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James (Bub) Carden

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CARDEN, James (Bub) When it came to ailing cars, cows, trucks and tractors, "Bub" Carden had an uncanny knack for knowing just what to do to get them going again. He was a mechanic and cattleman by trade, a fun-loving family man, and a beloved pillar of his home community of Woolsey, Ga., a town he helped shape through his service as a councilmember for 25 years. James Early "Bub" Carden died Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009, at the age of 83. Visitation is 4 p.m. -7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009 at Carl J. Mowell and Son Funeral Home in Fayetteville. Funeral services will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday Nov. 15, 2009 at Mowell's Chapel in Fayetteville with burial at Camp Memorial Garden. The story of Bub Carden is one of hard work and devotion to his friends and family members. Born on Dec. 3, 1925 to George and Aubrey Carden, he was one of 10 children. By 1960, he'd become a talented, self-taught mechanic and had risen to the position of shop foreman for the old Davis Ford dealership in Fayetteville. Times were tough, and temporary layoffs of his mechanics were imminent. Instead, Mr. Carden took all the time off himself. He turned his backyard shop, Carden's Garage, into a full-time business. The dealership's loss was the community's gain. For more than 45 years, he was the man people turned to when their cars wouldn't run, their haybalers wouldn't bale or their cows needed hauling to the sale barn. As times changed and equipment got more complicated, he always figured out how things worked and how to fix them. He had little formal training, having dropped out of school after the third grade to work on his family's farm. "I don't see how he picked it all up," said his son, Frank Carden of Woolsey. But Bub Carden was more than just a mechanic and cow man. As the community around Woolsey became more populated, his garage, with its pot-bellied stove and 10-cent Coke machine, welcomed newcomers and old-time residents alike. "When we moved to Woolsey, Bub was the first person we came to know," said longtime Woolsey mayor Gary Laggis. "He was Woolsey." Laggis, like many others, came to know that when something needed fixing, Bub Carden would be your man. No matter what service he provided, Mr. Carden's fee was always a modest one if any, even though friends and family members often encouraged him to charge more. But that wasn't his way. "I just charged what I had to, what I felt like I could afford to pay," Mr. Carden said in a 2008 interview. Although Mr. Carden had a great sense of humor, as anyone who ever saw his knee-slapping laugh can attest, he was best known for his work ethic. "He would start by daylight, and a lot of nights he wouldn't quit until sometime between 10 and midnight," Frank Carden said. He kept up that pace for years, but in the mid-1970s it led to ulcers, and he began taking Wednesdays off. But soon he was working at the cattle auction in Jackson, Ga., putting in more than a full work day as a ring man. Earlier this year, Mr. Carden was honored by the Farm Bureau for a lifetime of service to the agricultural community around Fayette County. He was a member of Davidson Lodge No. 334. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Doris Lynch Carden; their sons, Douglas (Elaine) of Tyrone, Frank (Fay) of Woolsey and Ray of Fayetteville; daughter Judy (Mike) Lathem of Woolsey; brothers Weldon, L.M., Burnice and Windol; sister Helen Callaway; 13 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his brothers, Dan, Don and Dave and sister Louise Fredrickson. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the donor's favorite charity. Carl J. Mowell & Son, Fayetteville www.mowellfuneralhome.com
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Nov. 14, 2009
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