Lamar Travis Wansley
Lamar Travis Wansley, 90, of Athens, Ga., passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday, May 30, 2007.
Mr. Wansley was born June 10, 1916, in Carnesville, Ga., to the late Beatrice McCarter Wansley and John Wesley Wansley. He graduated in 1933 from Carnesville High School and was president of his senior class. He attended North Georgia College where, in 1935, he lead the basketball team to a championship by defeating Abraham Baldwin in Woodruff Hall at UGA. As a sophomore he was voted captain of the team and “Best Athlete” at the college. Afterwards he attended the University of Georgia where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture and also his ROTC commission as 2nd Lieutenant. In 1938, he married his high school sweetheart, Ruth Roper, and began his career with the Georgia Power Company in Athens.
When Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941, he was called to service as an original member of the 101st Airborne Division, the Screaming Eagles. He served in all battles of the 101st from D-Day until the war ended in May 1945. He received four bronze stars for gallantry and was promoted to captain during the Battle of Bulge in Bastogne, Belgium. He served as regimental communications officer for the 327th glider infantry division, and his unit was awarded two presidential citations.
After the war, Lamar resumed his career with the Georgia Power Company, one that spanned 41 years and took him from Athens to Atlanta and then to Valdosta, where he served as Vice President until his retirement in 1981.
Throughout his life he served his community in many capacities. He was presented the key to the City of Valdosta in recognition of his leadership and service as Chairman of the Easter Seals Drive, Chairman of the United Way Drive, President of the Lowndes County Bulldog Club, President of the Rotary Club, Trustee of Valdosta State College Foundation, and Board Member of the Boys and Girls Clubs. He was chairman of the Valdosta Chamber of Commerce Industrial Committee and served on the Valdosta Lowndes County Hospital Authority where he was chairman for nine years. He was a loyal member of the Valdosta First United Methodist Church where he served on the administrative board, was chairman of the Finance Committee and president of his Sunday school class.
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