Obituaries for March 22, 2018

John Vaughn Ard

March 16, 2018


John Vaughn Ard, a 40-year communications specialist for the Georgia Department of Labor, a devoted husband, and a man who loved God and radiated a concern for others, died Friday at Northside Hospital of complications following surgery. He was 76.

 The son of the late Viola and David Ard of Eatonton, John developed an early love of writing and had articles published in The Eatonton Messenger while still in high school. After attending Young Harris College, he earned a journalism degree from the University of Georgia, where he was sports editor of the Red and Black.

John served in the U.S. Army as a chaplain’s assistant in Germany and afterward worked briefly in the Atlanta Journal sports department and for two years as a writer and publicist for the Presbyterian Center.

He joined the Georgia Department of Labor in the late 1970s and was still working there at the time of his death as a senior communications specialist. His friendliness and helpfulness made him an ideal media specialist, and he was well-respected among journalists throughout Georgia. 

John’s exuberant yet gracious personality made him a spiritual leader at Wieuca Road Baptist Church, where he was a deacon for more than 30 years. Many members were welcomed to Wieuca for the first time by John’s boyish smile and firm handshake. He loved meeting people and served as a church greeter for decades. He also loved going to God in prayer and spent hours each week in the church prayer room praying for the sick and grieving and others needing God’s care.

John and his wife of 37 years, Mary Carol, enjoyed the North Georgia mountains and spending time with family. John was an avid sports fan and continued to write player features on UGA and Georgia Tech football players for their local newspapers each fall. 

John is survived by his wife, Mary Carol Harris Ard; brother-in-law, Bob Harris (Maigread) of Drumkeerin, Ireland; sister-in-law, Ruth Barker (Greg) of St. Simons Island;  his mother-in-law, Ruth Harris of Hogansville; nephew Daniel Harris; niece Lillian Harris; cousin Evan Carnes of Monroe; several step-brothers and sisters; a dear friend, Sam Hall of Pine Mountain; and many other close friends and co-workers.

The funeral service was conducted at 1:00 p.m., Monday, March 19, at Union Baptist Church in the St. Marks Community of Meriwether County. The Reverend Dr. Wright Culpepper officiated and interment was in the church cemetery. 

A memorial service will be conducted at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, March 22, at Wieuca Road Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Condolences may be expressed at  

Claude A. McKibben and Sons Funeral Home of Hogansville were in charge of arrangements.

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