Moultrie Observer

Local News

December 11, 2013

Civic leader Doris George dies; Rites set for Friday

MOULTRIE — Doris Strong George, former owner of Strong Funeral Home and first president of the Colquitt County Chapter of the NAACP, will be laid to rest Friday at Strong Memorial Gardens. She died on Friday, Dec. 6, at Emory University Midtown Hospital in Atlanta. She was 84.

She was born on June 11, 1929, in Moultrie, the eldest daughter of Oliver J. and Vernita Biggs Strong, founders of Strong Funeral Home. She was educated in the public schools of Moultrie, graduating as valedictorian of her class. She attended Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., and received her Bachelor of Science in elementary education, with honors, from Albany State College. She continued her studies at the University of Chicago, where she earned a Master of Arts in guidance counseling. She also graduated from the Atlanta College of Mortuary Science.

George began teaching at the former Charlie A. Gray Elementary School in Moultrie and during her teaching career was honored as Teacher of the Year, Regional Teacher of the Year, P.T.A. Worker of the Year and Parent of the Year.

“Although our families had known each other for years, I got to know Mrs. George through friendship with her children. We spent many evenings around her dining table doing homework. She assisted us with our work and was always an encourager to young people to do their best and strive for higher heights,” said Barbara Jelks.

Upon the death of her father, in 1967, she resigned her teaching position and took over the family business, as she was already a licensed funeral director and embalmer. She quickly became a leader in her field in the South Georgia area, as in 1970, she was selected as Mortician of the Year by the Georgia Funeral Services Practitioner Association, Fourth District. She operated Strong Funeral Home and other affiliated businesses for 40 years.

George was a charter member and served as the first president of the local NAACP, serving for two years, said Isabella Brooks, current chapter president.

“She was a very good president and was really dedicated. She was also a life member of NAACP,” Brooks also said.

She also held memberships or leadership positions in a variety of civic organizations including the D.Y.W.Y.K. Club, the Coterietts, the G.T.E.A., the N.E.A., the Georgia Funeral Services Practitioner Association, the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association and Epsilon Nu Delta Fraternity.

“She was really active in this community and she was a very outgoing person. I’ve known her all my life and I really enjoyed her company,” said Brooks.

She was a member and had served as president of the Epsilon Mu Zeta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.

“She was a good member in the Zetas and was always there when she was needed. She was a very diligent worker. She loved the Zetas,” said fellow sorority member, Bess Whitaker.

George became a member of Grant Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Moultrie, at an early age. She had served as Sunday school teacher and on the Steward Board and Board of Trustees. Later, she transferred her membership to Mother Easter, where she served in the Evelyn Kendrick Missionary Circle.

When she moved to Atlanta, in later years, she joined the Ben Hill United Methodist Church, where her son-in-law served as senior pastor and her daughter, Karell, served as first lady. She was referred to as “Mother Doris” by the congregation and family and friends attribute “God takes care of Doris” as her favorite saying.

“We have not lost grandma, but we have gained a powerful ally in heaven. If we live our lives right, we will surely see her again,” one of her grandsons said of her.

Funeral services for George will be held at 1 p.m., on Friday, at Mother Easter Baptist Church and visitation will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., today, at Strong Funeral Home.

 

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