the flight division of Charter Medical Corp. in Macon and served as the company's chief pilot, died Jan. 9. Myers first flew airplanes at the age of 15 and was owner of Myers Flying Service. He was 63. Click here to read more obituaries.
Ray Horne, the theatrical mastermind who made Northside High School's drama program among the best in the state, died Jan. 4 at the age of 77. Horne was inducted into the Houston County Schools Teacher Hall of Fame in 2011 and a theater at Northside High is named after him. Click here to read more obituaries.
Charlie Mercer, left, an old-time country music performer from Metter who made music with his brother Wallace, right, as the Mercer Brothers, died Jan. 2. Charlie Mercer, who was 89, played in Macon on both WMAZ radio and TV as well as the Grand Ole Opry. The Mercer Brothers' music was released by Columbia Records in the early 1950s. Click here to read more obituaries.