Lane Van Arsdell

Lane Michael Van Arsdell, 14, the beloved son and only child of Dr. Kent and Joan Van Arsdell of Calhoun, tragically died in an accident on his family’s property on March 23—doing what he loved most, riding his dirt bike! Although Lane was wearing his helmet, it is believed that he died almost instantly when for some reason he lost control and the KTM motorbike crashed into a tree along the driveway.

Born on Dec. 9, 2002, in Knoxville, Tenn., Lane was a much prayed-for and cherished “miracle baby,” conceived after his parents struggled for years with infertility issues and miscarriages. Recognizing that he was a special gift from God, he was deeply loved by his entire family, friends, neighbors, church family and others associated with his father’s medical practice.

As a young child, Lane was an affectionate, outgoing, bright and inquisitive little boy who was fascinated by everything that had wheels and all forms of transportation. Even as a preschooler, he also displayed a strong interest in computers, mechanics and outdoor pursuits. Those interests and natural talents continued throughout his life, although over the years his early fascination with trains, trucks and construction vehicles was gradually replaced by a passion for anything he could drive himself (either now or in the future): bikes, go-carts, recreational vehicles, dirt bikes and cars.

Desiring to raise Lane in a more rural setting with access to great Christian schools, the Van Arsdell family moved from Knoxville to Calhoun in 2011, where Dr. Van Arsdell practices internal medicine with Gordon Internal & Family Medicine. The Van Arsdell family purchased a home on 18 acres, a boy’s paradise with a 5-acre pond, a barn with plenty of room for mechanical projects, and a long private driveway and many wooded trails for riding, playing and exploring. Lane attended Coble Elementary School, a Christian school where he made many close friends and was surrounded by caring teachers and staff. Currently a 7th grader, Lane was a good student and had many friends of all ages, but homework and trumpet practice were secondary interests to being outdoors, playing on his computer, his photography hobby, and above all else his dirt bikes and their maintenance and repairs.

The greatest comfort to his parents, family, friends and all who grieve Lane’s tragic death is that he loved Jesus and had recently committed his life to Christ, indicating his desire to prepare for baptism. In January, he began a weekly one-on-one Bible study with his grandfather, a retired pastor. On the very day of his death, right after school, Lane and “Papa” had a wonderful Bible study session and prayer together. We eagerly await the resurrection at Christ’s return, when we will be reunited with our precious Lane.

Lane’s immediate family members are his parents, Dr. Kent and Joan Van Arsdell, and his grandparents, Dr. Ronald and Jeannette Van Arsdell of Mesa, Ariz., and Pastor Larry and Joyce Milliken of Calhoun. Uncles and aunts include Brent Van Arsdell, Lance and Jarmila Van Arsdell, Scott and Kathleen (Milliken) Forner, and Carol (Milliken) Crosby. Lane’s first cousins are Matthew and David Forner, Natalie Crosby, and Amy and Julie Van Arsdell, and he is also mourned by many other extended family members across the United States and Canada, as well as by so many friends of all ages whose lives have been touched by him. Lane’s parents and family deeply appreciate all the many kind words, prayers, food and expressions of love and sympathy that have been extended to them.

A “Celebration of Life” service will be held on Saturday, April 1, at 4 p.m. at the Calhoun Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1411 Rome Road SW (Hwy 53 across from the Gordon County Fairgrounds). The service, primarily led by Pastor Larry Milliken and other members of the family, will also be live streamed on the church’s website and Facebook pages.

In lieu of flowers, Lane’s family has suggested that tax-deductible donations be made to “Lane’s Motorcycles for India Fund” via the Calhoun SDA Church, 1411 Rome Road SW, Calhoun, GA 30701. Every single dollar donated will go directly to purchasing motorbikes for pastors and Bible workers who lack transportation and need assistance in spreading the gospel into villages where the name of Christ has never been heard. Any checks should be made out to the Calhoun SDA Church directly, with “Lane’s Motorcycles for India” written on the memo line.

You may leave the family online condolences at

Thomas Funeral Home is in charge of the funeral arrangements for Lane Michael Van Arsdell.

James Moss

Mr. James Arthur Moss, 89, of Calhoun, passed away Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at his home, following several years of declining health. He was born in Gordon County on Aug. 2, 1927, son of the late Grover Downey Moss and the late Clara Kate Knight Moss. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Ila Moss in 2014; brothers and sister-in-law, Sam Moss, and G.D. and Alice Moss; and sisters and brothers-in-law, Julia Lou and Lee Hunt, and Clara Bess and Larkin Weaver.

Mr. Moss was a retired Independent Insurance Agent and was co-owner of Calhoun Insurance Agency. He attended Red Bud schools and was a veteran, serving his country in the U.S. Army during WWII and Korea. He was a member of Belmont Baptist Church and the “Scrap Iron Sunday School Class.”

Survivors include his daughters and son-in-law, Sherry Walraven, and Angie and Bobby Reeves; his brothers and sisters-in-law, Truett and Yvonne Moss, Lawrence and Margie Moss, and Hazel Moss, all of Calhoun; grandchildren, Jason and Belinda Walraven, Heath Walraven, Christy Reeves and Stan McWaters, Kari and Vince Layson, and Tonya Reeves Turner; and great-grandchildren, Daniel Walraven, Hailey Walraven, Parks Layson, Reeves Layson, Ezekiel Walraven, Michaela Walraven, and Abby Kate Turner.

Services to honor the life of Mr. James Arthur Moss were held Saturday, March 25 at 2 p.m. from Belmont Baptist Church, with Jason Walraven, Heath Walraven and Eddie Brannon officiating. Music was arranged by Wesley Hunt. Interment followed in Fain Cemetery, with Military Honors. Pallbearers serving included Greg Weaver, Michael Hunt, Daniel Walraven, Truett Moss II, Shane Moss, and George Walraven. Honorary pallbearers were Margie and Gene Hufstetler, Faye Harris, Mike Langston, his caregivers, Sharon Walraven, Marva Allen, Tiffani Marshall, and Kim Franklin, and past caregivers.

The Moss family received friends at Belmont Baptist Church on Saturday, from 11 a.m. until the service hour of 2 p.m.

Condolences may be left at Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of Max Brannon and Sons Funeral Home of Calhoun.

Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith, age 52, of Gainesville, passed away on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at her residence.

Michelle was born on April 26, 1964 in Chicago, Ill. to the late Burley Clayton Martin and Sarah Thomsa. She was a former member of Plainville United Methodist Church. She was beloved and supported by George and Charlsie Connell.

She is survived by her husband, Ezzard Smith of Gainesville; son, Michael Connell of Plainville; daughter, Christy Connell of Sandy Springs; brother, William “Bill” Thomsa of Tampa, Fla.

Funeral Services were conducted on Monday, March 27 at 12 noon from the chapel of Thomas Funeral Home with Reverend Homer L. Printop officiating. Burial followed in Chandler Cemetery.

The family received friends on Monday morning from 10 a.m. until the funeral hour at 12 noon at Thomas Funeral Home.

You may leave the family online condolences at

Thomas Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for Michelle Smith of Gainesville.

Andy West

Andy West, age 59, of Tucker and formerly of Calhoun, passed away on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 in Gwinnett Medical Center.

Andy was born on July 5, 1957 in Floyd County to the late Ralph West and Readith Iona Pruitt. He was self-employed as a Master Plumber and Builder. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Pruitt West.

Andy is survived by two sons, Todd West and his wife, Courtney, of Rome and Seth West of Boston, Mass.; daughter, Karli West of Calhoun; brother, Heinz West of Tucker; sister, Connie West of Tucker; and three grandchildren, Macie West, Ryland West and Tanner West.

A Memorial Service was conducted on Monday, March 27 at 4 p.m. from the Chapel of Thomas Funeral Home with Pastor Stacy Hensley officiating.

The family received friends on Monday an hour prior to the Memorial Service at Thomas Funeral Home. You may leave the family online condolences at

Thomas Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for Andy West of Tucker and formerly of Calhoun.

Kenneth Gravitt

Kenneth Herbert Gravitt, age 81, of Calhoun, passed away on Thursday, March 23, 2017 at his residence.

Kenneth was born on Jan. 31, 1936 in Gordon County to the late Lee Ander Gravitt and Ebbie Leatherwood Gravitt. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Velma Lee Morgan Gravitt. He was a lifetime resident of Gordon County.

Kenneth is survived by his two sons, Herbert Dewey Gravitt and Kevin Lee Gravitt; daughter, Melissa Ann Quintero; the mother of his children, Barbara Ann Gravitt; sister, Hilda Jane Fowler; special nephew, Stacy Fowler; and two grandchildren. Several step-children, step-grandchildren, nieces and nephews also survive.

A Memorial Service was conducted on Sunday, March 26 at 3 p.m. from the Chapel of Thomas Funeral Home with Reverend Terry Timms and Reverend Norris Sexton officiating. Burial followed in Chandler Cemetery.

The family received friends on Sunday an hour prior to the funeral at Thomas Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorial contributions be made to a church of your choice.

You may leave the family online condolences at

Thomas Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for Kenneth Herbert Gravitt.