Lynda Cowart Talmadge, 85


Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors announces the death of Mrs. Lynda Cowart Talmadge, age 85, of Twin City, on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, peacefully at her home after a lengthy illness. Funeral services were conducted Friday, May 17, at 11 a.m. in the Twin City First Baptist Church with Reverend Franklin Sasser officiating. Family received friends one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment followed in the Twin City-Coleman Cemetery in Twin City.

Pallbearers were Joseph Cowart, Dr. Loy D. Cowart, III, Mitchell B. Johnson, Rayburn G, Johnson, David Cowart Pierce and Samuel Murphy Pierce.

Born April 7, 1939, Lynda was raised on an Emanuel County dairy farm where she learned a strong work ethic and to love the Lord at an early age. She graduated from Emanuel County Institute in Twin City where 4-H played a large part in her education and earned her Bachelor of Science in Home Economics degree from the University of Georgia in 1961. Upon graduation, Lynda worked for many years with the UGA Cooperative Extension Service as an Extension Home Economist serving in both rural and urban counties. She also taught high school home economics. As a professional home economist, Lynda believed that education was the key to change in society and spent her professional career teaching life skills to hundreds. She continued her service by serving as President of the UGA Family and Consumer Sciences Alumni Association from 1984-1986, member of the Henry County Medical Foundation Board, and as a member of the Board of Trustees for East Georgia State College. In 2018, when the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences celebrated its centennial, Lynda was named one of the top 100 graduates and was celebrated for her professional accomplishments.

Lynda was the widow of the former Georgia Governor and later Senator Herman E. Talmadge. She married Senator Talmadge in 1984 and enjoyed an active and interesting life as the wife of a retired politician for almost two decades. During these years, Lynda described herself as “The Home Economist in Residence” at their home near Lovejoy, Georgia, where she and the Senator entertained numerous friends and family. Their entertaining also extended nationally as they welcomed politicians from every branch of government into their home and their lives. Prior to her marriage to Senator Talmadge, Lynda was married to the Rev. Franklin Pierce, a Methodist minister who was commissioned into the US Army. The couple lived, and raised their son, David, at many Army bases including four years spent in West Germany. While serving as an officer’s wife, she was active in many base activities such as the Officers’ Wives’ Club, Red Cross, and several chapel groups.

Lynda was the consummate southern hostess. After having a rewarding career and active social life, she returned to Twin City, where she purchased and renovated her dream home. Lynda spent her remaining years opening this carefully curated and beloved residence to many, ensuring each guest was extended her best, genteel hospitality. With her Georgia drawl, regal appearance, and graceful essence, Lynda epitomized a southern lady and leaves this world better because of her presence. Mrs. Talmadge is preceded in death by the late Senator Herman E. Talmadge; and her brother-in-law, Nick Johnson.

Survivors include her son, David Franklin Pierce (Christine) of Brunswick; grandsons, David Cowart Pierce and Samuel Murphy Pierce, both of Brunswick; brother, Loy D. Cowart, Sr. (Annie Jo) of Twin City; sister, Martha C. Johnson of Millen; nephews, Dr. Loy D. “Chip” Cowart, Jr. (Elizabeth), Joey Cowart (Ellen), Mitchell Johnson (Stephanie) and Rayburn Johnson (Dorie); nieces, Retha Lynn Hodges (Eddie) and Beth Bell (Mike); and a host of great nieces and nephews, all of whom she adored.

The family is appreciative of all the love and care shown to Lynda during her final years by a number of caretakers.

Lynda loved to grow, give, and receive flowers, but she was also philanthropic. If moved to do so, please donate to her named endowment she created at UGA to assist FACS students. Please make checks payable to The UGA Foundation, designate the Lynda C. Talmadge Scholarship on the memo line, and mail to: FACS Development, 224 Dawson Hall, UGA, Athens, GA 30602.

An additional charity supported by Lynda is the Emanuel County 4-H Foundation, Louise Cowart Scholarship, 129 N Anderson Drive, Swainsboro, GA 30401.

Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors was in charge of arrangements.