Newsbank Archive
November 27, 2014
Obituaries (6-18-14 edition)
Jun 17, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 165 165 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Katlyn Elisabeth Graham

Resident of Dawsonville

Katlyn Elisabeth Graham, age 15, of Dawsonville, Ga. passed away Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Ga.

Katlyn was born December 28, 1998. She had lived in Dawsonville for the past two years and was a student at Dawson County High School. She lived most of her life in Lumpkin County.

She had a love for God, the outdoors, music, and her church family.

Katlyn was preceded in death by grandfather, Robert Carlisle; and grandmother, Barbara Fawcett.

She is survived by her parents, Cindy and Jason Fawcett, Dawsonville, Ga.; siblings, Aliyah Fawcett, Lukas Fawcett, Preston Fawcett, and Kloee Graham; grandparents, Melvin and Bertha Murphy, Dahlonega, Ga.; and Al Fawcett, Gainesville, Ga.; great-grandparents, Stanley and Ether Murphy, Darlene Murphy, and Alberta Carlisle; uncles and aunts, Shane and Abby Murphy, Josh and Amanda Murphy, Chris and Glenna Ruth Carlisle; special uncle and aunt, Marty and Mary Murphy; great aunts and uncles, Kim and Graylin Johnston, Donna Murphy, Kathy Fambro, Marie Loggins, Geneva Franklin and Ed, Gerald, Jerry, and Buddy Wiley; special cousins, Dylan Murphy, Cade Murphy, Owen Murphy, and Elijah. Numerous other relatives also survive.

Funeral services for Katlyn were held Sunday, June 15, 2014 at the Church at War Hill in Dawson County. Rev. Don Allen and Rev. Marty Murphy officiated. Interment followed in the Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery in Lumpkin County.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Katlyn Graham Memorial Fund at any BB&T Bank.

Online condolences may be made at

Banister Funeral Home of Dahlonega, Ga. is in charge of the arrangements.

Reba Dolores Henderson

Resident of Dahlonega

Reba Dolores Henderson, 61, of Dahlonega, Ga. passed away on June, 14, 2014. She will be dearly missed.

She is preceded in death by her parents Albert and Dorothy Chester and sister Madeline Jackson.

She is survived by her brother Gary and JoAnne Chester of Savannah, Ga., her children Randy and Kim Frix of Rome, Ga. and Renan and Lorie Davidson of Dahlonega, Ga.; brother-in-law Thomas Jackson of Dallas, Ga., daughter-in-law Christina Grogan of Woodstock, Ga.; grandchildren Randy Lee Frix, Jason and Brenda Frix, Austin, Brett, Mallory Davidson; and great-grandchildren Alexis Frix and Nathaniel Frix; nieces and nephews Vicki George, Fred Henry, Pat and Don Kelley all of Hiram, Ga., David and Rose Adams of Rome, Ga.

A private family service will be held at a later date.

Condolences may be expressed on-line at

Arrangements by Dahlonega Funeral Home, 20 Gibson Road, Dahlonega, GA 30533. 706-864-3683.

Roy Delbert Murdock

Resident of Dahlonega

Roy Delbert Murdock, 77, of Dahlonega, Ga. passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, June 15, with his family. He is survived by his wife Karin, his daughters Renee, Marion and Monica, his son Tony, seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and his sister, Marilyn.

Roy was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. He was preceded in death by his parents, Bertha and John Murdock. After attending college, Roy joined the United States Army and served as a medic and lifeguard in Augsburg, Germany. While stationed overseas, he met and married his wife, Karin, in 1959. The couple returned to Michigan to begin family life.

In 1970, the Murdock family moved to Florida, and shortly thereafter Roy joined Walt Disney World during the pre-construction phase for the theme park. As a master carpenter, Roy built legendary rides such as Space Mountain, the Haunted House, the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse and many other favorites. He became scuba-certified and served as an underwater carpenter for Disney. Later, Roy moved into engineering maintenance for such prestigious properties as the Grand Floridian Resort. His career with Walt Disney World spanned 32 years until his retirement. He “believed in the pixie dust,” and embraced the true magic of Walt Disney’s vision every day of his life.

In 2008, the Murdocks retired and moved to Dahlonega, Georgia to build their dream home on a mountaintop. Through the years, Roy and Karin established a botanical garden and wildlife habitat on their property that highlights Roy’s skills and continues to evolve and grow. A true artisan, Roy leaves this lasting legacy of beauty for others to continue to enjoy.

Roy celebrated 50 years as a Freemason and Shriner in 2011. He will be honored during a family Celebration of Life in the coming weeks. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Roy Delbert Murdock’s memory to the American Cancer Society, 1-800-227-2345, P. O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718.

Condolences may be expressed online at Arrangements by Dahlonega Funeral Home, 20 Gibson Road, Dahlonega, GA 30533. 706-864-3683.

Louise Brookshire Phillips

Resident of Cleveland

Louise Brookshire Phillips, age 79, of Cleveland, Ga. passed away in Gainesville, Ga. on June 7, 2014.

Louise was born in Dahlonega, Ga. on November 28, 1934.

Louise will be missed as a loving mother, sister, grandmother, and friend. Louise had many passions that included her love of family, love of pets, and in particular her love of nature. She utilized this passion for nature to create and design beautiful and unique floral arrangements and decorations to give to those in her family and community that she cared about. Her mountain origins and tranquil surroundings helped her create beautiful, unique, sophisticated, and one of a kind treasures. These one of a kind treasures are just like her—beautiful, unique, sophisticated, and most especially one of a kind. Weezie will be greatly missed but, her treasures remain to be appreciated by all that knew and loved her.

Louise was the daughter of the late Aldie and Harvey Brookshire and was also preceded in death by her husband, Harvey Phillips; and daughter, Melissa Elaine Titshaw.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Gigi Maria and Bill Copa, Pompano Beach, Fla.; brother and sister-in-law, Jerry and Doris Brookshire, Cleveland, Ga.; sisters, Gean Sutton Draper and Lorene Conner, both of Dahlonega, Ga.; grandchildren, Logan Alexander Copa, Alexis Nicole Copa, and Dillon Travis Copa. A number of other relatives also survive.

Funeral services for Louise were held Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at the Banister Funeral Home Chapel in Dahlonega, Ga. Rev. Steven Adams and Rev. Lyman Caldwell officiated. Interment followed in the Cavender Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Lumpkin County.

Online condolences may be made at

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

Sabire Spahija

Resident of Dahlonega

Mrs. Sabire Spahija, age 92, of Dahlonega, Ga. died Saturday, June 7, 2014 at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Ga. following an extended illness.

Mrs. Spahija was born in Albania March 12, 1922. She and her late husband, Eqerem Spahija, came to the United States in 2003 to live with their son in Dahlonega. Mrs. Spahija was a seamstress and costume maker for the Albanian National Theatre for many years.

She was the daughter of the late Mustafa and Fatime Reka, and was also preceded in death by her husband, Eqerem; son Imi; and daughter-in-law, Mariana Spahija.

Mrs. Sabire is survived by her son, Burhan Spahija, Dahlonega, Ga.; grandchildren, Faed Spahija, Ada Spahija, Sabina Spahija, and Ajsela Spahija.

A private family interment service was held on June 14, 2014.

Online condolences may be made at

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

Death Notices

Catharina Petronella Lawson, 81, passed away on June 9, 2014. McDonald & Son Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Ralph Leon Thomas, 50, passed away on May 27, 2014. McDonald & Son Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
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County sues City over fire station land ownership
by Sharon Hall
Nov 25, 2014 | 420 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners and the Dahlonega City Council can’t agree on who really owns the land under the downtown fire station.
The Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners and the Dahlonega City Council can’t agree on who really owns the land under the downtown fire station.
The Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners has filed suit against the Dahlonega City Council over a two-acre plot of land that’s home to the downtown fire station.

While county chairman Chris Dockery deemed the normally routine matter of clearing up a deed a “housekeeping measure,” both sides agree that the action will most likely end up costing taxpayers attorney’s fees and court costs, no matter who’s declared the winner.

Lumpkin County filed suit recently asking the court to decide if the county owns outright the Morrison Moore Parkway land where Fire Station #1 is located, or whether, as the city of Dahlonega claims, it owns half.

The county’s move angered their city counterparts.

“Whose name is on a deed that’s been boxed up for 22 years in an attic somewhere shouldn’t be cause to spend taxpayers’ money on a court suit,” said City Councilman Sam Norton.

Decades old dealings

It was 22 years ago the county began collecting a one-cent on the dollar $900,000 SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) for the purpose of purchasing property and building a combination fire station/EMS facility. When two acres on Morrison Moore Parkway were purchased from what was then Burlington Industries, it was the Lumpkin County Commission’s name that reportedly appeared on the deed. That is the basis of the county’s claim of sole ownership.

The issue of shared ownership with the city did not come to light for current BOC members until last year, when the Georgia Department of Transportation requested title to a minute portion of the property to place its traffic control pole at the intersection of the Parkway and Pinetree Way.

“The DOT provided us (the county) with a signed document from the city granting ownership and requiring our signature. I wouldn’t sign it,” BOC Chairman Chris Dockery said. Rather than sign the requested form for GDOT, the county provided its own document to convey ownership. It then retained the services of Ken Jarrard, an attorney with Cumming law firm Jarrard & Davis, LLP, who looked into the matter.

Jarrard discovered a later deed—a “Corrective Warranty Deed”—was filed by Dahlonega City Attorney Doug Parks in 1998, naming both the county and city as owners of the property. The firm subsequently sent a letter to the city requesting a quick claim deed conveying sole ownership of the property to the county.

The city declined, and in a letter dated Oct. 7 Parks, stated the reasons why.

The fire station was intended from the first, the letter states, to be a joint purchase and construction project. Minutes from a February 1992 City Council meeting authorized the city to join with the county to take an option on the property, along with the concurrence of then-sole Commissioner J.B. Jones; the survey of the property was conducted for “Dahlonega-Lumpkin County” the contract states; and the contract with the contractor for construction of the fire station identifies both the city and county as owners.

The letter also points out that the project was paid for by SPLOST dollars, paid by both county and city residents. It also includes an affidavit obtained from Jones and dated Sept. 23, 2014, stating that indeed the city and county both “chose to acquire land and construct a jointly owned building for a fire station,” and the city was “inadvertently” omitted as a grantee at closing. This was later corrected by a corrective deed of record, the affidavit states.

A move to mediate

After receiving the letter the full BOC and City Council engaged the services of a mediator and sat down to discuss the issue.

“But we didn’t get anywhere,” said Dahlonega Mayor Gary McCullough. “It’s been this way for 20 years. I see no reason to change it.”

Now the issue will be settled by the court.

“It’s one of those little issues that’s existed with the city for a long time,” Dockery said. “It’s not going to change anything. We’re not planning to sell the property and move the fire station or anything. It’s just an effort to clear up the deed. We don’t have any other motive. But I think it’s very important to clear it up. It could become a source of contention at a future time.”

The city’s counter claim alleges the county “has engaged in bad-faith, frivolous litigation” and that its “stubborn pursuit of this litigation is likely to prove ... damaging to the taxpayers of Lumpkin County.” It is asking that the county’s petition be dismissed, the city’s claims be granted, all fees and costs be paid by the county and for whatever “further relief the court may deem equitable and just.”

Dockery said he would “rather not go to court, but people need to know who owns the property. And at the end of the day, if the court says it belongs to both of us, then that’s the way it is. But if the city does own half, I think they need to be paying half the maintenance.”
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