Died Feb. 7, 2013
Oliver Quimby Melton, Jr., of Griffin died peacefully at his home Feb. 7, 2013 just five days before his 91st birthday. He was a leader in Griffin and the State of Georgia. He was a newspaperman, legislator, historian, World War II veteran, avid horseman and devoted husband and father.
Mr. Melton’s newspaper career began at the age of 11 as a carrier boy at the Griffin Daily News which his father owned. While at the University of Georgia, he was editor of The Red and Black and upon his return from war became editor of the Griffin Daily News. He became its publisher in 1970. He published weekly newspapers in Barnesville, Fayetteville, Forsyth, Jackson, Hampton, McDonough and Zebulon and operated Hometown Press in Barnesville. He edited and published over 16,000 editions of newspapers. He was active in the Georgia Press Association and served as its president in 1955-56.
Melton was a member of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia from 1955-1960. He helped Gordon Military College become a unit of the University System and was a member of the Gordon Foundation, serving as its chairman for a decade.
He served seven terms in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1959-1972 representing Spalding and Fayette counties. He chaired the House Education Committee and the Commission to Improve Education. He served six years as chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. Under his leadership, every bill brought before it to increase taxes was defeated.
He attended Griffin schools and graduated in 1939 from Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In the fall of 1939, he entered the University of Georgia and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1942. At Georgia was a member of the Gridiron Secret Society and the Kappa Alpha Order.
Immediately following college he attended the Army Cavalry School at Fort Riley, Kansas, graduated and was commissioned a second lieutenant. He served in the mechanized cavalry in the United States, Australian New Guinea, Dutch New Guinea and Luzon in the Philippine Islands. He landed on Luzon in an early wave of the D-Day liberation of the Philippines, was wounded by Japanese machine gun fire several weeks later and awarded a Purple Heart.
His younger brother and only sibling, Frederick Davenport Melton, also served in the mechanized cavalry and was killed by a sniper in Germany while attending to his wounded men.
An acknowledged historian, Melton did extensive research on Griffin. Among the books he published were two volumes, the History of Griffin, which include information about Griffin’s founder, Gen. Lewis Lawrence Griffin. Melton was named the first symbolic General Griffin in 1983, now an annual designation.
He was Georgia’s Citizen of the Year in 1955 and the Griffin Exchange Club’s Man of the Year in 1958. He earned his law degree at night from The Woodrow Wilson College of Law in 1961, passed the bar examination on his first attempt and was licensed to practice law in any court in Georgia.
Joining at 12, he was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Griffin and was a member and teacher of the Mens’ Bible Class. He was a member of Scout Troop Two and earned the rank of Eagle Scout at 15. He was a member of the Griffin and Barnesville Rotary clubs, Griffin’s Tuesday Morning Coffee Club and a former director of the Bank of Griffin. He was a charter member of the Commerce Club in Atlanta and the Griffin Country Club, a member of Meridian Sun Lodge #26 F&AM and the Elks and Moose lodges of Griffin.
A lifelong horseman, he received ROTC Cavalry training at the University of Georgia. He specialized in hunters and jumpers which he broke and schooled. He co-founded Tri County Hounds which rode to hounds in the English manner in Spalding, Pike, and Lamar counties in the 1960s. Mr. Melton was Master of Foxhounds and taught riders the etiquette, customs and discipline of the hunt which he led in his scarlet coat.
A native of Americus, he was the son of Oliver Quimby Melton and Mary Ella Davenport Melton. His paternal grandfather, Wightman Fletcher Melton, Ph.D., was Poet Laureate of Georgia.
Oliver Quimby Melton Jr. is survived by his wife of 69 years, May Wingfield Melton of Griffin; a son, Quimby Melton, III, Ed.D., (Louisa) of Griffin; three daughters, Mary Melton Forehand (James) of Stone Mountain, Laura Melton Geiger (Walter) of Barnesville and Leila Melton Stone (Edward) of Forsyth; seven grandchildren, Quimby Melton, IV, Ph.D., (Samantha) of Huntington Beach, CA, Isaac Melton (Shelly) of Griffin, Marianne Forehand DeVito (Steven) of Atlanta, Carol Forehand of Atlanta, Robert Stone of Macon, May Melton Geiger and Olivia Lanier Geiger, both of Bamesville; two great-grandsons, Isaac Melton, Jr., and Asher Melton, both of Griffin; a Goddaughter, Alice Lindsey Blake (Andrew) of Griffin; and a Godson, Lee Thomas (Tina) of Griffin.
His body was donated to Emory University School of Medicine for research.
Visitation is Saturday, Feb. 9 from 3-5 p.m. at the Melton home at 1940 South 6th Street, Griffin or Sunday, Feb. 10 from 2-3 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of First United Methodist Church in Griffin with a memorial service following at 3 p.m. in the church sanctuary.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 1401 Maple Drive, Griffin, Ga. 30224 or the Men’s Bible Class of the church.
Mrs. Bessie Farr Mann
Jan. 31, 1930—Feb. 7, 2013
Mrs. Bessie Farr Mann, 83, of Thomaston, passed away Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, at Christian Ministries Hospice in Griffin, Ga.
Mrs. Bessie Farr Mann was born on Jan. 31, 1930, in Atlanta to the late Fred Smith Beall and the late Mattie Pearl Beall. Mrs. Mann retired from Western Sizzlin, where she worked as a waitress for 17 years. She was a member of the Women of the Moose and was of the Baptist faith. Mrs. Mann was also preceded in death by her husband of 37 years, Chuck Mann; daughter, Cheryl Perry; and sons, Richard Lee Farr and Julius Farr.
Survivors include her daughters and sons-in-law, Lynda and Tommy Nations, Becky and Bruce Penn, and Julia Watson and Edward Johnson. She also leaves many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Funeral services for Mrs. Bessie Farr Mann will be conducted at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, in the chapel of Heritage Funeral Home. The Rev. Brandon Martin will officiate. Interment will follow in Crystal Hill Cemetery in Thomaston. Friends may visit the family from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, at the funeral home.
Heritage Funeral Home, 1512 Williamson Road, Griffin, GA 30224, is in charge of the arrangements. www.heritagefhgriffin.com.
Bertha Steele Wesley
May 30, 1923—Feb. 7, 2013
Bertha Ve Steele Wesley, 89, passed away on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at Brightmoor Nursing Home.
Bertha Wesley was born to the late Carl Cleophus Steele and Susie Eula Kennedy Steele on May 30, 1923 in Spalding County. She is preceded in death by her husband William W. Wesley, Jr., son Carl Ricky Wesley and brothers William David Steele and Thomas Edison Steele.
Bertha never worked outside the home as she raised her three children. She served her family, church and community and was one of the first to volunteer to do whatever was needed. She was very talented in growing flowers and making beautiful floral arrangements for the home, church or special events. She was an excellent pastry chef and an accomplished seamstress. Bertha was a life-long member, teacher and leader at County Line United Methodist Church up until health issues restricted her involvement. She was very active in the formation of the Birdie Community Club in 1949. The Clubhouse continues to meet monthly to this day. One of the greatest joys of Bertha’s life was planning for a week of camp meeting at Mt. Zion Camp Ground in the sawdust floor cabin, better known as the tent. Guests were always welcome for a meal or a visit for some of her sweet delicacies.
Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law William Keith and Penny Wesley of Griffin, her daughter and son-in-law Beth W. and Greg Whitehurst of Griffin, daughter-in-law Janet Childs Wesley of McDonough, eight grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren, and sister Mary S. Johnson of Hampton, sister-in-law Mary Frances Griffin, and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services for Bertha Wesley will be on Saturday February 9, 2013 at 2:00 pm in the chapel of Conner-Westbury Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 12:00 pm to the hour of service. Reverend Gene Walton and Reverend Ed Swehla will officiate. Interment will follow in the County Line United Methodist Church cemetery. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to County Line United Methodist Church, 416 County Line Church Rd., Griffin, GA 30223 in memory of Bertha Wesley.
Conner-Westbury Funeral Home, 1891 W. McIntosh Road, Griffin, Ga., is in charge of arrangements. www.conner-westburyfuneralhome.com.
Mrs. Bessie Woodruff Fain
Died Feb. 7, 2013
Mrs. Bessie Woodruff Fain, of Griffin, Ga., passed away on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013.
Mrs. Fain was born in Norcross, Ga., and was preceded in death by her husband, Allen Robert Fain, in 1984. Mrs. Fain is survived by a son, John William Fain of Williamson; daughter, Sue Thompson and son-in-law Earl Thompson of Griffin; son, Harold Fain and daughter-in-law Roseamae Fain of Fayettevile, and son, Jimmy Fain and daughter-in-law Cathy Fain of Locust Grove. She is also survived by a brother, Griffin Woodruff of Griffin; and sister, Grace Henderson, also of Griffin. Mrs. Fain had 12 grandchildren ranging in age from 8 years to 57 years; 16 great-grandchildren; eight great-great grandchildren; and 11 nieces and nephews.
Funeral services for Mrs. Bessie Woodruff Fain will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, in the chapel of Haisten McCullough Funeral Home. Interment will follow in Westwood Gardens. Friends may visit the family from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home. Mrs. Fain was such a blessing to her family and friends and will be truly missed.
To pay condolences online to the family, please do so at www.haistenmccullough.com.
The Haisten McCullough Funeral Home, 1155 Everee Inn Road, is in charge of arrangements.
Funeral services for Ms. Sandy D. Harris will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, at Spring Hill Baptist Church, 733 Pimento Ave., Griffin. Interment will be at Oak Hill Cemetery. Miller’s Family Mortuary Inc., 332 E. Chappell St., Griffin, is in charge of arrangements. 770-228-4077.
Miss Bay Glenn, of Macon, died Feb. 5, 2013. Services will be announced. Community Funeral Home of Pike in Zebulon is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Willie Robert Henley, 94, better known as Mr. Pansey, of 24 Third St., Concord, died Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, at Northside Hospital Cherokee, Canton. Burden’s Funeral Home, 222 S. 14th St., Griffin, is in charge of arrangements. 678-603-1666.
Mr. Robert Lee Brewer, 84, of Griffin, died on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, at his residence. Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, in the chapel of Conner-Westbury Funeral Home. Interment will follow in Lawnwood Memorial Park, Covington. Conner-Westbury Funeral Home, 1891 W. McIntosh Road, Griffin, is in charge of arrangements. www.conner-westburyfuneralhome.com.
Mr. Damon “Ray” Adams, 64, of Williamson, died on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, at DeKalb Medical Center. Funeral services will be conducted at 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, in the chapel of Conner-Westbury Funeral Home. Friends may visit the family one hour prior to the service. Conner-Westbury Funeral Home, 1891 W. McIntosh Road, Griffin, is in charge of arrangements. www.conner-westburyfuneralhome.com.
Evelyn Grace Durden Story, 92, of Zebulon, died Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in Christian Ministries Hospice. Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. today in the sanctuary of Zebulon United Methodist Church. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. To pay condolences online to the family, please do so at www.haistenmccullough.com. The Haisten McCullough Funeral Home, 1155 Everee Inn Road, is in charge of arrangements.