Claude Ellard Jr. passed away peacefully at the age of 91 on February 16, 2019. He is preceded in death by his parents, Claude and Maggie Fitzgerald Ellard, along with siblings George, Cleo, Jim, Leona and Thomas. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, February 20, at A. E. Carter Funeral Home in Madison from 9:30-10:30 a.m. The funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the chapel. An additional viewing will be held at Acree-Davis Funeral Home in Toccoa at 2:00 p.m. A graveside service will be held at 3:00 p.m. at Stephens Memorial Gardens. Floral donations will be accepted at A. E. Carter Funeral Home, or general donations can be made to Kindred Hospice of Athens, Georgia, which lovingly provided his care in his final hours.
Born in Toccoa, Georgia on April 24, 1927, he worked hard all his life. As a teenager, he poured sidewalks for Camp Toccoa. Later, he worked for the LP Gas Company and Pittman Construction, where his boss called him “the hardest-working man I’ve ever seen” – a title that carried through into his retirement.
After retirement, he enjoyed spending his time on ClaudesDale Farm in Rutledge, Georgia. His one-acre vegetable garden included okra, potatoes, peanuts, tomatoes, peppers, peas, beans and, in the winter, nine different types of greens. He was a master at raising cows and canning vegetables to share with others. He loved the outdoors and spent many of his days fishing and camping with his family and friends.
Claude’s cooking skills were renowned far and wide. Anyone who ever tasted one of his biscuits knew what it was to experience perfection. His macaroni and cheese, made with over two pounds of cheddar, was legendary.
Papa – as he was known to his grandchildren – had a zest for the simple things in life and loved watching birds come down to his feeder from his favorite chair. He enjoyed all sports (except golf) and was an avid Atlanta Braves fan who never missed a game and had nicknames for almost every player.
With weathered, workworn hands that were as adept at cradling a baby as they were at plowing a field, Claude was a kind, beautiful soul with a contagious laugh and a twinkle in his eye. He will be missed by his family and many friends.
A WWII Army veteran and of the Baptist faith, Claude is survived by his wife, Janet Dale, and brother, John; seven children: Margaret, Claudine, Jan Lanchester (Alan), Kay Guest (Richard), Dale Ellard (Ellen), Jeffrey Scott Ellard and Pam Karzen (Matt); seven grandchildren: Kyle, Katy, Amy, Christopher, Faith, Sam and Ian; two great-grandchildren: Maddox and Corbitt; and a loving extended family.