In context: Rome and Floyd County have lost another community icon.

Vernon Grizzard passed away Thursday at his home in North Palm Beach, Fla., at the age of 94. He is remembered for his knack of growing businesses -- and people -- especially Southeastern Mills, recently rebranded as Summit Hill.

His obituary, which follows in full, says it best: 

"While Mr. Grizzard is remembered for his many business accomplishments and his contributions to the economic development of Rome and Floyd County, those who knew him best understand that his enduring legacy is the generosity he offered to so many. His joy came from helping others lift themselves up, bettering themselves through education and life experiences. He helped people believe in themselves and asked for nothing in return except to pass it on."

Services are scheduled for Friday at First Baptist Church in Rome.

Obituary:

Mr. Vernon Davis Grizzard, Sr., age 94, of North Palm Beach, FL, passed away on Thursday, June 16, 2022, at his residence.

Mr. Grizzard was born in Greensville County, Virginia on December 23, 1927, the son of the late Jefferson Davis Grizzard and the late Mary Carpenter Grizzard. He was also preceded in death by four sisters, Garnet Grizzard, Elizabeth G. Allen, Marjorie G. Tudor, and Mary G. Johns, and by three brothers, J.D. Grizzard, Taylor L. Grizzard, and Jeff D. Grizzard, Jr.

Mr. Grizzard was a graduate of Greensville County High School in Emporia, VA, and was a 1949 graduate of Virginia Polytechnical Institute, Blacksburg, VA with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. After graduating college, he enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps and was discharged after obtaining the rank of Lieutenant.

Mr. Grizzard married his high school sweetheart, the former Gaynelle Parrish, on December 26, 1951. They moved to Rome, Georgia in 1952 and opened Parrish Bakeries. Always the optimistic entrepreneur, he opened several other businesses in the community including Coosa Baking Company and Mondo Baking Company, while acquiring Southeastern Mills, Inc.

Mr. Grizzard was a member of First Baptist Church, Rome, GA, Lost Tree Chapel, North Palm Beach, FL, Coosa Country Club, Rome Jaycees, and Rome Rotary Club. He was a founding member of Lost Tree Club in North Palm Beach, FL where he served on the Board of Governors. He served as a Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Rome, was a Life Trustee at Darlington School, and served on the Berry College Board of Visitors.

Mr. Grizzard enjoyed fishing with friends and family in places near and far, and he especially enjoyed entertaining family and friends at his lake near Dogtown, AL. While he didn’t always catch a trophy bass, he always came home with new stories which he loved to share.

While Mr. Grizzard is remembered for his many business accomplishments and his contributions to the economic development of Rome and Floyd County, those who knew him best understand that his enduring legacy is the generosity he offered to so many. His joy came from helping others lift themselves up, bettering themselves through education and life experiences. He helped people believe in themselves and asked for nothing in return except to pass it on.

Survivors include his wife of 70 years, Gaynelle Parrish Grizzard; four children, Vernon Davis Grizzard, Jr. (Carol), Robert Umstead Grizzard (Joen), Bonnie Lou Grizzard, and Linda Sue Grizzard Owens (Jim); grandchildren, Robert Vernon Lees Grizzard, James Parrish Owens (Cat), Vernon Davis Grizzard, III, Mary Owens Ethridge (Ty), Jefferson Ellisor Grizzard (Molly), and Emily Chandler Grizzard Valdes (Teo); great-grandchildren, Robert Patrick Grizzard, Marty James Ethridge, Emmy Lou Ethridge, James Parrish Owens, Jr., and Wilder Ellisor Valdes; a sister-in-law, Beverly Grizzard.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, June 24, 2022, at 11 am in the Sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Rome with Dr. Joel Snider officiating. Private interment will be at Myrtle Hill Cemetery.

The family will receive friends in the Sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Rome on Friday from 10 am until the service time.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, Rome, P. O. Box 1189, Rome, GA 30162 or www.fbcrome.org, the Vernon and Gaynelle Grizzard Scholarship at Darlington School, 1014 Cave Spring Road, Rome, GA 30161 or www.darlingtonschool.org, or The Lost Tree Village Charitable Foundation, 8 S. Church Lane, North Palm Beach, FL 33408 or www.losttreefoundation.org.

Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, South Chapel, has charge of the arrangements.

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