Obituaries

Bill Nordmark III made Atlanta friendlier city

Bill Nordmark III made Atlanta friendlier city

Bill Nordmark fought polio as a child and racism as an adult, all the while believing one person could make a difference. And he proved it in the way he lived his life of 69 years. The longtime Atlantan spent early childhood in an iron lung but went on to be a four-year letterman on Georgia State’s basketball team. Then two years ago, he embarked on a mission to forge better race relations &mdash...
Oscars new popular film category meant to boost ratings, deny ‘Black Panther’ ‘best picture’ nod, critics say

Oscars new popular film category meant to boost ratings, deny ‘Black Panther’ ‘best picture’ nod, critics say

Big changes are coming to the Academy Awards, including the addition of a popular film award category and the promise of a shorter ceremony in an effort to combat declining viewership and criticisms that the awards are out of touch with the mainstream. But the Wednesday morning announcement was also met with immediate backlash online, raising questions about what the new category would mean for a...
Cloninger, threw first pitch for Atlanta Braves, dies

Cloninger, threw first pitch for Atlanta Braves, dies

Tony Cloninger, who threw the first pitch in Atlanta Braves history and hit two grand slams in one game later that inaugural season, died. Cloninger died Tuesday in Denver, North Carolina at the age of 77. Cloninger was the opening day starter for the Braves on April 12, 1966 after the franchise moved from Milwaukee. At Atlanta Stadium, Cloninger threw all 13 innings in a 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh. Cloninger...
Walter Strauss dies | Fled Nazi Germany, built Atlanta retail landmark

Walter Strauss dies | Fled Nazi Germany, built Atlanta retail landmark

Walter Strauss fled Nazi Germany when he was 13, with few possessions and no money. By his 30s, though, Strauss was on his way to building an Atlanta institution. People traveled from around the nation to shop at Walter’s Clothing for sneakers and more. The store’s Facebook page includes messages from South Carolina, Alabama, and as far away as Australia. “He treated everyone equally...
Mary Beery developed arts and artists in Atlanta

Mary Beery developed arts and artists in Atlanta

Mary Beery dedicated her life to the arts and culture. For more than a decade, the Atlanta native ran the Hambidge Center, an internationally known artist community on 600 acres in the north Georgia mountains. Beery also helped organize the first Atlanta Arts Festival at Piedmont Park and later in life established an “Arts in Schools” program in Florida. “There’s a thread throughout...
Tom Crawford, dean of state Capitol journalists, dies at 67

Tom Crawford, dean of state Capitol journalists, dies at 67

Tom Crawford, the dean of state Capitol journalists who documented Georgia politics over more than three decades, has died. He was 67. Crawford in May announced the end to his journalism career, leading to a steady stream of tributes and visits from politicians, power brokers and fellow reporters who bid him farewell. He died of complications from cancer, his family said Wednesday. An endearing...
Hagood Bellinger, 77: Business leader, admired mentor loved Tech, golf

Hagood Bellinger, 77: Business leader, admired mentor loved Tech, golf

Hagood Bellinger took on life’s challenges with a can-do spirit. When his family couldn’t afford to send him to college, Bellinger worked his way through Georgia Tech. He’d alternate working one quarter of the school year at utility giant Southern Bell with classes at Tech the next quarter under the school’s Bachelor of Electrical Engineering Co-Operative Plan. “Our Dad...
Bahamas boat explosion kills metro Atlanta woman on 15th wedding anniversary trip

Bahamas boat explosion kills metro Atlanta woman on 15th wedding anniversary trip

Maleka Jackson was the glue. Whenever sorority sisters who lived in Atlanta needed to get together, it was Jackson who organized the gatherings. Golf. Dinners. Alumni events. Jackson was, friends said, the unofficial president of the unofficial Atlanta alumni chapter of Tennessee State University’s Alpha Psi chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  That is why Aja Mann texted her on...
Selfless Georgia teacher’s funeral plea is her lesson in compassion

Selfless Georgia teacher’s funeral plea is her lesson in compassion

Tammy Waddell devoted her teaching career to the students who most needed her. Always ready with a hug for a kid and a kind word for a colleague, the Forsyth County teacher will be remembered for her classroom compassion and a final request that her friends and family said is a fitting tribute to the dedicated educator. Waddell, 58, died June 9 after a recurrence of cancer forced her to leave her...
Tony Paradowski, 60: Decatur’s maestro of Christmas-light magic

Tony Paradowski, 60: Decatur’s maestro of Christmas-light magic

Georgia’s contribution to Christmas is varied, including Lithonia’s Brenda Lee, whose 1958 hit “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” is a seasonal staple, and Savannah resident James S. Pierpont, who wrote “Jingle Bells” shortly before joining the Confederate cavalry. Then there’s Tony Paradowski, who in recent years composed one phantasmagoric set-piece...
Funeral set for prominent attorney killed at law office

Funeral set for prominent attorney killed at law office

Funeral arrangements have been made for a prominent Cartersville attorney who was shot and killed by the ex-husband of one of his clients.  Services for Antonio Mari are scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday at Owen Funeral Home at 12 Collins Drive in Cartersville, according to an announcement on the funeral home’s page.  MORE: Hours after his divorce is final, man accused of...
Neighbors mourn after the DeKalb ‘Christmas Lights Guy’ dies suddenly

Neighbors mourn after the DeKalb ‘Christmas Lights Guy’ dies suddenly

He called it “Christmas in the Grove,” that time of year when he’d light his house with a wild display necessitating four miles of extension cords and more than 115,000 lights. Neighbors and others from around metro Atlanta would come see Tony Paradowski’s display in the Oak Grove area of DeKalb County. In 2013, Tony and wife Katie won ABC's "Great Light Fight...
Matt ‘Guitar’ Murphy, Blues Brothers guitarist, dead at 88

Matt ‘Guitar’ Murphy, Blues Brothers guitarist, dead at 88

Matt “Guitar” Murphy, a member of the Blue Brothers Band, who also played with Howlin’ Wolf, Memphis Slim and Muddy Waters ,has died. He was 88. His son confirmed the death Friday in a Facebook post. “I'm feeling very alone right now, like I'm the only person standing on the planet,” Floyd Murphy Jr. wrote. But I like to thank everyone across the globe for supporting...
Sandy Springs doctor didn’t let blindness rob him of career

Sandy Springs doctor didn’t let blindness rob him of career

In 1949, Jerome Berman opened a pediatric practice in the far-flung outpost of Sandy Springs, mostly because he couldn’t afford to rent space in Atlanta. He stayed for 33 years and eventually became a preeminent diagnostician of rare children’s diseases. He’d serve as chairman of pediatrics at Northside Hospital while running sick and well-baby clinics at various Fulton County health...
Roy Cooper, 91, helped Hartsfield-Jackson become international airport

Roy Cooper, 91, helped Hartsfield-Jackson become international airport

Roy Cooper worked in a world filled with egos, but his former colleagues say he was never one to seek the spotlight. Though Cooper loved recruiting businesses to metro Atlanta, he was more than happy to let elected leaders and business executives take the credit for it. But without Cooper, Atlanta’s airport isn’t the world’s busiest, and major employers like UPS and the American...
Doctor who lived to be 114 has street named after her in Sandy Springs

Doctor who lived to be 114 has street named after her in Sandy Springs

When she retired in 2001 at the age of 103, Dr. Leila Denmark was the world’s oldest practicing pediatrician. She was believed to be the first female pediatrician in Georgia. Denmark died in 2012 at the age of 114, but when she practiced she had offices in Atlanta, Forsyth County and Sandy Springs. This week, the city of Sandy Springs will make sure she’s remembered every time a driver...
Dorothy Cotton: Top aide to Martin Luther King Jr., has died

Dorothy Cotton: Top aide to Martin Luther King Jr., has died

Dorothy Cotton, one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s, closest aides in an orbit dominated by men, has died.  The Dorothy Cotton Institute and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where Cotton served as national director of education from 1963 until King’s assassination in 1968, confirmed Cotton died June 10 in her home in Ithaca, N.Y. She was 88.  “Ms. Cotton died peacefully...
Juanita S. Stone, 89: Teacher, funeral director served community

Juanita S. Stone, 89: Teacher, funeral director served community

Longtime Atlantan Juanita Sellers Stone was a trailblazer in the male-dominated funeral home industry. For more than 30 years, she ran Sellers Brothers Funeral Home Inc., which in its heyday had multiple locations, including two on Atlanta’s historic westside. “It was difficult. When she started out, certain vendors wouldn’t deal with her and took her lightly because she was...
Jerry Maren, last living munchkin from ‘Wizard of Oz,’ dies at 98

Jerry Maren, last living munchkin from ‘Wizard of Oz,’ dies at 98

Jerry Maren, the last surviving Munchkin from “The Wizard of Oz,” has died at age 98, TMZ reported. >> Read more trending news  Maren’s niece, Stacy Michelle Barrington, confirmed his death to Fox News on Wednesday. Barrington said Maren died over a month ago, but the family decided to hold of sharing the news in the media. “I wish I had grown up with...
FBI director Christopher Wray speaks at agent’s funeral in North Fulton

FBI director Christopher Wray speaks at agent’s funeral in North Fulton

FBI Director Christopher Wray was among the mourners who said a heartfelt goodbye Friday morning to Special Agent in Charge David J. LeValley. LeValley, who helmed the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office after serving in other FBI roles over the years, died May 26 at 53. His passing is considered a line of duty death as a direct result of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Contaminants he came...
Personal Journeys: 100 places to scatter his ashes

Personal Journeys: 100 places to scatter his ashes

Jerry McCoy liked lists — The 10 Best Hiking Trails in the United States; Top Five Restaurants in Atlanta; Eight Best Stocks to Buy Right Now. He was fascinated by the book “1,000 Places to See Before you Die,” because it combined his love of lists with his love of travel. As he grew older, he talked about writing a book of his own based on his extensive travels. He would call it...
Atlanta FBI official’s death linked to work at 9/11 scene

Atlanta FBI official’s death linked to work at 9/11 scene

The special agent in charge of the FBI’s Atlanta office died earlier Saturday due to complications from his work responding at the World Trade Center on 9/11, the FBI said. David J. LeValley served in Atlanta since November 2016, and he had been a special agent with the FBI since 1996, according to an FBI press release. Following the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center, he spent several weeks...
Alae Risse Leitch, devoted Tech fan, dies at 104

Alae Risse Leitch, devoted Tech fan, dies at 104

Alae Risse Leitch, an Atlantan who began cheering for Georgia Tech before the advent of television and the Varsity, died Wednesday at the age of 104. Leitch, whose devotion to the Yellow Jackets began with her support of her football-playing uncles (including All-American Red Barron in the early 1920s) and never relented, held season tickets at Grant Field (later re-named Bobby Dodd Stadium) for decades...
Fredericka Hurley led in education, broke barriers

Fredericka Hurley led in education, broke barriers

Fredericka F. Hurley retired five times from Atlanta Public Schools. She kept getting called out of retirement to “put out fires” in problem schools or fill in for sick principals. “She dedicated her entire being to whatever she did,” daughter Dierdre Hurley said. Phinroye Fredericka Flack Hurley, a ground-breaking and beloved Atlanta educator, mother of three and music lover...
Torpy at Large: ‘Smoke eater’ death revives the horror of Winecoff fire

Torpy at Large: ‘Smoke eater’ death revives the horror of Winecoff fire

The Winecoff Hotel fire was the nightmare on Peachtree Street, a hellish inferno that claimed 119 lives and remains the deadliest hotel blaze in U.S. history. Now, the last surviving fireman who fought those flames is history, too. R.B. Sprayberry, who later became Atlanta’s fire chief, died last weekend. He was 95. The fire in the crowded 15-story hotel on the morning of Dec. 7, 1946,...
Burning Man co-founder Larry Harvey dies 

Burning Man co-founder Larry Harvey dies 

Larry Harvey, co-founder of the Burning Man festival, died Saturday. He was 70.  The cause of death was not released but Harvey suffered a stroke April 4, Marian Goodell, CEO of the Burning Man Project, said in a statement.  “We resolutely held out for a miracle. If there was anyone tenacious, strong-willed and stubborn enough to come back from this challenge, it was Larry,&rdquo...
Sistagraphy founder Shelia Turner: Her camera brought people together 

Sistagraphy founder Shelia Turner: Her camera brought people together 

Twenty-five years ago, photographer Shelia Turner pulled together nine African-American women photographers for an exhibit at an Atlanta gallery. At a reception that night, the women decided that they wanted to continue to work together.  As a result, Sistagraphy, an organization of African-American women photographers, was born.  Turner, who lived in Union City, was its founder.  &ldquo...
Gene Dale, 84: Restaurateur loved to entertain Atlantans

Gene Dale, 84: Restaurateur loved to entertain Atlantans

Gene Dale, a beloved Atlanta restaurateur and showman, died late Wednesday of complications from a fall. He was 84. For 25 years, Hollywood celebrities and the city’s elite packed Gene & Gabe’s, a supper club with New York flair and northern Italian cuisine that Dale co-owned at Piedmont and Monroe until 1990. “Gene & Gabe’s was the Sardi’s of Atlanta,” said Carolyn...
Atlanta professional cyclist and Olympic hopeful, 30, dies of cancer

Atlanta professional cyclist and Olympic hopeful, 30, dies of cancer

Jacquelyn Crowell got one of her wishes. She made it to 30 years old before succumbing to cancer. The former professional cyclist who lived in Kirkwood and taught competitive riding to young hopefuls at Dick Lane Velodrome in East Point, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2014: “I would love to turn 30. It would be a blessing to turn 30.” Crowell died Wednesday, a few months...
Georgia’s first pediatric endocrinologist loved Broadway 

Georgia’s first pediatric endocrinologist loved Broadway 

For Georgia children living with a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis in the late ’70s and early ’80s, there was one doctor: Robert Schultz. He was the first pediatric endocrinologist in the state, and his practice quickly grew to the largest in the Southeast. “When he was started, there was nobody in the state, period,” his wife, Karen Schultz, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution...
Dr. Robert Schultz, Georgia’s first pediatric endocrinologist, dies at 69

Dr. Robert Schultz, Georgia’s first pediatric endocrinologist, dies at 69

Georgia’s first pediatric endocrinologist, who treated countless patients with type 1 diabetes, has died. Dr. Robert Schultz was 69.  Schultz was diagnosed with liver cancer three weeks before he planned to retire from his practice, his family said. In 1978, he moved to Atlanta from New York to establish the diabetes program at Scottish Rite hospital.  Outside of work, Schultz&rsquo...
John Williams gave back while building modern Atlanta

John Williams gave back while building modern Atlanta

In 1970 while putting together the blueprint for what became Post Properties, and when he couldn’t yet afford office space, John Williams held regular meetings at the Sandy Springs International House of Pancakes. Mostly he drank coffee until IHOP staffers required he buy breakfast with every new — and usually protracted — meeting. So he ordered pigs in a blanket, which he ate everyday...
Captain Herb’s Three C’s among the many sayings that shape WSB Traffic

Captain Herb’s Three C’s among the many sayings that shape WSB Traffic

Thursday, April 12th, was the four-year anniversary of WSB Traffic legend Captain Herb Emory’s flight to Heaven. The Georgia Radio Hall of Famer tragically died of a heart attack, after helping crash victims out of a car and then directing traffic in front of his house. Emory’s passing, considering his heart for both community service and Atlanta traffic, was both poetic and inspirational...
Georgia educator who helped students get diplomas nearly 50 years after protest dies

Georgia educator who helped students get diplomas nearly 50 years after protest dies

Geneva Woods, a retired teacher from Pike County, knew she was in poor health, but she had one last mission before she died Tuesday. Woods spearheaded an effort to get students from the 1969 senior class at the all black Pike County Consolidated High School receive their diplomas after the school district’s superintendent withheld the diplomas because of a student walkout to protest what they...
Civil rights hero, Rita Samuels, rose to White House consultant

Civil rights hero, Rita Samuels, rose to White House consultant

You know, I just made it very clear to the governor that I did not represent the total black community, that I was black and I had my own background, my own training and experience. And whatever answer I gave to him would be based on all of those things. And the way I thought that we should work would be to have me call up some people, you know, and get advice on how we should go about doing certain...
‘Every American has been touched by Linda Brown’

‘Every American has been touched by Linda Brown’

We know her last name, but the first name was often lost.  Linda Brown was a 9-year-old girl whose father tried to get her a better education by enrolling her into the all-white Sumner Elementary School in Topeka, Kan.  But there was also a practical reason. Sumner was just five blocks from home, while the all-black Monroe Elementary School, which required her to take a bus, was 20 blocks...
Public memorial, funeral services for Zell Miller announced; former governor to lie in state at Georgia Capitol

Public memorial, funeral services for Zell Miller announced; former governor to lie in state at Georgia Capitol

The public will have a chance to pay its respects to Zell Miller in Atlanta and in his beloved North Georgia hometown in the coming days. The Miller Institute Foundation announced three days of services for the former Georgia governor, U.S. senator and father of the HOPE scholarship, who died Friday morning at the age of 86. On Monday, a  public memorial service will take place at 10...
Former Georgia Gov. Zell Miller, 86, dies

Former Georgia Gov. Zell Miller, 86, dies

Zell Miller, a former two-term governor and U.S. senator who gave birth to Georgia’s HOPE scholarship, has died at the age of 86. Miller was a keynote speaker at a Democratic National Convention — and a Republican National Convention. A veteran politician who really wanted to be a minor-league shortstop. A man unswervingly loyal to his mountain roots who came to be seen as a traitor by...
Arthur McAfee was longtime Morehouse basketball coach, athletic director

Arthur McAfee was longtime Morehouse basketball coach, athletic director

There is no actual proof that Spike Lee tried out for the Morehouse College basketball team in the late 1970s. Further, it can’t be confirmed that Coach Arthur McAfee Jr. launched a legendary film career by looking at the 5-5 Lee and saying, “I want you to concentrate on something that you have as much passion about as playing basketball.” What’s undisputed is that McAfee was...
Family, friends and followers say goodbye to Tripp Halstead

Family, friends and followers say goodbye to Tripp Halstead

He was the little blond boy with the cherubic face and magnetic smile whom the world first got to know after a traumatic brain injury from a fallen tree limb made international headlines. But it was Tripp Halstead’s brave fight for recovery over the past five years — captured on social media by his devoted and seemingly indefatigable parents Stacy and Bill — that inspired millions...
Memorial service for Tripp Halstead reflects a young life’s large influence

Memorial service for Tripp Halstead reflects a young life’s large influence

Hundreds turned out Sunday afternoon and evening in Jefferson to remember 7-year-old Tripp Halstead, the North Georgia boy whose fight to recover from a traumatic brain injury more than five years ago was followed by millions around the globe.  Tripp died Thursday after a being rushed to the hospital. In 2012, a tree branch struck then-2-year-old Tripp in the head at his Winder day care...
Tripp Halstead’s memorial service planned for Sunday

Tripp Halstead’s memorial service planned for Sunday

A memorial service has been announced for Tripp Halstead, the 7-year-old boy who suffered a traumatic brain injury five years ago.  The service will be at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Jefferson Civic Center, Tripp’s mother Stacy Halstead announced. Visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, located at 65 Kissam Street  in Jefferson. Evans Funeral Home of Jefferson...
World-renowned pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton dies at home on Cape Cod

World-renowned pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton dies at home on Cape Cod

The world-renowned pediatrician who founded his own infant and baby development center at Boston Children’s Hospital has died at the age of 99.  T. Berry Brazelton died at his home on Cape Cod Tuesday.  >> Read more trending news  The Waco, Texas native began his career as a pediatrician in the 1950s and eventually became one of the world’s foremost authorities on...
Veteran Cobb firefighter collapses, dies hours after physical training

Veteran Cobb firefighter collapses, dies hours after physical training

A 19-year veteran of the Cobb County Fire Department died early Monday two hours after passing her physical training, officials said.  “We extend our thoughts and prayers to the family of Firefighter Stacey Leigh Boulware during this difficult time,” Cobb County fire Lt. Dan Dupree said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  Boulware, 44, responded to two incidents...
Bishop was pioneer in civil rights

Bishop was pioneer in civil rights

As pastor of Audubon Forest Methodist Church in southwest Atlanta, Bevel Jones III helped fashion a statement calling for racial reconciliation as resistance to school desegregation escalated throughout the South in 1957. The statement was signed by 80 ministers, including Jones, and dubbed the Ministers’ Manifesto. It was viewed as an early sign Atlanta might live up to Mayor William B. Hartsfield&rsquo...
Merri Brantley, 58: She dazzled state capitol for decades

Merri Brantley, 58: She dazzled state capitol for decades

Merri Brantley spent the better part of 30 years working the third floor of the Georgia Capitol. Whether as a lobbyist or her six memorable years as Senate press director, she was stylishly impeccable, rigorously impartial (though personally conservative politically) and linguistically concise. Most recently she was a “lobbyist” for Georgia Gwinnett College, where she had gone to work...
Mike Maloof Sr., 72: Admired lawyer had big heart, loved ones say

Mike Maloof Sr., 72: Admired lawyer had big heart, loved ones say

Defense attorney Mike Maloof Sr. bore little physical resemblance to his well-known father, longtime DeKalb County Chief Executive Officer and bar owner Manuel Maloof. But in personality, son and father were much alike: gruff, intimidating and big-hearted, family and friends said. “He had a level of freedom few of us ever experience because he was not interested in the opinion of others, only...
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