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Obituaries - Jan. 23, 2008

John Lamar Bryant, Jr.

10/31/1921- 1/18/2008

Our dad, John Lamar Bryant, Jr., has now joined his wife of 60 years, passing away peacefully in his sleep. Dad applied a belief in duty, honor, and commitment to everything he did. These qualities served him well in helping Margaret raise five great kids, while serving with distinction and honor during a 22-year career in the U. S. Army.

Dad saw combat in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, earning 3 Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, Philippine Liberation Medal, Asiatic Pacific Theater Medal, Korean Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal. However, his most important award was the "Best Dad" Medal which he received too many times to count.

John Lamar Bryant, Jr., was born in Colquitt County on Oct. 31, 1921 to John Lamar Bryant and Ella Sloan Bryant. He spent the next 19 years helping his family work the farm as they tried to scratch out a living during the great depression. Dad would want us to mention how appreciative he was for the help provided by Oscar Sloan and the rest of the Colquitt County Sloans during this time.

In 1940, as he was picking velvet beans, the itch provided by these plants became too much. Dad threw down his bag of beans, walked out of the field, and headed off to Albany to join the Army. As his mom ran down the road trying to stop him, he could be heard yelling how he would never pick another velvet bean in his life, which he didn't. Upon completion of training at Ft. Benning, he became a member of the elite 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team, the first airborne regiment to fight in the Pacific in World War II.

On July 3, 1944, the 503rd parachuted onto Noemfoor Island, New Guinea, where Dad received a purple heart. The unit participated in its most famous action in February of 1945, when approximately 1,000 paratroopers led the assault on 7,000 Japanese holed up in "The Rock," a fortress on Corregidor Island at the entrance to Manila Bay, Philippines. The landing area was so small, the 503rd had to parachute in from an elevation of only 500 feet. Even with that short drop, paratroopers managed to land directly on the Japanese commander and his staff.

After a period of bloody hand-to-hand fighting, the fortress was captured, a major step in the liberation of the Philippines. One of the most memorable stories of the Corregidor campaign involved a medic, who, while running through bullets tending the wounded, was mortally wounded himself. As the medic lay dying, he continued to administer morphine to the wounded next to him, while he filled out his own death certificate. They truly were the greatest generation.

After returning from World War II, Tech Sgt. John Bryant left the Army and met Margaret Mitchell, whom he wed in 1947. He then entered Georgia Tech, graduating with a degree in Textile Engineering. Upon graduation, he re-joined the Army as a First Lieutenant, serving in the Korean War. After returning from Korea, Dad remained in the Army with duty stations in Memphis, Tenn., Hawaii, Virginia, and Germany. His last tour of duty was in Vietnam. Based in Vung Tau, Dad's job was to oversee the supply of all forces in the Mekong Delta. He used to tell us this task alternated between periods of sheer boredom behind the lines and periods of extreme stress as he flew in with the helicopters bringing supplies to the troops in the field. After his tour in Vietnam ended, he retired with the rank of Lt. Colonel.

After leaving the Army, Dad settled down in McDonough, where he has lived for the past 40 years. He taught school for a brief period of time followed by a long stint in charge of ROTC supply for the Atlanta Public School System. After retiring from the school system, he justifiably thought he had earned some rest and spent the remainder of his life playing golf, rooting for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, watching the "Price Is Right," and just being there for his wife and kids.

John Lamar Bryant is survived by daughter Peggy Thornton, and son-in-law Tom Thornton, of Marietta; daughter, Karen Bryant, of Stockbridge; son, Johnnie Bryant, of McDonough; son, Wane Bryant and daughter-in-law, Carol Bryant, of Huntersville, N.C.; daughter, Tina Marie Bryant, of Roswell; and his sister, Ina Gail Bryant. His legacy will be carried on by his six grandchildren, Matthew, Sarah, and Luke Thornton, Neil and Emily Bryant, and Karolyne Maddox. In addition to his mom and dad, he was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret Mitchell Bryant, brothers ,Theron Adams Bryant, Sherrod Randall Bryant, Ray Courtland Bryant, and Alton Bryant, and sister, Edna Sloan Bryant.

Dad was proud to be a part of the greatest generation -- one of those countless ordinary men and women who did extraordinary things in defense of freedom. His memory will be served if we take the time to say thanks to an active duty serviceperson or veteran as we pass them on the street. Dad, thanks again for a life well done. We will miss you as we continue to live our lives as you taught us and pass on your wonderful legacy. We will see you later.

Please help us celebrate the life of this good and honorable man. Visitation will be Thursday, Jan. 24, 4-7p.m., at Haisten Funeral Home in McDonough. The funeral service will be Friday, Jan. 25, at 1 p.m., at Haisten Funeral Home, followed by entombment at Eastlawn Memorial Park, McDonough. This is the community's chance to say goodbye to someone you probably never met, but who sacrificed so much for you. It would mean a lot to us and veterans everywhere to see the cemetery standing room only. Memorials would be appreciated in the form of contributions in his name to any military-related charity. Haisten Funeral Home - McDonough, (770) 914-8833, Haistenfunerals.com.

Mr. Jeremy M. Wilson

Feb. 4, 1981 -

Jan. 20, 2008

Mr. Jeremy Michael Wilson, 26, of Hampton, passed away Sunday, Jan. 20, 2008.

Jeremy was born Feb. 4, 1981 in Spalding County. He was an Electrician.

Survivors include his wife, Jessica Wilson; son, Caleb Wilson; father and mother, Faron and Pam Wilson; brother and sister-in-law, Richard Chad and Michele Wilson; grandmother, Jean Morgan, all of Milner; aunts, uncles and cousins.

Memorial services for Mr. Jeremy Michael Wilson will be conducted Thursday, Jan. 24, at 11a.m., at Griffin First Assembly of God. Dr. Randy Valimont will officiate. Friends may visit the family Wednesday evening, 7-9 p.m., at the funeral home.

Conner-Westbury Funeral Home, 1891 West McIntosh Road, Griffin, is in charge of the arrangements, www.conner-westburyfuneralhome.com.

Cynthia Diane Cowart Brown

Ms. Cynthia Diane Cowart Brown, 38, of 207 Becky Street, passed away Monday, Jan. 21, 2008 at Greenville Memorial Hospital, after a battle with leukemia since July 2004.

Born in Anderson, S.C. on Nov. 16, 1969, Cindy was the daughter of Leonard Cowart, Sr., and Mildred Furguile. She was a 1987 graduate of Henry County High School, McDonough, Ga., was a member of Gethsemane Baptist Temple, and a homemaker.

Survivors include her companion, Danny Buford; father, Leonard Cowart, Sr., of McDonough; mother, Mildred Furguile and her husband, Michael, of Iva, S.C.; sons, Nicholas Hollingsworth and Kason Brown, both of Anderson; daughter, Jessica Hollingsworth, of Iva; stepson, Trever Buford, of Anderson; brother, Michael Cowart, Jr., of McDonough; maternal grandmother, Georgia Goodwin, of Anderson; paternal grandparents, Joe and Willie Mae Cowart, of Stockbridge; niece, Shelby Lee Cowart; nephew, Michael Cowart, III; step-grandparents, Joseph and Margaret Furguile, of Iva, S.C.; father and mother-in-law, Robert and Faye Holman.

She was predeceased by a son, Alex Nathaniel Hollingsworth, and grandfather, Joseph F. Goodwin.

The funeral service will be held on Thursday, Jan. 24, at 1:30 p.m., at Gethsemane Baptist Temple, conducted by the Revs. Sam Duncan and Benny Walker. Interment will follow in Forest Lawn Memorial Park. Visitation will be held on Wednesday at The McDougald Funeral Home, 6-8 p.m. The family will be at their respective homes. A message of condolence may be sent to the family by visiting www.mcdougaldfuneralhome.com. The McDougald Funeral Home, Anderson, S.C., (864) 224-4343, is in charge of the arrangements.