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Mary Leonora Ginn

Mary Leonora Ginn, 97, died peacefully from a stroke on Monday, July 19, 2021 at Brightmoor Hospice. A Barnesville resident for 96 years, Ms. Ginn was born in Macon, GA on July 4, 1924 to the late Vera Rudisill and Grover Cleveland Ginn. Her family moved to Barnesville in 1925. After she graduated from high school and junior college, she went to work as a clerk at Robins Air Force Base during World War II. After the war, she worked in the payroll department of the William Carter Company until she retired in 1986. Since then, she had over 20 jobs/volunteer work, including a substitute teacher, a poll worker, a newspaper columnist, a waitress and a piano player, just to name a few. Ms. Ginn was a member of Barnesville First United Methodist Church for 87 years, joining the church on Easter Sunday 1934. Leonora taught Sunday school for 37 years, beginning in the nursery and then teaching in every department. She chaired both the 150th and 175th celebration of the church. Ms. Ginn made numerous contributions to the Barnesville community and was the first president of the local historical society, which was instrumental in saving the 1913 railroad depot from demolition. The society started Buggy Days and she was the chairperson of Barnesville’s 150th anniversary celebration in 1976. She also served on the Friendship Force under President Carter and was appointed by Governors Harris, Miller and Barnes to represent the elderly on the State Health Strategy team. She served three terms on the Barnesville City council from 1992 – 2003 and was so very proud that the City of Barnesville renamed her street Swatts-Ginn Street. Ms. Ginn deeply loved her hometown and was known as the Barnesville historian. She authored seven books beginning in 1973, all of which dealt with Barnesville and Lamar County history. Leonora grew up on Elm Street where many of the stories in her books such as ‘The Wrap Around Porch and The Kitchen Table’ and ‘The Chinaberry Tree’ took place. Her favorite time period was the 1920s through World War II. Leonora said her most poignant memory is June 6, 1944, ‘when everybody in town was on their knees praying for our soldiers as they liberated France from the Germans.’ Known for her high heels, Leonora was an extra in 15 movies including ‘ Driving Miss Daisy’, ‘Cold Sassy Tree’ and ‘Fried Green Tomatoes.’ She was also known for being on the radio talking about Barnesville history, as well as recording ‘On the Road with Leonora.’ Leonora was predeceased by five siblings, two died in infancy and one sister died at age nine. Her brothers Grover died in 2001 and Calvin died in 2005. Leonora is survived by seven nieces and nephews who loved her dearly: Clint Ginn (Jenny), Cal Ginn (Gala), Lori Martin, Jack Ginn (Jodie), Michael Ginn (Cathy), Lisa Rowell (Randy), Lana Lee (Brandon). She is also survived by many great nieces and nephews: Thomas, Jason, Abbegale, Leslie, Lewis, Nic (Stephanie), Avery, Alexis, Catie (Shane), Cassie, Anslee (John), Kristen (T.J.); as well as great-great nieces and nephews: Bethany, Brandon, Layla, Ellie, Aislynn, Eli, Athens, Coast, Auckland and Lisbon. Funeral services for Ms. Mary Leonora Ginn will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 24, 2021 in the Breedlove Memorial Chapel with Rev. Cyndi McDonald officiating. Friends may visit the family on Friday, July 23 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be held in Harris County. Memorials may be given in Leonora’s memory to Barnesville First United Methodist Church. To make an online condolence, please visit Williams-Westbury Funeral Home, 526 College Drive, Barnesville is serving the Ginn family.

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