Notable Augusta area deaths of 2013

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Joe Kelly -- Jan. 8
Kelly, retired vice president of computer services for Morris Communications Co., was a founding member of Augusta's Irish American Heritage Society and grand marshal of the 1989 St. Patrick's Day parade. His family was recognized as the Irish Family of the Year in 2010. He was a member of St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church. He was a longstanding member of the Irish Mafia Golf Association, a member of the Forest Hills Golf Club, a member of the Knights of Columbus, Patrick Walsh Council and Assembly 174.
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Henry Gurley -- Feb. 5
Henry Gurley opened his first grocery store in Augusta in 1960 – launching what would become a family empire with dozens of supermarkets spread across two states. In a May 1990 interview, Gurley said the secret to competing effectively with the giant chains was simply to offer friendly service and consistent quality. “We don’t have the delis, the bakeries or the flower shops,” he said. “We’re just a neighborhood grocery store.”
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Jack Connell -- Feb. 6
Connell was an Augusta businessman known for his warm smile, humble sincerity and longtime legislative service. He owned or managed several local businesses over the years, but the Augusta Democrat is probably best known for his 34 years in the Georgia House of Representatives, where he served 26 years as speaker pro tempore, its No. 2 position. “Jack Connell’s service to Augusta is incalculable,” said William S. Morris III, the publisher of The Augusta Chronicle. “He devoted so much of his life and time to the betterment of our community."
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Dr. Steven Roth -- Feb. 20
Dr. Steven Roth’s desire to have his own facility became The Vein Care Pavilion of the South, popularly known as the Vein Guys, a growing enterprise with offices around the Southeast. He died in a plane crash with members of his staff. Roth’s colleagues described him as a devoted hard worker who cared about his patients.
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Heidi McCorkle -- Feb. 20,
A devoted mother, McCorkle, 28, was an ultrasound technician. Colleagues said she excelled in teaching vascular technology and sonography. Her dedication to the field of Ultrasound led her to organize a local chapter of the national organization, the Society for Vascular Ultrasound. Heidi was presently serving as the president of that chapter. She died in a plane crash with other members of the Vein Guys staff.
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Lisa Volpitto -- Feb. 20
Volpitto, 46, was a nurse anesthetist and worked with the Vein Guys. “She was just a great person and gave excellent care to our patients,” colleagues said She died in a plane crash with other Vein Guys staff members.
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Kimberly Davidson -- Feb. 20
Her family said Davidson used every moment of her life to take care of others. “She went out of her way to do for other people,” said her father, Hugh Weathersbee, of North Augusta.. Davidson, 42, an administrative assistant to Dr. Steven Roth, died with him and three other Vein Guys staff in a plane crash in Thomson.
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Tiffany Porter -- Feb. 20
Porter, 28, was just getting started on a new job in Nashville, Tenn. with the Augusta-based Vein Guys. The Alabama native was remembered as “truly a beautiful, beautiful girl inside and out. She was very outgoing, funny and quick-witted.” She died in a plane crash with other Vein Guys staff.
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Perry Houck -- Feb. 28
It’s almost impossible to talk about trout, or fishing, in Augusta without thinking of Perry Houck, a founder of the CSRA Fly Fishers group who passed away Feb. 28 at the age of 87. As a lifelong angler and outdoorsman, Houck enjoyed sharing the wonders of fishing with others — especially kids — even more than landing the big ones himself. He was also a co-owner of Augusta Sporting Goods, a family hunting and fishing store that opened in June 1925, occupied the same dusty storefront on Eighth Street for 78 years. It closed in 2003.
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Maj. Gen. John E. Hoover -- March 3
A resident of Evans, Maj. Gen. Hoover served as historian emeritus of the U.S. Army Signal Regiment. He served at Ft. Huachuca as Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army Communications Command. Upon his promotion to Major General, he was assigned as Director of the Joint Tactical Communications Office, developing the TRI-TAC communications equipment that enabled the joint services to interoperate on the battlefield.
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Janette Kelley -- March 6
Janette Kelley was known as a newspaper columnist for the Columbia County News-Times and author of two county histories: "Our Heritage: Personalities, 1754-1983, Columbia County, Georgia" and "Columbia County, Then and Now." She was also admired for her mission work and helping others, particularly during natural disasters.
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Dr. Victor Della-Giustina -- March 9
Dr. Della-Giustina was a co-founder of the School of Dentistry at the Medical College of Georgia, where he also taught. He pioneered the law that required all dentures be identified, and also volunteered for years at the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home, where the program Dentists for Della provides monthly dental cleaning to resident veterans.
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Peter Menk -- March 27
Menk was retired owner and president of The Menk Co. He was a past president of the Augusta Builders Exchange, the Augusta Plumbing & Heating Contractors, and the Georgia Plumbing Contractors Association. He was also a former director of Georgia Railroad & Banking Co., The Georgia Railroad Bank and First Union of Augusta. He was a board member of St. Joseph Center for Life, and a board member and chairman of St. Joseph Hospital and St. Joseph Ventures. He was a member and chairman of The Aquinas High School Board. Menk was also a member of The Augusta Country Club, The West Lake Country Club, and The Augusta National. He was a member of St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church and Grace Fellowship.
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Ozell Green -- March 29
Green was not only a beloved fixture at S&S Cafeteria on Walton Way for decades, but was known by friends for his engaging personality. “S&S is never going to be the same without him. Our customers loved him to death,” said Melissa Williams, a cashier at the cafeteria.
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Bob Smith, April 1
Smith, shown in his 1959 Topps baseball card, was a New Hampshire native who retired to Aiken. He pitched several seasons for four major league teams in the late 1950s. A left-handed relief pitcher, he won four games and struck out 93 in his big league career.
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Kathryn Emma Murphy -- April 14
Murphy, executive secretary for five Augusta National and Masters chairmen, including club co-founder Clifford Roberts, died at 9:50 p.m. Sunday, her daughter confirmed. She was 81.
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Gloria Lucas -- April 16
Gloria was a member of the Old Edgefield District Genealogical Society and the Augusta Genealogical Society, where she served as president. A native of New York, she was an elementary teacher in New York public schools for over 30 years. . After retiring she started a second career as a real estate broker before moving to Augusta, GA and following her true passion, genealogical research. She published a book entitled, "Slave Records of Edgefield County, S.C." an abstract spanning 87 years of slave records.
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Larry Long -- April 29
Lawrence C. “Larry” Long, 79, the chairman of the Columbia County Board of Elections, died April 29. Long, of Martinez, was a Republican appointee on the three-member board for 12 years.
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Curtis Rouse -- May 3
Former Laney High School star Curtis Rouse, who played six years in the NFL in the 1980s as an offensive lineman, died at 52. Rouse, who played his college ball at Tennessee-Chattanooga, played for the Minnesota Vikings from 1982-86 and spent his final year with the San Diego Chargers in the strike year of 1987. Rouse, who was a resident of Clarksville, Tenn., died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.
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Zadel Dukes -- May 4
Dukes spent 15 years working with children at the Youth Development Center, 15 years as a dorm mother at Paine College and another 10 years as a dorm mother at Boggs Academy in Keysville, Ga.
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Ola Hitt -- May 10
Ola Hitt, 103, was one of Aiken's most beloved and patriotic citizens, known for her service to veterans and community activities.
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Dolores Robinson -- May 10
President of the Augusta Humane Society, Inc., of which she was a charter member, Robinson was a life member of the Augusta Kennel Club.
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Alton Creech -- May 17
Creech, a popular deputy and one of the best shots on the Richmond County Sheriff's Department, died from injuries in an off-duty motorcycle accident.
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Barry Forde -- May 21
Barry Forde, longtime associate director of Golden Harvest Food Bank died at 65. Forde was "the backbone of this organization" said Derek Dugan, community relations director of Golden Harvest.
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Al Ludwick -- May 22
Al Ludwick, longtime executive sports editor of The Augusta Chronicle and Augusta Herald helped create the legacy of today's world-known newspaper golf coverage.
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Jim Davis -- May 22
Jim Davis, a longtime Augusta television newsman was an Augusta media pioneer. From 1956 until his retirement, Davis served as news director for all three TV stations in Augusta – WRDW (Channel 12), WJBF (Channel 6) and WAGT (Channel 26).
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Hale Barrett -- May 24
W. Hale Barrett practiced law for more than 59 years at the firm of Hull Barrett, PC representing numerous clients, including Castleberry's Food Company, Chipman-Union, Inc., Merry Land & Investment Company, Morris Communications Company, LLC and Sea Pines Company. He was a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and chaired the Committee that rewrote the Georgia corporate code. He was a member of the Augusta National Golf Club, as well as numerous civic organizations. He was a veteran of the U. S. Army.
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Sonny Ford -- May 26
Ford, a longtime mounted police officer for the Aiken Department of Public Safety, was known for his warmth and friendliness to all. Although he had recently retired, he was active in promoting Buffalo Soldiers, an organization that commemorates black cavalry troops of the 1800s.
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Tom Hagler -- June 25
Hagler, 82, former president at Georgia Iron Works Co., was considered a visionary in the dredging industry. He and his brother, Danny Hagler, created the first hydraulic slide rule used to perform slurry pump and pipeline calculations.
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Army Spc. Hilda I. Clayton -- July 2
Army Spc. Hilda I. Clayton died in Jalalabad, Afghanistan on July 2, after an incident occurred in Qaraghahi, Afghanistan. Clayton, stationed at Fort George G. Meade, Md., was a combat documentation specialist and assigned to the 55th Signal Co., a combat camera unit, 21st Signal Brigade,
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Ruth Charthern -- July 3
Ruth Charthern, known by colleagues as the longest-serving school crossing guard in Richmond County with 40 years of service, died at her home Wednesday. She was 86.
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Ray Lilly -- July 5
Ray Lilly, founder and co-owner of Hardwood Floors and More, died July 5. His wife Suzanne once said of their business that began in 2005: "Everybody talks about how bad the economy is, but there's still a lot of good things going on in Augusta."
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The Rev. Jeffery Thomas -- July 10
The Rev. Jeffery R. Thomas, 49, was a Paine College religion professor and pastor who extensively traveled to advocate for the United Methodist Church and higher education.
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Bill Hatcher -- July 12
Founder and CEO of MAU Workforce Solutions, one of the largest independent staffing firms in the country, Hatcher died at home surrounded by family. He was 87. “People will remember he was a family man,” said his son, Randy, who recalled how his father often reached out to the community.
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Solomon Walker II -- July 20
The former CEO and chairman of what once was one of the nation’s largest black-owned insurance companies died July 20. Solomon William Walker II, who headed The Pilgrim Health and Life Insurance Co. for a decade, was 76.
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Deborah Marshall -- July 26
Deborah Marshall, one of the most popular public servants in Columbia County who served as county director of elections for 12 years, died at her home in Appling after an illness. She was 49.
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Quincy Murphy -- Aug. 2
State Rep. Quincy Murphy, a leader in Augusta's legislative delegation for many years, died after a battle with cancer.
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Pat Rivers -- Aug. 17
Pat Rivers, the first girls basketball coach to bring a state title to Augusta, died Aug. 17. She was 60. Rivers led Richmond Academy to the championship in 1997, when the Lady Musketeers defeated rival Josey in the championship game. She retired in 2005 after racking up 338 wins in 24 seasons. “She pushed us a lot. She motivated us. She made us work harder,” said Natasha Reid, captain of the 1997 team who now works as a special education teacher at East Central Regional Hospital.
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Jerry Dye -- Aug. 31
Jerry Dye served 38 years as the attorney for the Augusta Economic Development Authority, making him one of the longest serving development authority attorneys in Georgia history. He was honored by the Authority's Board of Directors, who voted in 2010 to create the Jerry B. Dye Academic Scholarship at Augusta Technical College.
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Starkey Flythe Jr. -- Sept. 13
Writer, poet and editor Starkey Flythe Jr. was a beloved Augusta original who mentored and taught and once served as editor of the Saturday Evening Post. He died Sept. 13.
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J. Madden Reid -- Sept. 14
J. Madden Reid, longtime executive director of the Augusta Housing Authority, died at age 85. Reid, who presided over the state's second largest housing authority for a quarter century, left a legacy of achievement.
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Ruth Patrick -- Sept. 23
Ruth Patrick, a scientist whose research on freshwater ecosystems led to groundbreaking ways to measure pollution in rivers and streams, died. at 105.
The Ruth Patrick Science Education Center at the University of South Carolina Aiken is named for her, as is a wetlands preservation site along the Savannah River.
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Terry Childers -- Nov. 5
Former Augusta College baseball coach and professional catcher Terry Childers died after a battle with cancer. He was 66. Childers played eight seasons as a catcher in the minor leagues before retiring following the 1975 season. He played in the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and Montreal Expos systems.
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Lou Brissie -- Nov. 25
Lou Brissie, 89, of North Augusta,was a decorated World War II hero who overcame terrible combat injuries to become a major league baseball all-star. He was remembered in later years, however, for his humble gracious charm.

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