Notable Passings in Cobb County - Those We Will Remember
by Damon Poirier
December 31, 2013 10:05 PM | 4719 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Today we take a final look back at educators, politicians, public safety personnel, a student, a police dog and a soldier.


Jane Riley

Jane Riley, 75, died Friday, Feb. 1, 2013.

Originally from Fulton, Miss., Riley came to Cobb County to pursue a career in education with the Marietta City Schools system during the 1960s. She worked at West Side Elementary, Park Side Elementary, the district office as a Title I Kindergarten coordinator and eventually spent her last 15 years at Hickory Hills Elementary School — serving as principal from 1974-1989.

Upon retiring from the district in 1989, the Hickory Hills library was named after her, Jane Riley Day was declared in Marietta and a former U.S. congressman honored her service to education by recognizing her in the Congressional Record.

Harry Ingram

Harry Ingram, 86, died Friday, Feb. 8, 2013.

The last surviving member of Cobb County’s original multimember Board of Commissioners, Ingram represented west Cobb from 1965-70. He was also a member of the Hospital Authority board that helped build Cobb Hospital in Austell and served on the Smyrna City Council before being elected to the Cobb Board of Commissioners.

An accountant with Sinclair Oil, Ingram left the company in 1970 after an attempt to transfer him to Cleveland, Ohio. He then resigned his part-time commissioner job to take over as the head of Cobb’s Revenue Collection Division. While he was considered a subordinate to the commissioners that he had been on equal footing with, Ingram still had great influence over the county.

During his 20 years in county administration, he worked with then-Chairman Ernest W. Barrett — who is considered the architect of modern Cobb County. Ingram helped expand the water and sewer pipeline grid to meet demand in what would become the fastest growing county in the state of Georgia.

Ingram, who served in the Navy during World War II, went with Barrett on a 1966 trip to the Dallas area where they lured Six Flags to open a new theme park in the county. In 1982, he was named Cobb’s first county administrator after a citizen review panel recommended the position’s creation. A year later, the Cobb legislative delegation changed the county from a full-time commission chairman form of government to a county manager form. While he was asked to serve as county manager, he opted to become manager of the Cobb Water System — which he held until 1990.

A third generation Cobb resident, he grew up in what is now the Town Center at Cobb mall area and eventually sold his property to a developer who built a shopping center that now includes a Marshalls and Olive Garden.

His father, Ernest Ingram, helped start Greer’s Chapel Baptist Church just west of the family farm.

Bernard A. Zuckerman

Bernard A. Zuckerman, 91, died Friday, Feb. 22, 2013.

Zuckerman was a Kennesaw State University benefactor who donated $2 million towards a KSU museum that will bear his name. The Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art grand opening is scheduled for 2014.

Along with money, he donated 130 works of art created by his late wife, sculptor Ruth Zuckerman, to the university’s collection. In the early 1970s, he moved to Georgia from New York to pursue a career in the carpet industry.


Lonnie Nutt

Lonnie Nutt, 49, died Thursday, March 7, 2013.

A Marietta firefighter, Nutt collapsed and died from a heart attack while he and his coworkers were responding to a car accident off Whitlock Avenue. This was the first in the line of duty death the Marietta Fire Department had since it formed in 1854.

Joining the Marietta City Fire Department in 1994, The number of fire trucks, police motorcycles and supporters who took part in the funeral procession stretched more than 2 miles. Firefighters throughout the region turned out to honor him. At his funeral, the Rev. Ernest Easley, senior pastor of Roswell Street Baptist Church, read a letter from Gov. Nathan Deal honoring his service. Bob Weatherford, an Acworth Board of Aldermen and a member of the Patriot Guard Riders, was present with about 20 fellow Riders who lined the church walkway carrying U.S. flags.

The fire department’s honor guard carried Nutt’s casket wrapped in the U.S. flag from the church to the top of a fire truck draped in black. On the way from the church to Kennesaw Memorial Park, the procession passed beneath two crossed ladder trucks.


Robert ‘Bob’ Ormsby Jr.

Robert “Bob” Ormsby Jr., who served as president of Lockheed Georgia from 1975 to 1984 — the longest anyone has held the position — died April 11 at age 88. U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson called Ormsby “a giant at Lockheed, a giant in the U.S. defense system and a giant from Cobb County.”

Born in Winston-Salem, N.C., Ormsby sought an aeronautical engineering degree at Georgia Tech, where he roomed with President Jimmy Carter.

It was the C-130 Hercules cargolifter that brought Ormsby to Marietta in 1954. The C-130 was followed by the much larger and jet-powered C-141 StarLifter and then the even bigger C-5 Galaxy.

Ormsby headed up the initial design team for the Galaxy.

Marietta Museum of History founder Dan Cox worked with Ormsby in bringing an aviation wing to the museum. “Everybody out there, including the union, liked him, and that’s something said, you know?” Cox said. “He was probably one of the most admired people they ever had out there. He not only could talk to the engineers, he could talk to the common man. He could talk that engineer talk now, he could just snow me good, but he had a great gift of communication with everybody.”

Following his presidency at Lockheed Georgia, Ormsby was promoted to Lockheed’s corporate office in California to head all the Lockheed aircraft facilities in 1984, retiring in 1986. Former Lockheed chief Micky Blackwell estimates Ormsby managed more than 40,000 employees at the peak of his career.

Bill Hanson

Bill Hanson, 66, died Wednesday, April 17, 2013.

Hanson was integrally involved in the creation of the Cobb Community Collaborative Inc., which formed in 1997 and traced its roots back to the 1970s. The organization was a membership of nonprofits, faithbased organizations, educational institutions, professional organizations, local government, businesses, associations and citizens who shared ideas, expertise and resources to meet the needs of Cobb County.

A native of Maryland, he interned at NASA after graduating from the University of Maryland. He enrolled as a VISTA Volunteer in 1969 and came to Georgia as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty.

He was also an advisory board member of the Georgia Alliance to End Homelessness and founded Help in Housing in Lumpkin County to build houses that were affordable for low-income families. The Cobb Community Collaborative’s Policy Council on Homelessness honored his service by creating the William E. “Bill” Hanson Collaborative Award.


Bill Thrash

William E. “Bill” Thrash, 58, died Thursday, May 23, 2013.

A longtime Kennesaw City Councilman, Thrash was elected to Post 4 in 2001 and was serving his third term in office. After his last reelection in 2010, he was named mayor pro tem in 2011. He had announced he would not seek a fourth term during the April 1 council meeting, where he was honored with a resolution by Rep. Ed Setzler.

He worked tirelessly to initiate youth programs, such as the Kennesaw Youth Council and the Bill Thrash Kennesaw Teen Center – an after-school program in downtown Kennesaw where at-risk middle and high school students meet for learning enrichment programs. He was a key player in developing Swift-Cantrell Park and getting the Kennesaw Police Department national accreditation in 2009. He was also appointed to serve on the inaugural Downtown Development Authority and the Kennesaw Development Authority in 1994.


David Culpepper

David Culpepper, 48, died Tuesday, June 25, 2013.

A longtime Cobb 911 dispatcher, Culpepper was known for his unique verbiage, sense of humor and the calming presence he brought to a profession full of high-stress situations. He first started working as a dispatcher in February 1987 with the City of Marietta. Ten years later, he joined the Cobb 911 Center.


Scott Shockley

Scott Shockley, 19, died Friday, July 12, 2013.

Shockley was a courageous athlete who lost his battle with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer that mainly affects teens.

He lettered in baseball, football and basketball at The Walker School and was a nationally ranked long snapper in football. He was a manager for the baseball team at Auburn University during his freshman year and a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He was crowned Homecoming King and Pitcher of the Year at Walker. He also was the inspiration for the Walker Wolverines for Scott Foundation, which benefits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

After his diagnosis, Shockley was determined to get back on the field. During his last year at Walker, he was able to do that and pitched during the senior night baseball game.


Gary Eubanks

Gary Eubanks, 68, died on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013.

Born in Marietta in 1945, Eubanks was known for being one of the largest private property owners in Marietta. Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin and Hap Smith — the voice of the Marietta High School Blue Devils — worked alongside him in Eubanks’ law practice for years.

After earning a law degree, Eubanks pursued his lifelong passion for trains by working for Southern Railway in Washington, D.C. After his daughter was born, the family moved back to Marietta. In the mid-1990s, he started Wharton Management Inc., which manages commercial retail and office space primarily in downtown Marietta.

During his law career, Eubanks and his partners converted the former trolley barn that once housed the trolleys of the Atlanta Northern Railway Co., which ran from Marietta to Atlanta, into a law office at 94 Church St., Marietta. In 2009, he also constructed a pedestrian bridge between two of his downtown properties over the CSX railroad tracks.


Bill Maloney

Charles William “Bill” Maloney, 91, died Friday, Sept. 6, 2013.

Maloney was a “True Blue” booster for Marietta High School football games for several decades and served on the Kennestone Hospital Board of Authority and the Marietta City Zoning Board. He also sat on the Marietta City School Board from 1979-84 and was chair in his last year.

He was a member of the Army Air Corps during World War II and served in the Pacific flying C-47s. After the war, he moved to Marietta and joined Lockheed Martin for over 36 years. He retired in April 1988 as chief inspector of the Material, Tool and Offsite Plants Inspection Division.

He and his wife were charter parishioners at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Atlanta.


Carl Peyton Williams III

Carl Peyton Williams III, 62, died Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013.

Williams was a hostage negotiator in Cordova, Alaska, in the 1980s and a police officer in Phoenix, Ariz., for 20 years. He was also a real estate appraiser with Bank of America for 10 years.

Diagnosed with stage-4 lung cancer, he became known to the Marietta community after a story appeared in the MDJ about his being rushed by ambulance from Austell to the Cobb County Magistrate Court to be wed to Ruth Ann Terry, his partner of seven years, as he lay on a gurney.


Jerry Lee

Jerry Lee died Monday, Nov. 11, 2013.

A German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois mix, Jerry Lee was Police Canine #348 of the Kennesaw State University Police and worked with Officer Todd Jackson for three and a half years in narcotics detection and in various safety demonstrations on the KSU campus.

Jerry Lee died during emergency surgery after an examination discovered that his stomach had flipped.

He was memorialized at a service in the KSU Student Center where members of the Cobb County Police, Marietta Police, Acworth Police, Georgia Tech Police, Austell Police, Cobb County Sheriff’s Office and KSU students were in attendance.


Kip Klein

Edward “Kip” William Klein III, 63, died Monday, Dec. 2, 2013.

A former east Cobb state representative, Klein was elected to the Georgia House in 1990 as a Republican and served until 1997. His northeast Cobb district is currently represented by John Carson.

He was chosen to be the envoy to Kuwait for the Atlantic Olympic Committee and to interact on a good will mission on behalf of the state in the European Parliament by the European Community Visitors Programme.

Born and raised in Atlanta, he practiced family law in Marietta and enjoyed bringing families together through adoptions. In 2000, he received the “Angels in Adoption” award fro the State of Georgia.

Michelle Wexler

Michelle Wexler, 28, died Friday, Dec. 6, 2013.

A beloved second-grade teacher at Mimosa Elementary School in Roswell, Wexler was named Teacher of the Year in February 2012. She had been teaching at the school for six years before taking the fall semester off for medical leave to battle cancer.

She had received her bachelors and master’s degrees in education at the University of Georgia and began studying for a specialist teaching degree at Kennesaw State University during her chemotherapy treatment. She would write papers and do homework from her hospital bed, refusing to take a break. Her parents were presented with her specialist degree diploma at her memorial service.

During her chemotherapy, she saw the Pixar movie “Finding Nemo” and adopted the song “Just Keep Swimming,” sung by the character Dory as her personal motto. She began writing a blog, whose theme was “Just Keep Swimming,” to share her progress and thoughts with friends and family.

Lawrence Kitchen

Lawrence Kitchen, 90, died Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.

Kitchen, a former chairman and CEO of Lockheed Corp., guided Lockheed-Georgia Co., and later Lockheed Corp., through major crises to positions of strength and technological leadership in his 30-year career.

He first became acquainted with aviation during World War II when he served in the U.S. Marine Corps in aviation engineering maintenance. He then worked in the Navy’s Bureau of Aeronautics from 1946-1958, where he became staff assistant to the assistant chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics for plans and policy.

He began his career with Lockheed in 1958 at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in Sunnyvale, Calif., and advanced through a series of key positions there to become manager of program management controls for the Missile Systems Division in 1966. From 1968-70, he was director of financial management controls for the Missile Systems Division of LMSC. He then moved to Lockheed-Georgia Co., serving as vice president for finance and administration before becoming president in November 1971, when the company was at a low ebb.

He was named president and chief operating officer of Lockheed Corp. in October 1975. His move to California in 1975 came as the end result of a scandal involving commissions paid to foreign consultants and marketing payments to foreign governments. He was brought in to implement new, more stringent policies and to restore confidence in Lockheed. He then served as president of the corporation until 1986.

Kitchen spearheaded the discussions with Boeing and General Dynamics to form the team that won the ATF competition in 1991 and led to the F-22. He later served as the chairman and CEO of Lockheed Corp. from 1986-88.

Erin Semple Morrarty

Erin Semple Morrarty, 31, died on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013.

A Pope High School honors graduate and former Cherokee Tribune journalist, Morrarty died after being hit by a car in Connecticut. She got out of her car on a two-lane highway to exchange information with another driver when a SUV struck and killed her.

In 2003, she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Media Communications and a minor in international studies from Georgia College & State University. During her time at GCSU, she wrote for the school newspaper, was active in many honor societies and clubs and was a member of the Gamma Sigma Sig sorority.

She interned at the Marietta Daily Journal and was offered a full-time reporting job at the Cherokee Tribune in Canton after graduation, then landed a job with Business Securities in Atlanta.

Morrarty moved to New York in 2005 to attend New York University. She graduated with honors, receiving a Master’s Degree in Magazine Publishing.

During her media career, she worked for Food & Wine, Real Simple Magazine, Reader’s Digest and F & W Media. She became a published author in 2006 with “His Wrath,” a novel about the lives of a group of teenage friends and acquaintances, one of whom ends up being a victim of date rape.

Her current employer was National Shooting Sports Foundation in Newtown, Conn., where she worked as a web content manager. Presently, she was working towards a second Master’s Degree in Counseling with hopes of earning a doctorate.

She and her husband were avid dart players. They competed together within the Western Connecticut Dart League C Division and the Westchester Putnam Dart League C Blue Division.

Omar W. Forde

Sgt. 1st Class Omar W. Forde, 28, died on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013.

A former Kennesaw Mountain High School football player, Forde was one of six U.S. Army soldiers who died in Afghanistan following a helicopter crash. He was a member of the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, the 1st Infantry Division and was stationed in Fort Riley, Kan., before his death. He was killed in Now Bahar, which is in Zabul Province, southern Afghanistan, while on a NATO mission with the International Security Assistance Force.


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