Darlington Alumni Obituaries

Darlington School
Alumni

In Memoriam

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Capell, John '56
Deceased > Wednesday, 8/8/2018
Montgomery - The Honorable John Lowery Capell III, age 80, of Montgomery, AL passed away August 8th, 2018. John was born on August 25th, 1937 in Montgomery, AL. He graduated from Darlington Boarding School in Rome, GA in 1956. He attended University of Miami, graduating in 1960. John had a full tennis scholarship while there and enjoyed three years of playing on an undefeated team. While playing the circuit for three years, he won the State Jr. Championships, played in the National Jr Championships and played in the US Open winning two rounds and was ranked 43rd in the nation. John was in ROTC in college and was commissioned in 1960 and deferred for law school. He received his JD from Cumberland School of Law and while there was President of his Senior class. After serving three years of active duty in the USAF JAG Office, he had 19 more years of reserve duty and retired as Lt. Colonel. John practiced law at Capell & Howard PC for 30 years, during that time arguing and winning before the US Supreme Court. He then became a Judge for the 15th Circuit and was the Presiding Judge over Juvenile and Domestic cases for 12 years. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jack Lowery Capell and Nell Patterson Capell, his wife of 53 years, Gypsey Pool Capell, and his Sister in Law, Elizabeth Lynn Pool. He is survived by his children, John Lowery Capell IV (Lisa), Elizabeth DuBard (Derik), and Nell Weisenfeld. He is also survived by Elizabeth's children, Ann Lowery and Lillian Black, Nell's children, Andrew and Caroline Weisenfeld, Brother in Law Benjamin Pool, Sister in Law Katherine Pool, Nephew Greg Pool (Mary) and their daughter Harper and Niece Rebecca Pool. Celebration of John's life will be held at Young Meadows Presbyterian Church on AUGUST 19TH at 3:30 pm and, prior to the service, visitation will be held at 2:30. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Young Meadows Presbyterian Church, First Choice or the charity of your choice. A special appreciation is given to Answered Prayer for providing such thoughtful caregivers.
Published in the Montgomery Advertiser from Aug. 12 to Aug. 19, 2018
Mills, Rusty '73
Deceased > Saturday, 8/4/2018

Rusty Mills, 62, of Dunwoody died on Saturday the 4th of August 2018. He was the son of the late Rudolph Walter Mills. Surviving are his wife of 34 years, Fairy Huff Mills; two sons, Robert Wesley Mills, Andrew Marshall Mills; mother, Dr. Marilu McCarty; sister and brother-in-law, Robin Leigh Murray (James Murray); brother and sister-in-law, Scott Hardie Mills (Julie Mills); stepsister and husband, Penny Rue (Les Rue); stepbrother and wife, John McCarty (Donna McCarty); many aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.

Rusty was born on August 6, 1955 in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He attended Darlington School in Rome, Georgia, where he played soccer and was part of the cheerleading squad. He attended Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where he pledged Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and two years later transferred to the Georgia Institute of Technology. At Georgia Tech he affiliated with the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, was a Georgia Tech cheerleader for two years and for one year he was the" Pike on the Mike." He graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Industrial Management and began his career with Tennessee Belting Company and was assigned a territory in the state of Arkansas. He returned to Georgia in 1981 and began a 30-year career with Southern Bell and AT&T. He was instrumental in helping design and implement a telecommunications network for the Home Depot Stores. He also managed communications for other major companies including Southern Company, Georgia Power Company, Genuine Parts, and Scientific Atlanta. In 2012, he retired from AT&T and from then until the present worked for other communications companies in various capacities.

Rusty was the proud owner of a 1968 GT350 Shelby Mustang convertible that he took to various car shows throughout the nation where he won numerous awards. One of his favorite memories with the Shelby convertible was participating in the Dunwoody, Georgia Fourth of July Parade for several years where he drove several Dunwoody notables including Tom McFerrin, Principal of Dunwoody High School, and for three years, drove Jennifer Leslie, Channel 11 news reporter. One of the most exciting times Rusty's car was showcased was when Rusty and Fairy participated in the 1991 "Worst to First" Atlanta Braves Parade in downtown Atlanta. They had the privilege of driving Braves catcher Greg Olson and his family in the parade and they were featured on the front page of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution the next day.

As a child, he sang with the Atlanta Boy Choir and continued to perform with them in their men's chorus as an adult. He was also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Atlanta Boy Choir for many years. As part of the choir, Rusty went on choir trips to San Francisco, Hawaii, and Czechoslovakia to name a few. He was a member of the Dunwoody United Methodist Church where he enjoyed being a part of the Chancel Choir, Choral Ensemble, and the Performing Arts group. He enjoyed participating in many musicals and plays, especially of note, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Rusty also was part of the cast for The Wiz where he played the role of the cowardly lion. He also particularly enjoyed a role in Guys and Dolls.

After graduating from Georgia Tech, Rusty continued to be an avid supporter of his Alma Mater and he, Fairy, Robby, and Andy were featured in the Living section of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thanksgiving, 1998, as a "Family Divided" between Georgia Tech and University of Georgia. He continued his love for sports by coaching Robby and Andy's baseball and soccer teams and watching them play as they got older. He enjoyed times at the lake, snow skiing with family and friends, as well as attending rock concerts.

Rusty enjoyed many hobbies including sailing and boating, water skiing and scuba diving, and he ran the Peachtree Road Race for many years. He loved assembling scale models of various kinds. He was the master of sharing his latest corny jokes and short stories. He loved watching shows about the NASA space program, flying shows, programs about the high seas, and enjoyed the mysteries of the night sky. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Dunwoody United Methodist Church with designation to the Chancel Choir or the Performing Arts program.

Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family Tuesday from six until eight o'clock in the evening at H.M. Patterson & Son Arlington Chapel, 173 Allen Road, NE, Sandy Springs, GA 30328. Funeral services will be conducted on Wednesday, the 8th of August at eleven o'clock in the morning at Dunwoody United Methodist Church, 1548 Mt. Vernon Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338 with a reception following at the church. Entombment will follow at Arlington Memorial Park at three o'clock.

Griffin, Carl '55
Deceased > Thursday, 7/26/2018
Carl Henderson Griffin, Jr. died July 26, 2018, after a long illness. He was 81. Born in Rome, Georgia, July 24, 1937, Carl was the only son of Judge Carl Henderson Griffin, Sr. and Emily Elizabeth Griffin. He attended the Darlington School in Rome, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A.) and the University of Florida (M.A.) in English. Carl taught English at Shorter College, was a New York City social worker, and, in 1977, began teaching at Dekalb College, now part of Georgia State University. A scholar of the author Katherine Ann Porter, he became the first humanities department chair at the Dunwoody campus, serving 14 years. He enjoyed traveling, was active in Democratic Party politics and was an avid book collector. He was preceded in death by his parents and son, Christopher Griffin (1972-1988), and is survived by his sister, Betty Van Medlin, of Lawrenceville, and a nephew, Mark Capps, and his partner, Lynn Teddlie, of Decatur. A funeral service will be conducted Tuesday, July 31, 2018, at 11:00 am in the Peachtree Corners Chapel of Crowell Brothers Funeral Homes & Crematory. In lieu of flowers, friends may donate to the Christopher Griffin Scholarship Fund, by check to the GSU Foundation stating the fund’s name (Development Office, 3251 Panthersville Road, Decatur, GA 30034) or online at perimeter.gsu.edu/giving. Online condolences may be expressed at www.crowellbrothers.com. Arrangements by: Crowell Brothers Funeral Homes & Crematory, 5051 Peachtree Ind. Blvd., Peachtree Corners, GA 30092 (770) 448-5757.

Ochsner, John '44
Deceased > Friday, 7/6/2018

World-renowned heart surgeon, Dr. John Lockwood Ochsner has died at the age of 91. He practiced medicine for 66 years at the hospital founded by his father, Alton Ochsner, and four other physicians in 1941. Friends, and thousands of patients whose lives he impacted, will dearly miss Dr. Ochsner. Up until his death he maintained his office and played an important philanthropic role for the hospital, including walking the halls and visiting patients.

Ochsner was a pioneer in the development of modern open heart surgery in all areas from infants to the elderly. He popularized the internal mammary artery as part of the coronary bypass operation and convinced other surgeons that it would take longer but hold up better. Charismatic, and a well-known raconteur, his friends and family affectionately called him “The King of Hearts.”

During his career, Dr. Ochsner grew the heart transplant program at Ochsner Hospital into one of the largest and most respected in the country. But in his day, he also performed lung transplant and vascular surgery. Today the Ochsner Hospital has completed 950 transplants, and Dr. Ochsner performed a significant number of those operations perfecting early techniques.

As an international medical leader, John Ochsner is the only heart surgeon to be president of three major medical societies, including the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (1992-1993), President of the International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery, and Chairman of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery (1993-1995). He authored more than 300 papers published in leading medical journals. He earned his medical degree from Tulane University and completed surgical residencies at Baylor University Affiliated Hospitals and Texas Children’s Hospital. He worked with famous doctors, Michael Debakey and Denton Cooley of Houston, both considered mentors and friends, before coming back to practice in New Orleans.

Dr. Ochsner’s legacy will certainly live on. He will be remembered by the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute (JOHVI), home to 50 cardiologists dedicated to providing unmatched care in the Gulf South.

Over his career, Dr. Ochsner has received numerous rewards and honors, but one of his most prized was being asked to be Rex, king of Carnival in 1990. He also became known for his knowledge of carnival and his love for Mardi Gras traditions. He recently enjoyed the presentation of both of his granddaughters as Maids of the Rex organization.

He was passionate about the city of New Orleans and was a recipient of the Mayor’s Medal of Honor.

He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Mary Lou Ochsner, his children, Dr. John Ochsner Jr. (Lori), daughters Joby Ochsner, Dr. Katherine Isabel Ochsner, and youngest son, Frank Ochsner. He is also survived by his sister Isabel Mann, and his grandchildren, Brooke and Kaelin Ochsner. Preceding him in death were his father, Alton Ochsner, his mother, Isabel, and his two brothers Mims and Alton Jr.

John Ochsner had an enthusiasm for life that was awe-inspiring. He lived each day to the fullest as a member of a multitude of social clubs, the New Orleans Country Club, and the Stockfarm in Montana. He kept lifelong friends and as a result, he touched more hearts than he could possibly imagine.

A private family service will be held at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home. A public Celebration of Life memorial service will be announced soon. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute. Ochsner Clinic Foundation, 1514 Jefferson Hwy, BH 607, New Orleans, Louisiana, 70121.


Lanier, Steve '67
Deceased > Tuesday, 7/3/2018

Mr. Stephen Forrest Lanier, 69, of Rome, Georgia, passed away in Birmingham, Alabama, on Tuesday, July 3, 2018.  Steve was born on January 28, 1949 in Louisville, Kentucky, son of the late Imogene Bennett Lanier and William Forrest Lanier. 

      Steve was a 1967 graduate of Darlington School in Rome.  He received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida in 1971, where he was a member of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.  During this time, he also completed studies at Sorbonne University in Paris, France.  Steve received a Juris Doctorate degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Law in Atlanta. 

      Before moving to Rome, Steve was an Investigator with the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs in Atlanta.  Upon moving to Rome in 1978, he was Assistant District Attorney of the Rome Judicial Circuit, and in 1985, he became District Attorney, serving three consecutive terms.

      As District Attorney, Steve was heavily focused on victims’ rights.  He started the first Victims Witness Assistance Program in Floyd county in the late 1980s, as well as the Floyd County Child Abuse Protocol Committee.  He was instrumental in advocating for child victims through HEROES, Great & Small and the Harbor House. 

      In 1997, Steve opened The Lanier Firm, a successful criminal defense practice in Rome, of which his daughter, Alicia Lanier, has joined. 

      Steve was a former member of the Exchange Club of Rome, the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia and the Floyd County and Georgia Bar Associations.  

      Survivors include his wife, Angela Baldwin Lanier of Rome, four daughters, Alana (Matt) Cobb of Auburn, Alabama, Alicia (Brandon) Shurley of Rome, Alex Lanier of Rome and Laramie Lanier, also of Rome.  Steve was preceded in death by a daughter, Allison Lanier of Atlanta.  Five grandchildren also survive, Alli and Emma Cobb of Auburn, Alabama, and Will Terry, Brier Lanier and Bowen Shurley of Rome.  Surviving brothers include David (Dianne) Lanier of Kennesaw, Jim (Debbie) Lanier of Marietta and John (Elaine) Lanier of Rome.  Also surviving include father and mother-in law, Butch (Donna) Baldwin, sister and brother-in law, Tara (Doug) Reeves, and brother and sister-in-law, Joey (Christine) Baldwin, all of Rome.  Several nieces and cousins also survive, as well as former wife, Sylvia Brooks Lanier of Rome. 

      Pallbearers include David Lanier of Kennesaw, Jim Lanier of Marietta, John Lanier of Rome, Will Terry of Rome, Phil Baldwin of Big Canoe, Brad Thompson of Macon and David Hill of Atlanta.  Honorary Pallbearers include Doug Reeves of Rome and Brett Thompson of Los Angeles, California. 

      Funeral services will be held on Sunday, July 8, 2018, at 4pm at Pleasant Valley South Baptist Church with Dr. Philip May officiating.  Interment will follow in Sunset Hill Memorial Gardens.  The family will receive friends at the church on Sunday prior to the service from 2 until 3:45pm.  Pleasant Valley South Baptist Church is located at 702 Pleasant Valley Road SE, Silver Creek, GA 30173.  Sunset Hill Memorial Gardens is located at 1 Church Street NE, Rome, GA 30161.       

      Funeral arrangements are being directed by Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, South Chapel, 3002 Maple Road; Rome, Georgia 30161.  Flowers are welcome to be sent to the funeral home, or donations may be made to Pleasant Valley South Baptist Church, P. O. Box 519, Silver Creek, GA 30173 or Woodlawn Baptist Church, 1649 Cartersville Hwy SE, Rome, GA 30161.

Nicholson, Nick, Jr. '40
Deceased > Saturday, 6/30/2018
Dr. Henry Hale (Nick) Nicholson, Jr., of Charlotte NC, passed away on June 30, 2018 surrounded by family. Nick was a loving husband, father and grandfather. Born June 22, 1922, he was 96 years old. He was the son of Henry Hale Nicholson, Sr. and Martha Haseltine (Miller) Nicholson of Statesville, NC. 

As a 1938 graduate of Statesville High School he lettered in three sports. He did a college preparatory year at Darlington School in Rome, Georgia where he played football. Dr. Nicholson graduated Cum Laude from Duke University in 1944 with a degree in Chemistry. He played football (center at 135 pounds) and was a member of the wrestling team. He continued his education at Duke University School of Medicine and graduated 1947. 

Dr. Nicholson did his internship at the University of Wisconsin, his residency at the Medical College of Virginia and the Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans. While at the Oschner Hospital in New Orleans, Nick met the love of his life, Freda Hyams Nicholson. They were married for 63 years. 

Dr. Nicholson served in the military for 28 years including WWII in the Army, the Korean War as member of the U.S. Air Force, and the Vietnam War as a Flight Surgeon with the Charlotte Air National Guard where he was awarded Flight Surgeon of the Year. He retired as a colonel. 

Dr. Nicholson had a private medical practice as a general and colorectal surgeon. He served as senior staff surgeon at Presbyterian Hospital and Mercy Hospital. Dr. Nicholson was the president of the Mecklenburg Medical Society in 1972.

He was an active member of the Saint Andrew's Society of the Carolinas, Myers Park United Methodist Church, and the Dilworth Rotary Club. He loved to play golf at the Hound Ears Club in Boone, NC and The Charlotte Country Club. His most formidable golf partner was his wife. He also enjoyed years of fly fishing in the North Carolina mountains and together with Freda, was a world traveler. 

Dr. Nicholson was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Martha Nicholson Henry and his daughter-in-law, Pamela Bond Nicholson. He is survived by his loving wife Freda Hyams Nicholson, son Hale Nicholson, son Miller Nicholson and wife Cindy, son John Nicholson and wife Andora, son Michael Nicholson and wife Carla, daughter Amanda Britt and husband Allen, and son Stuart Nicholson. He is also survived by his beloved 14 grandchildren and 5 step-grandchildren. 

A memorial service will be at Myers Park United Methodist Church on Saturday, July 7 at 2:00 pm followed by a reception at the church. A private family burial will be in Statesville on Monday, July 9 at 4:00 pm. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Hospice (Charlotte Region) P.O. Box 470408 Charlotte, N.C., 28247 or The Sharon Towers Residents Assistance Fund, 5100 Sharon Rd., Charlotte, N.C. 28210. 

Condolences may be sent online to the family to www.nicholsonfunerals.com. Nicholson Funeral Home is entrusted with the arrangements.
 
Coker, Reagan (Ransom) '68T
Deceased > Saturday, 6/23/2018
Josephine Reagan Ransom Coker, age 67, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, passed away on June 23 at Christus St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe.

Mrs. Coker was born in Rome, Ga., a daughter of the late J. Walter "Buck" Ransom and Josephine Ransom.

Survivors include her husband, Newton J. Coker, M.D. of Santa Fe, N.M.; her children, Josie Coker of Santa Fe, N.M., Leyla and Walter Coker of McLean, Va., and Esther Coker of Santa Fe, N.M.; her grandchildren, Claire, Grady, Watts, and Ellie; brother, John Ransom of Bryson City, N.C. ; sisters, Linda James of Atlanta, Ga., Esther Husser of Cedartown, Ga., and Bess Bosworth of Rome, Ga.; several nieces, nephews, as well as grandnieces and grandnephews also survive.

Mrs. Coker graduated from Thornwood School for Girls in 1968. She attended the University of Georgia and graduated from Duke University in 1972 with an A.B. in French and a Secondary Education Teaching Certificate. Her graduate education included a Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Houston in 1987. She became a Licensed Professional Counselor in 1990.

As one of her friends so aptly described Reagan, "She possessed so many strengths. She was a complex person with deep feelings who was always extremely articulate." A classmate shared that she will be remembered for her beauty, intellect, quick wit, fun-loving nature, kindness, and loyalty to her friends. Reagan will be deeply missed by those who knew and loved her.

The family has requested that memorial contributions be made to the Thornwood Scholarship Fund at Darlington School, 1014 Cave Spring Road, Rome, Ga. 30161, Attn: Advancement, or to Chieftains Museum, P.O. Box 373, Rome, Ga. 30162-0373.
Murray, Sam '91
Deceased > Tuesday, 6/12/2018
Mr. Samuel "Sam" Alexander Murray Jr., age 44, of Griffin passed away June 12, 2018, at his residence.

Sam was born on December 11, 1973, in Griffin, son of Samuel Alexander Murray and Allen Simpson Murray.  He was a graduate of the Darlington School in Rome, Georgia and the University of Georgia, where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.  He earned his Juris Doctor degree from The Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University.  Sam practiced law in Griffin for 16 years, and most recently he was employed as an in-house attorney for Allstate Insurance Company.  

Survivors include his sons, Samuel Chambers Murray and William Alexander Murray, both of Griffin; parents, Samuel Alexander and Allen Simpson Murray of Griffin; sister and brother-in-law, Virginia Murray Greer and William Harold Greer III of Macon; mother of his children, Elizabeth Nell Chambers of Athens; niece and nephews, Margaret Lesley Greer, William Harold Greer IV, and Eli Murray Greer all of Macon; several aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Graveside services will be held on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 4 pm, in the Murray lot in the old section of Oak Hill Cemetery in Griffin.  Rev. Alan Benson will officiate.  The family will greet friends at the cemetery.  Those desiring can make contributions to The Humane Society of Griffin-Spalding County.

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