Newsbank Archive
December 19, 2014
Obituaries (May 2nd edition)
May 02, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Thomas (Tom) Lonsbury

Thomas (Tom) Lonsbury, age 72, went home to the Lord on April 23, 2012 after a short illness.

Tom was born on December 24, 1939 in Akron, Ohio, where he resided until July 2005. In July he and his beloved wife moved to Dahlonega, Georgia where they have made their home.

Tom served in the US Army from 1959 until 1967, retired from Roadway Express after 45 years of dedicated service. Tom also served on the Board of Ohio University College of Communications for 15 years and established a scholarship which was endowed in his name in 2002. One of his proudest achievements was receiving the Ohio University Honorary Alumni Award in 2006. His dedication and comradery to his fellow board members and friends will be truly missed.

Tom was an active member of St. Bernard’s Church in Akron, Ohio for over 40 years and since has become a member of St. Luke’s Parish in Dahlonega, Ga.

He is preceded in death by infant son Joseph; mother, Tressa Brady; grandmother, Hermine Dent.

Tom leaves behind his beloved wife and best friend Judi of 51 years; sisters, Barbara Farling (Robert), Regina Brown (Robert), Sindy Johnston (Kevin); son, Josh; and many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews, friends, co-workers and golf buddies.

Tom’s zest for life included his love of family, his love of golf, and his lifelong friendships.

Cremation has taken place in Dahlonega. Burial will be at a later date. A memorial service was held at St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Dahlonega on Thursday, April 26, 2012.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Thomas Lonsbury Scholarship fund at the following. The Ohio University Foundation, P.O. Box 869, Athens, Ohio 45701-0869 or to make an immediate gift using a credit or debit card, go to and designate the gift to the Advisory Board Lonsbury Scholarship.

Banister Funeral Home of Dahlonega was in charge of the arrangements.


Carroll Blane “Carl” Turbeville

Mr. Carroll Blane “Carl” Turbeville, age 81, of Murrayville, Ga. passed away on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at his residence following a long battle with cancer.

Carl was born November 13, 1930 in North Fort Myers, Florida to the late Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Turbeville. He worked his entire life as a Master Carpenter and was of the Christian faith. He is preceded in death by his wife, Wilma Annette Westberry Turbeville and his eldest son, Joey Karl Turbeville.

Carl is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, James and Sandra Turbeville, Winder, Ga.; daughters and sons-in-law; Pamela and David Moyers, Huntsville, Ala., Sherri and Craig Woody, Murrayville; sisters, Louise Kidwell, Sarasota, Fla. and Lynda Conger, Dawson, Ga.; 10 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild also survive. Carl is also survived by special friend, Jennifer Armstrong, Murrayville.

Funeral services were held Sunday, April 29 at Bannister Funeral Home in Dahlonega.

Rev. Lloyd Young officiated.

In lieu of flowers please make donations to Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center, 2150 Limestone Parkway Suite 222, Gainesville, GA 30501.

Banister Funeral Home of Dahlonega was in charge of the arrangements.


Connie King

Mrs. Connie King, age 94, of Dahlonega, died Wednesday, April 25, 2012, at the Chestatee Regional Hospital in Dahlonega.

Connie was a native and lifelong resident of Lumpkin County.

“Nana” worked at Bell Bomber during WWII with her father and two sisters (the women were called “Rosie the Riveters”) while her husband, brother and brothers-in-law served in the military. After which she and “Shorty” owned and operated the Gulf Station in Dahlonega for nine years until Shorty’s car accident, when she then managed the station for nine more years while taking care of her husband and three teenagers. She owned and operated King’s Department Store for nine years with her son Tony, finally retiring from North Georgia College in her late 60s.

She was a member of a special group of ladies called the “Scrougers,” American Legion Auxiliary, Secretary for the Woodmen of the World, Dahlonega Baptist Church member and phone volunteer. She loved bowling, playing canasta and most of all spending time with her family and friends. She was an amazing woman who loved everyone and was always willing to help anyone in need. She was loved by so many who called her mama, “Nana” and friend.

Connie was the daughter of the late Henry Talmadge Grizzle and Fannie Ridley Grizzle and was also preceded in death by her Husband, Henry Carlton “Shorty” King Sr.; brother. Lawton Grizzle; sisters, Bessie Tucker and Ruby Davis; daughter-in-law, Lanell “Sam” King.

She is survived by sons and daughter-in-law, Tony King, Larry and Dianne King; daughter, Carlene Kimmel, all of Dahlonega; nine grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren and numerous other relatives also survive.

Funeral services for Mrs. King were held April 28, 2012, at the Banister Funeral Home Chapel in Dahlonega.

Rev. Bill Hutcheson officiated.

Interment followed in Mount Hope Cemetery in Dahlonega.

Those desiring to do so may make donations in Connie’s memory to the charity of your choice.

Banister Funeral Home of Dahlonega was in charge of the arrangements.


Herman Loyd Byers Sr.

Mr. Herman Loyd Byers Sr., age 77, of Hampton, Georgia died April 19, 2012.

Mr. Byers was a Lumpkin County native. He had lived in Hampton, Georgia for the past 44 years.

He was the son of the late George Washington Byers and Oma Reeves Byers. He was also preceded in death by several brothers and sisters. Mr. Byers was of the Baptist faith and was a U.S. Army veteran. He loved to fish and have a garden.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Lillie Waters Byers, Hampton, Ga.; son and daughter-in-law, Loyd Byers Jr. and Christy Byers, Hampton, Ga.; sister and brother-in-law, Inez Elliott and LeRoy Elliott, Dahlonega; sister-in-law, Marie Sullens, Jonesboro, Ga. Several nieces and nephews and other relatives also survive.

Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday, May 7, 2012 at Damascus Baptist Church in Lumpkin County.

Rev. J.R. Fields will officiate.

Interment will follow in the church cemetery.

Banister Funeral Home of Dahlonega is in charge of the arrangements.
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Camp Merrill fire chief retiring after long and full career
by John Bynum
Dec 17, 2014 | 675 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Captain Torrence Border (left) and Captain Calvin Black (right) present outgoing Chief Anthony Fanchi with a fireman’s hatchet during his retirement celebration last week at Camp Frank Merrill.
Captain Torrence Border (left) and Captain Calvin Black (right) present outgoing Chief Anthony Fanchi with a fireman’s hatchet during his retirement celebration last week at Camp Frank Merrill.
When outgoing Camp Merrill Fire Chief Anthony Fanchi saw Dahlonega for the first time—from an airplane—he knew he had to find a way to stay there.

Fanchi was flying in to do a CPR class at the local Ranger camp for his friend Chief Dan Worthington.

“I flew into Wimpy Airport and loved it,” Fanchi said.

He is still an instrument-rated pilot and plans to revisit his passion for flying during his upcoming retirement.

Fanchi is moving on to the good life after six years as Chief of the Camp Merrill Fire Department.

Friends and colleagues gathered last week to wish him luck and let him know how much their time together has meant to them.

Mike Thompson, who worked with Fanchi as a dispatcher at Robins Air Force Base, said the other employees had faith in him.

“He was very reliable and he loved his job,” Thompson said.

And Fanchi was known for his attention to detail, according to Thompson.

Company Officer Richard Hypes agreed.

“He was considered the guru,” Hypes said, “He taught me a lot about the fire engine.”

But he also remembers how Fanchi was a heavy sleeper. In fact, on a particular 2 a.m. call he was driving the engine and stopped on the train track. The guys on the back of the truck soon realized Fanchi had fallen asleep.

Life as a firefighter

Fanchi found his home in the firefighting profession after his time in the Air Force.

“Originally I wanted to be a pilot,” he said. “I went straight from being in the Air Force to being a firefighter.”

Georgia became Fanchi’s home as he served the fire department at Robins for 20 years of his life.

Before that, his military service allowed him to serve in England at Royal Air Force Mildenhall and in New Mexico at Holloman Air Force Base.

The Chicago native has spent the remainder of his career in Dahlonega serving Camp Merrill and residents within about a seven-mile radius, including the Northwoods area, the Wimpy Airport area and helping stranded hikers at Cooper’s Gap, Fanchi said.

Of course, he and his men also respond to any major structure fires in the county.

The fire at Shenanigans in the spring of this year came to mind as Fanchi recalled some of the more memorable events in his firefighting career.

Other highlights, he said, included being the incident commander for President George W. Bush’s visit to Robins Air Force Base in 2008, along with receiving awards for saving a man from cardiac arrest a couple of years earlier and responding to an air show crash at Robins.

In addition, he is proud to have saved an infant from cardiac arrest during his service at Camp Merrill.

A few years ago, Fanchi worked with Lumpkin County Fire Chief David Wimpy to develop a mutual aid agreement between the two departments.

And things seemed to pick up immediately.

“In the first week we had an auto extrication, trailer fire, and a vehicle fire,” Fanchi recalled.

Former Camp Merrill Fire Chief Worthington worked with Fanchi at Robins for 11 years before they met up again at Camp Merrill.

“He was the lead innovator at Robins,” said Worthington.

But most importantly, he said Fanchi has a big heart, as evidenced by his willingness to embark on angel flights over the years for folks who needed a lift.

Captain Calvin Black of the Camp Merrill Fire Department said Fanchi is always ready and willing to help with technical jobs.

He pointed out how Fanchi developed an in-depth spreadsheet to help firefighters calculate their pay scale which is accessed via the Internet by folks all over the world.

Retirement plans

Fanchi plans to stay busy in retirement, beginning with a Hawaiian cruise in a few weeks.

He has been on about half a dozen cruises, but had to wait until retirement to do the big one, he said.

He also wants to travel to Europe and Australia.

But Fanchi doesn’t want his firefighting skills to get rusty. That’s why he plans to work one 24-hour shift a week with the LCFD.

Wimpy said Fanchi’s experience is second to none.

“We have a lot of young firefighters, Wimpy said. “He will be a great asset for us.”
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