‘These Men ... Were Leaders': Chastain part of generation that helped make Cobb what it is
by Bobby Tharpe
September 21, 2013 11:58 PM | 1787 views | 1 1 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bobby Tharpe
Bobby Tharpe
Emory 'E.W.' Chastain
Emory 'E.W.' Chastain
Editor’s note: Retired Kennesaw educator, businessman and World War II veteran Emory “E.W.” Chastain, 90, passed away last week. Chastain was one of the most active members of the Marietta Kiwanis Club, where he had 45 years of perfect attendance. His passing — and that of his generation — was noted by President Bobby Tharpe at the outset of the Club’s meeting Thursday:

“This has been a very difficult week for me. I actually didn’t know E.W. that well. But I grew to love him because so many of you loved him first. Nevertheless, his passing has left a noticeable emptiness for me.

“In the movie ‘The Big Chill,’ the minister conducting the funeral says, “Are not the satisfactions of being a good man among our common men great enough to sustain us anymore?’”

“E.W. Chastain fit that quote as well as anyone I’ve ever known. He was definitely a good man.

“But the feelings for me this week go deeper. I moved here in 1984 and not long after that my Dad had the first of several strokes. Over the next few years his health continued to decline until, at last, he was gone.

“During that time, Melinda and I started attending First Presbyterian. Around the coffee table on Sundays, I would find a collection of older gentlemen talking and picking at each other. I didn’t know their names and tried to not interrupt, but they would invite me in and welcome me to church.

“Later, when I started the business, I joined the Marietta Rotary Club. And there I found them again, but now with name badges. Their names were Bill Bullard, Ted Bogle, Ed Holliday, Jigger Hancock and Joe Kelly. There were others I met, not in Rotary, like George Varella and Gene Gregory.

“Many of these men went overseas during World War II and came back to start families and businesses.

“But they did much more. Bill Bullard was a chairman of the Chamber of Commerce. Ed Holliday was chairman of the local hospital board. Ted Bogle chaired Cobb Landmarks and helped countless people through his ownership of Cobb Hardware.

“These men were great fathers and husbands. They were leaders who worked repeatedly to make Cobb what it is today. The greatest place to live, work and play you can find anywhere.

“But now they are all gone, too.

“I don’t bring this up to eulogize E.W. That was done very well yesterday.

“But I do hope that those of us in our 40s and 50s are doing all we can to continue to make this great community a better place for our kids and those that follow.

“One day, perhaps 30 years from now, I hope that someone will stand here and talk about one of you with the same love and reverence that we so deservedly lavished on E.W. this week.”

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Veteran Observer
September 25, 2013
EW was unique and tireless in his devotion to our community. Since meeting him and becoming friends in 1980, he has served as the example along with my father as the person I have tried to be. Together, we accomplished a lot without worrying for even one minute who got the credit! That unselfish devotion to making the world a better place will be what we most miss. There are very few folks like EW in our community today! I would hope that by missing him more people would look in the mirror and take stock of their lives and understand that yes I can make a difference if I don't care about personal gain! EW's generation coming back from WW2 understood that, my baby boomers never understood it! I hope future generations will sacrifice and understand it again!
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