Obituaries for Aug. 24, 2017

Michael Pittman Burdette
Mr. Michael Pittman Burdette passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side Saturday, August 19, 2017.
A celebration of his life was held Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at Williams Funeral Home Chapel in Milledgeville.
Mr. Burdette was a native of Athens, growing up there before moving to Snellville, where he spent most of his adult life. He worked with building materials sales. He had made his home in Eatonton for the past 14 years on Lake Sinclair. Mr. Burdette was a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, and was predeceased by his wife, Janet Lynn Gentry Burdette, and his parents, Milton and Marcelle Benton Burdette.
Survivors include his children; Britteny (Corey) Barron of Clarkesville, Courtney (Ken) Welch of Madison, and Patrick (Shannon) Burdette of Woodstock; a brother, Gerry (Deborah) Burdette of Athens; seven grandchildren, Dakota, Caleb and Ansley Barron, Brandon and Matthew Burdette, Kerrigan and Cole Welch.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the GBM Research, The American Brain Tumor Association, 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. # 550, Chicago, IL 60631;
Please visit and express online condolences. Williams Funeral Home & Crematory of Milledgeville had charge of arrangements

Emily Ann Harper Knight
March 26, 1946 - August 16, 2017
Mrs. Emily Ann Harper Knight, age 71, passed away Wednesday, August 16, 2017.
Funeral services were Saturday August 19, 2017 at Central Methodist Church in Eatonton.
Mrs. Knight was born March 26, 1946 in Eatonton. She was the daughter of the late Charles Harper and Carrie Belle Smith Harper. She loved gardening and the outdoors. She was a loving mother and grandmother who cared deeply for her family and friends. Mrs. Knight had a passion for caring for the elderly. She was a member of Central Methodist Church and was preceded in death by her husband, William Orris Knight, Jr.
Survivors include a daughter, Donna (Ray) Weeks of Jackson; two sons, William (Donna) Knight and C.G. (Holly) Knight, both of Eatonton; two sisters, Janice Lankford and Ellen Layson, both of Eatonton; seven grandchildren, C.G. Knight, Jr., Cody Austin Knight, Cyleigh Knight, T.W. Thomas, Stella Wall, Tyler Armstrong, Carson McMillian; and four great-grandchildren, Cameron Bonner, Chloe Bonner, Michael Thomas, Taylor Thomas McKenzie Thomas
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to Central Methodist Church in Eatonton.
Please visit to express online condolences and sign the guestbook.
Williams Funeral Home of Eatonton had charge of arrangements.

Milton Gardner, Sr.
Mr. Milton Frederick Gardner, Sr., age 94, passed away Monday, August 21, 2017.
Funeral services were Thursday, August 24, 2017 in Williams Funeral Home Chapel in Milledgeville with Rev. Jerry Bradley and Rev. Larry Glover officiating. Interment followed in Memory Hill Cemetery.
Milton was born in Eatonton in 1923 to the late Charles Arthur Gardner and Alma Whitten Gardner and grew up during the great depression. In hard times, Milton’s father mortgaged the family home, but could not make the payments. As a teenager Milton took a job in the aluminum plant and made the house payments himself. When the debt was paid off, his father put the house in Milton's name. At the beginning of World War II, Milton was inducted into the U.S. Navy. Before leaving The United States, he received a medal for bravery and a promotion to the rank of Corporal for diving into Boston Harbor in winter to save a drowning sailor. He then served on LST 742 in the South Pacific until the war’s end. After the war, Milton obtained a law degree from Atlanta Law School and began his law practice in Milledgeville in 1947. In this era, defendants were often sentenced to death for offenses that did not involve a homicide. Lawyers in that time were court appointed to represent indigent defendants without pay. Nevertheless, Milton invariably did his best in many unpopular causes, even though for years, he was not paid anything. Milton tried scores of murder cases. None of his clients were ever sentenced to death. In Court, he had an understated style. He always said that he was not there to impress anyone, but only to advance his client’s cause. His most famous client was the American Spy Pilot, Francis Gary Powers, whom he represented in a divorce trial.
Milton practiced law for nearly seventy years, serving as Judge of the State Court of Baldwin County, Attorney for the City of Milledgeville, president of the Baldwin County Bar Association as well as was a member of the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia. After 1979, he partnered with his son, Milton F. Gardner, Jr. and the two tried many cases together. In 2001, the Supreme Court of Georgia presented Milton the Amicus Curiae award for outstanding service. Milton was also a real estate developer; he had many projects and several partnerships, most notably with his friend I. M. “Sonny” Goldstein. The firm of Gardner and Goldstein developed North Woods Estates and many other subdivisions. Despite his financial success, he lived very modestly. His frugality was limited entirely to himself; he was extraordinarily generous with other people. He would often give a hand out to anyone he thought needed help. An old man once said that Milton's hand was “always open” when somebody needs money and "the Lord will lay some money in it." Possessions did not matter to him. Above all, he was passionately dedicated to his family.
Milton was a member of Benevolent Lodge as a Master Mason and was a member of The First Baptist Church of Milledgeville. He was preceded in death by a sister, Joyce Gardner Griffin and a brother, Charlie Arthur Gardner Jr.
His most successful partnership was with his wife, Joyce Daniel Gardner, who survives him. They were married for sixty nine years; a son, Milton Frederick "Rick" Gardner, Jr.; a daughter, Gail Gardner Arnold; four grandchildren, Michael J. Arnold, Daniel S. Gardner, Meredith K. Gardner, Amelia Joyce Gardner; and a great-grandchild Milton Gaynor Arnold, all of Milledgeville.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Masonic Children's Home.
Visit us at to express online condolences.
Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Milledgeville had charge of arrangements.

Luke Paradise
Mr. Lucius "Luke" Oscar Paradise, 84, passed away Monday, August 21, 2017.
Funeral services were conducted Thursday, August 24, 2017 in the Chapel of Williams Funeral Home of Milledgeville with Dr. Frank Hutcheson officiating. Interment followed in Union Hill Cemetery.
Mr. Paradise was a native of Lincolnton, but had made his home in Eatonton for the past 40 years. He was the son of the late Osborne Bartow Paradise and Etta Mae Shope Paradise Jackson. He owned and operated Paradise Landscaping and was a member and Deacon of Bethel Baptist Church, and a member of the Local 926 Operating Engineers. He was preceded in death by his wife, Thelma Mae Bonner Paradise; a son, Raymond Paradise; and grandson, Rick Paradise.
Survivors include his daughter, Tammy Green (Tim) of Eatonton; two sons, Ricky Paradise of Eatonton, and Dennis Paradise (Teresa) of Toomsboro; four sisters, Ann Wilson of Macon, Frances Sandifer of Chicamagua, Reba Hice (Ronnie) of Lafayette, and Jackie Spurling of Lafayette; four grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
A special thank you to Elaine Rainey and all that assisted in our daddy's care.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to Regency Southern Care Hospice, 478-476-4627.
Please visit to express online condolences.
Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Milledgeville had charge of arrangements.

Tony Parham
August 3, 1956 - August 14, 2017

Tony Parham age 61, of Eatonton passed away Monday, August 14, 2017.
Mr. Parham was born in Eatonton August 3, 1956 to the late Reuben Eugene and Georgia Howard Newman Parham. He was preceded in death by his brother, Buddy Parham and his nephew, Tod Carnes. Mr. Parham had worked as a dairyman and also in the construction industry. He was a member of Lake Shore Community Church. Mr. Parham loved riding horses, enjoyed fishing and snow skiing.
Funeral services were Thursday, August 17, 2017 in Vining Ivy Hill Chapel with burial following in Pine Grove Cemetery.
Survivors include two sisters, Joyce Parham (Wayne) Burgamy of Milledgeville, Linda Parham Merkey of Key West, FL; two brothers, Frankie (Medina) Crowe and Wayne (Dawn) Parham, both of Eatonton; a devoted cousin and friend, Randy Huff; three nephews and nine nieces.
Vining Ivy Hill Chapel had charge of the arrangements.

Henry Kyle Watterson
January 13, 1942 - July 31, 2017
Henry Kyle Watterson, age 75, of Duluth, GA passed away July 31, 2017 after a lengthy illness.
Graveside memorial services will be held at Pine Grove Cemetery in Eatonton, GA Saturday, August 26th at 11:30am.
Mr. Watterson was born January 13, 1942, to William Henry Watterson and Norma Williford Watterson and was a descendant of the Adams and Flournoy families which were among the earliest settlers of Putnam County. He was a 1961 graduate of Putnam County High School. He proudly served in the US Navy aboard the USS Forrestal and was selected as “Sailor of the Month” during his tour. He was employed with the US Postal Service for several years before moving to Kannapolis, North Carolina, which was his home for nearly 40 years. He was an active member of Memorial United Methodist Church in Kannapolis and was named “Man of the Year” in 2005. He volunteered for many community activities and especially enjoyed working with “Meals on Wheels.”
Survivors include a brother, Bill Watterson (Joan) of Alpharetta, GA; a niece, Elizabeth Watterson Rushton (Matt); a “Grand Niece,” Elizabeth Jane Rushton, all of Cumming, GA and a cousin, Haley Hyatt (Barry) of Valdosta, GA.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Uncle Remus Museum, P.O. Box 3184, Eatonton, GA 31024, Memorial United Methodist Church, 100 W “C” Street, Kannapolis, NC 28081 or to The First United Methodist Church, 104 W. Magnolia St. Eatonton, GA 31024.

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