Obituaries

Levin served others through U.S. senator’s office

Levin served others through U.S. senator’s office

She was the ultimate public servant. Above and beyond was her calling card. “I can say, without qualification, that Angie lived to serve others,” former U.S. Senator Wyche Fowler said. From 1977 to 1992, Angela “Angie” Levin worked as a staff assistant for him, and many will remember the positive influence her service had on their lives. Angie, 65, died from breast cancer....
Scott Selig, 47: Developer left imprint on metro Atlanta, many lives

Scott Selig, 47: Developer left imprint on metro Atlanta, many lives

Residents and passers-by in Atlanta may not know the name Scott Selig, but they see his fingerprints as they travel across the counties that make up this metropolitan area of nearly 6 million. The new town center being built in Sandy Springs? That’s Selig and Carter, the real estate development company. Development going on in the gentrification of West Atlanta? Him again. From offices and mixed-use...
Calvin ‘Cal’ Carter, former Atlanta aviation commissioner, dies at 92

Calvin ‘Cal’ Carter, former Atlanta aviation commissioner, dies at 92

Calvin “Cal” Carter, Atlanta’s aviation commissioner from 1983 until 1990, has died at the age of 92. Carter worked for the city of Atlanta for 19 years under three mayors before retiring from the aviation commissioner position at the age of 65. He was the first African-American commissioner of the Atlanta airport, and last year during a Black History Month celebration, Hartsfield-Jackson...
Cornelia Walker Bailey, prominent barrier island resident, dies

Cornelia Walker Bailey, prominent barrier island resident, dies

Cornelia Walker Bailey was as much a part of Sapelo Island and the historic Hog Hammock community as the long and narrow seagrass and the saltwater that beats against the shores. Bailey, the community’s most prominent spokeswoman and keeper of the Georgia barrier island’s African American rich heritage, died Sunday. Her death was confirmed by her husband, Julius Bailey. In 2000, Bailey...
Former Morehouse acting president, Wiley Perdue, dies of cancer at 82

Former Morehouse acting president, Wiley Perdue, dies of cancer at 82

Wiley A. Perdue used to keep index cards on students who visited his office at Morehouse College. On the cards, he wrote information about each student, what they needed and how he could help. In doing so, Perdue, the former vice president of business and finance and, later, acting president of the historically black college, could always keep track of their needs and achievements. “Sometimes...
Frank Bates, 69: He stood for civil rights, service to public, family

Frank Bates, 69: He stood for civil rights, service to public, family

Longtime civil rights champion Frank Bates got a long overdue apology Saturday. And it came on the last day of his life. In 1965, while leading a move to integrate schools in tiny Crawfordville, Ga., the 17-year-old Bates had his jaw broken. Fifty-two years later, his attacker apologized. “The man said he’d been looking for Frank for several years,” Bates’ sister, Dorothy Bates...
Cathy O’Neil, 53: top lawyer who directed, starred in ‘Atlanta Bard’

Cathy O’Neil, 53: top lawyer who directed, starred in ‘Atlanta Bard’

Cathy O’Neil could high-kick the can-can or belt out a song while directing dozens of local attorneys onstage. She could also persuade juries with mesmerizing arguments, earning a national reputation as a top trial lawyer. As an Atlanta prosescutor, O’Neil brought to justice some of the country’s most notorious narcotics and money laundering organizations. All the while, she held...
Monty Hall, ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ host, dead at 96

Monty Hall, ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ host, dead at 96

Monty Hall, host and co-creator of the long-running game show “Let’s Make a Deal,” has died. He was 96.  A daughter, Joanna Gleason, confirmed he died of heart failure Saturday, according to The New York Times.  The game show, which premiered with Hall as host in 1963, featured contestants in outlandish costumes who filled the “trading floor” in an...
Soul singer Charles Bradley dead at 68

Soul singer Charles Bradley dead at 68

Late-blooming soul singer Charles Bradley died Saturday in Brooklyn. He was 68. Bradley was diagnosed with stomach cancer, which spread to his liver, according to NPR. Bradley released his debut album “No Time For Dreaming” at 62, with the 1960s soul revival label, Daptone Records. "Charles was truly grateful for all the love he's received from his fans and we hope his message...
Isabelle Daniels Holston, 80: Olympian, coach gave life a good run

Isabelle Daniels Holston, 80: Olympian, coach gave life a good run

On Dec. 1, 1956, before more than 100,000 spectators, four young women lined up inside the Melbourne, Australia, Cricket Ground for the 16th Olympiad’s 4- by 100-meter relay. When 19-year-old anchor Isabelle Daniels hit the wire at 45.4 seconds, they were only vaguely aware of making history. It would take years, well into the civil rights era and perhaps beyond, before the moment echoed with...
Tommy Irvin, whose politics spanned a generation of changes, dies

Tommy Irvin, whose politics spanned a generation of changes, dies

Tommy Irvin, a sharecropper’s son who rose to the top ranks of Georgia Democratic politics and stayed there for more than four decades, died Thursday. He was 88. Irvin served 10 terms as Georgia’s commissioner of agriculture, from 1969 until January 2011. He was elected to his final four-year term in November 2006. Irvin holds the record as the longest-serving state commissioner of agriculture...
Longtime farms chief Tommy Irvin dies

Longtime farms chief Tommy Irvin dies

Tommy Irvin, a former agriculture commissioner who was the longest-serving statewide official in Georgia history, died on Thursday. He was 88.  Irvin served in public office for more than a half-century, including 42 years as Georgia’s top agriculture official. Details about his death have not been released, but Irvin had suffered from Parkinson’s disease and other ailments. ...
Nimrod “Mac” McNair Jr., 93: Combat pilot in 3 wars taught faith, ethics

Nimrod “Mac” McNair Jr., 93: Combat pilot in 3 wars taught faith, ethics

Mac McNair had high-flying dreams from childhood, having followed Charles Lindbergh’s rise to worldwide fame as pilot of the first non-stop flight from the U.S. to mainland Europe. And fly he did. McNair was shot down twice and survived four crashes as a fighter pilot on 110 combat missions in World War II and Vietnam. “He loved his family,” his wife, Delysia Ashwood McNair, said...
Wife of ex-police chief killed when tree falls on car during Irma

Wife of ex-police chief killed when tree falls on car during Irma

A woman killed Monday when a tree fell on a vehicle in a Forsyth County driveway was the wife of a former Cumming police chief, officials said. Nancy and Mike Eason were checking on relatives during Tropical Storm Irma when a tree crashed on their car in a private driveway near Shadburn Road, Deputy Doug Rainwater with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Tuesday....
Anne Spalding, 86: Reporter, activist was ‘a woman ahead of her time’

Anne Spalding, 86: Reporter, activist was ‘a woman ahead of her time’

Anne Gowen Spalding went straight from college into the male-dominated world of newspaper reporting. And though it took her arguing her case to the president of Rich’s department store, she became the first woman to have a store credit card in her name, not her husband’s. “Mama was a woman ahead of her time,” eldest son Charles Gowen Spalding said. Anne Wakefield Gowen Spalding...
Annette Johnson, 86: In diner or among family, she made life more fun

Annette Johnson, 86: In diner or among family, she made life more fun

Annette Johnson and her husband were true life partners. Married 63 years, they raised two daughters and spent a quarter-century working side by side in a restaurant they opened in south DeKalb County in the late 1940s. Roy Johnson was the cook. She was the personality. “Mom was always the smiling face at the front of the restaurant,” daughter Sandra Johnson Bevins said. Annette Alexander...
High school coach killed in Ga. 400 crash

High school coach killed in Ga. 400 crash

A high school soccer coach was killed Saturday morning in a four-vehicle crash on Ga. 400 in Forsyth County, according to multiple news reports. Jed Lacey of Dawson County High School died and three other people were injured in the crash, which was north of exit 15, according to reports. All vehicles were southbound at the time of the accident. “We are heartbroken at the loss of a great...
Veteran AJC photo editor Kent Johnson dies at 57

Veteran AJC photo editor Kent Johnson dies at 57

Kent Johnson’s last assignment as a photographer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was part of his passion and an example of why his staff adored him. It was a Saturday night, and he was in Conyers to shoot the Bill Pickett Rodeo at the Georgia International Horse Park. Monday’s paper needed a “lead” visual, and Johnson, the AJC’s photo editor, could easily have assigned...
Family, friends remember ‘Mama P’ for more than pizza

Family, friends remember ‘Mama P’ for more than pizza

She was the infectious smile that greeted customers at Athens Pizza for 40 years, but Asiemoula Papadopoulos was much more than that.  “She was ahead of her time ... the epitome of the modern woman,” said her youngest son, Sandy Papadopoulos, who now runs the north Decatur restaurant opened by his parents in 1977.  Born 81 years ago in what was then the Soviet republic of...
Bruce D’Agostino, 70: Vietnam veteran had heart for helping others

Bruce D’Agostino, 70: Vietnam veteran had heart for helping others

Vietnam vet Bruce D’Agostino always had a huge place in his heart for the American soldier. In the late 1980s, long after his official service to country had ended, the not-particularly-religious D’Agostino told family he felt called by God to return to Vietnam. His mission: negotiate on behalf of America’s prisoners of war and missing in action. Decades later, when Cobb County established...
Branch Curington, 91: He helped hundreds in Atlanta through tennis

Branch Curington, 91: He helped hundreds in Atlanta through tennis

Former students of tennis pro Branch Curington Sr. filed one by one into Curington’s Atlanta home in the days leading up to his death. They sat beside the hospital bed he occupied, rubbing his arm and telling him how much they love him. With Curington’s help, most had attended college on tennis scholarships and gone on to successful careers. Some are now tennis pros themselves. &ldquo...
Pioneering Atlanta educator, Moses C. Norman influenced a generation

Pioneering Atlanta educator, Moses C. Norman influenced a generation

Moses C. Norman never sat on the sidelines in life. Not as a pioneering educator. Not as a devoted member of the tight-knit Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. And not in the 30 years he juggled his work in education with a side job in NCAA college football. “He had a lot of energy. He had a lot of bandwidth to get a lot done,” son Chris Norman said. “He was not pedestrian really in anything...
Funeral tonight for family killed in Gwinnett stabbings

Funeral tonight for family killed in Gwinnett stabbings

A Gwinnett father and four of his children will be laid to rest Thursday night at a funeral mass in Lawrenceville. Thirty-three-year-old Martin Romero and children Axel, 1, Dillan, 4, Dacota, 6 and Isabela Martinez, 10, were stabbed to death last week in their Loganville home. Nine-year-old daughter Diana Romero survived the attack and is recovering from her wounds at Children’s Healthcare...
Scathing obit shredding great-grandmother’s character not true, family member says  

Scathing obit shredding great-grandmother’s character not true, family member says  

A scathing obituary for a Florida great-grandmother published in a North Carolina newspaper late last month is not true, according to her son, and parts of it may have been plagiarized from another obituary published in California in 2008. The obituary in the Cherokee Scout described Cornelia June Rogers Miller, who died in February at the age of 82, as a woman who “made no contribution to society...
Clifford Copeland, 86: Farm boy pharmacist founded discount drug chain

Clifford Copeland, 86: Farm boy pharmacist founded discount drug chain

Clifford Copeland went from farm boy to formidable force in regional retailing with his chain of 42 discount drugstores. His company, Copeland Drugs Inc., won customers by setting prices 20 percent below the competition’s standard. “He offered a much better price, undercut the competition and still made a profit,” his daughter, Cynthia Hodge, said. Clifford Eugene Copeland, a Korean...
Estelle Hill, 110: Golden rule marked supercentenarian’s life

Estelle Hill, 110: Golden rule marked supercentenarian’s life

Estelle Hill wouldn’t be caught out in public in flat shoes or at the breakfast table without proper dress and jewelry. “She was always very formal up until about five years ago,” son-in-law Michael Deis of Newnan said. Myrtle Estelle Morrow Hill, 110, died peacefully June 17. She was at the home of daughter Sandra Deis and son-in-law Michael Deis, where she had lived for the past...
Phyllis Kravitch, trailblazing jurist in Georgia, dies at 96

Phyllis Kravitch, trailblazing jurist in Georgia, dies at 96

Diminutive in stature but a giant of the legal profession, Phyllis Kravitch bucked tradition, broke barriers and paved the way for countless women to become lawyers and judges across the South. Kravitch died Thursday at Piedmont Hospital. She was 96. Over the course of her career, Kravitch became one of the first women trial lawyers in the South, the first woman president of the Savannah Bar Association...
Bill Taggart, 55: Morehouse officer succeeded in more than business

Bill Taggart, 55: Morehouse officer succeeded in more than business

The basement of Bill Taggart’s home is a shrine to two of his many passions, Atlanta sports and music. Autographed pictures of sports legends collected through the years line the walls, along with pennants from every hometown team from the Atlanta Chiefs to Braves. Record albums collected starting in his college disc jockeying days run floor to ceiling. “He was a Renaissance man,&rdquo...
Judge Marvin Shoob, revered for his independence, dies at age 94

Judge Marvin Shoob, revered for his independence, dies at age 94

U.S. District Judge Marvin Shoob, who “made the Constitution a reality” in his rulings on Cuban refugees, the Ten Commandments, local jails and hundreds of other cases, died Monday at 94.  Shoob was the embodiment of an independent judiciary in his 36 years on the federal bench in Atlanta. He consistently protected the powerless and downtrodden, notably in cases regarding imprisonment...

Former federal judge Marvin Shoob dies at age 94

Marvin Shoob, the embodiment of an independent federal judiciary and a jurist who consistently protected the powerless and disadvantaged, died Monday at his home in Atlanta. He was 94. Shoob retired in February 2016 as a senior U.S. District Court judge after 36 years on the bench. “It has been an honor and privilege to serve as a United States district judge,” Shoob wrote in a letter...
Adam West: remembering the real Batman

Adam West: remembering the real Batman

Adam West, the campy television star who delivered zingers with a straight face on the hugely-popular 1960s series “Batman,” never recovered from being typecast as the Caped Crusader. Eventually he came to embrace that fate, doing voice-over for animated comedies and gamely participating in pop culture conventions. A few years ago he told a convention crowd, “I’m the luckiest...
Joyce Brookshire, 76: Daughter of Cabbagetown put life into songs

Joyce Brookshire, 76: Daughter of Cabbagetown put life into songs

Joyce Brookshire, a singer-songwriter whose music frequently expressed her love of the North Georgia mountains and Atlanta’s Cabbagetown, died June 4. She was 76. A memorial service will be announced later by Haugabrooks Funeral Home in Atlanta. Brookshire was born in the Appalachian mountains of northeast Georgia. Her family was one of many to make a move to Atlanta for work at the Fulton Bag...
Samuel DuBois Cook laid to rest at Morehouse College

Samuel DuBois Cook laid to rest at Morehouse College

When Samuel DuBois Cook was trying to convince his future father-in-law that he was worthy of his daughter, he would often show up at their home with a fresh melon.  It worked.  That was part of Cook’s southern and gentlemanly charm. A brilliant scholar, who after becoming the first black tenured professor at any Southern college went on to lead Dillard University, Cook understood...
Gregg Allman laid to rest next to brother Duane in Macon

Gregg Allman laid to rest next to brother Duane in Macon

MACON – Only a thin iron fence will separate Gregg Allman and his beloved brother Duane in their final resting places. Just after 2 p.m. on Saturday, Allman, the co-founder of Southern rock behemoth The Allman Brothers Band, received his final blessings at a Rose Hill Cemetery grave site, mere feet from his sibling, as well as fellow Allman Brothers Band mate Berry Oakley. Allman died on...
Samuel D. Cook, 88: Revered educator, activist ‘was walking integrity’

Samuel D. Cook, 88: Revered educator, activist ‘was walking integrity’

To understand how large Samuel DuBois Cook loomed in higher education, you have to start from the beginning. Born in nearby Griffin, Cook arrived in Atlanta in 1944. Only 15, he was too young to go to war, but a perfect candidate for Benjamin Elijah Mays’ early admissions program at Morehouse College, designed to identify qualified young black students while most older students...
Southern rock titan Gregg Allman dies at 69.

Southern rock titan Gregg Allman dies at 69.

A seminal voice of Southern rock is gone. Gregg Allman, leader of The Allman Brothers Band, died Saturday at his home in Savannah from complications of liver cancer. He was 69. “It’s a sad passing,” said Peter Conlon, president of Live Nation Atlanta, who knew and worked with Allman for decades. “It’s not only the end of Gregg Allman, but between him and ...
More than 1 million helped by Atlanta attorney’s work

More than 1 million helped by Atlanta attorney’s work

Most low-income Georgians had no place to turn for justice — or a decent lawyer — until Betsey Neely and other young attorneys stepped up. Armed with a study of the disparity between legal access in Atlanta and the rest of the state more than 40 years ago, they co-founded the Georgia Legal Services Program. “Betsey had a real commitment to assuring access to justice for everyone...
Robert ‘Bob’ Ledbetter, 81: Early investor in Atlanta pro sports teams

Robert ‘Bob’ Ledbetter, 81: Early investor in Atlanta pro sports teams

Bob Ledbetter was part of a who’s who of Georgia businessmen who pooled their money and brought professional basketball, hockey and soccer to Atlanta in the 1970s. “As far as investments go, it wasn’t a great one,” Ledbetter’s son, E. Wright Ledbetter, said. “But he said he would do it all over again because he had so much fun being a part of that.” Robert...
Atlanta blues community mourns passing of Northside Tavern’s Ellyn Webb

Atlanta blues community mourns passing of Northside Tavern’s Ellyn Webb

Ellyn Webb, longtime owner of Northside Tavern and a woman known in the Atlanta blues scene as a matriarch, died Thursday morning after a yearlong battle with cancer. She was 63. Born in 1954, the Atlanta native graduated from Grady High School and earned her college degree from Georgia State University. She worked in the accounting field for a number of years, but Northside Tavern is what encompassed...
Eva Friedlander, 95: Life was a story of triumph over hardship, evil

Eva Friedlander, 95: Life was a story of triumph over hardship, evil

On Sunday, April 9, AJC’s Personal Journey’s column featured 95-year old Hungarian Holocaust survivor Eva Friedlander, who had overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles during her extraordinary life. Ironically, her final journey began the next day when she became ill just before the Passover dinner. This time, even her eternal optimism, indomitable spirit and ability to reinvent herself...
J.B. Smith, Atlanta editor, teacher in turbulent times

J.B. Smith, Atlanta editor, teacher in turbulent times

The Atlanta Student Movement of the turbulent 1960s had a story to tell. And J.B. Smith was determined to be a part of that. Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves said Smith “never wavered in getting the real news out to the community through his newspaper.” “Along the way, he was a trailblazer for other African-American journalists who would follow in his footsteps,&rdquo...
Shirley Franklin praises her former police chief, Richard Pennington

Shirley Franklin praises her former police chief, Richard Pennington

Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, reflecting on her first big hire as mayor, called Richard Pennington a “great leader,” who was “determined to improve the Atlanta Police Department.  “He led the APD to expand officer training, to gain national accreditation, to launch the Atlanta Police Foundation, to access the root causes of crime, to realign resources...
With Col. Bruce Hampton’s death, Atlanta loses a piece of music history

With Col. Bruce Hampton’s death, Atlanta loses a piece of music history

An African proverb says “When an elder dies, a library burns to the ground,” and so with the passing of Bruce Hampton, an archive of Atlanta music history goes up in smoke. Hampton, a man once referred to as Atlanta’s only living art object, whose life inspired a documentary film and a horde of musical followers (who gave birth to the aptly named H.O.R.D.E. jam band tour), has left...
Jam band patriarch Col. Bruce Hampton dies

Jam band patriarch Col. Bruce Hampton dies

Music was Col. Bruce Hampton’s lifeblood, and his death came hours after being surrounded by the things he loved most — family, friends, fans and an everlasting beat. Hampton, affectionately known as the “Granddaddy of the Jam Scene,” was performing Monday night at “Hampton 70,” an all-star concert at the Fox Theatre, when he collapsed during the encore &mdash...
Forkner was soldier, lawyer, top golfer and helped start Waffle House

Forkner was soldier, lawyer, top golfer and helped start Waffle House

Thomas Forkner, co-founder of the iconic Waffle House roadside restaurant chain, died April 26, within weeks of the deaths of his beloved wife of more than 70 years and his longtime business partner. He was 98. Forkner, who was first an attorney, served in World War II and became a real estate broker, then paired with Joe Rogers Sr. to start the hugely successful chain after selling Rogers a home...
Snow cone benefit to help family of Lassiter brothers killed in crash

Snow cone benefit to help family of Lassiter brothers killed in crash

A Roswell snow cone business is holding a fundraiser to assist a Lassiter High School family grieving two brothers killed in a wreck Monday. All proceeds earned between 4 and 8 p.m. this upcoming Tuesday at Bahama Buck’s will go to the family of 18-year-old James and 14-year-old Joseph Pratt. The brothers were heading to dentist appointments about 3:40 p.m. when their car collided...
Funeral services set for Cobb County brothers killed in auto wreck

Funeral services set for Cobb County brothers killed in auto wreck

Funeral services for the two brothers killed Monday in an auto wreck in Roswell have been set for Sunday, Cobb County school officials say. The service for James and Joe Pratt is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at Piedmont Church, 570 Piedmont Rd., Marietta. The brothers were headed to a dental appointment when their vehicle struck a school bus Monday afternoon. James Pratt, 18, was a senior at Lassiter...
Fundraiser for Lassiter brothers killed in crash reaches $50K in a day

Fundraiser for Lassiter brothers killed in crash reaches $50K in a day

Hundreds of people are rallying around a Lassiter High School family mourning the loss of two sons. In the day since the campaign was posted online, 850-plus people have donated more than $50,000 to cover the funeral expenses of brothers 18-year-old James and 14-year-old Joseph Pratt. The teens died Monday on Ga. 92 in a wreck with a Fulton County school bus for students with special-needs...
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