John Karrh

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  • "Tobe and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Your father..."
    - Mrs. Ryan Macddonald
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John Randolph Coleman Karrh, Sr. - SWAINSBORO - John Randolph Coleman Karrh, Sr., 79, of Swainsboro, Georgia beloved husband of Paula French, entered into rest at Emanuel Medical Center on Sunday, November 18, 2012. A memorial service, A Celebration of Life, will be held for Mr. Karrh, on November 27 at Peebles-Curry Memorial Chapel of Durden-Hudson at 11:00 am, with The Rev. Curtis Johnson officiating and The Rev. Steve Larson and Father Raj Koppla assisting. The family will receive visitors on Monday, November, 26, from 5-7:00 pm at the funeral home. Interment will be in the Swainsboro City Cemetery. Honorary Pallbearers will be Middle Judicial Circuit Bar Association Members and Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church Members. Randy was born in Dallas, Texas on December 14, 1932 to William Monroe Karrh and Fannie Mae Coleman Karrh. He was the grandson of a pioneer Emanuel County settler, James Amascus (Tobe) Coleman. Raised in Swainsboro, Ga., he attended Emanuel County Elementary school, graduated from Darlington School for Boys in Rome, Ga., and graduated from Emory University in 1952. At Emory, he was selected for the Senior Honor Society, D.V.S., ODK and served as President of Sigma Alpha Epsilon for two terms. Also, he was a Southeastern AAU wrestling champion. He served in the National Guard of Georgia during the Korean conflict and for several years afterwards. He began law school at the University of Georgia but had to come home to run the family movie theater business when his father became ill. He later returned to law school at Emory University, graduating in 1962 with a LLB degree. At law school, he was a member of Moot Court and was President of the Student Bar Association. During his time at Emory Law, he met Paula French, an undergraduate at Emory from Columbus, Ga. and married her in 1961. He practiced law in Atlanta for a short time before returning home to continue his practice in Emanuel County. Beyond law, Randy was active in many business enterprises, including: founder of Emanuel County Bonded Warehouses, franchisee of Huddle House restaurants, and co-owner of the Dixie Amusement Company. He was also a pine tree farmer. He was involved in public service for many years as the Solicitor of Emanuel County, Referee of the Juvenile Court and as a State Representative to the Georgia Legislature from 1973-1984. He worked with his fellow members of the Judiciary committee and doctors throughout the state to create the Living Will law of Georgia. During his service as a State Representative, he obtained the final funding for the establishment of Emanuel County Junior College which is now East Georgia State College. He also helped obtain the funding for the State of Georgia to purchase Parrish Pond in Twin City, Ga., the current site of the George L. Smith State Park. His civic involvement included serving as the first president of the Emanuel Country Agri-Business council and he was instrumental in obtaining the agricultural show building located at the fairgrounds in Swainsboro. He was a charter member of the Commerce Club of Atlanta. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Citizens Bank of Swainsboro for almost thirty years. He served for over fifty years on the Board of Fulghum Industries of Wadley, Ga. Randy was a member of the Georgia Bar Association for over fifty years, serving for several terms on the board of governors. He served on the CSRA planning commission and was a member of Rotary for many years. Randy was a devout Episcopalian who served as a Vestry member and as Senior Warden of the Vestry of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church of Swainsboro, Ga. As a dedicated Christian, he worked hard to support many Christian organizations in Emanuel County and was ecumenical in his outlook. He loved old movies, having grown up running the reels at the Dixie Theater in Swainsboro. Randy was a talented orator with the ability to tell wonderful stories and jokes. He had an instinctive gift for politics and was a voracious reader. He was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. He believed in the American dream and was a source inspiration to many people. He loved his God, his family, his friends and the piney woods of Emanuel County. Survivors include: His Wife of 51 years: Paula French Karrh of Swainsboro, GA; Two Daughters: Gina Karrh and Heather Karrh both of College Park, GA; Three Sons: Randy Karrh Jr. of Hardeeville, SC, Gregory F. Karrh (Laura) of Bluffton, SC and Tobe C. Karrh (Melisa) of Swainsboro, GA; One Grandson: John Randolph Coleman Karrh, III; One Brother: Tobe C. Karrh of Swansboro, GA; Special sister-in-law, Alice French Brewer and Mary Anna Bone of Columbus, GA; Special brother-in-law, Christopher B. French of Columbus , Ga. and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, P O Box 525, Vidalia, GA 30475 or Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, C/O Daphne T. Elliott, P O Box 219, Swansboro, GA 30401 or The Salvation Army, 1384 Green St, Augusta, GA 30901. Condolences may be submitted online at Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors Savannah Morning News November 25, 2012 Please sign our Obituary Guest Book at
Funeral Home
Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors
206 East Pine Street
Swainsboro, GA 30401
(478) 237-2131
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Published in Savannah Morning News on Nov. 25, 2012
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