Starrsville’s An­der­son dies at 86

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - David Cle­mons dclemons@cov­news.com

COV­ING­TON, Ga. — Long­time New­ton County busi­ness­man James O. An­der­son Sr. died Oct. 1. He was 86.

An­der­son was a na­tive of the Starrsville com­mu­nity, where he was born on Dec. 14, 1930. He was the long­time owner of the An­der­son Oil Co., as well as a cat­tle­man and dairy farmer. He also owned con­ve­nience stores.

He owned the oil com­pany for about 25 years and sold it to Jones Petroleum Cos. in Jack­son about 30 years ago, An­der­son’s wife, Jane Greer An­der­son, re­called Thurs­day.

“He was an out­stand­ing guy, one of a kind,” Glenn Hayes, the owner of Hayes Fur­ni­ture Co. and Hayes Farms, said.

Sam Bur­ney Hay, III agreed.

“Mr. James was a unique per­son for sev­eral rea­sons,” Hay said. “He knew ev­ery­body and he was a friend to ev­ery­one in the com­mu­nity, in all walks of life. I re­ally think that’s for sev­eral rea­sons. For one, he was a con­ver­sa­tion­al­ist, and that is a dy­ing art in our so­ci­ety.” Jane An­der­son said her late hus­band was a life­time mem­ber of Starrsville United Methodist Church. His hob­bies in­cluded coach­ing youth base­ball at a time when it wasn’t as or­ga­nized as it is now.

“At that time he had two lit­tle boys,” she said, “and he loved sports — al­ways had. We didn’t have a lot of or­ga­nized lit­tle-league back then. We didn’t have an or­ga­nized recre­ation com­mis­sion like we do now.”

Jane An­der­son said her hus­band was known for his kind­ness to oth­ers, and she’s learned the scope of it even af­ter his death.

“He was a very, very gen­er­ous man,” she said. “He helped a lot of peo­ple that we found out later, ‘He did this for me.’ He helped a lot of peo­ple.

“He was a very gen­er­ous man and gave up his time and money to help the less for­tu­nate. He was a friend to ev­ery­body.”

Hayes said An­der­son “knew ev­ery­body in the state, not only in Ge­or­gia, but out of state. He’d come out and stay with me at the store. He and my dad were friends. They al­ways did some­thing.”

Hayes said An­der­son was suc­cess­ful at busi­ness but also suc­cess­ful as a per­son.

“He loved peo­ple,” Hayes said. “He would help you any way he could — just a very out­stand­ing man. I’d say the county has lost one of the very good per­sons who lived here.” Jane and James An­der­son were mar­ried for 64 years. They had five chil­dren and 14 grand­chil­dren.

An­der­son at­tended Ox­ford Col­lege at Emory Univer­sity and the Ge­or­gia Mil­i­tary Col­lege. Funeral ser­vices were Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon at Starrsville United Methodist Church with J.C. Har­well & Son Funeral Home and Cre­ma­tion Chapel of Cov­ing­ton di­rect­ing. Burial fol­lowed at the An­der­son-Belcher Fam­ily Ceme­tery.

The fam­ily sug­gests do­na­tions to the church at 2786 Dixie Road, Cov­ing­ton, GA 30014 or McKelvey Lung Trans­plant Cen­ter at Emory Univer­sity, 1364 Clifton Road NE, Suite F-250, At­lanta, GA 30322.

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