Family-Placed Death Notice
JOHNNY RICHARD CARSON SR. SOCIAL CIRCLE - Johnny Richard Carson Sr., 79, of Greshamville, died Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at Abbey Hospice in Social Circle. Born Jan. 31, 1930 in the Cabbagetown area of Atlanta, he was son of the late Clyde and Annie Hayes Carson and grandson of country music pioneer, Georgia Country Music Hall of Fame member Fiddlin' John Carson. An exceptional athlete, he led high school basketball, baseball and golf teams to multiple state titles. He was a member of three SEC championship golf teams at the University of Georgia and was the only athlete in UGA history and last in NCAA Division I history to letter in four different sports (football, golf, basketball, baseball). He was the first of only two two-sport All-Americans from UGA, honored for golf 1951 and football in 1953. He was the second member ever inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame (1957) and was inducted into the UGA Circle of Honor in 2003. A seven-year NFL playing career preceded 35 years as a scout for the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings before retiring in 1996 to Greene County. Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Julia Elizabeth "Betsy" Carson of Greshamville; son, Johnny Carson, Jr.; daughter, Dianne Thomas and husband Bruce of Social Circle; grandchildren, Julia Thomas, Cody Thomas, Mary Hannah Thomas and Caleb Thomas, all of Social Circle, Joshua Carson of Greensboro, N.C., Laura Carson of Pinehurst, N.C. Memorial services will be Saturday, April 4, 2009 at 3:00 PM at Lord and Stephens Chapel, WEST, 1211 Jimmy Daniel Road, Bogart, GA 30622. Dr. Jon Appleton will officiate. Honorary guests will be Wally's Boys and Roosevelt High School Alumni '48 -'49. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Saturday from 1:00 until 3:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Histiocytosis Association of America, 332 North Broadway, Pitman, New Jersey 08071
Published in Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Apr. 3, 2009.