Starrsville’s Anderson dies at 86
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.