James Harold Pugh, 87, a native and lifelong resident of Dawson County, died June 3, 2011.
Born Sept. 23, 1923 to the late Shelton and Minnie Townsend Pugh, he was the last surviving child of nine children.
He was the oldest male member of Liberty Baptist Church, where he was baptized in 1936 and served as a deacon from 1953 until his death.
Mr. Pugh was a World War II veteran, having served in the U.S. Army 69th Infantry Division and received a purple heart after being wounded in Leipzig, Germany on April 18, 1945.
He served on the Dawson County Board of Education from 1958 to 1973.
During his career on the school board, the system was faced with rebuilding after fires destroyed the only high school, and later another school building containing classrooms and the high school gymnasium.
After 32 years of service, he retired from the U.S. Postal Service.
James and Ethel were lifelong poultry growers who received numerous top awards for their achievements in their profession, including being chosen as the Outstanding Conservation Farmer of Dawson County.
On June 26, James would have been a 60 year member of the Chestatee Masonic Lodge No. 102, where in 1959 he served as Master of Lodge.
His memory will remain for generations to come as a result of the many homes and structures he built in the Northeast Georgia area, including his beloved Liberty Baptist Church.
His loving wife of 62 years, Ethel Imogene Barker Pugh; sisters, Geraldine P. Martin, Mardell P. and Jack Townley, Evelyn P. and Clay Smith, Iris "Dinky" P. Stewart and Mazelle P. and Clayton Holbrook; brothers, Toy Dean Pugh, Charles T. Pugh and George and Opal B. Pugh, preceded him in death.
Survivors include his children, Brenda P. and Bobby Thomas of Cumming, Dewane Pugh of Dawsonville, Martha P. and John Hembree, Ricky and Lynn Pugh, all of Gainesville; grandchildren, Melissa T. and Bert Durand, Seth and Resa Thomas, Heather P. and Patrick Lowery, Blake Hembree, Jameson Hembree, Matthew Pugh and Justin Pugh; great-grandchildren, Emily Durand, Thomas Durand, Adelyn Thomas, Elena Lowery and Kate Lowery; brothers-in-law, Darrell Stewart, John and Patty Barker; sisters-in-law, Inez Pugh, Lola Pugh, Maxine B. and Tommy Phillips, Carol B. Roper, Dorothy Nelle Barker; various other relatives also survive.
Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. June 6 at Liberty Baptist Church with the Revs. Ruel Martin, Mitchell Rickett, Garry English and Stephen Davis officiating. Interment followed in the church cemetery with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, donations were requested made to Liberty Baptist Church Building Fund, 66 Sundown Way, Dawsonville, GA 30534.
Little and Davenport Funeral Home of Gainesville was in charge of the arrangements.