Walter Edward (Ed) Marks, 85, of Ellijay, GA pressed on toward the goal and won his prize on May 19, 2019. He was called heavenward after a short battle with cancer.
He was born in Nashville, TN, July 17, 1933, to the late Charles Lawrence and Velma Burgess Marks. “Walter Edward” as he was called as a child, was the youngest of 5 children. His father, Charles, was nicknamed “Chili,” so Walter Edward would be known as “Little Chili.”
He is preceded in death by his infant daughter, Susan Marie Marks; sister, Pauline Marks Gower; and brothers, Charles, Jr. and Thomas Marks, all of Nashville, TN; and grandson, Bradley Justin Marks of Lawrenceville, GA.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sherry Lee Hicks Marks; sons, Charles “Larry” Marks (Susan), Johnny Michael Marks, Ronnie Edward Marks (Kim), and Steven Shawn Marks (Sandra); 8 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, several nieces, and nephews. His sister, Dorothy Jean Marks Womack of Mt. Juliet, TN, also survives.
Niece, Joan Marks Due, of Pelham, GA gave many weeks of her time, and much love, to the care and well-being of her Uncle and Aunt during his illness.
He is also survived by a special friend, Emory Hamilton “Ham” Garland, of East Ellijay, GA. Ed and Ham enjoyed each others company. They took many trips together; trips that were filled with tall stories, laughter, and good memories.
Ed served in the US Army in the Quartermaster Corps and was stationed in Baumholder, Germany from 1955-1957. After his military service was completed, he resumed his career in the printing industry, a career interest that began with a teenage weekend job with THE NASHVILLE TENNESSEEAN Newspaper. In Nashville, TN he worked for McQuiddy Printing Company and Baird-Ward Printing Company.
Another interest of Ed’s was working in several capacities with theatre production companies that were located in Nashville or came to the city for special occasions. He built sets, loaded and unloaded equipment, operated spotlights, among many other tasks. He often worked on weekends as a stagehand at the Ryman Auditorium with the Grand Ole Opry.
In the 1960s, Walt Disney Company came to the Middle Tennessee area to film the movie “Davy Crockett.” Ed became a crew member during the filming in and around Nashville in a support capacity building or removing sets, loading or unloading equipment, lighting sets, helping distribute meals on set to the many workers, driving, running errands, and a variety of other jobs.
In years past he talked about trying to get a job with Disneyworld. However, he never pursued that notion because it was a’ Mickey Mouse’ idea. Instead Ed and Sherry, through God’s providence, relocated their family to Smyrna, GA in 1969, when Ed went to work for Equifax (then known as Retail Credit Company) in Atlanta. He retired from Equifax as Evening Shift Supervisor of the Printing and Distribution Division after 22 years.
After retiring Ed and Sherry moved to Ellijay, GA to his ‘peaceful valley’ where he enjoyed his life as a country gentleman farmer. He was always busy doing something, (like making bluebird houses which he often gave away), helping neighbors with repairs or projects, tending blueberry bushes, vegetable gardening, or making applesauce at the Gilmer County Cannery for friends and neighbors, or his pantry. Come winter he would always have jigsaw puzzles to work if it was too cold to be working outside.
In spite of all his activities, he still found time to sit on the front porch in his rocking chair and enjoy his beloved pets. Whether it was dogs, cats, or goats, they all got their share of ‘lap time.’ Sometimes he would sit on the pond dock and fish, being careful to remove hooks so the fish could slip back into the water unharmed.
Ed believed in supporting community activities. He was a member of Cartecay Optimist Club and a Poll Worker at Big Creek Voting Precinct. He was a member of the Board of Big Creek Fire Association, contributing time, talents and money to fundraisers supporting Station 4 Firefighters and First Responders.
He and Sherry were blessed to travel extensively after retirement. They traveled to almost all 50 states, plus several foreign countries with friends, travel groups or just by themselves. No matter where they went, coming home to Ellijay to re-live their memories would be the highlight of any trip.
In his youth, Ed became a Christian. He had great faith in God. He was a member of Pisgah Church of Christ. He will be remembered by many as the one who greeted you with a big smile as you entered God’s House. When asked how he was, he always replied, “Wonderful!”.
The family will host a remembrance reception at the Ellijay Church of Christ fellowship hall on Saturday June 22, 2019 from 1:00pm-4:00pm. He was laid to rest across the road from the church he had attended for 30 years in the Pisgah Church of Christ Cemetery.