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Olin Ernest Gunter

Mr. Rev. Dr. Olin Ernest Gunter, age 97, of Barnesville, passed away on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, at his residence. He was the oldest of eight children born to Ralph Howard Gunter and Dollie White Gunter. He grew up in Southeast Atlanta (Cabbagetown) and attended Grant Park Elementary School. Because of the Great Depression of 1929, he had to leave school to go to work to help support his family working as a grocery delivery boy on a bicycle. He worked several jobs before he was old enough to work in Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill. In 1935, he met Pearlie Mae Miner while she was caring for the children of her cousin who was also working at the mill. To date Pearlie Mae he had to go to her church, Brown Memorial Baptist, in Northwest Atlanta. They dated for over a year and were married in August 1936. He learned quickly and moved up in positions in cotton mills in Atlanta, Thomaston and Crawford, Ga. Three children were born to Olin and Pearlie; Paul Howard in 1937, Evelyn Marie in 1939, and Danny Olin in 1944. In early 1945, Olin enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served until the end of World War II. After his Naval service he returned to Atlanta and worked many different jobs, including street car, trolley and bus driver, insurance salesman, radio and television repairman, carpenter and a loom fixer in the cotton mill. While working as the foreman for U-Haul trailers in Atlanta, he taught himself how to weld. He then took a job as a welder for Auto-Soler/Auto Nailer Co. in Atlanta. He then learned new welding techniques at Georgia Tech. While still serving as the “difficult projects” welder for the company, he became the head of the maintenance department and held that position until he retired at age 70. After retirement the company continued to call him back as a consultant whenever difficult problems arose. A life long learner, he took his high school classes in night school in the late ‘˜30s. Although he attended church with his parents and wife, he did not surrender his life to Jesus until 1949 when he was baptized and joined Friendship Baptist Church in Atlanta. He was led by the Lord to preach so he took night school classes at Immanuel Bible College. After he was ordained and licensed to preach, he became the assistant pastor at Cherokee Avenue Baptist Church in Atlanta. He served as an assistant pastor at two other churches before accepting the call as pastor of Brown Memorial Baptist Church in Atlanta in June of 1967. He served in that position for 16 years before retiring. All the years that he served in churches, he was still working his other full time job. In 1979, Olin and Pearlie moved from Southeast Atlanta to Mableton, Ga. In 1992 they moved to Barnesville, Ga., next to their oldest son, Paul Howard Gunter. Pearlie Mae died in 2001. In April 2011, a tornado destroyed his home and killed his son Paul and daughter-in-law Ellen. After recovering in the hospital and nursing home he moved in with his younger son Danny in September 2011, where he lived until his death. When they moved to Barnesville, he became active in local activities. They were active members of the First Baptist Church of Barnesville, where he taught a Sunday school class before sickness prevented it. He served as the president of the local AARP chapter and was a member of the Young at Heart Club. He is survived by his daughter, Evelyn Marie Weese of Lithia Springs; son, Danny Olin Gunter of Barnesville; 16 grandchildren and many great-, great-great and great-great-great grandchildren, along with several nieces and nephews. His personal studies never stopped, so that through correspondence studies he earned a doctorate degree in Biblical studies. Funeral services for Mr. Olin Ernest Gunter will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013 at the First Baptist Church of Barnesville with Rev. Garth Forster officiating. Interment will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, 2013 at Resthaven Memorial Gardens in Decatur, Ga. The family will receive friends at Williams Funeral Home Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Those who wish to do so may view the memorial page and sign the online guestbook at williamsfh.net. Williams Funeral Home of Barnesville is in charge of arrangements, 770-358-1678.

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