In 1946, Luck Flanders graduated from Swainsboro High School. In 1959, Ada Lee Fulford graduated from Swainsboro High School. Both of these bright, young ladies could have had no idea of the life that lay before them, but each one left Swainsboro with the determination to wring every drop of promise and possibility out of the future. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that this sort of spirit would naturally be noticed by some like-minded young gentlemen.
So, we like to think these two “great” partnerships got their start in Emanuel County. David Gambrell married Luck Flanders, and A.D. “Pete” Correll married Ada Lee Fulford. Both ladies would make nurturing homes, raise families, face the customary challenges that come along, and oh, by the way, would manage to make this world an infinitely better place in which to live for literally thousands of people, young and old. And that’s only half of the story.
Last week at a Memorial Service for Pete Correll, his own written words were, “I just wanted to be useful.” In his lifetime, he served more organizations, large and small, with his time, his energy, and his financial support than could ever be completely known. His work ranges from building Boys and Girls Clubs to the mammoth job of saving Grady Hospital in Atlanta. Here in Swainsboro, Mr. Correll provided the means for the building and administration of the Sudie A. Fulford Community Learning Center. This project was a gift to Ada Lee to honor her mother, Sudie Fulford, who many of us here still remember. He and Ada Lee have also provided scholarships for students at East Georgia State College for the past several years through the Correll Scholars Program.
Senator Dave Gambrell was a long-time “adopted son” of Emanuel County. He loved spending time here and was a true conservationist, tree farmer, and historical hobbyist. Along with his wife, Luck, Senator Gambrell was also instrumental in supporting East Georgia State College in major ways, as well as the community in general. He worked to provide the federal funding for the Harmon Park complex and worked with many local groups and agencies in promoting Swainsboro and Emanuel County. In 2008, he was honored with the Pioneer Award by the Swainsboro/Emanuel County Joint Development Authority. His interest and love for Emanuel County was always clear to see.
Our community has been richly blessed with the love and support of so many throughout its history. Whether through influence or means of finance or just good volunteer work and effort, we should always remember that each one of us has something to give. In the past conversations I was honored to have with these “great” ladies and their husbands, I think that is what they all believe and would want us to know.