Lt. Col. Edgar George David Jr., U.S. Army retired, died Sept. 20, 2012.
Lt. Col. David was born Jan. 13, 1929 in Tampa, Fla. to Edna Mona Anderson and Edgar George David Sr., a member of the Oglethorpe Athletic Hall of Fame and president of his class for four years.
After a 20 year career in the U.S. Army, he returned to Dawson County, his childhood home, in 1974 and began his final tour of duty devoted to his community, his family and the mountain land he loved.
His roots in the Georgia Mountains are deep. His maternal great-great-great-grandfather, Joseph McKee, discovered Porter Springs, one of the most historic sites in the old south, and pastored one of the oldest Methodist churches in North Georgia, McKee's Chapel United Methodist Church.
His ancestors settled in Gilmer County in the 1840s and gradually moved east to Dawson and Lumpkin counties.
As a boy, he wandered the old growth forests on ridges and in creek valleys while occasionally living with his grandparents, Milt and Monnie Anderson. They loved him dearly and taught him to plow, hoe, shuck corn, pull fodder and to know the land that was to be his legacy.
As an adult, he was never more comfortable than when he was in the woods.
Lt. Col. David is a celebrated graduate of Castle Heights Military Academy, North Georgia College and the University of Georgia, where he received a bachelor of science degree in psychology and lettered on the boxing team. After retiring from the military, he received a master of education degree in recreation and park administration and a master's degree in curriculum and supervision from the University of Georgia.
His 20-year military career in the United States Army included war time tours in both Korea and Vietnam.
He earned the Master Parachutist Badge, the Combat Infantryman Badge with Star, the Ranger Tab, the Air Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and the Vietnamese Detachment Commander and Senior Army Advisor in the 5th Special Forces Group (the Green Berets).
He was an airborne and ranger instructor at Fort Benning when he met his wife of 48 years, Marie Alston David.
Later he taught mountain and arctic survival skills in Colorado and Alaska, where he also served as the U.S. Army Communications Advisor for the state of Alaska.
He returned to the "lower 48" to serve as a professor of military science at Georgia Tech and Ouachita Baptist University and instructor with the 82nd Airborne Division in Ft. Bragg, N.C.
He retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1971.
After retiring, he spent three years in Gainesville where he was district supervisor of VISTA. In 1974 he returned to his childhood home of Dawson County to serve his country from his childhood home with courage, diligence and passion.
He was a member of the board of education for eight years, a member of the board of elections and the board of equalization, a president of the booster club, a president and secretary of the Dawsonville Lions Club, a charter member of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and the Lake Lanier Property Owners Association, an advisor to the Dawson County Homeowners Association, a secretary-treasurer of the Dawson County Development Authority and Industrial Building Authority, and chairman of the Dawson County Municipal Planning Commission, where he coauthored the first zoning rules and regulations for Dawson County.
He was also a founder, charter member, secretary and director of the board of directors of the Etowah Water and Sewer Authority, a cofounder of the Dawson County Humane Society, and was instrumental in founding the Dawson County Republican Party, which both he and his wife chaired for a number of years.
In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the local community, he was the inspiration and first recipient of the Dawson County Stewardship Award.
Shortly after his 78th birthday he was also recognized on a statewide level when Senate Resolution 407 was passed, commending his lifetime of achievements.
It was presented to him under the capitol's gold dome from the hills of Dahlonega, the first American home of his oldest maternal ancestors.
His dedication to his country is surpassed only by his devotion to his family.
He shared 48 years of marriage with the late Marie Elinor Alston David, and provided unconditional love, support and guidance to his mother, three brothers and sisters, five daughters, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
He earned the respect of six generations of Georgians and brought honor to his country, family, community and the State of Georgia.
His mother, Edna Anderson Noblin; father, Edgar George David Sr.; sister, Nancy Forsyth Noblin and granddaughter, Erica Danielle Helton, preceded him in death.
Survivors include his children, Jennifer C. David of Dawsonville, Dana and Ben LaChance, Claire and Garry Sharp, Melanie E. David Nelson, Dorian Elise David, all of Dahlonega, David and Jean Carpenter of Duluth; sister and brother-in-law, Deborah and Paul Becotte of Quincy, Fla.; brother and sister-in-law, Douglas and Susan David of Wadmalow Island, S.C.; grandchildren, Chapin LaChance, Naomi LaChance, Keith Pounds, Helen Cartledge, George Cartledge, Taylor Hulsey, Mayson Hulsey, John Brian MacBeth; great-grandchildren, Aiden MacBeth, Ayla MacBeth, Klayton Cartledge, Jaxon Wade Fleeman; nieces and nephews, Grainger, Haynes and Maggie David, Alex Halimeh, Katie Odom, Savannah Becotte; various other relatives also survive.
Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Sept. 25 at the First Baptist Church of Dawsonville with the Dr. Jim Gaines officiating. Interment followed in the Dawsonville City Cemetery with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, donations were requested made to the Dawson County Humane Society, 633 Martin Road, Dawsonville, GA 30534 or the George David Jr. Junior Citizen Scholarship Fund, c/o Dawsonville Lions Charity Inc., P.O. Box 408, Dawsonville, GA 30534.
Bearden Funeral Home of Dawsonville was in charge of the arrangements.