Though the garden was planted a little later than usual this year, it once again brought delight to admirers. Shortly after April 9, Roy’s family placed a funeral wreath in the beautiful field to honor the life of the 81-year-old man who loved to garden.
“Roy loved the garden with a passion. He loved the people who stopped to chat with him and he loved the people who would end up buying (vegetables) that he sold from the house. He was a people person,” said his widow, Gladys.
Although Roy is no longer here to plant the Skippy squash, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, corn, okra and other vegetables, this season his wife and family farm the land, along with their friend, Wayne Lewis, as a tribute to Roy.
“(Roy) worked so hard on (the garden). We’re doing it to honor him. And we like the vegetables, too,” Gladys said. “(The children and grandchildren) love this garden too. They don’t get to come as much as they’d like to, but when they do they feel quite honored to get up there and get in the dirt.”
Gladys said Roy farmed a smaller piece of garden before he had the larger garden. Roy mentioned to his friend, the late Joe Logan, that he was losing the property of his first garden. The Logan family offered to allow Roy to garden this property (now owned by Joe’s widow Nancy Logan) as long as he would keep it up.
“When Roy first started the garden, the trees were overgrown. Friends said, ‘You’ll never get a garden out of that,’” Gladys said.
Roy, who was employed by Lockheed for 42 years, transformed the Logan property into a garden of plenty. He cleared and worked the land and each year he had the area cut.
“Everyone that has helped him goes on about what a wonderful ground it is,” she said.
Roy and Gladys were married 57 years and had three children — Darryl Hall of Smyrna, Sherry (Jim) Moran of Lawrenceville, and Sheila (Jim) Brooks of Alpharetta and five grandchildren. Although he is no longer here to till the land, his memory lives on through his garden.
“(Roy’s garden) is beautiful, but it’s not what it would have been had he been living,” Gladys said. “I guess God needed him for a garden up in heaven.”