Hugh Harris Shockley Sr., of Buford, died at his home on Monday, March 10, 2014. He was 95.
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Hugh was born in Apalachee on December 14, 1918, to Benjamin Arthur and Sophia Sara Shockley. It was from his mother that Hugh inherited his love of poetry and his middle name, Harris, which was her maiden name.
Hugh's father sold Fords during the Great Depression, including a 1938 convertible to the Warm Springs Foundation for use by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during his visits to the Little White House. Hugh, who was 19, begged his father to be allowed to drive the automobile from the Ford factory in Atlanta to deliver it to the president--a wish that his father granted and a memory he cherished.
A lifelong patriot, Hugh joined the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, serving in Grosseto, Italy. Upon his return home, he began a lengthy and successful career in the lumber industry in Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., first with Atlanta Oak Flooring Company then with McEwen Lumber Company, where he provided furniture manufacturers with fine hardwoods including cherry, mahogany, and exotic lumbers. Entrepreneurial by nature, Hugh developed properties throughout his career, including a beloved family home on Lake Norman outside Charlotte.
After several years of courtship, Hugh married Hazel Sword, of Rome, Ga., in 1952 in the Little Chapel of Atlanta's Glenn Memorial Church. Hazel and Hugh had two children: Hugh H. Shockley Jr. and Deserie Annette Shockley. Hugh was also step-father to Larry Shipman. Devoted parents, the two shared a love of family, entertaining, and the Georgia Bulldogs, with Hugh serving as president of Charlotte's Georgia Bulldog Club.
Hugh and Hazel returned to Georgia in 1983, where Hazel died in 1986 after a brief illness. Earlier that same year, Hugh and Hazel had become grandparents when Harris Brandon Goldberg was born in April.
Recalling his devotion, Hugh's grandson, Harris, said, "He never missed a grandparents day celebration at my school. He was my hero."
Hugh is survived by two sisters: Annette Riden, of Roswell, and Barbara Smith, of St. Simons Island; and two brothers: John Shockley, of Apalachee, and Peter Shockley, of Alexandria, Va. He was predeceased by one sister: Martha Kemp; and five brothers: Benjamin, Govan, Leonard, Ray, and Joseph Shockley.
The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 13, at Apalachee United Methodist Church, in Apalachee.
Those wishing to remember Hugh with a memorial contribution are encouraged to make a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project at www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
Published in Athens Banner-Herald on Mar. 13, 2014