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Obituaries for Nov. 5, 2020; Annie Ruth Garlin, Alonzo Hampton, Jim Long, Andrew Raye, Marilyn McMahan, Errol Sanders, Michael Benedict

Annie Ruth Garlin


Mrs. Annie Ruth Garlin 84, of Calhoun, Georgia, departed this life Thursday, October 29, 2020 at Gordon Health Care.  

Annie Ruth was born February 3, 1936 in Pickens County, Georgia, a daughter of the late Arthur Hugh and Lula Belle Carroll Patterson. She was also preceded in death by her loving husband of 62 years, Henley M. “Sonny” Garlin who died March 14, 2020; her brothers, Reverend Lloyd Patterson, Reverend Luther Patterson, Lee Patterson, Elbert Patterson and Reverend Alfred Patterson; her sisters, Lois Carver, Ella Patterson, Odelle Silvers, Faye Clark and Geraldine Johnson.  

She was retired from Horizon and Fafnir Bearing and was a member of Ball Creek Baptist Church in Pickens County.

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Stacey and Dawn Garlin of Resaca, GA; daughters and son-in-law, Lydia Waters of Jasper, Charlotte and Keith Holmes of Calhoun, GA; grandchildren, Zachary and Amber Waters, Kyle and Rachel Waters, Jacob and Sarah Holmes, Joshua Garlin, Makayla Holmes, Garrett Hammonds, Sarah Garlin; great-grandchildren, Addi Waters, Lauren Waters, Owen Waters, Hunter Waters, Sophia Waters, Mackenzie Waters, Harper Holmes, Carter Holmes and Graison Hammonds; sister, Gladys Jones of Mars Hill, NC; sisters-in-law, Cleo Patterson of Calhoun, GA, Olean Patterson of Marietta, GA; several nieces and nephews.

Services to celebrate the life of Mrs. Annie Ruth Garlin were held Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 2 p.m. at Ponders Calhoun Chapel with Reverend Wallace Parks officiating. She was laid to rest beside her beloved husband at Chandler Cemetery with Reverend Jason Phillips officiating.  Zachary Waters, Kyle Waters, Jacob Holmes, Josh Garlin, Garrett Hammonds, Jacob Phipps, Keith Holmes and Mitchell Patterson were honored to serve as pallbearers.  

Condolences may be expressed to the family at 

Arrangements by, Ponders Calhoun Chapel 675 Jolly Road Calhoun, GA 30701, 706-625-7577 and 


Alonzo Hampton


Alonzo Hampton was born in Sandersville, Georgia, November 4, 1953 and passed on October 28, 2020.   At an early age, his family moved to Tate, Georgia where he grew up. As an adolescent, Alonzo joined Mount Calvary Baptist Church and attended Pickens High School (PHS) where he excelled in football, track and field and baseball. Alonzo owned two PHS Football records: Longest TD Reception in a Game (96 yards) and Most Receiving Yards in a Game (183). As of 2014, he still owned the record for the Longest TD reception in a game, whereas it took 43 years before someone topped his record for receiving yards in a game.

In June of 1976, Alonzo Hampton married Marshalette Anderson. To this union, their son Brian Hampton was born in July 1980.  Everyone who knew "Hamp" personally, knew him to be a man of his word, totally reliable and easy-going. Also, Hamp was a DJ, a grill master and was an avid Atlanta Falcons fan - win or lose.  Hamp's greatest joy was spending time with his granddaughter, Hannah (born to Brian and Daniella Hampton in 2013.) Hamp and Hannah were inseparable and always found new adventures together in the yard.

Preceding Alonzo's death were his parents, Lonnie "Bro" and Pinkie Hampton and his brother, Lambert "Bo Ret" Hooks. In celebration of his life, he leaves behind his wife of 43 years, Marshalette; his son, Brian and cherished granddaughter, Hannah;  eight nieces, two nephews, a host of cousins; brothers-in-law, Michael Anderson and Fred Anderson, Jr.; sisters-in-law, Sheila (Tony) Strickland, and proceeding him in death, Zania Hooks. 

Graveside services were held at 11 a.m., Monday, November 2, 2020 at Lake Forest Memorial Park with Reverend Scott McClure officiating.   

Arrangements are entrusted to the staff of Roper Funeral Home and Crematory. 

Online condolences may be made at


Jim Long


James B. "Jim" Long, Jr.,  son of James B. (d.1975) and Fannie Mae (d. 1976) Long, died Thursday, October 29, 2020 at his home in Big Canoe, Georgia.  He was sitting in his chair where he read from The Message each morning when he passed away.  He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Patricia "Patsy" Long.

Jim was born in Burlington, North Carolina in 1939 and grew up in the town of Elon, formerly Elon College.  He attended  Elon College High School and Chowan College, graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in business.

After a successful career in corporate sales, Jim and Patsy founded Service Care of America, providing food management and other services on military bases across the United States.  During his 28 years leading the company, Jim traveled to all fifty states and especially enjoyed spending time in the dining facilities working alongside his staff.  As dedicated as he was to his work, he found meaning in the relationships his work provided.

Following his retirement, Jim continued to build strong connections with people in the community of Big Canoe where he and Patsy have been involved since 1983.  It is in Big Canoe where they forged longtime friendships at Big Canoe Chapel, on the golf course, and at the fitness center.  As recently as the Friday prior to his death, Jim could be found at the fitness center socializing with friends around the "Table of Knowledge" and solving the problems of the world.

To say Jim was patriotic would be an understatement.  After his high school graduation, Jim joined the United State Marine Corps and proudly served six years in the reserves.  In the words of his wife, Jim was a "God, Mom, and apple pie kind of guy."  He enjoyed John Wayne movies.  He was an active member of the North Georgia Veterans Association.

Jim's service didn't end with the military.  He was a regular volunteer at Community Assistance Resources and Emergency Services (CARES), a food pantry and emergency services agency, where he helped distribute food for people in need in the Jasper area.  Because of his love for horses, he also volunteered with Save the Horses, Cumming, Georgia, which rescues and rehabilitates abused, neglected and abandoned animals.

Still, as much as he was dedicated to his work, his colleagues, his friends and community, Jim loved his family most.  He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather.  He is also survived by his stepsons, Mickey (Perian) Rogers and Andy (Jennifer) Rogers; his beloved grandchildren, Annabelle and Michael; Drew, Jude, and Jane; and his nephew, Jeff Yarbrough, and niece, Jill Mathieu, and their families.  His family is grateful for the blessing of sharing life and love with him for over 44 years.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m., Friday, November 6, 2020 at the Big Canoe Chapel.  Due to COVID-19, masks are required. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests anyone wishing to honor Jim, please make contributions to the Big Canoe Chapel or Community Assistance Resource and Emergency Services (CARES) of Jasper, Georgia.

Online condolences may be made at


Andrew Raye


Andrew Juergen Raye, 53, of Jasper, passed away Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at his home. He was born February 17, 1967 in Berlin, Germany. He was a Quality Engineer at Schoen Insulation Services in Canton, Georgia. 

Andy is survived by his mother, Heidemarie Crowe of Jasper; sister and  brother-in-law, Patricia and David Parks of Fairmount; brother, Donald Raye; nieces and nephew, Jessica Parks, Rebekah Parks, Sarah Parks, and John Parks all of Fairmount; niece and family, Amanda and Aaron Curtis, Benjamin and Joshua of North Carolina; cousins, Shirley Holcomb, Sylvia Bruce, Stephen Raye, Thomas Raye and their families.  Uncles, an aunt, and other family members in Germany also survive. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert Patterson Raye and other loved ones.

A graveside service was held at 3 p.m., Sunday, November 1, 2020 at Bethesda Baptist Church Cemetery with Brother David Parks officiating.   

The family accepted flowers or memorial donations in his honor may be made to National Veterans Foundation.

Arrangements are entrusted to the staff of Roper Funeral Home and Crematory.  

Online condolences may be made at


Marilyn McMahan


Marilyn McNally McMahan, 90, of Jasper, Georgia passed away Monday, November 2, 2020 at her home.   She was  born May 19 ,1930, in Dalton, Georgia to Paul and Doris McNally. She had two older brothers, Paul Jr. and William Henry “Dachey,” and a younger sister, Patricia.

She went to Dalton High School where she played basketball. She married the love of her life, Russell Thomas "R.T." McMahan in Chattanooga on April 30, 1947. They lived in Atlanta, then Marietta, then moved to Jasper.  

Mrs. McMahan is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Russell Thomas and Janis McMahan, Jr. of Canton; daughter and son-in-law, Doris Camilla “Decie” and Mike Lowe of Jasper; five grandchildren, Russell "Russ" Thomas McMahan III of Canton, Ryker and Lisa Lowe of Jasper, Slade and Neena Lowe of Jasper, Solitair and Andy Middleton of Jasper, Camlyn Lowe of Jasper; eight great-grandchildren, Harlan Lowe, Hudson Lowe, Aubry Lowe, Rylyn "RT" Lowe, Kensley Lowe, Jeremiah "JT" Middleton, Mac Middleton.

According to her grandchildren, "Granny was as tough as she was loving. She beat rheumatic fever as a child and had four open heart surgeries. The door was always open at Granny’s house and there was something on the stove. She was quick with a “Hey, hon” or “Hey, babe” and offer you something to eat. Loved ones were always welcome at Granny’s and those who knew her, loved her and loved being with her. She was fun to be with, funny, direct, and kind. There are many sayings Granny used which are used by her children and grandchildren. One was, “Might as well laugh as to cry."  If you had a friend like Granny, you really had a friend."     

Services will be held at 1 p.m., Thursday, November 5, 2020 at the Lowe Family Cemetery with Reverend David Stuart and Reverend Preston Jones officiating.   

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association or the First Baptist Church of Jasper.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Staff of Roper Funeral Home and Crematory.  

Online condolences may be made at


Errol Sanders


Errol Franklin Sanders, 81, born in Columbus, Georgia in 1939, passed away peacefully in his mountain home in Jasper, Georgia on October 1. Errol is survived by his wife of 37 years, Susan Sentell Sanders; and his son, Shane (wife Heidi) and their children, Alba, Nicholas, and Julian, his daughter, Meredith Sanders Weitnauer ( husband Blake) and their children, Sam and Will and the mother of his children Nancy. Errol was pre-deceased by his parents, J.H. Sanders and Julia Nicholson Sanders of Columbus and a brother, James Sanders, Jr., of Chicago, Illinois.

He graduated from Columbus High School in 1957 and received his master’s degree in English from the University of Georgia in 1964 while working as a graduate teaching assistant. A few years later, he began what would become a 50-year career in teaching, when he taught English at Andrew College from 1967-1969. In 1969, Errol joined the English faculty at Woodward Academy (formerly known as Georgia Military Academy), where he would teach in the Upper School for 21 years, until 1990. He also served as the long-time coach of the school’s cross country team. While at Woodward he received the Teacher of the Year Award, the Senior Class tribute and the “Phoenix” yearbook dedication. He was exceptionally popular with the student body at WA; famous for his irreverent sense of humor, intellect, kindness, and most of all, a passion for literature. He had a gift for conducting complex discussions and analysis with his students in a way that was impossible to resist, easy to understand and fun. He was a voracious reader of anything and everything, from Flannery O’Connor to Ray Bradbury to Robert E. Howard, and was also extremely well-versed in Native American history. Known as an authority of the work of William Faulkner, Errol immersed his students in Southern literature, introducing them to the work of Flannery O’Connor, Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Eudora Welty, and fellow Columbus native, Carson McCullers. Errol also read to his students the works of Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Malory, and William Golding. He intrinsically recognized the connection between literature and film as mediums of human expression, and his natural talent for understanding the narrative arts made him a connoisseur of movies from all over the world. He creatively used cinema in the classroom to deepen his students’ comprehension and appreciation for the art of storytelling, with great success.  He loved music, especially bluegrass, and never missed an opportunity to see his favorites Doc Watson and Bill Monroe play live whenever he had the chance.

In 1988, he was the recipient of a William Faulkner fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities at the University of Southern Mississippi. Also, Mr. Sanders was selected to teach literature and composition on two different occasions at the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program, a summer program for gifted and talented high school students.

After his career at Woodward Academy, Mr. Sanders continued to teach, enjoying many years of teaching literature and composition at Morris Brown College in Atlanta. He then joined the staff of Mill Springs Academy in Alpharetta, Georgia, teaching English, language arts, and composition in the Academy’s PreUpper School for seventh and eighth graders. He was pleased in 2006 when a member of the Senior Class named him her Star Teacher (she had been in his class in 8th grade). Mr. Sanders retired from teaching in 2011, but was called back by Mill Springs as a part-time teacher of composition from 2013-2017. He fully retired from teaching in 2017 where he continued to read and add volumes to his personal library. Mr. Sanders had a voracious literary appetite, with over five thousand books in his library, spanning an enormous range of topics. He spent his entire professional life teaching … and showing his students how to deeply appreciate and understand words, stories, books, authors, and masterfully-written writing.

In lieu of flowers and to celebrate and honor the life and influence of Mr. Sanders, the family wishes donations to be made in Errol Sanders’ name to the library at Mill Springs Academy, Alpharetta, Georgia or to the Flannery O’Connor-Andalusia Foundation in Milledgeville, Georgia.

A memorial service will be held at a later date in a safer time.  


Michael Benedict


Michael James Benedict, 69, of Jasper, GA passed away October 29, 2020. Michael was born on November 4, 1950 in Covington, OH. He graduated from Covington High School (1969), and Ohio State University in 1974.

Mike’s professional career took him around the world working in the most exotic and challenging places. His passion was competitive shooting sports and he was both a world and national champion. Mike was also a highly respected firearms instructor and range designer. The Pickens County Sportsman Club was Mike’s big passion, through his hard work and dedication the club has become one of finest ranges in the state, and host of a popular Pickens County event – the Fishing Rodeo.

He was also a talented amateur chef and taught many of his friends how to make the perfect pie and smoke a brisket. 

His vast number of friends speaks volumes about the extraordinary person he was. One of those friends said it best: “A couple days ago the world lost Mike Benedict.

He was a friend and mentor that is already missed by many.

When we talk about standing on the shoulders of giants, Mike was one of those metaphorical giants. His generosity of time, patience and knowledge made a significant impact on my life.”

He is survived by his wife, Rosie Ruschman (Jasper, GA), his mother Gerry Benedict, sister MaryAnn Von Aschen of Covington, OH, brother Robert of Everett, WA, his daughter, Angela McCullah and grandson Connor of Union, OH.

A Life Celebration will be held in the spring of 2021 in Jasper, GA.