Winnie Faye Baldwin, age 58 of Calhoun, passed away on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 in Gordon Hospital.
Winnie was born on May 29, 1956 in Gordon County, to the late Wallace Floyd “Footsie” Baldwin and the former Miss Viola Ernestine Parker. She was a member of the Fellowship Baptist Church of the Oostanaula Community. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by aunts and uncles, Geneva Sucharkzy, Ludie Dupree, Henry Parker, James Parker, Jr., Ruby Jean Ellis, Bill Baldwin, Jesse Baldwin and Fred Baldwin; and two sisters, Betty Ann Bryant and Debbie “Duck- Duck” Baldwin.
She is survived by her brother, Tony Baldwin of Calhoun; sister, Brenda Sue Waddell of Calhoun; and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral Services will be conducted on Friday, January 2, 2015 at 11:00 AM at the Chapel of Thomas Funeral Home with the Reverend Gary Quarrels officiating. Burial will be in the Fellowship Baptist Church Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 10:00 until 11:00 AM, Friday at the funeral home preceding the funeral, and from 1:00 until 3:00 PM at the family residence, 505 Sandy Street, Calhoun.
Lamar was ablast to be around. He had a sense of humor that kept me laughing. Get him, Tom Galliger and Amos Moses going on a topic and wow ..... the gut busting laughter was non-stop. His "sideline cider" as we called it made summer footballl camps endurable. I have tried to duplicate the mixture but not have any success thus far. It in the sweet to salty balance along with the field house ice.
Mrs. Josephine Elizabeth Billings, 91, of 308 N. Wall St., Calhoun died Wednesday, June 26, 2002 at 12:20 a.m. while residing at Regal Residence.
She ws born in Bristol, Tenn., on April 15, 1911, daughter of the late John William and Carrie Keefe Miller. She attended East Tennessee State College after which she taught at Big Stone Gap School. Having studied voice, she organizedand directed a glee club at the high school.
She was married on June 22, 1940 to Dr. Jordan Eli Billings, who preceded her in death on Jan. 1, 1977. They made their home in Calhoun and became members of Calhoun First United Methodist Church. She was a choir member and soloist for many years and served on numerous committees and was active in the WSCS. She was a teacher for the Susannah Wesley Sunday School Class and served as an MYF counselor for several years.
Known as "Mrs. B" by many of her students, she taught English and Latin at Calhoun High School until her retirement. She served as a senior class advisor, supervising the graduation programs of many senior classes. She was a member of and held offices in a number of organizations in Calhoun, such as the Hillhouse Garden Club, Gordon County Historical Society, and Calhoun Woman's Club. She was a member of Beta Tau Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma and was recently presented Georgia Retired Educators Association Emeritus membership for distinguished service.
Survivors include a daughter, Ann Billings Mayne of Dalton, and two grandchildren, William P. Mayne III of Athens and Susan Mayne Rann and her husband, Tracy D. Rann, of Dalton.
Funeral was Saturday, June 29 at 11 a.m. at Calhoun First United Methodist Church, with Dr. Charlz McDonald officiating. Interment was in Fain Cemetery. Pallbearers were Ed Weldon, Dwight Walraven, Jim Lay, Bill Burton, Tim Haney and Jimmy Palmer. Honarary pallbearers were Teresa Davis Roberts and the staff of Regal Residence, Carla Jones, and the staff of Hamilton Health Adult Day Care. Flowers will be accepted, or memorial contributions may be made to the Calhoun First United Methodist Church, 205 E. Line St., Calhoun, GA 30701.
Clifford Free Funeral Home of Calhoun was in charge of arrangements.
I have many memories of Mrs. Billings' class - in both senses of the word. My favorite times though were when someone, like Gerald Mozur, would get her to go off-topic (which was not easy) and tell about the adventures of a young rural doctor and his wife. Car chases and all kinds of hi-jinx there!
Mr. Robert Terry Cantrell, 58 of Adairsville, GA died Monday, January 18, 2016 at Redmond Regional Medical Center. He was born in Cobb County, GA on May 18, 1957, son of Betty Westbrook Cantrell, and the late Robert W. Cantrell. In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by a brother, Tony Cantrell; and a grandchild, Jalyn Cantrell.
Terry had been employed with Burger King for many years, and was Manager of the Highway 140 location in Adairsville.
Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Ann McArthur Cantrell; sons and daughters-in-law, David and Amanda Cantrell, Allen and Chrystal Cantrell, and Rusty Cantrell; his mother, Betty Cantrell; and grandchildren, Skylar Barker, Wes and Will, Julianna, Brayden, Dylan, Skyler Hufstetler, and Jayden Hufstetler. Also surviving are close friends, Randy and Sandra Kinsey, and Bo and Ginger Johnson.
Services to honor the life Mr. Robert Terry Cantrell will be held Friday, January 22nd at 1:00 PM from Plainview Baptist Church, with Rev. Ken Freshour, Rev. Gary Hibberts, and Rev. David Erwin officiating. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. Active pallbearers will include David Cantrell, Rusty Cantrell, Allen Cantrell, Randy Kimsey, Kenny Geving, and Mickey Young. Honorary pallbearers are Jerry Holman, Bo Johnson, Nathan Cantrell, Philip Skates, Don Massey, Jr., Lance Kimsey, and the staff and management of the Adairsville Burger King.
The Cantrell family will receive friends at Max Brannon and Sons Funeral Home Thursday, January 21st from 5:00 PM until 9:00 PM.
Condolences may be left at www.maxbrannonandsons.com. Funeral services for Mr. Robert Terry Cantrell are under the care and direction of Max Brannon and Sons Funeral Home of Calhoun.
Tony Lamar Edwards passed away October 20, 2016 at Floyd Medical Center.
Tony was born on September 6, 1956 in Chatsworth, GA. He was a truck driver for 35 years, and his last job was at Gateway Transportation for 17 years. Tony graduated from Calhoun High School in 1975. He was a minister of the United Christian Church, and was an evangelist preacher for 20 years. As a young child he lived with his grandparents the late Sam and Flora Brown. Tony went to live with his aunt and uncle Sara and Roger Burnley when he was 10 years old.
Tony is survived by his wife of 40 years, Donna Joyce Edwards; two daughters, Joyce Dawn Franklin and her husband Larry Charles Franklin, and April Veronica Edwards and her boyfriend, Jeremy Mitchell Dean; four grandchildren, Autumn Gabrielle Franklin, Trevor Reece Franklin, Jesse James Correll, and PhoebeAnn Jeraldine Correll; his mother, Dorothy Mae Brown; two half-sisters, Janice Copeland and Pam Franklin and her husband Dewayne Franklin; one half-brother, Joey Walraven and his wife Sharon Walraven; and several uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews also survive.
A Memorial Service will be held at a later date.
This is the story Daddy always told us all of our lives.
Mr. Steve Fowler, age 51 of Calhoun, passed away Thursday, March 15, 2007 at Redmond Regional Medical Center. He was born in Floyd County January 26, 1956, son of the late Robert Leon Fowler and Elease Josie Hall. Steve was president of the Hope for Life Family Scleroderma Study. He was a member of Trinity Baptist Church where he served on the Welcome Team and Usher Team and also helped with the Wednesday Night Suppers. He was a member of the Encouragers Sunday School Class. He was an ordained deacon having previously served at South Calhoun Baptist Church. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a sister Teresa Hall and grandparents Eugene and Beulah Ellis Fowler and William and Josie Rice Chatmon.
Survivors include his wife of seventeen years; Lavone Clark Fowler and two sons; Joshua and Jacob Fowler. One brother; Chris Hall of Calhoun and one sister Sharon Robinson and her husband Ronald of Calhoun. Several nieces, nephews and other relatives also survive.
Funeral Services for Mr. Steve Fowler will be conducted Sunday at 3:00 p.m. from the Trinity Baptist Church with Rev. Eddie Brannon and Rev. Brian Priest officiating. Interment will follow in the family plot at Fain Cemetery. Active pallbearers serving will include Randy Abernathy, Darel Ownbey, Carmen Caldwell, Randy Balliew, Dickie Goswick, Timmy Erwin and Joseph Taylor. These gentlemen are asked to meet at the funeral home Sunday at 2:15 p.m. Honorary pallbearers will include members of the Encouragers Sunday School Class, Dr. Sterns Hope for Life Family Scleroderma Study, Bob and Ginger Bishop, Larry and Kathy Brown and Rev. Brian Priest. They are requested to meet at the church Sunday at 2:45 p.m. The family will receive friends at Max Brannon and Sons Funeral Home on Saturday after 5:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers the family asked that contributions be made in Steve's memory to the Hope for Life Family to benefit Scleroderma Study. Contributions may be sent to the Hope for Life Family Scleroderma Study at 220 South Wall Street Suite 203 Calhoun, Georgia 30701
Steve and I became friends again when I joined the Scleroderma Study working with Vickie Goswick and her group. He had a beautiful personality and worked so hard at staying healthy. Steve and I had the same damage from the disease (lung damage), we were the only two in the study that had the same damage. I was on oxygen and had decided to get a lung transplant but Steve had decided to try other things for his treatment.
It was very sad to see him have to leave but I know he is breathing good on the otherside and that God needed another angel. Steve's smile will forever be in my heart and his warm personality will not be forgotten.
your friend, norma
Gerald King Holland, 50, of Maple Street, Ellijay, died Wednesday, April 4, 2007.
Survivors include his wife of 15 years, Donna Kyle Holland of Ellijay; daughter, Morgan Casey Holland of Ellijay; son, Dustin Kyl Holland of Ellijay; mother, Elizabeth K. Holland of Ellijay; brothers, Orvin Holland of Atlanta, Joe Holland of Nashville, Ed Holland of Ellijay.
Max Milton Hurley, Jr., 57, of Nederland, Texas passed away on March 3, 2014 at the Medical Center of Southeast Texas in Port Arthur, Texas. He was born in Lafayette, Georgia on January 11, 1957 to Max Milton Hurley, Sr. and Barbara Morgan. Max served his country proudly in the U. S. Army. He was a sales person for Twin City Honda.
A gathering of family and friends will be held at Melancon’s Funeral Home in Nederland on Thursday, March 6, 2014 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a memorial service at 6:00 p.m.
Max is preceded in death by his mother, Barbara Morgan Hurley. He is survived by his wife, Vicki Nagy Hurley of Nederland; his father, Max Hurley, Sr. of Calhoun, Georgia; his step-son, Michael DeCourt of Nederland; and his sister, Kerri Worley and husband, Sam of Calhoun, Georgia; and his nephew, Micah Worley of Calhoun, Georgia.
Mrs. Kathy Jones Barton, 22, of Rte 1, Resaca, died Thursday, Sept. 21 at 1:55 p.m. from injuries received in an auto accident.
Mrs. Barton was born in Dolson Springs, KY, Aug. 23, 1956, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Randall Jones. She was an honor graduate of Calhoun High School and was a member of the Calhoun Marching Band for four years. She attended Dalton Junior College.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Vera Mae Jones in 1975.
Survivors include her husband, Billy Barton Jr., to whom she was married in Dec. 1975; parents, Mr. and Mrs. Randall Jones of Calhoun; a brother, Gary Campbell of Kentucky; a sister, Miss Adora Jones of Calhoun; grandmother, Mrs. Frances McCord of Kentucky; and inlaws, Rev. and Mrs. Billy Barton of Calhoun.
Funeral services were at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept 23, from the Chapel of the Combs and Free Funeral Home. Pallbearers were Ricky Bryant, Scott Bryant, Kenneth Farba, Gerald Holland, Bobby Burns, Michael Rowe and Donnie Worley. Interment was in Fain Cemetery.
Kathy was as beautiful inside as outside.I was very close to her and Bill Barton.They made me Godfather to thier son Heath.I was so devastated by thier passing and spent lots of time with Bill after.Still to this day when I pass Fain Cenetary I have thoughts of Kathy and Heath.RIP sweet friends of mine.
Mr. Max Phillip "Phil" McBee, 48, of Calhoun died Friday, October 7, 2005 at Hamilton Medical Center, following several months of declining health.
He was born on March 8, 1957, son of Max McBee and the late Shelba Henderson McBee. He was a member of Erwin Hill Church of God and employed by Pain Exterminating until becoming disabled. He was preceded in death by his mother, Shelba Henderson McBee, in 1999.
Survivors include his wife of 19 years, Kim Hartley McBee, two daughters, Laci Renee, 15, and Ashley Nicole, 13, of Calhoun; father, Max McBee; grandmother, Pauline Wilbanks McBee of Calhoun; a brother and sister-in-law Russell and Patricia McBee of Dacula; and several nieces and nephews.
Mrs. Kathryn (Kaki) Phillips, 60, of Calhoun, died at 6:47 a.m. Wednesday (Oct. 11, 1989) at her residence, following two years of declining health.
A daughter of the late James J. and Lois Smith Brock, she was born Nov. 8, 1928 in Santa Monica, Calif.
Mrs. Phillips had served as a public school teacher for over 18 years at Calhoun High School, teaching speech, drama, French and gifted students. She also was director of the Calhoun High School senior play for the years 1974 - 1988.
She was a member of St. Timothy's Episcopal Church of Calhoun.
Survivors include, a daughter, Beth Phillips Wright and granddaughter, Jennifer Kathleen (Jenny) Wright, both of Calhoun; adopted daughter, Lori King of Calhoun; stepson, Steven Paul Phillips of Grenada Hills, Calif.; former husband, Glenn D. Phillips of Pasadena, Calif.; first cousins, Dr. Paul Brock of Rome, J. B. Langford of Calhoun, Edna Langford of Atlanta, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Langford of Dalton, Graham and Jackie Smith of Norris, Tenn., Jack and Hilda Brock of Adairsville, Butch and Mary Burdette of Rome; and other cousins, relatives and friends.
A memorial service was conducted at 5 p.m. Friday (Oct. 13, 1989) at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church of Calhoun with Father Paul Ross officiating. memorial contributions may be made to the Kaki Phillips Scholarship Fund, in care of Calhoun High School, South River Street, Calhoun, GA 30701.
Thomas Funeral Home of Calhoun was in charge of arrangements.
Kaki was so kind and encouraging to me. She had faith in me in a way that pulled me out of a shell. Between Diane Dobson and her student teacher, Julie Parrish they took Kaki's vision of converting me into Conrad Birdie. Her belief in me made me into the openminded individual who welcomes new opportunities. This has served me well in my personal and professional life. Getting to work with her in a student to teacher role in my Senior year was the begining to a volunteer, peer to peer with the Red Cross Lear to Swim Program at the Calhoun Parks and Rec. We had a blast as co-swim instructors and then getting to coach Beth Phillips on the swim team, Kaki and I really evolved into the adult relationship with which she honored me as an adult in spite of our age difference. She was a great mentor and counsel. I loved Kaki for the spirit she had and still love her for the spirit she founded in me.
MRS. RUBY PHILLIPS HARRIS – Age 60, Of Calhoun, Georgia passed away on Friday, April 10, 2015. She was born on March 21, 1955 in Dalton, Georgia and was preceded in death by her parents, Ernest Edward Phillips and Lillian Fields Phillips, son, Samuel Harris, two brothers, Leonard Phillips and David Phillips.
She is survived by her husband, Charlie Ray Harris, Sr.; sons, Charlie Ray Harris, Jr., Rodney (Angela) Harris, and Thomas Harris; daughters, Lillian (Terry) Swim, Rakia (Qurinard) Washington, and Rachel Harris; three grandchildren; sisters, Earnestine Phillips and Mary Phillips; brothers, Jerry (Mildred) Phillips, Jimmy (Ericka) Phillips, and Thomas Phillips; sister-in-law, LaChretia Phillips; a host of other sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and friends.
Funeral Service will be held Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 1:00 P.M. at Friendship Baptist Church, 452 West Line Street, Calhoun, GA. with Rev. Shane Boone, Eulogist, Pastor James Washington, Rev. Eric Harris, and other ministers officiating. The Family will receive friends one hour before the service. Interment, Colbert Cemetery. Please share your thoughts and memories of Ruby Phillips Harris at www.willisfuneralhomedalton.com.
Ronald Hughes Purdy, age 76 of Calhoun, passed away on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at his residence.
Ron was born on April 8, 1938 in Abbington, PA to James H. and Florine Summerfield Purdy. He was raised in Yardley, PA with three brothers, Jimmy, Bob and Barry and one sister, Lynn. He graduated from Pennsbury High School. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and lettered in wrestling. He served in the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of E5 as a head financial officer at Fort Stewart. He then graduated with a Bachelor of Science and Master’s Degree in Mathematics from Georgia Southern.
Ron coached football, basketball, wrestling, baseball, tennis, diving and swimming. He was a charter member of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church where he held the office of treasurer and as a member of the vestry. He loved playing golf, swimming, sun bathing, coin collecting, math, watching UNC sports, spending time with his granddaughters, singing and dancing. Ron was a teacher for 32 years in Georgia and South Carolina. He was a honor recipient of the Golden Apple Teacher of the Month Award, a member of the Professional Associating of Georgia’s Education, Attendant of 15 Georgia Mathematics Conferences, head swimming coach of Calhoun Swimming Barracudas and Post Road Pool Swim Team, athletic director in Villa Rica and Calhoun, head coach for football, basketball, wrestling, baseball, tennis and swimming.
He is survived by his wife, Phyllis Wall Purdy of Calhoun; two sons, Hunt Purdy and his wife Tracy and Roger W. Purdy and his wife Karen; daughter, Louise Purdy; two granddaughters, Kirtland Purdy and Georgia Pardon; brother, James H. Purdy III; and several nieces and nephews also survive.
Memorial Services will be held from the Calhoun First United Methodist Church (205 East Line St.) on Saturday, April 11th at 5:00 PM with Father Louis Tonsmeire officiating.
The family will receive friends an hour prior to the Memorial Service.
In lieu of flowers contributions to the Ron Purdy Memorial Scholarship can be made to the Calhoun Education Foundation c/o Calhoun City Schools, 380 Barrett Road, Calhoun, GA 30701.
Wow, Coach Ron Purdy was a man I both loved and hated. The hate was simply because he pushed me to limits I myself did not want to go. He pushed me through mud, cold and personal, physical pain. He was there for me in my sporting life at CHS in football and wrestling. Coach Purdy anlong with his coaching staff, molded a young boy into a man. So many times I have looked back to reflect on the lessons learned through that time know had I not had men like Coach Purdy in my life there is no way of knowing where I might have ended up. From Coach Ron Purdy I know I learned to push through simply because I am pissed off if for no other reason.
Sharon Shugart George passed away on Thursday June 18th, 2015 after a 9 year battle with kidney cancer. Survived by her husband, Raymond George, and her two sons, Michael and Andrew George, sister Elizabeth Lowery, and brother, John Shugart.
She graduated from North Georgia College in 1979, with a business degree. She was president of Phi Mu and remained close with her sisters. She and Raymond worked together in his law office for many years. She was known to "adopt" NGC cadets and US Army Rangers who came to the office for guidance and assistance. She was loved by all who knew her, especially "the Moms".
Funeral Service will be held Monday June 22, 2015 at 2pm in the Chapel of Dahlonega Funeral Home. Family will receive friends on Monday June 22 from 9am until 12pm. Interment will follow at Dahlonega Memorial Park Cemetery. Rev. Ken Hagler will officiate. Special music by Paul Wingo. Pallbearers will be Jerry McCall, Gene Rankin, Todd Lord, Mike Powell, Blake Masters, and Doug Glidden. Honorary pallbearers will be the “Moms”.
Arrangements by the professional staff of Dahlonega Funeral Home 20 Gibson Road, Dahlonega, GA 30533 706-864-DOVE (3683)
Mr. Harold E. Summerville, age 79 of Calhoun died Friday, December 21 at the home of his daughter, Jackie Brown after several months of illness. Harold was born in Polk County, December 12, 1933, son of the late Lloyd Summerville and Elizabeth Lilies Summerville Swafford. He was also preceded in death by a brother, Franklin Summerville, by Sandra Phillips Summerville, and step-father, Seals L. Swafford. He had served as a sergeant, US Army, 108th Airborne Infantry, Fort Huachuca, Arizona and was a member of the 36th Army Band. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Calhoun.
He is survived by two daughters, Sherron Mills and her husband Stephen of Athens; Jackie Brown and her husband Mike of Calhoun; two brothers, Alan Summerville of Marietta, C.W. Summerville of Oscoda, Michigan and five nieces; grandchildren, Erin Brown, Michael Brown, Lindsey Brown, Kristen Gibson and her husband Phillip, Ashley Lester and her husband Peter, and Tara Walker; one great granddaughter, Natalie Mills Gibson.
Funeral services will be conducted at 1:00 PM, Thursday, December 27 at the First Baptist Church with Dr. Tommy McDearis, Blacksburg Virginia Baptist Church, Reverend John Harris; and Dr. Ken Bodiford, Director of Bands, Jacksonville State University Southerners and Marching Ballerinas officiating. Burial will be in Chandler Cemetery. The body of Mr. Summerville will lie in state at the church from 12 noon until the funeral hour. The family will receive friends from 5:00 until 8:00 PM, Wednesday at First Baptist Church. Active pallbearers are former students, Michael Clark, Hank Dobson, Tom Moore, Neil McCloud, Robert Owens, and Jack Amberson. Ross David Smith will serve as special escort. Honorary pallbearers and escort are former Calhoun High School Band Members, former and active members of the Jacksonville State University Southerners.
Harold earned his Bachelor's Degree from Jacksonville State University and was a charter member of the Southerners and Marching Ballerina Band. He proudly served at Band President. He was the original "20 J" tuba player in the Southerners. He earned his Master's Degree in music from the University of Alabama in 1962. In 1963, Harold "Stretch" Summerville became the band director at Calhoun High School and introduced a revolutionary half-time presentation that featured a non-stop precision show and drill that set the stage for the Color Presentation and the flashing batons of the colorful and exciting majorettes. The Yellow Jacket Band's new routine was so different to that of other competitors that even rival schools gave the Yellow Jackets rousing ovations. It was during this time that the band acquired a new introduction. The Reverend Claude McBride of Belmont Baptist Church felt that an award winning band deserved an introduction that expressed the admiration of the school and community. Soon, the announcer's cry that signaled the start of another exciting half-time show was " Presenting the Pride of Georgia's Northland, the Calhoun High School Marching Band". In 1987, Mr. Summerville retired and former student Michael Clark became the new director. Under his leadership, the band has continued the standard of excellence established many years ago, and today the Calhoun High School Marching Band remains the " Pride of Georgia's Northland".
After his retirement, Mr. Summerville continued to pursue his love of working with young people. In 1989, he began a new hobby in the roll of Santa. In 1992, his hobby turned into a delightful career when he began working with Cherry Hill Photo as a professional Santa. He had the opportunity to travel to several different areas, bringing happiness to many. He appeared in a Toby Keith video, "Santa, I'm right here"; and also, worked with Montel Williams as Santa for the cast and crew party.
Local banker Stanley Taylor lost his fight with brain cancer last month. His lifelong friend, Dr. Tommy McDearis, pens a touching tribute.
This is a tribute I never wanted to write. If I were going to write it, I would have preferred to write it to Stanley himself, but I would never had done so. Doing such might have instigated a heart attack, and honestly, we were far more likely to willfully annoy one another than say nice things to each another. Our last fully lucid conversation, while he was dreadfully sick, included his asking me to hand him his water. I said, “No, sorry. It’s out of my reach. I’d have to stand up to do that.” His response, which included a chuckle, was typical and appropriate … and quite insulting of my heritage.
Today I am writing a tribute to my closest friend of over five decades. He is still my best friend. The only difference is I live on earth and he now lives in heaven. Selfishly, I wish he were still here with us, but faith reminds me he has the better abode.
I met Stanley Taylor at College Street Elementary School in Calhoun, Ga., in 1963. It was the first week of first grade. I was in Mrs. Boston’s class. He was across the hall. I spotted him in the hallway. I had a flattop haircut. He parted his blonde hair on the side. He had on a button-up shirt. I wore a polo. I wore glasses. He did not. He was different from me. Different had to be bad. I disliked him right from the start.
It seemed a perfectly normal decision of a six-year-old mind, but my decision was soon interrupted by recess. That short interlude in the school day is now largely extinct, but it was quite beneficial to my life.
Though I do not recall precisely how the conversation started, I do know that by the end of the first week of class, Stanley and I were spending all of recess together. Though we played with the other kids, we always migrated to each other.
It did not take long for Stanley and me to recognize how much we had in common. We were both a bit geeky. We were “good kids” who were good students. We did not cause trouble. We did not get into trouble. We migrated to the other “good kids,” and we were bothered by the kids who persistently misbehaved.
How those few traits drew us closer and closer was a mystery to both of us, but from the first week of school until he left for heaven, not much separated us … not even distance.
Stanley was the only friend of my life whom I would meet after having not seen him for a year and the conversation would begin where we left it. With the exception of politics, which was the one subject we never viewed through the same lens, we almost were never at odds. In fact, we never discussed politics, because we did not want to be at odds.
I knew Stanley better than about anyone outside his family. I knew how he would react in a given situation, and I never failed to call it correctly. He could do the same with me.
One of the worst periods of my life was in the mid-1990’s. I was struggling as the pastor of a church where I was anything but a good fit. Knowing I was struggling, he called me. After the obligatory pleasantries, he said, “I know what you’re thinking, and I know you’re losing your confidence. Don’t! You’re not lacking in talent and gifts. You’re in the wrong place. Find the right place and quit doubting yourself.”
With the exception of my wife, no one knew me so well. On every count, he was right. Of course, he also told me my shirt was ugly, even though he could not see it over the phone, and he told me I should powder my bald head, since he could see the glare all the way from Atlanta.
Even a serious conversation required the appropriate exchange of insults, which carried through right down to our last good visit.
As is often the case, Stanley lost his hair due to chemotherapy. Seeing how much he looked like me due to the hair loss, he looked at me on day two of our visit and he said, “I guess you know it’s about time to leave this world when you look in the mirror and you realize you look just like Tommy McDearis. It can’t get much worse than that.”
Such was life with this best friend. What I would give for more years of such jabs.
Stanley and I had much in common, but our faith in God was first on the list. We attended the same church all through high school, and we returned to the church when we would travel home from college. In fact, we usually preplanned our weekends home from college so we would be in town together, and church was part of the togetherness.
Our church was the setting of many of the major milestones of our lives, largely because neither of us knew how to think of ourselves apart from faith. Our belief in God colored who we became and everything we did. Both our values and our friendship were built through what we believed. From childhood to our last week together, few conversations failed to migrate to God.
Indeed, our last good conversation centered more on faith than anything else. It was very important for Stanley to tell me that I should not worry about him. He certainly had no desire to leave us, but he wanted me to know of his confidence that “God would take care of” him. I had no doubt, but he needed to assure me. I think he felt such assurance would bring me comfort. As usual, he was right.
Stanley also wanted me to make sure I focused more on God than on him when I preached his funeral. Truthfully, he never really asked me to lead his funeral. He simply assumed I would. He began giving me details of things he wanted me to say. All of them had to do with his faith and his desire for me to offer the comfort of faith to his family. He had no worry for eternity, but he was concerned for those he would leave behind. He knew the faith would help them cope, so he wanted a faith-based service.
I violated my promise to him a bit. I did focus the service on God, but I had to talk about Stanley. My life would not be as it is without him. I could not skip the stories that made us who we became. Still, I began the funeral by focusing on God, and I ended it with the same focus … much like the story of our lives.
Stanley and I had fifty-three full years of friendship. We hauled hay on his family’s farm, and we were chased from the pasture by an angry bull at our family’s farm.
We fished together, hiked together, went to concerts together, shot targets together, and I found great joy at the look on Stanley’s face when my mother “schooled him” in the fine art of handgun sport shooting. She was an expert competition shooter, something few knew about her … but he learned!
Stanley and I bombarded the Georgia State Patrol with bottle rockets (by accident), we drank our first beer together in high school, and we certainly created our share of mischief.
Stanley attended my ordination to the ministry, he was a groomsman in my wedding, and he was a pallbearer at my dad’s funeral. When my mom died, he stood right beside me.
I performed the wedding of Stanley and his wife, Pam. I performed his sister’s wedding. I am scheduled to perform his daughter’s wedding ... and now, I have performed his funeral.
My friend Stanley is with God now. He was always with God, but now he sees God face to face. Other than in marriage, he was ahead of me in about everything.
My time on earth with Stanley has ended, but our friendship is still alive. His photograph is beside my desk with the rest of the pictures of my family. I do not know how someone could be more “family” to me than is Stanley Taylor, and our friendship will continue unabated. The grave has the power to wound, but it has no power to end the eternal. By God’s grace, our friendship is strong, true and forever. In fact, I have every confidence that Stanley continues to speak to the Lord on my behalf, just as he always did, but now he does so in person. It brings me great pleasure to know he is still on my side.
I know no one who can say their best friend in first grade is their best friend at age fifty-nine. I suspect the world would be a better place if everyone could say such. I know it would be a better place if everyone were like Stanley Taylor.
Blessings to you, my friend. Thank you for so many good memories, and for so many years of loyalty, support and joy. I hope and pray heaven is everything you ever imagined it would be … and more!
Until we meet again …
Dr. Tommy McDearis was born and raised in Gordon County, graduating from Calhoun High School in 1975. Today, he is the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Stanley was born on December 29, 1956 in Rome, GA to Marvin Lee Taylor and Johnnie Holcomb Taylor. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Hugh and Ethel Holcomb; and paternal grandparents, Millard Taylor and Eva Cowart Durham. Stanley was a graduate of Calhoun High School class of 1975, and a 1979 graduate of North Georgia College. He was a well-known retired banker. Stanley was an active member of Belmont Baptist Church for many years. He was formerly an active member of the Rotary Club, Calhoun Leadership, Chamber of Commerce, and a board member of Dalton State College.
He is survived by his wife, Pamela Mathis Taylor of Calhoun; daughter, Kristen Elizabeth Taylor; son and daughter-in-law, Stanley Lee Taylor and Brandy Taylor; parents, Marvin Lee Taylor and Johnnie Holcomb Taylor; granddaughter, Brayla Leighann Taylor; step-grandchildren, Chevy, Jennifer, Reanna, Nick and Ian; sister and brother-in-law, Sharman Taylor Czahor and Tim Czahor; sister-in-law, Sheryl Mathis Radford and her husband Mike Radford; brother-in-law, Ricky Mathis and his wife Amy Mathis; mother-in-law, Christine Hutchens; aunt, Opal Arlene Durham; several nieces and nephews also survive.
Pallbearers serving will be Alan Holcomb, David Holcomb, Chris Taylor, Robin Taylor, Derick Radford, Ryan Mathis, Jordan Stephens and Taylor Stephens. Honorary Pallbearers will be Mitchell Owens, Roger McGowen, Bill Fallis, Buzzy McMillian, Ken Sutherland, Lamar Harrison, Mike McPherson, Mike Smith, John Graham, Shannon Radford, Steve Craig, Jim Warren and Robert VanVlake.
You may leave the family online condolences at www.thomasfuneralhomecalhoun.com
<span style=""color:" rgb(32,="" 47,="" 54);="" font-family:="" tahoma;="" font-size:="" 12px;"="">Thomas Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for Stanley Marvin Taylor of Calhoun.
Charles E. Tyner died December 4, 2011 in the Floyd Medical Center.
Charles was born August 15, 1930 in Floyd County. Son of the late Rufus Allen Tyner and Margaret Kerns Tyner. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force serving in the Korean War. He was of the baptist faith and taught Sunday School for most of his adult life. As a drafting instructor for the Calhoun City School System, Charles established the Drafting Department at Calhoun High School where he taught until his retirement.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by three sisters, Ethel Tyner Westbrook, Sarah Tyner Westbrook, and Edith Tyner Tamplin. As well as four brothers, Fred Tyner, Clyde Tyner, George Tyner, and William "Bill" Tyner.
Survivors include his wife, Jackie Tyner of Calhoun, daughter, Twylah Tyner Tippett and her husband, Robert, of Calhoun, one brother-in-law, Jerry Price and his wife Brenda of Jasper, four grandchildren, Sarah Garlin, Joshua Garlin, Joshua Tippett, and Rebecca Tippett. Several nieces and nephews also survive.
Funeral services were conducted Tuesday, December 6, at 4 p.m. from the chapel of Thomas Funeral Home with Rev. James Barddy officiating. Burial followed inFain Cemetery. Pallbearers serving included Richard Pullium as well as nephews.
In addition to flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the United Way of Gordon County @ P.O. Box 486, Calhoun, Georgia 30703.
Karen Bridgette Worley Claiborne, 54, of Calhoun died at 8:53 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 4, at her residence following an extended illness. Karen was born, Jan. 30, 1957 in Polk County, daughter of Edward E. Worley and Martha McCoy Worley. She was employed by Exit Realty; was a member of the Georgia Realtor Association; and was a member of the Sugar Valley Baptist Church. Karen is survived by her husband, Michael Ray Claiborne; two sons, Adam Phillip Offutt and Noah Blake Offutt; one daughter, Rachel Denette Jacobs; parents, Ed and Martha Worley all of Calhoun; brother, Brian Keith Worley of Ponce de Leon, Florida; sisters, Stacy Dawn Timms and Heather Leah Hammond; and four grandchildren all of Calhoun. Funeral services will be conducted at 1 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 7 at the Sugar Valley Baptist Church with Reverend Mitch Phillips officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. The family received friends from 6 until 8 p.m. Tuesday at the church. Pallbearers are Adam Offutt, Noah Offutt, Keith Brian Worley, Nevin Weaver, Larry Knight and Steve Rierson. They are asked to meet at the church at 12:45 p.m., Wednesday. Online condolences may be recorded at www.thomasfunderalhomecalhoun.com.Thomas Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Mrs. Sandra Worthington Silvers, 59, of 112 Roberts St., Calhoun, died at her residence Thursday evening, Sept. 22, 1994, following an extended illness.
She was born in Kinston, N.C. on Nov. 17, 1934, daughter of the late William and Irene Moore Worthington. She was educated at Shorter College and earned her master's degree in counseling from the University of Georgia.
She had been named serveral times over the years as a STAR teacher. She was responsible for Calhoun High School literary championships and was recognized locally, statewide, and nationally as an outstanding debate coach. She was known for her talent for discovering bright students and nurturing their talents.
She was a teacher, coach, and counselor for 38 years in the Calhoun City School System and ran one of the most successful debate programs in the state. She was the first person elected unanimously to the National Forensic Hall of Fame and the first Georgian. She was also the only National Forensic League state chairman Georgia ever had.
Among her many awards was the Ralph E. Kerry Trophy for outstanding district chairman. After 13 years, the Georgia district is the largest in the nation and will be split this year to become the North and South Georgia districts. The Barkley Debate Forum at Emory is the most prestigious debate tournament in the nation, and her debaters had the honor of both participating and winning over the years.
The Calhoun Little Theater recently announced that it had changed the name of the theater to the Sandra Worthington Silvers Little Theater, and the Calhoun High School Cherokee Classic Debate Tournament has been renamed the Sandra Worthington Silvers Classic Debate Tournament. Her most recent achievement was the naming of the Sandra Worthington Silvers Literary Chair.
She was preced in death by her husband, Bob Silvers, in 1994.
Survivors include a daughter and son-in-law, Martha and Daymon McClure of Calhoun; two stepsons, Bobby and Keith Silvers, both of Jasper, and two grandchildren, Bryan and Daniele Lenora Holland, both of Calhoun.
Funeral was Saturday, Sept., 24, at 2 p.m. at Calhoun First Baptist Church, with Dr. Bert Vaughn officiating. The eulogy was brought by Jim Lay, and interment was in Fain Cemetery.
The family asked that in lieu of flowers, those wishing to do so may make memorial contributions to the Sandra Worthington Silvers Literary Chair.