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Emery A. "Deac" Maddox Jr.

Emery A. "Deac" Maddox, Jr.

Emery A. "Deac" Maddox, Jr., age 89, died July 21, 2013. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Martha Wheeler Maddox, and three children: Kim, Kerry, and Rod Maddox, all of Tallahassee. Other members of the family include Rod's wife Susan and their two daughters, Maggie and Nolan, and Kerry's daughter Amelia. He is also survived by his brother Guy M. Maddox and children Mickey and Trish, in Johnson City, Tennessee. His funeral service will be held at St. John's Episcopal Church on Thursday, July 25, 2013, at 3:00 p.m. Following the service, the family will gather with friends for a celebration of his life at Alfriend Hall behind the church.

Emery Maddox was born in Apalachicola and christened there at Trinity Episcopal Church. His family then moved to Tallahassee and joined St. John's Episcopal Church. Some of "Deac's" happiest memories were of his childhood in Magnolia Heights on East Park Avenue between Franklin Boulevard and Magnolia Avenue. A graduate of Leon High School, he lettered in varsity baseball. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1942-1945 aboard three different ships in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Pacific war theaters. His war years were a very meaningful part of his life, and he and his children have compiled many of his stories into a document that will be treasured always.

After the war, with the support of the GI Bill, he was among the first male students to attend Florida State. At the time, the Florida State College for Women (FSCW) did not admit men, so they were enrolled as the "Tallahassee Branch of the University of Florida" (TBUF), which became Florida State University the next year. On the first day of registration, he met Martha Wheeler and they were married on June 6, 1948.He was in the first graduating class of FSU, earning both his bachelor's and master's degrees there. During that time, he also played semi-pro baseball as a member of the Tallahassee Capitals Baseball Club in the late 1940's. Emery spent most of his business career in the telephone industry, serving almost 30 years with Southeastern/Centel/Sprint companies. His last position there was as Operations Planning Manager. He was a Jaycee, past-President of the Capital City Kiwanis Club, and past-President of the Florida Independent Pioneer Telephone Association.

What his family remembers most is his love of his wife and kids, the outdoors, and Apalachicola bay oysters. He was a dedicated family man and taught his kids how to skateboard, water-ski, walk on stilts, and to ride horses at the family farm. The family spent summer vacations camping, mainly in North Carolina, and he loved every minute of those trips. In recent days when reminiscing about those years, he said "we had fun." After the kids were grown, he and Martha continued to enjoy traveling, most often to national parks around the U.S.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Big Bend Hospice (1723 Mahan Center Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32308); Alzheimer's Project of Tallahassee (301 E. Tharpe St., Tallahassee, FL 32303); St. John's Episcopal Church (211 N. Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32301); or to a favored charity.

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Published in Tallahassee Democrat on July 23, 2013
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