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Saturday, April 16, 2016
1:00 - 2:00pm (Eastern time)
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Starts at 2:00pm (Eastern time)
ELLAVILLE, GA ---Veteran journalist John P. (Jack) Gilchrist, 92, former managing editor of the Americus Times Recorder, passed away Thursday, April 14, 2016 at Columbus Hospice in Columbus, GA. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM, Saturday, April 16, 2016 in the chapel of Watson-Giddens Funeral Home with burial to follow in the Ellaville Cemetery. Minister Jordan Alker will officiate. Visitation will begin at 1:00 PM until service time.
After graduating from Schley County high school, Jack joined the United States Marine Corps and served in combat in the South Pacific during WW II. Following the war, he attended Georgia Southwestern College, graduating with a degree in Journalism. He began his career with the Cairo Messenger, moving from there to the Americus Times Recorder. He then moved his growing family to Atlanta to become the Farm editor for the Atlanta Constitution before heading up the Market Bulletin staff. He subsequently served as Press Secretary for the Georgia Dept. of Agriculture for 23 years.
In the 1960’s, at the height of the Cold War, he travelled to the Soviet Union as part of a “People To People” tour, posing as a Georgia cattleman, in order to write articles about and photograph conditions in rural areas of Russia, Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia – areas closed to most Western journalists at the time.
Although his primary interest was agriculture, Jack’s writing skills and political acumen were in demand for public relations work in political campaigns for local and state candidates. His short story “Opening Day” was selected for and published in the “Best American Short Stories of 1965.” It is still in publication 51 years later.
He left the Agriculture Dept. in the 1980’s and moved back to Ellaville to start two successful farm publications – the Georgia Farmer and Alabama Farmer.
Widowed by the death of his wife Mary McMickle Gilchrist in April 2005, he moved to Columbus where he met and married the former Bessie Louise Hodges of Phenix City, AL and subsequently made his home there.
Mr. Gilchrist is survived by his wife Louise; daughter, Vicki (a retired Delta airlines flight attendant); daughter, Mary Drane (“Tracy,” an Urban Gardener in Atlanta); son, John (a retired USN Commander and Naval Aviator); son, Andrew (a former USMC officer, currently a business entrepreneur in Arkansas); two brothers, Gilbert and Billy; sister, Mrs. Emmett Arnold, six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Legion Hall, Post 191, 142 Hwy. 153, Ellaville, GA 31806. You may sign the online guest book and share your own special thoughts and memories with the family at www.watsongiddensfuneralhome.com
Watson-Giddens Funeral Home of Ellaville, GA is in charge of arrangements.