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Joe Sartain, prominent Gainesville lawyer, veteran, dies at 81
Law firm founder was Korean War vet, American Legion leader
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Joe Bond Sartain Jr., a prominent Gainesville lawyer, died Thursday at age 81.

A Korean War veteran, Sartain was a founding partner of Sartain Law Offices in Gainesville and contributed to his country and community through the different phases of his life.

He was born Jan. 16, 1933 in Madison County. He joined the military immediately after graduating from Danielsville High School in 1949 and served alongside his cousins in the Korean War from 1949 to 1952 with K Company 11th Infantry Division, 3rd Army.

In a 2013 interview with The Times discussing the conflict in Korea, Sartain admitted to “fudging” his age in order to enter the service.

“When the Korean War started, I had never heard of Korea,” Sartain said.

Sartain’s military career would become a defining aspect of his life. After serving in the Korean War, he became active with the American Legion, taking part in many local events honoring veterans. He served as the American Legion Post Commander from 1966-1967.

After Sartain retired from military service, he attended Piedmont College and graduated from Georgia State University in Atlanta in 1956.

At Piedmont College, Sartain met “the love of his life,” Carolyn Batson. The two married and had three sons.

In 1957, Sartain graduated from the University of Georgia Law School. He embarked on his law career in 1959.

Specializing in personal injury and workers’ compensation cases, Sartain left his previous firm and formed Sartain Law Offices in 1994 with sons Perry and Phillip and later Larry.

With more than 45 years of law practice, he went on to serve as chairman for the Workers’ Compensation Section of the State Bar of Georgia. He also served for two years in the administrations of Govs. Jimmy Carter, George Busbee, Joe Frank Harris, Zell Miller and Roy Barnes as chairman of the Committee on Worker’s Compensation.

On Oct. 7, 2004, Sartain was awarded the State Bar of Georgia Workers’ Compensation Distinguished Service Award.

Sartain was a member of Jones Chapel United Methodist Church and active in many causes. He served on the Salvation Army Advisory Board for eight years and as chairman for two. He served on the board of directors of the United Community Bank in Dahlonega since 1998.

In 2003, Sartain published “Memories from the Cotton Patch to the Courthouse,” a book of poems, pictures and stories about his life, chronicling his journey from the son of sharecroppers, or “dirt farmers,” to the arenas of legal success.

He is survived by his wife, three sons and 11 grandchildren.

Graveside services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday at Jones Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery in Danielsville.

Family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Little & Davenport Funeral Home, 355 Dawsonville Highway, Gainesville.

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