Dr. George C. Coley, age 73, of Unicoi, TN, died on Sunday, June 30, 2013.
George was born in 1940 and raised in Erwin, TN, and was the son of John Palmer and Janie Ramey Coley.
He graduated from Unicoi County High School with honors and attended East Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee for his bachelor’s degree, where he graduated Suma Cum Laude.
During this time he married Mary Love Garland Coley and they started their marriage in Altus, Oklahoma, where he served in the United States Air Force. They had their first son there. After leaving the service he attended the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy-Memphis and worked at Baptist Hospital while attending school. They had their second child during that time.
George graduated in 1965 as Salutatorian of his class, Vice-President of the Rho Chi Honor Society, and a member of the Phi Delta Chi Fraternity. He missed graduating first in his class by only one point and was always proud of the fact that he had done this while working and supporting his family.
After graduating he began his career in Pharmacy working in Greeneville, Newport and Maryville, TN, where they had their third child. Following in his father’s footsteps, he settled with his family in Erwin, TN, in 1969 where he owned and operated the Coley’s Saving Center Pharmacy for over 20 years. After closing his pharmacy, he worked for Rite Aid, CVS, K-Mart, and Walgreens until his retirement.
Dr. Coley was raised in the First Baptist Church but on returning to Erwin joined the First Christian Church, where he serviced faithfully for many years as both a Deacon and an Elder. He was a compassionate and willing disciple who gave of his time, leadership and knowledge freely. George was known for his beautiful and eloquent prayers and he was much loved by his church family.
While making a home in Erwin, George served his community as an Alderman and in his younger days was a member of the Civitan Club. Many of his contributions and good deeds would go unnoticed because he rarely spoke of them and did them anonymously, but to those who were touched, his kindness will not be forgotten.
Dr. Coley loved God, his family, his friends and his pets. When he wasn’t working he enjoyed watching UT sports, reading his Bible and poetry, and enjoying the great outdoors hiking, fishing, hunting and camping with his family and friends. He could often be seen hiking the Rocky Fork Falls area with his dogs.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Love Coley, of 49 years; his parents John Palmer and Janie Ramey Coley; and his sister, Jean Bolden, of Jacksonville, Fl.
His is survived by his three children, Stephen Lee Coley, of Unicoi, TN, G. Michael Coley, of Cross Plains, TN, and Martha Love Coley, of Erwin, TN; and four grandchildren, Savannah Coley, Jarrod Coley, Annika Kaylee Coley and Cade Michael Coley. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
His life as a devoted husband, father, grandfather, friend and pharmacist will be celebrated with a service to be held on Saturday, July 6, 2013, at 2:00 p.m. at the First Christian Church, 307 South Main Avenue, Erwin, TN.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Johnson City chapter of the American Heart Association.