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Obituaries for January 5, 2011; Congressman Edgar Lanier Jenkins, Phillip Ellington, Velma Jones, Rev. Wally Bearden, Hoyt Cochran, Clara Callahan, Robert Wehunt, Gayle Beebe, Henry Spence

Congressman Edgar Lanier Jenkins

Congressman Edgar Lanier Jenkins of Jasper died Sunday following a brief illness.

Born in 1933 in Towns County, Jenkins attended Young Harris College, was a veteran of the United States Coast Guard and graduated from the University Of Georgia School Of Law. Upon graduation, he became an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia and then entered the private practice of law in Jasper. He was also a staff member and long time confidante of Congressman Phil Landrum, also of Jasper.

Jenkins was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1976 and served with distinction for 16 years. Notable in his service in the House was his election to the House Ways and Means Committee as a freshman member. His leadership on behalf of the textile, apparel and poultry industries, focusing on global fair trade, was a legislative highlight of his career, along with numerous tax revisions reducing capital gains and inheritance taxes and ensuring equity for all taxpayers. He authored comprehensive soil and water conservation laws and wilderness protection statutes for the Chattahoochee National Forest.

He was the sole non-chair appointed to the Joint Committee on Iran-Contra which investigated the trading of weapons to Iran when such was not authorized by the United States Congress. The Almanac of American Politics described him as “one of the smartest operators on Capitol Hill.”

Honoring the Congressman’s service to the people of north Georgia, 23,000 acres of the Chattahoochee National Forest were designated the Ed Jenkins National Recreation Area.

Acknowledging his commitment to public education for all Georgians, Jenkins served as a member and chair of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and was a trustee emeritus of Young Harris College. He also served as a founding board member of Pickens Technical Institute.

Family members include his wife, Jo Jenkins of Jasper; and two daughters, Janice Jenkins Anderson (Larry) of Roswell and Amy Jenkins Dotson of Jasper ;and two grandsons, Sam and Drew Dotson. Brothers and sisters are Charles and Bonnie Jenkins, Kenneth Jenkins, Marilyn and James Homer Thomasson, and Ella and Tom Battle, all of Blairsville, and Patti and Bobby Chambers of Gainesville. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charlie and Evia Jenkins of Blairsville. A childhood friendship with fellow Towns County native, Zell Miller, was nurtured through seven decades.

Visitation will be held Friday, Jan. 6, 2012, at Cagle Funeral Home in Jasper from 4-8 p.m. The funeral service will be held Saturday, Jan. 7, at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church of Jasper. He will lie in state at Antioch Baptist Church of Blairsville from 1 until 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 8, and will be interred in the Antioch Church Cemetery at 3 p.m. with military honors. Honorary pallbearers will be members of his Gideon Sunday School class as well as members of the United States Congress.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be made to one of the following: First Baptist Church of Jasper, 198 East Church Street, Jasper, Ga. 30143; Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center, 175 Samaritan Drive, Jasper, Ga. 30143; Young Harris College, Ed Jenkins Scholarship, Post Office Box 275, Young Harris, Ga 30582.

Cagle Funeral Home, 364 East Church Street, Jasper, Ga. 30143 (706-692-6615) is in charge of arrangements.


Phillip Ellington

Phillip Ward Ellington, age 64 of Canton, died peacefully surrounded by his family on Dec. 24, 2011, at Northside Hospital Atlanta of complications from mantle-cell lymphoma. Mr. Ellington was a minister at several area churches, including associate chaplain of Big Canoe Chapel in Big Canoe, Ga.

Mr. Ellington was a native of Hickory, N.C., where he also grew up. He did his undergraduate work at Wake Forest University where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He worked for Campus Crusade for Christ for two years. Mr. Ellington then earned his Master’s of Divinity degree from Southwest Theological Seminary in Forth Worth, Tx. He went on to be associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston Salem, N.C., before becoming the pastor of Konnoak Baptist Church, also in Winston Salem.

From 1982-1985 Mr. Ellington was a foreign missionary to Porto Alegre, Brazil, through the North American Mission Board. Mr. Ellington first came to the Atlanta area in 1994 to serve as director of education at Norcross First United Methodist Church. During this time, he also began his involvement with Walk to Emmaus, a spiritual renewal program in which he was deeply involved for the next 15 years.

Mr. Ellington took the position at Big Canoe Chapel in 1998, serving along side well-known pastor Dr. Jimmy Allen. After his marriage in 2003 to Mary Jones “Cissy” Ellington, Mr. Ellington served as chaplain at Lake Arrowhead Chapel in Waleska prior to his retirement from the full-time ministry.

Mr. Ellington is remembered by his family as a loving father and grandfather who enjoyed nature, the outdoors and sports. He was an avid athlete and competitor willing to try any game or sport, and loved both running and basketball. For many years he played church men’s basketball one night a week. He also ran the Atlanta half marathon numerous times and finished near or under 90 minutes after he turned 50. He loved college basketball and football, ever rooting for his Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

In addition to his wife, Mary Jones “Cissy” Ellington of Canton, survivors include sons and daughters-in-law, William “Bill” and Sascha Ellington, Norcross, Seth and Haley Ellington, Roswell, and Evan Ellington, Atlanta; brother, Kimberly Ellington, Vale, N.C.; sister, Lydia Cody, Ravenel, S.C.; and stepchildren, Walker and Becky Cloud and Betsy and Josh Graham, all of Canton. Seven grandchildren also survive.

A memorial service was planned for Thursday, Dec. 29, at 11 a.m. at the Canton First United Methodist Church.  Family received friends on Wednesday, Dec. 28, from 6-9 p.m. at the funeral home. Donations can be made to Amigos for Christ. 1845 South Lee Ct., Suite A Buford, Ga. 30518. Darby Funeral Home in Canton is in charge of arrangements.

Velma Jones

Mrs. Velma Faye Jones, age 68 of Ball Ground, Ga., passed away Friday, Dec. 23, 2011, at her residence.

Survivors include her daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Jackey Mooney, Cleveland, Ga.; son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Kristie Jones, Graniteville, S.C.; brother, Larry Blanton, Spartanburg, S.C.; grandchildren, Amber, Paige and Hilary and Cameron; and great-grandchildren, Avonlea and Mya-Belle.

The funeral service was held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27, from Concord Baptist Church in Gordon County with Pastor Sammy Allen and Brother Mark Stroud officiating. Interment followed at the church cemetery. Pallbearers were: Sean Adam, Juston Wilson, Jason Mooney, Roger Knight, Brandon Richards and Douglas Duncan.

Cagle Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Rev. Wally Bearden

Rev. Wally Bearden, age 68 of Jasper, Ga., passed away Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2011, at Piedmont Mountainside Hospital.

Rev. Bearden is survived by his wife, Jean Bearden, Jasper; step-mother, Barbara Turner, LaGrange, Ga.; sons, Michael Bearden, Pensacola, Fl., Damon Bearden, Cave Springs, Ga., and Aaron Bearden, Jasper; brother, David Bearden, LaGrange, Ga.; and sisters, Linda Head and Melody Vickers, both of Hiram Ga. Eight grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews also survive.

Pallbearers were: Jerry Wilson, Mickey Carver, Bob Whitfield, Tony, Lynn and Dale Williams.

The funeral service was held at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30, from the Chapel of Cagle Funeral Home with Dr. Ben Langley officiating. Interment followed at Sunrise Memorial Gardens. The family did accept flowers but prefer memorials be made to Shiloh Baptist Church Building Fund.

Hoyt Cochran

Mr, Hoyt Cochran, age 100 of Jasper and formerly of the Ludville Community, passed Thursday afternoon, Dec. 29, 2011, at Grandview Health Care  Center in Jasper.

Survivors include the God granddaughter, Tina Brannon, Fairmount; and nieces and nephews.

The funeral service was held Saturday, Dec. 31, at 2 p.m. from the Chapel of Cagle Funeral Home with the Rev. Buddy Roper officiating. Interment followed in Friendship Baptist Church Cemetery with  Drandy Young and Larry Hamrick serving  as pallbearers.

Clara Callahan

Mrs. Clara Mae Callahan, age 93 of Nelson, Ga., passed Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011, at Heritage Health Care in Jasper.

Survivors include her sons, Tunnie Padgett, Ball Ground, and Eddie Padgett, Fairmount; daughters, Sue Young, Waleska, and Brenda Thacker, Nelson; and brother, Russell Pendley, Tate. Sixteen grandchildren, several great-grandchildren great-great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews also survive. Mrs Callahan was preceded in death by her husbands, Edward Carl Padgett and Oscar Roy Callahan.

The funeral service was held Monday, Jan. 2, at 11 a.m. from Long Swamp Baptist Church with the Revs. Thomas Shipman and Keith Cook officiating. Interment followed in the church cemetery with Lou Jack  and Avery Jeans, Timmy Abernathy, Gene Crowe, Kevin Chamber and Jamie Nicholson serving as pallbearers. Cagle Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Robert Wehunt

Robert Larry “Cowboy” Wehunt, age 63 of Jasper, died Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011, at his residence.

He graduated from Sprayberry High School Class of 1966, was a grocery store clerk and of the Baptist faith.

Survivors include his brother, Sam Lamar Wehunt, Marietta; aunt and uncle, Essie and M.C. Reaid, Canton; and uncle, T.M. Bacon, Woodstock. Several nieces and nephews also survive.

Mr. Wehunt was cremated and no local services were held.  South Canton Funeral Home & Chapel in charge of arrangements.

Gayle Beebe

Gayle Rowell Beebe, age 61 of Dawsonville, passed away Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011, at her residence following a sudden illness.

Born March 25, 1950, she lived most of her life in Dawson County. A former cosmetologist and avid singer, she sang professionally for many years. She possessed a great devotion for her dog Teddy and loved her family, friends and church.         Gayle was a member of Amicalola Baptist Church and was preceded in death by her sister, Janice Harben; step-mother, Katherine Kent; and step-father, Johnny Stephens.

Survivors include her mother, Aline Stephens, Dawsonville; father, Buddy Rowell, Dawsonville; and sisters and brothers-in-law, Debbie Rowell, Dawsonville, Sherri and Bob Kelly, Dacula, Valerie and Todd Binning, Cumming, and Vanessa and Jim Williams, Lebanon, Tn. Several nieces, nephews and other relatives.

The funeral service was held Monday, Jan. 2, at 2 p.m. from Bearden Funeral Home Chapel with the  Revs. Tom Stradley and Chad McPherson officiating.  Interment followed in the Amicalola Baptist Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Amicalola Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, 867 Chumbley Road, Dawsonville, Ga.  30534.

www.beardenfuneralhome. com

Henry Spence

Henry E. Spence, age 88 of Ball Ground, Ga., passed away Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011, at Northside Hospital Cherokee.

Mr. Spence was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Sarah Frances Spence.

Survivors include his children, Joyce M. Jordan and Wanda Faye Dollar, both of Ball Ground, and James and Harold Spence, both of Jasper; and sisters, Doris Burgess, Canton, Cleo Anderson, Jasper, and Marie Woodall, Gainesville. Eight grandchildren, 17 great- grandchildren, 2 step-great- grandchildren and several nieces and nephews also survive.

The funeral service was held at 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 2, from Fairview Baptist Church with the Revs. Gene Childers, Russell Nation and Robert Allen officiating. Interment followed at Fairview Baptist Church Cemetery. South Canton Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.