July 8, 2003

J.A. Cronic


J.A. Cronic, Spalding County's largest new and used automobile dealer, passed away Friday, July 4, 2003, at Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., where he was vacationing with his family.

Cronic, 81, suffered from a variety of illnesses in recent years, but succumbed to heart failure. His wife of nearly 56 years and his son-in-law were with him when he collapsed in his hotel room shortly before noon. He was pronounced dead at Baptist Medical Center n Beaches.

The dealer and president of Cronic Chevrolet-Cadillac-Nissan and the president of Griffin E-Z Pay, Cronic was also the majority stockholder in Cronic Buick-Pontiac-GMC-Chrysler-Jeep, where his daughter, Wanda Cronic Howell, is the dealer. In addition, Cronic was president of Cronic Realty Company, was a licensed insurance agent, and managed a wide variety of investments.

Cronic was an active member of the Griffin Rotary Club and of the First Baptist Church of Griffin. He had been president of the Bramblett Sunday School class there for several years. He was a Scottish Rite 32nd degree Mason, a member of the Yaarab Shrine Temple in Atlanta, and active with the Shrine Motor Corps.

He was a member of the board of directors of the Salvation Army in Griffin and, until his resignation a few months ago, was a member of the board of directors for the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association. He had served on both boards for many years. He was also a member of the National Automobile Dealers Association. Prior to moving to Griffin, Cronic had been a member of the Park Avenue Baptist Church in Atlanta, where he served on the Board of Deacons.

Cronic was born June 12, 1922, in Jackson County, Ga., son of the late Annie Lou and Clarence Allen Cronic. He was raised in Monroe, the oldest of four boys and two girls. Two brothers and one sister preceded him in death. The family were member of the United Methodist Church.

Cronic attended public schools in Walton County and the Red Barron Agricultural School. His education was interrupted when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Cronic was stationed at bases in Georgia, Florida, and California, and he fought his way across the Pacific. He was training as part of the planned invasion force of Japan when the war ended. He was honorably discharged in 1946, and returned to Georgia.

Cronic married his "high school sweetheart," Freda Dillard, in 1947, and joined the Atlanta Fire Department the next year. He was assigned to Station Number Four, where he served as a tiller man on the hook-and-ladder truck. He left the fire department in 1956 to open his own business, RGA Motors, where he specialized in trucks. He later became the franchised International Harvester dealer and the Jeep dealer.

When the Chevrolet franchise in Griffin became available in 1975, Cronic purchased it from Nalley Chevrolet, who had operated it briefly after acquiring it from Star Chevrolet. Cronic purchased both the Nissan and the Pontiac franchises in the early 1980s. In 1996, he and his daughter, Wanda, purchased a second dealership on North Expressway.

The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 9 in the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Griffin. Interment will follow immediately at Oak Hill Cemetery in Griffin.

Survivors include his wife, Freda Dillard Cronic; daughters and sons-in-law, Wanda Cronic and State Representative Lee Howell of Griffin, and Linda Cronic and Gary Ridley of Conyers; grandchildren, Tina Angela Thompson of Atlanta, Nicole Ashley Selph and Jessica Cronic Howell, both of Griffin, and Jade Cronic Ridley of Conyers; great-grandchild, Destiny Angel Thompson of Griffin; brother, Eugene T. Cronic and his wife, Pat, of Buford; sister, Evelyn Cureau and her husband, Jean Paul, of Dunwoody; one niece, three nephews, and numerous other family members and friends.

Visitation with the family will be from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Salvation Army Corps, Post Office Box 798, Griffin, Ga. 30224.

Conner-Westbury Funeral Home, Griffin is in charge of arrangements. (770) 227-2300.

Freddie E. Halstead

Freddie E. Halstead, age 90, of Forest Park and formerly of Dalton passed away Thursday, June 26, 2003.

A cryptside service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 9 at Sherwood Memorial Park with the Rev. Curtis Turner officiating.

Survivors include his son, Roger Halstead; daughter, Betty King Posten; daughter-in-law, Becky King Pugh; grandchildren, Michelle Halstead, Benny Posten, Marsha Posten McKone, Allen Posten, Gwen King Berger, Greg King, and Kim King Bergstresser; five great-grandchildren.

Pope Dickson & Son, Morrow Chapel is in charge of arrangements. (770) 961-2700.

Jade Scott Mewbourn


Mr. Jade Scott Mewbourn, age 44, of Jonesboro died Saturday, July 5, 2003, at his residence.

Mr. Mewbourn was a native of Upson County and was employed as a driver for the Advance Disposal Company.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. today, Tuesday, July 8 in the chapel of Coggins Funeral Home with the Rev. Dean Hemphill officiating.

Survivors include his son, Mr. Brandon Mewbourn of Stockbridge; father, Mr. Randy Mewbourn of Raleigh, Ga.; mother, Ms. Betty Mewbourn of Jonesboro; brother, Mr. Bobby Ray (Tina) Mewbourn of Roopville, Ga.; sister, Mrs. Cathy (Walt) Denise Dinkins of Stockbridge; niece, Ms. Crystal Miller of Bremerton, Wash.; dog, "Sandy;" several aunts, uncles, and cousins, and many friends.

Coggins Funeral Home, Thomaston, Ga. is in charge of arrangements. (706) 647-9681.

Sally Scarbrough

H.O.G. Member

Sally Scarbrough, age 54, of Tate Creek Trail in Dahlonega died Thursday, July 3, 2003, at the Atlanta Medical Center following injuries sustained in an accident.

She was born in Fulton County and lived in Ellenwood for many years, moving to Gainesville in 1989. She worked at the Georgia Department of Human Resources since 1988. She was a member of the Mount Zion U.M.C. in Ellenwood, and was also a member of the Harley Owners Group.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 5 at the Little-Davenport Chapel.

Survivors included her husband, Russell Scarbrough; daughters and sons-in-law, Lynn and Jim Jacob of Gainesville and Lori and Jim Allen of Gainesville; grandchildren, Russ and Ross Biggers, Wes Allen, and Ansley and Andrew Jacob; mother, Lillian Goodwin of Birmingham, Ala.; sisters, Beverly Adams of Birmingham and Barbara Head of Sharpsburg, Ga.; a host of other relatives also survive.

Little-Davenport Funeral Home, Gainesville is in charge of arrangements. (770) 534-5201

Robert Eugene Stephens


Mr. Robert Eugene Stephens, age 53, of Locust Grove passed away Sunday, July 6, 2003.

Mr. Stephens recently retired from BellSouth after 32 years of service. He is a man dearly loved and truly missed.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 9 from Horis A. Ward Fairview Chapel with Speaker Jerry Huff officiating. Interment will follow at Fairview Memorial Gardens.

Survivors include his wife, Janice Stephens; children, Jennifer C. Stephens, and R. Damon Stephens; stepdaughters, Tonya Sheats, Andrea Manderson, and Darlene Necessary; five grandchildren; one sister; one brother; many nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witnesses, 1545 Highway 42, McDonough, Ga. 30253.

Horis A. Ward Fairview Chapel, Stockbridge is in charge of arrangements. (770) 474-1231.