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Two friends of Calhoun County were buried this week. Ocie Nell Richards lived her entire life in Calhoun and Hunter Armentrout was a resident of Gilmer. Their personalities were completely different, but there were similarities.


Ocie Nell was a student when I first started teaching, then she was a friendly clerk at the local Ben Franklin Store, and lately, the quiet, cheerful lady was in the back row at church each Sunday. She loved Calhoun and its people. She died after a nine-year struggle with cancer, but she never gave up.


Hunter Armentrout of Troy was known as a historian, genealogist, speaker, volunteer, researcher, teacher and veteran of the U.S. Army Air Force from 1958 to 1966. More important to us, he also loved Calhoun. He introduced us to Amy Sexton Silcott through her letters and diary. He felt that our county should have access to history that is not recorded about the period before and during the Civil War. He was pleased that Calhoun plans to have a re-enactment of the Battle of Sycamore in September. A message he left for us was, “Tell them I won’t be able to be there in September.” Yes, cancer also claimed the life of this man after a long battle.


Their love of family and friends was apparent through the years of our acquaintance. Ocie Nell loved her nieces and nephews and was proud of their accomplishments, and her family loved her dearly and did everything possible to ease her suffering. It was evident that they were leaning on each other to ease their grief.


I felt the same about the Armentrout family. During the service, I could see them visibly clinging to each other for support. Nieces and nephews were also very evident as part of his support team. He had many friends from as far back as his elementary school years to the present time.


These are the kind of people who cause us to remember that we must do something to pass on their qualities of life. We will be sad today, but all who knew them are grateful that God let them touch our lives.


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