Mr. Thomas A. Glanton
Mr. Thomas A. Glanton, 102, of Newnan, Ga., died peacefully at his home on Dec. 18, 2013. He was born Nov. 4, 1911, on a working family farm in LaGrange, the oldest of five siblings who preceded him in death. He was the son of the late Thomas Abner and Rozelle Cleaveland Glanton. Thomas Glanton was an exceptional person on many levels. Because he lived to the age of 102 years old, his life story could be written as a history book. He was valedictorian of his class at Grantville High School in Coweta County and went to Auburn University at the age of 15, graduating in 1932, at the height of the Great Depression. His life was committed to education — first earning a degree in architecture followed by a BS in Education and a Master's Degree in School Administration. His mother was a teacher, as were all three of his sisters. His only brother died in World War II after being wounded by enemy fire in Italy. For 39 years, with the exception of four years of service in the U.S. Air Force, he was involved in public education. He coached athletics, taught science and mathematics, and eventually moved into administrative positions within the school system becoming one of the youngest principals ever in the state of Georgia. Mr. Glanton was employed by the Coweta County School System as the principal of the Grantville Public School for 35 years before his retirement in 1972. He received the ultimate honor when the old Grantville Elementary School was renamed Glanton Elementary in 1984. The newest school building just outside of downtown Grantville was also named Glanton Elementary School in 2007. He had an immeasurable impact on many lives in Coweta County during his years as an educator. His role as Girls Basketball Coach at Grantville High School and other athletic activities earned him a spot in the first class of inductees of the Coweta County Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. A veteran of WWII, he rose to lieutenant colonel and was selected to be one of 24 intelligence officers in charge of interviewing German prisoners of war and providing aerial intelligence analysis. He was in Europe on VE Day, celebrating the end of the Third Reich. He was a proud member of the “greatest generation,” men and women who fought not for fame and recognition, but because it was the right thing to do. He was a member of the Retired Officers Association and held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel at the time of his death. He was a man of strong Christian faith and a leader in his church, Grantville First United Methodist Church, where he served on the Administrative Board for 40 years and was a teacher in the Sunday School Department for 35 years. After retiring from education in 1972, his first and most enduring project was the chronicling of the Glanton ancestry. He traveled extensively over the years scouring court records to piece together family lineage. He then produced a multi-volume handwritten manuscript detailing his life and those of his ancestors. Even in his last days he still had a sharp mind and an incredible memory. He loved to be the center of attention as he retold stories of his childhood, growing up on the family farm in Troup County. He was an avid fan of Auburn University football. He kept his mind sharp with crossword puzzles and journaling. He loved, and was loved by, the staff at Savannah Court, an assisted living facility in Newnan, where he lived for over ten years. Mr. Glanton is survived by one son, Thomas P. Glanton, of Dallas; four grandchildren, David Malcom of St. George Island, FL, Wynn Glanton Grisham of Carrollton, Judi Meltzer Leib of West Hills, CA, Tom Glanton of Carrollton, and nine great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife of 71 years, Juliette (Judy) Baker Glanton and his daughter, Sharon Glanton Meltzer, age 77. Funeral arrangements will be directed and coordinated by Claude A. McKibben and Sons Funeral Home of Hogansville, in cooperation with McKoon Funeral Home in Newnan. The family will receive visitors at McKoon Funeral Home on Friday, Dec. 27, from 6 - 8 p.m. A celebration of his life will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 28, at the Grantville First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Blair Tolbert officiating. Pall Bearers will be Pete Glanton, David Malcom, Blake Malcom, Clay Malcom, Bryan Veal, and Matt Veal. Members of the VFW and the American Legion will serve as Honorary Pall Bearers. The Military Honor Guard from Fort Benning, Columbus, will perform the military funeral honors. Interment will be at the Hillview East Cemetery in LaGrange. In lieu of flowers, the family of Thomas Glanton asks that you remember him with a gift to his church, Grantville First UMC, P.O. Box 95, Grantville, GA 30220. Condolences may be expressed at www.mckibbenfuneralhome.com .