George Edward Statham Jr.

Obituary
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George Edward Statham Jr., age 86, of Cumming passed away peaceably in his sleep in Cumming, early Saturday morning, Jan. 1, 2011, after a lengthy illness. Born July 8, 1924, to George Edward Statham and Anna Mae Jones Statham, his own interest in following his family's habit of military service led to his enlistment in the U.S. Marine Corps prior to World War II. A direct descendant of veterans of almost every conflict fought in the United States, including the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, Civil War, Philippine Insurrection and World War I, he saw extensive combat and overseas assignments in his 20 years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps, including combat in the South Pacific in several campaigns during World War II as an infantryman and anti-aircraftsman. He was stationed in Nagasaki, Japan, for several months (after that city was atom bombed in August 1944) and in 1945-1947 he again saw significant combat in north China during the communist rise to power.
Upon returning to the states, he met Wanda Dillon in 1949, while he was stationed in Corpus Christi, Texas. They married in 1950, raising three children and enjoyed 60 years of marriage and service to others prior to her passing last in June 2010.
Mr. Statham retired as a Marine Corps gunnery sergeant in 1962, and he moved his family home to Ft. Worth, Texas. He attended North Texas State University, graduating with a degree in biology in 1969. He began a second career with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service as a fisheries management biologist. His duty assignments included Cohutta, as well as hatcheries in Alabama, South Carolina and Arkansas.
Mr. Statham voluntarily initiated a study for the Fish and Wildlife Service in the mid 1980's around the Georgia Coosa Bass (sometimes called the "Red-Eyed Bass"), a separate species of the smallmouth bass native to mountain streams in northwest Georgia. His study proved that the species could be successfully spawned and raised by hatcheries under the proper conditions, a work which later merited significant national attention.
As the U.S. government phased out most of the fish hatchery programs, he retired with almost 40 years of combined Federal service in 1987. Upon retirement, he and his wife Wanda lived in McMinnville, Tenn., Towns County, and Forsyth County. They enjoyed a full and active retirement together for more than 20 years and were active in church, politics and genealogical research.
Mr. Statham was a member of the Mountain View Church of Christ in Cumming and was an active volunteer for the Towns County Republican Party for more than 10 years. For 40 years he was a Bible class teacher in Texas, Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia. The father of two Eagle Scouts, he was a scoutmaster in Alabama in the 1970's and a strong believer in the scouting program.
He is survived by his daughter, Jan (Roy) Busse of Horseshoe Bay, Texas; sons, Ross (Audrey) Statham of Cumming, Robert Statham of Fort Mill, S.C.; grandchildren, Katy Goolsby Levesque, Beth Goolsby, Meg Statham Williams, Libby Statham, Jim Statham and Cathy Statham Stephenson; as well as 10 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, Jan. 8, at 11 a.m. in the chapel of McDonald and Son Funeral Home. Interment will follow at 4 p.m. in the Shooting Creek Cemetery in Shooting Creek, N.C. The family will receive friends Saturday, Jan. 8, from 9-11 a.m. at the funeral home.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.mcdonaldandson.com.
McDonald and Son Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.
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McDonald and Son Funeral Home and Crematory - Cumming
150 Sawnee Drive
Cumming, GA 30040
(770)886-9899
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Published in ForsythNews.com from Jan. 3 to Jan. 6, 2011