Early Life

Growing up in Millen, Georgia

“To be able to grow your own food was very meaningful.”

“His mother and father passed away by the time he was eleven years old. So, he was raised by his grandfather. He had two brothers. He was the oldest of the three. Grew up during the Great Depression down in the rural south, and they were farmers.

He shared how difficult it was growing up at that time and lack of amenities. And it was across the board. There were no jobs. There was limited access to travel. Basically, people were land based, and to be able to have a farm and grow your own food was very meaningful.

And my father often talked about the heat of being raised in South Georgia, and the lack of amenities that one would have. If you think back in the twenties, thirties— no air conditioning, no running water basically, other than a well from which one would have to draw water, things like that. But not having a mother and father when one is age eleven, and being raised by a grandfather is also something that helped mold him as well. The one thing I am confident of was his faith, and that that helped to develop his focus in later life."