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Obituaries

Don Carter, 99: Newspaper lover found love at newspaper

Don Carter, 99: Newspaper lover found love at newspaper

Don Carter found more than interesting stories as a reporter at The Atlanta Journal in the early 1940s. He found love. Carter and Carolyn McKenzie, a reporter with the rival Atlanta Constitution, both drew assignments to cover the 4-H cattle show. McKenzie pushed her byline and prose to Page 1 with some striking photos she took. Carter’s picture-less piece landed in the back pages of the Journal...
Jack H. Bates, 92: Lifetime volunteer served country, students, others

Jack H. Bates, 92: Lifetime volunteer served country, students, others

Decatur’s Jack H. Bates was eyewitness to meetings of two American military legends while serving in World War II. Bates was 17 and three months shy of high school graduation when he enlisted in the Army. Skilled in typing and shorthand, he landed stints in an Army clerical pool and as one of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s secretaries, Bates’ granddaughter, LoriBeth Blair, said. &ldquo...
Doug Paul, 59: Georgia wine visionary foresaw, helped vineyards’ growth

Doug Paul, 59: Georgia wine visionary foresaw, helped vineyards’ growth

Doug Paul had a reputation as a visionary in Georgia’s wine industry. He envisioned planting a vineyard when he first laid eyes on the 184 acres of Lumpkin County farmland where he and his wife would found Three Sisters Vineyards in 1996. And he envisioned growth in the state’s then-fledgling wine business, with more vineyards taking root throughout Georgia. Paul’s mission was to...
Erna Bryant, 88: Harvard-taught educator fought discrimination

Erna Bryant, 88: Harvard-taught educator fought discrimination

She was a soldier for good. Erna Bryant had a knack for getting to the bottom of a problem, her childhood friend Eva Jaynes, said. “She would open her door to anyone that was wanting to do something peacefully.” Erna Ballantine Bryant was born Aug. 29,1929 in Boston and passed away, surrounded by family and friends, Feb. 22. Services celebrating her life were held March 4 at the First...
Paul Light Sr., 79: Friends say integrity marked life of car dealer

Paul Light Sr., 79: Friends say integrity marked life of car dealer

Anyone who knew Paul Light knew he was a “consummate businessman” who loved the business of selling cars and set a high standard for car salesmen. “Paul had more integrity than any automobile dealer that I’ve ever met,” his friend Gary Bland said. “Paul was right down the line.” Paul Light Sr. died Feb. 11 at the age of 79. By the time his son Paul Jr. was...
Lottie Watkins, 98: Atlanta business groundbreaker was longtime leader

Lottie Watkins, 98: Atlanta business groundbreaker was longtime leader

Lottie Watkins could be called many things, but never a quitter. In almost a century of living, Watkins was a community activist, civil rights advocate, legislator and a first-of-a-kind Atlanta businesswoman. “Whatever I put my hands on I saw to completion,” she said in 2012. She worked until she was 82 and lived, she said, by the motto: “All that you give will come back to you.&rdquo...
Lewis ‘Lew’ Horne, 66: Finance attorney was respected colleague, mentor

Lewis ‘Lew’ Horne, 66: Finance attorney was respected colleague, mentor

Lew Horne played on his high school baseball team in New Bedford, Mass., and was a standout at Dartmouth College. But when his dream of a Major League career ended one summer when he was struck in the mouth with a bat, Horne switched gears. “He had the perfect skill set for a lawyer,” daughter Sydney Langdon said. “He was so analytical, and he could read a situation like no one else...
Richard Robinson, 93: ASO violinist blazed trail in electronic music

Richard Robinson, 93: ASO violinist blazed trail in electronic music

On a sunny Sunday afternoon last March, a small crowd gathered at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia for a concert by Dick Robinson. At the audience’s insistence, Robinson, an early pioneer in electronic and electroacoustic music, kept the concert going through a scheduled intermission. At 92, Robinson’s passion for music “never seemed to decrease,” said Don Hassler...
Chandler Barton, 83: Coldwell Banker CEO kept small-town humility

Chandler Barton, 83: Coldwell Banker CEO kept small-town humility

From growing up in small-town America to leading one of the largest real estate companies in the world, Chandler Barton always stayed humble and never forgot where he came from. Barton learned his work ethic from the “nice, humble people” of Elberton, the “Granite Capital of the World.” “I think it started there,” his son, Curtis Barton, said. “And it transferred...
Carlyn Feldman Fisher, 93: Nature inspired lifelong lover of the arts

Carlyn Feldman Fisher, 93: Nature inspired lifelong lover of the arts

Carlyn Feldman Fisher found inspiration for her art in nature, painting landscapes from the beaches of Cape Cod to the North Georgia mountains. Her work was featured in galleries throughout the eastern United States and in numerous one-woman shows. Fisher was also instrumental in organizing the arts community in Atlanta, co-founding the Arts Festival of Atlanta and telling the story of Georgia artists...
Preston Mobley Sr., 88: Broadcaster helped King get message out

Preston Mobley Sr., 88: Broadcaster helped King get message out

In a downtown building two blocks from the King Center, Preston Mobley Sr. was a witness to civil rights history. Beginning in 1957, Mobley was the program manager and an on-air personality at WERD, the nation’s first African-American owned radio station. The station was in the Prince Hall Masonic Temple building on Auburn Avenue, and one floor below it was the headquarters of the newly formed...
Thomas Lux, esteemed Georgia Tech teacher and poet

Thomas Lux, esteemed Georgia Tech teacher and poet

Distinguished by his booming laugh, his arresting poetry readings and his passion for baseball, Bourne Professor of Poetry at Georgia Tech Thomas Lux, was a self-described “literary oddball” who threw himself into teaching while remaining a dedicated master of the craft. After weekly readings at Georgia Tech, “he would invite everyone who was at the reading to come to his house,...
Ray Daniel Swaim, 90: WWII amputee always kept family first

Ray Daniel Swaim, 90: WWII amputee always kept family first

It was World War II and Ray Swam was scouting for Germans in the U.S. Army (26th Inf. Div., 104th Inf., Co. K). He started to cross a forest clearing when his battle buddy alerted him to enemy fighters down range. Swaim tried to make it back to the treeline for cover, but the Germans opened fired and shot him in the ankle. Ray Daniel Swaim, born April 27, 1926, died Jan. 28 at age 90. A memorial service...
Henry Howard Smith II, 89: A legacy of beautiful buildings, friends

Henry Howard Smith II, 89: A legacy of beautiful buildings, friends

Some of Atlanta’s most attractive architecture can be attributed to Henry Howard Smith II. Smith, who followed his father, the esteemed Francis Palmer Smith into a career in architecture, was hired in the early 1990s to design a cloister for the historic Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta. Expectations were high. P. Thorton Mayre, arguably best known...
Dr. Joseph H. Hilsman Jr., 102: Medicine was WWII vet’s lifelong love

Dr. Joseph H. Hilsman Jr., 102: Medicine was WWII vet’s lifelong love

Joseph Hilsman knew at a very young age that he wanted to be a doctor, and he never wavered. He pursued that goal through medical school at Vanderbilt University and as a U.S. Army medical officer on World War II battlefields who participated in liberating the Buchenwald concentration camp. Hilsman not only became a physician but enjoyed a career that spanned more than four decades and was the first...
Little boy killed in dog attack ‘deserved better than this’

Little boy killed in dog attack ‘deserved better than this’

He entered the world one day after his mother’s birthday. And for the next six years, Logan Bryant Braatz was nothing less than a gift, his family said. “If you ever met Logan, you never forgot Logan,” the boy’s grandmother, Reba Whitehead, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was compassionate and giving, willing to help his mother or an older brother with autism. When...
Funeral for dog attack victim set before his beloved Falcons play

Funeral for dog attack victim set before his beloved Falcons play

Logan Braatz sang as deep as his favorite singer, dreamed of playing the guitar and loved to watch football. On Sunday afternoon, the 6-year-old would’ve been in front of the television, watching the Atlanta Falcons play for a spot in the Super Bowl. Instead, his family and friends will gather for his funeral. And Logan’s family said Friday having the funeral an hour before kickoff would&rsquo...
Gene Hatfield, 72: Professor had big influence at Clayton State

Gene Hatfield, 72: Professor had big influence at Clayton State

Gene Hatfield, a Clayton State University Professor Emeritus of History who spent 32 years at CSU, will be missed on campus. “I cannot think of another faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences who has had a greater impact on the larger community beyond the University,” Dr. Nasser Momayezi, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said. “He was heavily involved...
David Poythress, 73: General became a leader in state government

David Poythress, 73: General became a leader in state government

David Poythress didn’t fit the political mold. He would read scholarly articles and listen to classical music as he crisscrossed Georgia running for statewide office, said George Langford, a former employee and friend of more than 30 years. “And nobody has a resume like him in state government,” Langford said. David Bryan Poythress — attorney, a two-time candidate for governor...
New details released for Bishop Eddie Long memorial service

New details released for Bishop Eddie Long memorial service

New details have been released for the funeral services of Bishop Eddie L. Long, pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia. Long, 63, an influential and controversial pastor died Sunday after battling an aggressive form of cancer. He had recently celebrated his 29th pastoral anniversary. At its height, New Birth had more than 25,000 members. It continued to have a global reach. Services...
Norman ‘Pig’ Campbell, 85: Athlete, coach put integrity, family first

Norman ‘Pig’ Campbell, 85: Athlete, coach put integrity, family first

If you ask Norman Campbell’s family where his nickname “Pig” came from, they tell you of an old Atlanta Journal newspaper photo that captured him as a wide-mouthed young’un being fed, and a caption that read: “this little pig can’t wait for his next bite.” If you asked his Georgia Tech football buddies, it had a different origin: “He played right guard...
Beloved Cleveland gorilla, Bebac, dies of heart disease

Beloved Cleveland gorilla, Bebac, dies of heart disease

One of two western lowland gorillas at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo died Friday according to Cleveland.com. Bebac, 32, died from heart disease. The male gorilla was diagnosed nearly 10 years ago. He was one of two male gorillas the zoo has diagnosed with heart disease. In a statement, the zoo said its team of gorilla specialists were able to extend Bebac’s quality of life for several years...
Hugh S. Jordan, 95: Legislator, dad embodied fairness, serving others

Hugh S. Jordan, 95: Legislator, dad embodied fairness, serving others

The children of Hugh S. Jordan got together and assembled “smile jars.” They filled them with written memories of experiences with their father. The happy anecdotes paint a picture of Hugh’s character as an altruistic “man in motion.” Jordan, a former Georgia legislator, born April 9, 1921, died Dec. 30. He was 95. A visitation “meet and greet” will take place...
Freak accident kills former Falcon

Freak accident kills former Falcon

Keion Carpenter, a former Atlanta Falcons safety, passed away December 29 in what has been described by a family spokesperson a “freak accident.” While vacationing with his family in Florida, Carpenter fell down and hit his head causing him to fall into a coma. He died at Jackson South Community Hospital in Miami 24 hours later. Carpenter’s cousin told the Baltimore Sun that he and...
'Panda Grandpa' Pan Pan dead at 31

'Panda Grandpa' Pan Pan dead at 31

Pan Pan known for his natural breeding skill earning the nickname “Panda Grandpa” for his successful progeny died Wednesday, according to Chinese state run media. He was 31.  “Pan Pan brought hope to the center,” the conservation center said in a release. “In a group of sluggish, feeble pandas, Pan Pan stood out. He was always full of energy and vitality."
Former Falcon Keion Carpenter dies at age 39

Former Falcon Keion Carpenter dies at age 39

Former Falcons safety Keion Carpenter, who played with the team from 2002 to 2005, died Thursday, according to his family. Carpenter died in Miami at 6:47 a.m. on Thursday. Carpenter collapsed during a run on Wednesday. Carpenter, who was 39, played six seasons in the NFL. Carpenter lived in Buford and was an assistant coach at Hebron Christian in Gwinnett. • Send condolences   He was the...
Gen. James C. Smith, 93: ‘Soldier’s soldier’ in 3 wars put troops first

Gen. James C. Smith, 93: ‘Soldier’s soldier’ in 3 wars put troops first

Army Maj. Gen. James Clifton Smith (Ret.) had a chest full of medals from his combat duty in three wars. But in a 39-year military career, he was most proud of what he did to improve the safety of the troops: making training in instrument-flying standard for military pilots, advocating for night-vision goggles for fliers, and helping to develop the modern-day drone, a family member said. “He...
Bill Haynes, 53, music teacher and band leader

Bill Haynes, 53, music teacher and band leader

William Haynes, a beloved school music teacher and community band leader, died Saturday. He was 53.  Haynes, a resident of Sandy Springs, was killed in an apparent carjacking at a Sandy Springs storage rental facility.  Bill Haynes was a music and drama teacher at E. Rivers Elementary, an Atlanta public school located in Buckhead. He was also director of The Alpharetta City Band...
Winston Boteler, 95: engineer, inventor was adventurous through life

Winston Boteler, 95: engineer, inventor was adventurous through life

It’s an understatement to say that Winston Boteler had an adventurous spirit. He spent his childhood in rural Georgia searching for snakes and arrowheads. At 16 and fresh out of high school, he hopped a train to New York without a penny in his pocket and dug ditches and walked dogs to pay for college. He was an inventor and leader in the field of electro-mechanics at Georgia Tech and worked...
Edward Noble, 88: Lenox Square visionary changed shopping and Atlanta

Edward Noble, 88: Lenox Square visionary changed shopping and Atlanta

Edward Noble had a vision that changed retailing forever. He was just 28 when he moved to Atlanta in the 1950s with a plan to develop Lenox Square Shopping Center in Buckhead, one of the nation’s first and largest shopping centers and the largest in the South. “It used to be that no matter where you lived, you shopped downtown for everything because that’s where all the stores were...
Johnny Hammond, 74: Big man had a Santa spirit for all seasons

Johnny Hammond, 74: Big man had a Santa spirit for all seasons

The Christmas season was Johnny Hammond’s favorite time of the year. With his long white beard, all he had to do was don a red suit to transform himself into Santa Claus. As Santa at Southlake Mall and Phipps Plaza for two decades, “Santa Johnny” listened to the Christmas wish lists of thousands of children. He would always remind them to mind their parents, brush their teeth and...
J.T. Ford, 96: Longtime pastor was early advocate of racial harmony

J.T. Ford, 96: Longtime pastor was early advocate of racial harmony

Atlanta dubbed itself “the city too busy to hate” in the early 1960s in hopes of drawing a distinction between Georgia’s capital city and the racial violence in other Southern towns. But a single act a few years earlier helped to lay the groundwork for the slogan’s claim. In November 1957, 80 Atlanta clergymen – including Wieuca Road First Baptist Church founding pastor...
Game of Thrones actor Vaughan, “Jon Snow’s” onscreen mentor, dies at 93

Game of Thrones actor Vaughan, “Jon Snow’s” onscreen mentor, dies at 93

Jon Snow is in mourning. So is much of the real world at the news that esteemed British actor Peter Vaughan, who portrayed Maester Aemon in the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones,” has died at the age of 93. The news was confirmed Tuesday by his longtime agent, Sally Long-Innes, who said Vaughan died around 10:30 a.m. “peacefully with his family around him.” A veteran character...
Ronald Ray Alexander, 74: He had passion for flight, lifting others

Ronald Ray Alexander, 74: He had passion for flight, lifting others

At the age when most teenagers are learning to drive, Ron Alexander was already winging his way into the wild blue yonder. Alexander took his first flight in a military C-119 when he was 14, flew solo at 16 and had his private pilot’s license by 17. “It was his destiny,” his wife, Regina Alexander, said. “It was something he had a passion for from the very beginning.&rdquo...
Savannah morning anchor Don Logana killed in car crash

Savannah morning anchor Don Logana killed in car crash

A Savannah television anchor was killed in a car crash early Sunday morning. Don Logana was killed about 4 a.m. on the South Carolina side of the Talmadge Bridge, after a blue pick-up truck and a red four-door vehicle were involved in a head-on crash, the Savannah Morning News reported. In addition the SCMP, Jasper County and South Carolina state patrol also responded to the scene. “We lost...
Michael Kettle, 52: Devoted dad, friend helped build Rooms to Grow

Michael Kettle, 52: Devoted dad, friend helped build Rooms to Grow

At a gathering to celebrate the life of Michael Kettle, he was described as having “a quiet confidence inherent from extreme competence.” His sister agreed: “That is a perfect way to describe him.” On a typical day for Kettle, his wife Gidget said, he would get up in the morning to wake up the kids. Then, he’d make two kinds of smoothies for his girls’ breakfast...
Archie Gary, 94: Legislator, entrepreneur loved Atlanta history

Archie Gary, 94: Legislator, entrepreneur loved Atlanta history

Archie T. Gary had a part in one of the biggest political dramas in recent Georgia history. Gary was serving in the General Assembly in 1966 when it fell to lawmakers to decide who would be the state’s next governor. In the general election of 1966, one-term Congressman Howard “Bo” Callaway, a Republican, had more votes than well-known segregationist Lester Maddox, a Democrat. But...
Benjamin Schuttler, 27: He aimed to open doors to education for all

Benjamin Schuttler, 27: He aimed to open doors to education for all

Benjamin Schuttler wanted to change the world by improving access to education for students of limited means. In his travels to other countries, he saw that many children did not have the opportunity to attend school. Schuttler believed education was the key to a better life and was working on a plan to create an organization to fund educational programs globally. “His big idea, on which he...
Former mayor, proponent of Kennesaw gun law dies at 84

Former mayor, proponent of Kennesaw gun law dies at 84

Former Kennesaw Mayor J.O. Stephenson died Tuesday at age 84. A native son of Alabama, he spent 18 years in public service between 1978 and 1996, with a decade of that as mayor and eight years as a councilman. He oversaw the building of city hall and the police department, both of which now sit on J.O. Stephenson Avenue in downtown Kennesaw. When you spend that much time on a dais, you get asked your...
Julian LeCraw, 86: Helped build Atlanta, saw God in the stars

Julian LeCraw, 86: Helped build Atlanta, saw God in the stars

Julian LeCraw Sr. had a wife he treasured, children he put great stock in and a real estate empire that made him an Atlanta heavy hitter. He also had a passion he shared mostly just with family until retirement: astronomy. In his 60s, LeCraw turned the company that bears his name over to his then-29-year-old son and signed up for astronomy classes at his alma mater, Georgia Tech. At age 75, he built...
Myron Kaufman, 79: Emory prof, author put being father, friend first

Myron Kaufman, 79: Emory prof, author put being father, friend first

“It did not matter how you knew my father, or under what circumstances,” his youngest son, Aaron, said. “He was always the same person. A person who stood on principle, who was kind, generous, and compassionate.” During his 42 years as a chemistry professor at Emory, a typical day for Kaufman was spent “teaching, doing research, then exercising,” his wife, June...
Sherwood Merchant Jr., 94: ‘People person’ was Salvation Army workhorse

Sherwood Merchant Jr., 94: ‘People person’ was Salvation Army workhorse

Sherwood Merchant Jr. was a “people person.” He made it a point to keep in contact with friends and acquaintances, leafing through his address book to look up their phone numbers and calling them regularly. He was well known for sitting at his manual typewriter and writing notes to family and friends on three-by-five-inch index cards he always had close at hand. “My father loved...
Joint funeral planned for siblings killed during home invasion

Joint funeral planned for siblings killed during home invasion

They died together when both were shot as they slept in the Clayton County home. This week, a joint funeral will be held for the 15-year-old boy and his 11-year-old sister, believed to be innocent victims in a gang-related shooting. Daveon Lamontay Coates and Tatiyana Monasia Coates, formerly of Chattanooga, died Oct. 22 after being shot in their home near Jonesboro. Four younger children were also...
Robert ‘Bob’ Freeman, 84: Educator ‘worked to bring people together’

Robert ‘Bob’ Freeman, 84: Educator ‘worked to bring people together’

Superintendents in large urban school districts typically spend three years on the job before they run – or get pushed – out the door. But that wasn’t the experience when Robert R. “Bob” Freeman was heading DeKalb County public schools. Freeman was top man in DeKalb for 16 years, from 1980 to 1996, and was one of the longest-serving superintendents in Georgia and the...
Dr. Saleh A. Zaki, 80: Fled Egypt, revamped Ga. medical examiners’ work

Dr. Saleh A. Zaki, 80: Fled Egypt, revamped Ga. medical examiners’ work

Dr. Saleh Zaki spent more than four decades in Atlanta serving as the Fulton County Chief Medical Examiner and teaching at Emory University. But the story of his years as a medical student in his native Egypt reads like an international thriller. He was in medical school in the late 1950s and early 60s, speaking out against a repressive government. After the 1967 “six-day war” with Israel...
Nora Richardson, 65: She took joy in helping children, families

Nora Richardson, 65: She took joy in helping children, families

Nora Richardson decided as a college student to focus on helping people, especially children. From her nonprofit work to keep youngsters safe and healthy in day care to her four decades as a social worker with the DeKalb County Department of Family and Children Services, she was dedicated to improving the lives of others. Family and co-workers remember Richardson as treating the people she served...

Tech great Taz Anderson dies at 77 (updated)

One of Georgia Tech’s all-time greats who later became a most successful entrepreneur and faithful alumnus, Taz Anderson died Monday. He was 77. Anderson was a member of the Tech and Georgia sports halls of fame. At Tech, he played fullback and end and lettered three times. He was named All-SEC in 1959. He later played in 62 NFL games and was a member of the inaugural Falcons team in 1966. Memorial...
John Beilsmith, 73: Vietnam vet a ‘calm, steady presence’ in many lives

John Beilsmith, 73: Vietnam vet a ‘calm, steady presence’ in many lives

He was just as happy eating escargot as eating a bologna sandwich. His friends were his family, and everyone in his family was his best friend. Altruism was John Beilsmith’s forte. Beilsmith, 73, died Sept. 10 at his home in Dunwoody. A memorial mass was held for him on Sept. 15 at All Saints Catholic Church in Dunwoody. His daughter, Meg Collins, delivered his eulogy. “He was a calm,...
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