By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Memorable Hall residents died in 2010
Residents of all careers remembered
Placeholder Image

Hall County said goodbye to several community pillars and business leaders in 2010.

Roy Turner Sr.
Roy Turner Sr., founder of Turner, Wood & Smith Insurance, died in January at age 87.

Turner served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was a member of the D-Day invasion force and also fought in the Korean War. He received a Purple Heart for his military service.

After returning home from the Korean War, Turner started his business career at Turner Insurance Agency, now known as Turner, Wood & Smith Insurance.

Those who knew him said Turner excelled at his work and was a community leader.

"I would certainly say he was a man of integrity - an excellent businessman but, at the same time, a very caring individual," said Bruce Fields, associate pastor of pastoral care at First Baptist Church in Gainesville.
"He loved his country and loved this community and loved his church and family - a very balanced life."

Calvin Allen
Calvin Allen, the first anesthesiologist in Gainesville, died at age 85 in July.

A World War II veteran, Allen finished his medical residency at Emory University before moving to town permanently. He worked with nurse anesthetist Primrose Basche and founded the Anesthesia Associates of Gainesville.

He also served as chief of anesthesia at the Hall County Hospital, which is now Northeast Georgia Health System.

Allen taught English as a second language and citizenship classes in his later years.

"He's the only man I know at age 80 who decided he would learn Spanish. And he did. He's an incredible human being and one of the great saints of our community," said the Rev. Bill Coates of First Baptist Church.

Phoebe Vickers
Phoebe Vickers, 78, of Flowery Branch was a longtime contributor to The Times editorial page. She frequently wrote letters to the editor and was a loyal newspaper reader.

"So many people would come up to her and thank her for her light, happy columns, something to help them reminisce or brighten their day, Always a positive note for these troubled times," said her granddaughter, Lacey Cochran, fittingly in a letter to The Times.

Vickers died in July while traveling to see family.
She was a retired seamstress and one-time co-proprietor of Vickers Grocery.

Hugh K. Turk
Former Hall County Commission Chairman Hugh K. Turk died in July at age 85.

Turk served on the commission, then called the Hall County Commission of Roads and Revenue, from 1957-1960.

Turk was a frequent visitor to the commission office and stayed involved in local government, even in his old age.

Born in White County, Turk lived most of his life in Hall County and dedicated his life to the betterment of his community.

Commissioner Bobby Banks said he was honored to have Turk's support.

"He always kept up with politics," Banks said. "He loved Hall County, all he ever talked about was Hall County."
Banks said Turk would frequently drive to Curt's Restaurant in Oakwood to eat breakfast and talk politics.

"He was always opinionated," Banks said. "But he was a good man."

Bob Adams
Gainesville businessman Robert E. "Bob" Adams died in September following an extended illness at age 85.

Adams worked for his father's moving business, Adams Transfer and Storage in Athens, while studying at the University of Georgia. After graduation, he moved to Gainesville and opened his own branch of Adams Transfer and Storage in town and later opened an Atlanta office as well.

"What started with wagons and chain-drive trucks became a modern fleet and one of the largest moving companies in the Southeast by the 1980s," his son Jim Adams said.

Adams served as president of Georgia's Movers Association. In 2008, the organization honored him with a lifetime achievement award - the only one ever bestowed.

Charles Alton Bruce
Charles Alton Bruce died in August at age 88.
Bruce was a poultry industry pioneer who was part of the industry's expansion in Northeast Georgia.

"In the days before the industry was integrated with one company having the processing plant, feed mill, hatchery and whatever, they owned a hatchery and started growing chickens themselves," said Georgia Poultry Federation President-Emeritus Abit Massey. "He was very, very innovative and active in the industry. Alton was a longtime member of our poultry leaders round table and was well-respected in the industry."

In 1950, Bruce and his brother-in-law, Homer Wilson, started Bruce-Wilson Poultry.

This was followed by Hillside Hatchery, Orbit Egg Co. and B & W Hen Farms. They later acquired HFC Feed Mill and Mar-Jac before founding Select Labs.

Richard Kowalske
Richard Kowalske, a 58-year-old missionary, died in August of malaria following a mission trip in Uganda.
Kowalske co-founded Helping Hands Foreign Missions with his wife, Brenda, in 2003.

The Kowalskes began mission work through their church in 1999, traveling to Guatemala, Peru, Venezuela, Bolivia and Uganda.

Before starting Helping Hands, Kowalske worked as a chiropractor in Gainesville for 25 years. The Kowalskes sold their possessions and left their jobs to start their organization and live as missionaries.

"He was a modern-day disciple," said his son, Rusty Kowalske, adding that those who he had met on the mission fields where he worked "will be talking about him for years."

He had just returned from a trip to Uganda, where Helping Hands sponsors a project, "Village of Eden." The organization plans to build an orphanage that will house and educate 2,000 children left homeless by the AIDS epidemic.

Dub Jones
Dub Jones, an athlete, coach and teacher, died in August at age 85.

Jones played for the New Holland Mill baseball team and was then drafted into the Detroit Tigers minor league team operation. He also served in the Navy during World War II.

Before poultry was king, textile mills ruled the landscape of Northeast Georgia.

From the 1920s to the 1950s, baseball teams from area mills played in competitive industrial leagues.

"It was really a high level of sports," said Jones' son-in-law Jimmy Hope. "A lot of professional ball players came out of the industrial league."

Jones became East Hall High School's first coach when he started up the school's football and basketball programs.
During his career, Jones also taught at Lula, Riverbend and North Hall high schools.

Jones founded the Old Timers League, a group dedicated to the men in the area who played baseball for the mills. He also served two terms on the Hall County Board of Education.

Art Jetton
Art Jetton, a 30-year veteran of the Hall County Sheriff's Office, died in December at age 59.
Though he held many positions over the years, Jetton is best remembered as the founder of the sheriff's office dive team.

Jetton led the dive team from its inception in 1979, and oversaw the recovery of more than 100 drowning victims from Lake Lanier.

Sgt. Chris Tempel, current dive team commander, said he learned everything he knows about diving from Jetton.

"He's one of the founding members of the team and helped write the first policies and how to conduct public safety diving on Lake Lanier - basically everything we've built the team off of all came from Art," Tempel said. "He led by example. He was a great guy to work with and a great person."

In 2009, Jetton suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed. His daughter, Jessica Jetton, told The Times that while in intensive care, her father received an overwhelming number of visitors and cards.

"So many people have rallied around him," she said at the time. "I don't think he had any idea of the magnitude of the number of people who would call him a friend."