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May 19, 2014

George Flowers McCranie III

WILLACOOCHEE —

WILLACOOCHEE — George Flowers McCranie III, 93, passed away Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta from complications of a stroke.
He was born in Willacoochee Nov. 13, 1920 to George Flowers and Margaret Ellen (Madge) Baker McCranie Jr. He was a lifelong resident of Willacoochee.
He graduated from Willacoochee High School in 1938. His graduating class consisted of three boys, including Mr. McCranie, and three girls. He attended college at Gordon Military College in Barnesville and South Georgia College in Douglas. Mr. McCranie was a World War II United States Army veteran.  
He was a prominent naval stores operator, tree farmer and businessman. He was the middle McCranie brother who as teenagers built the McCranie Turpentine Still in 1936. The turpentine still is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The brothers took turns working in order to send one another to college. He and his brothers, Baker and Shasta, were in a business partnership for 78 years. Together they owned and operated the McCranie Turpentine Still, McCranie Brothers Wood Preserving and McCranie Brothers Farms.  
Mr. McCranie served his community as a member of the Willacoochee City Council, was an Atkinson County School Board member for 26 years, and was a founding member of the Atkinson County Housing Authority on which he served for 58 years. He was an honorary member of the Georgia Young Farmers Association, and he and his wife enjoyed showing off their dancing skills at the annual conventions.  
He was a lifelong traveler.  When he was 13, he and his family traveled to Chicago, Ill. to the 1933 World's Fair.  He and his brothers were given 75 cents per day to take in the attractions.  He went to Europe numerous times. His favorite trip was to Venice and Florence, Italy where he was able to visit the burial site of his best friend, Thurston Ivey, at the World War II Italian-American Cemetery outside Florence. He visited every state in the union and sailed through the Panama Canal.  He, his son Greg, and friend James Carter traveled to Kennedy Space Center to witness the launch of Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969.

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