John Austin Edmondson, 83, died on June 17, 2022, at Lanier Village Estates in Gainesville, Georgia. He was born on April 5, 1939, at Gainesville’s old Downey Hospital to Charles K. Edmondson and Georgia Crisp Edmondson.
Austin (only called John when he was in the Army) attended the Candler Street School and then Gainesville High School, where he was the football center for the Red Elephants his junior and senior years. He graduated as valedictorian in 1957. He was a member of Boy Scout Troup 26 and achieved the rank of Eagle.
He went on to North Carolina State College (now NC State University) in Raleigh, NC, where he majored in Furniture Manufacturing and Management and graduated with honors. He remained a dedicated Wolfpacker throughout his life.
He pledged the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity and served as its president for part of his sophomore year and all of his junior year.
Austin received a commission in the Army ROTC and served two years at Fort Knox, where he was promoted to 1st. Lt. and commanded the post Salute Platoon.
After his service, he returned to Gainesville and joined his father in the management group at Georgia Chair, a furniture manufacturing company started by his grandfather in 1914. He sold his ownership in the company in 2004.
Austin was a Junior Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year. He led the United Way Fund Drive in 1996 and founded the Gainesville Chapter of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society. He was a Director of the Boys Club of Gainesville and served on the Housing Authority Board. He also served as a member of the founding boards of directors of both the Lanier National and Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia. A member of Kiwanis since 1970 and a past president, he participated in the Kiwanis Read Aloud program, reading to second-graders at the White Sulphur Elementary School once a week for many years. He was a founding director of Eagle Ranch, and an active member of the Wall Street Club.
A lifelong member of St. Michael Roman Catholic Church, Austin served as an altar boy in his youth and later as chairman of the building committee when the new church on Pearce Circle was built in 1974.
In 2005, he married Regina Massey Collins. His parents and his sister Ellen Edmondson House predeceased him. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his three daughters: Audrey Ivester (David), Emily Struthers (Michael), and Ellen Partin (William) and grandchildren Abigail and Daniel Ivester, Austin and Olivia Letlow, Trent and Alex Partin; and his brother, Charles K. Edmondson, Jr. He is also survived by his stepdaughters Michelle Kowalske (Rich), Jennifer Collins Lawrence, and Susan Peterson (Todd) and their children, as well as his former wife, Barbara Ward Patten.
He is remembered as a loving husband, father, and grandfather, as well as a loyal friend, a thoughtful brother, a proud citizen of Gainesville, and an all-around nice guy with a keen sense of humor. Despite his attempts at a curmudgeonly exterior, his very large and generous heart always shone through. Austin Edmondson was much loved by many and will be sorely missed.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Michael Roman Catholic Church, 1440 Pearce Circle NE, Gainesville, on Wednesday, June 22, at 10 a.m. A Celebration of Life will be held at Chattahoochee Country Club, 3000 Club Dr., Gainesville, GA 30506, later that afternoon from 3 to 5 p.m.
Those wishing to make contributions in Austin’s memory are asked to consider the United Way of Hall County, 527 Oak St, Gainesville, GA 30501; Eagle Ranch, 5500 Union Church Rd, Flowery Branch, GA 30542; or St. Michael Roman Catholic Church, 1440 Pearce Circle NE, Gainesville, GA 30501.
Those wishing to send online condolences to the family may do so at littledavenport.com
Little & Davenport Funeral Home and Crematory, 355 Dawsonville Highway, SW, Gainesville, Georgia 30501 is in charge of arrangements