Emily Britton Parker, Ray City Teacher

Emily Britton Parker taught at Ray City School in 1947.  She was a fresh graduate of Wesleyan College, Class of 1947,  where she was a schoolmate of Barbara Swindle of Ray City, GA. She was the bride of Reverend Pledger Parker, who served as minister of the Ray City Methodist Church in 1946-1947.

Emily Britton Parker, Wesleyan College senior portrait, 1947.

Emily Britton, Wesleyan College senior portrait, 1947.

Emily Britton Parker, Wesleyan College senior portrait caption, 1947.

Emily Britton, Wesleyan College senior portrait caption, 1947.

Ostensibly Emily is majoring in religion, but her real major is an important man named Pledger. Her religious sincerity, her straightforward honesty, her sympathetic listening ability and her warm friendly smile endear her to all Wesleyannes. Emily, with her sparkling eyes, and untiring energies in a variety of fields, have made her a real asset to Wesleyan.

Emily Britton Parker, Wesleyan College accomplishments, 1947.

Emily Britton, Wesleyan College accomplishments, 1947.

Emily Britton
Camilla, Georgia
Religion

Pres. Freshman Commission; Hiking Club 1; I. R. C. 1, 2, 3, 4; Sophomore Council; Advisor to Freshman Commission 2; Glee Club 3, 4; Chairman Macon Church Activities on “Y” 3; Junior Marshall; Dance Club 4; National Methodist Church Scholarship 4; Vesper Choir 4.

Obituary

Emily Elizabeth Britton Parker
6/21/1925 – 11/2/2017
     

Emily Elizabeth Britton Parker, 92, of Macon, Georgia, went to her eternal home on November 2, 2017. At the time of her death, she resided at McKendree Village in Hermitage, Tennessee. The Reverend Pledger Wilson Parker, a member of the South Georgia Conference, and Emily were married for 67 years prior to his death in 2014.

Emily was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 21, 1925, to The Reverend Charles Britton, Jr., and his wife, Eleanor. Since her father was a member of the South Georgia Conference, Emily spent her childhood in several South Georgia communities. After graduating from A. L. Miller High School in Macon, she attended Wesleyan College, graduating cum laude in 1947 with a degree in Christian Education. She later pursued graduate studies in Library Science at Georgia Southern College, University of Georgia Extension Service, Georgia College at Milledgeville, and Mercer University.

Emily was the Director of Christian Education at Mulberry Street United Methodist Church for three years. She was also the Head Librarian of the Junior Department of Macon’s Washington Memorial Public Library for four years, an Elementary School Media Specialist for nine years, and a school teacher.

She was actively involved in the South Georgia Conference as a youth and as an adult. Emily organized the South Georgia Conference Ministers’ Wives Retreat and served as President for two years. She was an avid participant in the Women’s Society of Christian Service and United Methodist Women on the conference and local church levels. She was active in the life and ministry of the churches Pledger served, often working with college-age students. After his retirement from the pastorate, they connected with Mulberry Street UMC, where they particularly enjoyed being part of the Interest Group Sunday School Class and the “Scampers” Camping Group. In 2010 they moved to Nashville to be near their daughter, Cherie.

Emily was devoted to her family. She was the consummate hostess and loved to cook for family, friends, and the many people that ministry brought into her sphere. She loved hiking, camping, and bird-watching, was a charter member of the Georgia Wilderness Society, and was active in the Ocmulgee Audubon Society. She also served on the Board of the Friends of the Library. Emily loved attending cultural events and playing and teaching board games. She possessed a powerful will and boundless energy. It can truly be said of Emily: “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of our Lord.”

Emily is survived by three daughters: Giglia Parker of Loma Linda, California; Karen Parker DeVan (Jim) of McDonough, Georgia; and Cherie Parker (Jack Keller) of Nashville, Tennessee; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

A graveside service officiated by The Reverend Dr. Peter van Eys was held on November 6 in the Westview Cemetery in Atlanta. A memorial service, officiated by The Reverend Creede Hinshaw and The Reverend Jimmy Towson, was held at Mulberry Street UMC on November 7. Phillips-Robinson Funeral Home in Nashville was in charge of funeral arrangements.
– Book of Remembrance, Southe Georgia Conference, United Methodist Church.

 

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George Washington Wood

George Washington Wood was a brother of John Rhoden Wood, who served as a U. S. Diplomat to France between WWI and WWII.  The two brothers grew up in Ray City GA.  Around 1913, after the death of his first wife, Creasey Brown, George Washington Wood moved to Savannah, GA. But some time in the early 1940s, George and his second wife, Fannie Lou Taylor, moved from Savannah back to Ray City, GA.

George Washington Wood and his second wife, Fannie Lou Taylor. Image courtesy of Katie Frost

George Washington Wood and his second wife, Fannie Lou Taylor. Image courtesy of Katie Frost

George Washington Wood was born July 9, 1884. A son of Milledge Dewey Wood (1862 – 1932) and Nancy Caroline Rhoden Wood (1860 – 1929).  George grew up at Ray’s Mill, GA (now Ray City).  As a young man, he was tall with medium build, grey eyes and brown hair.

At the age of 18, he married Creasy Brown of Dupont, GA and  the couple made their home on a rented farm in the Connells Mill District, the 1329 Georgia Militia District,  on the “Rays Mill and Cat Creek road” near the town of Rays Mill (now Ray City).  George worked the farm and Creasy assisted with the farm labor while raising four kids. Following the birth of her fifth child, Creasy fell sick in the fall of 1911 and died on October 10, 1911.

Children of Creasy Brown and George Washington Wood:

  1. Leon Wood, born August 30, 1901, Berrien County, GA;  died November 8, 1922; buried Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA
  2. Hattie Wood, born about 1906, Berrien County, GA
  3. Gruvey Silas Wood, born March 24, 1908, Berrien County, GA; married Mary Pannal; died May 22, 1984, Savannah, GA; buried Hillcrest Abbey East Cemetery, Savannah, GA
  4. J. Remer Wood, born September 30, 1909, Berrien County, GA; married Jewel Prickett; died October 4, 1995; buried Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA
  5. Henry C. Wood, born August 8, 1911, Berrien County, GA; died April 24, 1986; buried Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

George was left to raise five children on his own. It appears that around 1915, he moved his young family to Savannah, GA where he secured a job as an electric street car conductor. About 1916 he married Fannie Lou Taylor  (1896 – 1981) and the couple made their home at 318 East 36th Street in Savannah.

Children of George Washington Wood and Fannie Lou Taylor:

  1. Thelma Wood, born August 10, 1918, Savannah, GA; married Jack Herlihy; died June 11, 2007; buried Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.
  2. Georgia Wood, born August 18, 1921, Savannah, GA; Married first Robert Stanley Krinsky, second George Ruscup; died August 21, 2004; buried Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA
  3. James Arthur Wood, born January 7, 1924; married Barbara Swindle, Berrien County, GA; died June 22, 1991 Savannah, GA; buried Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, GA.
  4.  Wallace Glenn Wood, born March 18, 1926; married Loretta Carver; died July 28, 2015; buried Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

In the early 1940s Fannie Lou Taylor and George Washington Wood moved to Ray City, Georgia.  They lived in a home on Main Street, just across the street from the residence of Henry Alexander Swindle and Ora Kathleen Knight Swindle in a house that was formerly the residence of Mr. and Mrs. P. M. Shultz.

Home of George Washington Wood and Fannie Lou Taylor Wood, Main Street, Ray City, GA

Home of George Washington Wood and Fannie Lou Taylor Wood, Main Street, Ray City, GA

George Washington Wood died on Monday, June 13, 1960. He was buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA, among others of the Wood family connection.

Grave of George Washington Wood and Fannie Lou Taylor Wood, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Grave of George Washington Wood and Fannie Lou Taylor Wood, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

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Robert J. Starling was at Emory College, Valdosta, GA 1948

Emory at Valdosta

Robert J. “Bob” Starling, a son of Henry Laverne Starling and Allie Purvis, attended the Emory College campus in Valdosta in 1948. His father was the school lunchroom supervisor at Ray City, and his grandfather, Juniper Griffis Starling, was a pioneer settler of Coffee County, GA.

Bob Starling grew up in his father’s household on Park Street in Ray City, and attended the Ray City School along with his brothers and sisters. The Starling kids were all involved in the Glee Club. In 1939, Bob and his sister, Wylda Starling, played in the school’s Symphonet Band, along with Lamar Hardy, Fain Guthrie, Ferrell Herring, Barbara Swindle, Annie Martha Grisset, Lois Burkhalter, Kenneth Cameron, Billy Creech, Casswell Yawn, and Sadie Griner. His older siblings, Hubert C Starling and Juanelle Starling sang with the school chorus.

Robert J. Starling, 1948, Emory Junior College, Valdosta, GA

Robert J. Starling, 1948, Emory Junior College, Valdosta, GA

Emory Junior College, 1940s, Valdosta, GA

Emory Junior College, 1940s, Valdosta, GA

Bob Starling went on to become Dr. Robert J. Starling. He married a nurse, Frances Carolyn Singletary, and practiced medicine in Donalsonville, GA.  He eventually purchased the hospital in Donalsonville and he and Frances operated it for many years.

A writer on the Donalsonville Forum: Remember the Good Ole Days, posted in 2011:

Dr Earle Moseley built the facility and it was known as Moseley Clinic and Hospital until his death in 1963. After that time, Dr Bob Starling purchased the hospital and it was renamed “Seminole Memorial Hospital”. Dr Jake Holley came that same year and joined him. Later he was joined by Dr Lewis Chisholm for a while, then later Dr Charlie O Walker.

Another writer in 2008 recalled the doctor’s bedside manner:

“Doctor Starling was such a kind and gentle man. I was never afraid of going to him as a child. I wish he was still around for my own children. I cut my hand when I was a senior in High School, and he was on call in the emergency room that day at lunch. I had never been to him; we always went to old man Dr.B….But Dr. Starling took me in, and soothed me quickly. He had 6 stitches in my hand before I could squeeze out another tear for my mom !! I remember Fran and Scott Starling, Linda and Robert too.They always had the best Halloween decorations!”

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Glee Club Gave 1939 Christmas Cantata

In 1939 the Ray City School Glee Club gave a Christmas Cantata with many students and teachers participating.

Ray City School, circa 1949. The school building was originally constructed in 1922.

Ray City School, circa 1949. The school building was originally constructed in 1922.

The Nashville Herald, December 14, 1939

Ray City School Glee Club to Give Christmas Cantata

      Ray City High School Glee Club will present a Christmas Cantata, “Memories of Bethlehem,” (Holton), on Wednesday evening, December 20, at 8 o’clock in the high school auditorium.  The glee club will be assisted by Miss Josephine Collier, pianist; contralto, Mrs. Rudolph Zeigler (Martha Ernestine Cantrell Ziegler); soprano, Mrs. Garth Webb, and Miss Hazel Tabor.

      Members of the club appearing on the program will be:

      Sopranos and altos:

      Peggy Carter, Annie Ruth Clements, Juanelle Clements, Marjorie Garner, Frencholyn Guthrie, Myrtle Hendry, Alma Luke, Evelyn Moore, Victoria Sirmans, Pauline Skinner, Juanelle Starling, Carolyn Swindle, Allen Yaun.

      Baritones and basses:

      Roy Carter, Hugh Clements, Hubert Comer, Billy Guthrie, Morris Johnson, Bruce Knight, Harold Moore, Ronald Parrish, Hubert Starling, Jack Vickers, Lamar Weaver.

      The Symphonet Band, which has been organized since October, will play for the processional.  They are: 

      Lamar Hardy, Fain Guthrie, Ferrell Herring, Barbara Swindle, Annie Martha Grisset, Lois Burkhalter, Kenneth Cameron, Billy Creech, Casswell Yaun, Bob Starling, Sadie Griner, Wylda Starling.

      Ushers for the occasion will be Helen Scarboro and Betty Garner.  Candle lighters will be Robert Martin, Rudolph Scarboro, Bill Gray, Harvey Wood.

      Wise men will be Hilda Sirmans and Doris Mobley.

1939 Class Seniors, Ray City School. Miss Tabor, Teacher. Pictured are Annie Ruth Clements, Elizabeth Weaver, Mona Faye Swindle, D'Ree Yawn, Hazel Sirmans, Doris Forehand, and J.D. Carter.

1939 Class Seniors, Ray City School. Miss Tabor, Teacher. Pictured are Annie Ruth Clements, Elizabeth Weaver, Mona Faye Swindle, D’Ree Yawn, Hazel Sirmans, Doris Forehand, and J.D. Carter.

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