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Former Times columnist Joan King remembered for passion
Joan King
Joan King

Any thought uttered about Sautee Nacoochee’s Joan King will inevitably have the word “passion” coming around the bend.

“As a community member here on a local level, she was very supportive of families in the community and she encouraged people to get involved with the community center. Her specific passion — she was actually an artist and she was a dancer — but she had a real passion for theater and the performing arts,” said Sautee Nacoochee Community Association executive director Patrick Brennan.

King, 87, died Sunday, April 19. She was a former columnist and letter writer for many years to The Times as well as the White County News.

“She was passionate in her views, particularly concerning the environment and the nuclear power industry. Her opinions sometimes attracted spirited responses from those who disagreed with her,” former Times editor Johnny Vardeman said in a statement.

Barbara Williams, who knew King for nearly 35 years, said the 87-year-old “never was not focused” on the environment, which was her prime concern. She was a board member of Nuclear Watch South, a group focused on nuclear energy safety in the Southern states.

“She was one of the most passionate people about things that she believed in that I know,” said former state Sen. Carol Jackson, who considered King one of the most knowledgeable people concerning the environment and the protection of it.

Outside of her columns and letters to the editor, King wrote a children’s book and was talented across a wide range of media, including painting watercolors and crafting quilts.

“It's important to note that, whether she was expressing opinions about issues — or displaying her fiber art creations — or publishing a book of her stories — Joan was not someone who sought attention or praise. She was simply working at being her best self,” Priscilla Wilson said.

Hillside Funeral Home in Clarkesville is in charge of arrangements. A memorial service will be scheduled at a future date. 

“We invite the community to spread flowers and flower petals along Lynch Mountain Road between Joan's driveway and the post office to honor her many walks on this beloved road. Until we can gather together to honor Joan, may this be our memorial and gathering spot to reflect on Joan and her contribution to all of our lives,” the Sautee Nacoochee Cultural Center posted on its Facebook, with the content attributed to Anna Robertson Bennett.

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