Michael Paul Kirton, 74, of Dawsonville, died Aug. 5, 2016.
Born Jan. 1, 1942 in Jacksonville, Fla., to the late Britton "Kit" and Ruth Kirton, he had lived in Dawson County since 1978, having moved from Lafayette, La. He lived a period of time in Fairbanks, Alaska, and earned a master's degree from the University of Alaska.
Mr. Kirton spent 30 years as a teacher and taught more than 20 years in the Dawson County School System, where he was affectionately known as "Doc" and was respected for his knowledge of snakes.
He was an avid bird watcher and was an accomplished wildlife artist, having some of his works published by the Arkansas Wildlife Federation. He wrote and illustrated articles for Georgia Backroads magazine and was a member of Trinity Church.
Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Pat Kirton of Dawsonville; children, Lysa Deese of Hampton, Britt Kirton of Dawsonville, Julie Kirton and Charity Fulbright, both of Sacramento, Calif.; sister, Charlotte Kirton of Dawsonville; various other relatives also survive.
Memorial services will be held at 4 p.m. Aug. 10 in the Bearden Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Robert Vincent officiating.
The family will receive friends from 3 to 4 p.m. Aug. 10 at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Dawson County Christian Firefighters, c/o Paul Cloud, 34 Woods Dr., Dahlonega, GA 30533.
Bearden Funeral Home of Dawsonville is in charge of the arrangements.