Sunday school teacher remembered for her celebrated produce stand
by Hilary Butschek
August 14, 2014 12:25 AM | 3292 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kathleen Eubanks
Kathleen Eubanks
MARIETTA — Kathleen Eubanks, who was known in town as the grandmotherly figure behind Eubanks Produce on Roswell Street, died Monday evening in Marietta at the age of 82.

Eubanks’s daughter, Vickie Taylor, said the funeral will be at Mt. Arbor Baptist Church at 2 p.m. today.

Taylor said her mother cherished and loved three things with her “heart of gold” during her life: God, her family and her produce stand.

Eubanks was born in Alpharetta, raised in Ellijay and moved to Marietta with her parents and seven siblings in the late 1940s, Taylor said.

She worked at Hoke’s Truck Stop, where she met her future husband, Herbert Lee.

“My father drove a cab, so he would stop there and come in to get a coffee and get lunch, and that’s how they met,” Taylor said.

The two were married in 1950, and they had two children, Mike Eubanks and Taylor.

Eubanks started the produce stand with her husband, Herbert Lee, in 1973 near the Square on the corner of Roswell Street and Park Street. Taylor said her mother’s commitment to the fruit stand made it a local favorite.

“She had a lot of the people around town and a lot of the workers that would come eat there,” Taylor said.

When her husband died in 1986, Eubanks kept up the stand by herself, becoming known for her fresh fruit, vegetables, boiled peanuts, hot dogs and snacks.

“She loved her store and she loved her customers, and she loved to be around people,” Taylor said.

Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin said he remembers the produce stand as his lunch staple.

Tumlin said he visited the stand every week to buy tomatoes and squash, and sometimes he’d stop by for a hot dog at lunch.

“It was one of those things that when you weren’t hungry for anything, I would go there just to talk to her because she was a delight,” Tumlin said. “(Eubanks Produce) was a cult place that people of all walks of life would stop in and eat a hot dog with her.”

Taylor said her mother was “as strong as an ox.” Eubanks woke up at 4 a.m. every day to drive to Atlanta, buy her produce wholesale and drive back to Marietta to sell it.

“She had strong will,” Taylor said. “She was remarkable.”

Taylor said her mother used to tell a story about a little boy she once caught stealing a soda from her produce stand.

“She found out who it was, and she called the police on him,” Taylor said. “When the police got there, they said ‘What do you want us to do with him?’ She said, ‘I just want you to talk to him, I want you to scare him to death.’”

Taylor said the child came back to the produce stand years later to tell Eubanks how much she had influenced his life.

“He told her, ‘You made an impression on my life. I was at the point where I could have gone good or I could have gone bad. You helped me,’” Taylor said of the child.

The stand closed in 2004, when Eubanks sold the land to the city to widen Roswell Street. Eubanks then worked at Publix for five years before retiring.

Eubanks also taught Sunday school at Mt. Arbor Baptist Church for more than 40 years, Taylor said.

“She just believed whatever took place just pray about it and it would work out,” Taylor said.

Cobb County Judge Irma Glover, who is Eubank’s niece, said she remembers her as someone people “couldn’t help but get attached to.”

“She was just a salt of the earth kind of lady,” Glover said. “If everybody were like Kathleen, we wouldn’t have the problems that we do.”

Eubanks is survived by her two children, and two of her sisters, Nannie Mae Chadwick, 93, and Eloise Bulloch, 80. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews, her grandchildren: Patti Lynne Young, Jeremy and Justin Squires, Russell Taylor, Jermie Taylor and her great-grandchildren: Russell Young, Olivia Young, Jacob Taylor, Jordan Taylor.

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