Olympic swimmers at the Bulldog Grandslam Swim

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We were all saddened to hear the news on this past Sunday afternoon that Dean Strange, who was only 35 years old, had passed away.  Bless his heart; he had been fighting lung and breathing problems for a long, long time.  He fought a long, hard, and brave battle, and his wife, Cathy, was right by his side every step of the way.  As one of my friends said, they taught us to live prayer to prayer and miracle to miracle, all the while never failing to give God the glory and wanting to honor Him in everything they did.  Dean and Cathy have three very sweet children, Hunter, Davis, and Maggie Grace who will miss their daddy so much.  This again is one of those times in life when you have to wonder, “Why?”  These things we will never know this side of Glory and Dean’s family has that wonderful assurance that he is in Glory now with his God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

We extend our deepest sympathy, thoughts, and prayers to his parents, Nancy Mitchem Addy and Larry Strange as well as grandparents, and the rest of the Lawrence and Strange families.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all of them.  What a  wonderful testimony Dean and Cathy and the rest of the family have been and are to all of us.  We also want to remember Jimmy Bone as he had to be hospitalized this past weekend in Athens.  I learned today that he has been moved to a regular room.  We are sending out get-well wishes and prayers to him and also to Evelyn and the family as they look after him.  Sadie Carver and her children, Jake and Mary Elizabeth from Perry came up and spent several days with her parents, Dan and Sally Porter last week. All of the family celebrated Dan’s birthday while here.  Happy Birthday, cousin!   They also visited with Mary Ainslie while here.  This week, Madeline Porter has joined Sadie and her family as they are vacationing at the beach in Florida.  Mary and Frank Eaton have returned from a wonderful family vacation in Aruba with Martha, Sandy, Mary Martha, Matthew, and a friend, Stella Buckner.  They report having a wonderful and relaxing two weeks there where the waters are like turquoise, and a soft trade wind is always blowing to keep you cool.  Franklin and Stacy Eaton and the girls came and spent Saturday with Mary and Frank Eaton where they helped Mary celebrate her birthday.  They all enjoyed lunch at Cracker Barrel.  Happy Birthday, Mary!  On this Tuesday, the Bearden children will have a get-together after not seeing each other for several months.

They will all meet for lunch in Commerce.  Jim and Carrie Bearden, Elizabeth and Guy Thurmond, Joyce Bearden, Barbara Walker, and Mary and Frank Eaton are all looking forward to being together.  Peyton Kenny of Acworth spent the weekend here with her grandparents, Steve and Sarah Nell Craig.  On Sunday, Sarah Nell took her to meet her Aunt Stacy Loudermelk and her cousin, Layna in North Carolina.  Peyton and Layna will attend a “Princess Day Camp” this week over there.  On Sunday, Emmie and Elissa Maddox, daughters of Davis and Sallie Maddox were christened in a beautiful little ceremony up at Prospect Methodist Church in Fairplay.  Afterward the Wilson and Maddox families enjoyed the Sunday buffet down at Bonners Restaurant.  Matt, Leigh, and Marlee Malcom are in North Rock Springs, Wyoming this week where Marlee is representing the state of Georgia in pole bending, breakaway roping, and barrel racing. Marlee, we wish you all the best and good luck as you compete.  I understand it took three days to get out to Rock Springs with a truck and trailer.  Wow!  We want to congratulate Hannah Eaton as she made the Dean’s List at North Georgia College and State University for the spring semester.  Good work, Hannah!  Katie Gentry, Karalynn Clifton, and Maggie Harper all had a treat this past weekend where they got to go to Athens to see the Bulldog Grandslam Swim Meet and none other than Michael Phelps,  Ryan Lochte, and Allison Schmitt,  the Olympic swimmers, competed in it.  They were in the presence of greatness!  On Sunday night we had a Harper get-together at the home of Mark and Carrie Wilkins where the children enjoyed swimming and then a chicken BBQ dinner with all the trimmings.  We honored China Colley, who has just graduated from high school and Nan Bowden who has just graduated from Georgia College and State University.  The Bruce Harper family, Ronnie Bowden family, and the John Hensley families enjoyed the night.

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