SYLVESTER -- Garland Whiddon Rowland of Sylvester, died December 26, 2011 at her residence. A Celebration of Life Services will be held Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 11:00 AM in the First Baptist Church in Sylvester with Dr. Ben Bush, Dr. Tom Jacobs and Rev. Charles E. Brown, Jr. officiating. Interment will follow at the Hillcrest Cemetery. Active pallbearers will be Ashley Grady Whiddon, Hunter Whiddon, Eric Foster-Whiddon, Craig Goodroe, Luke Goodroe and Wade Etheridge. Honorary pallbearers will be classmates of Garland's 1962 Doerun High School Graduating class.
Garland was born on April 11, 1944 in Worth County near Doerun on the Grady Whiddon Home Place. She was the daughter of the late Alvin Grady and Zora Lee Medders Whiddon. She was preceded in death by her late husband, William Donald "Don" Rowland in December of 1995.
She is survived by her son, David Gary Rowland (Monica); her special grandson, Cameron David Rowland; a sister, Dorothy Whiddon Ethridge (Tommy); a brother, David Lee Whiddon (Susan); a look-alike niece, Melissa Ethridge Goodroe (Craig); four nephews, Wade Ethridge, Ashley Grady Whiddon, Hunter Whiddon and Eric Foster-Whiddon; three great nephews, Luke Goodroe, Lane Goodroe, Holton Foster-Whiddon; three great nieces, Alexis Foster-Whiddon, Zoe Foster-Whiddon and Karis Foster-Whiddon.
Garland loved the Lord and was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Sylvester where she was a member of the Fidelis Sunday School Class, the Adult Choir, and the Brandon Circle. Garland loved singing in the choir and very much missed doing that during her illness. Garland was devoted to her family.
Garland retired from the Marine Corps Logistic Base in Albany in January of 2001 after thirty-six years of service as a Supervisory Logistics Management Specialist. At the time of her retirement, she began helping her son with his motor sports business (racing go-karts), Performance Engine and Chassis, Inc. She served as his business manager and consultant while they traveled throughout the Southeastern USA promoting karting and selling parts and accessories for karting. Garland was affectionately known and loved by many of the racing family and others as "Mama G".
In 2005, Garland was inducted into the Colquitt County Sports Hall of Fame. This significant honor was based upon Garland's accomplishments in Basketball while attending Doerun High School during the late 50's and early 1960's. Her scoring exploits are still remembered by many in Doerun and Sylvester who packed the basketball gyms. One of here most memorable accomplishments came in the 1961 Invitational Tournament in Sylvester in which she scored 114 points in 3 games including 43 points in the championship game. She was recruited by the All American Red Heads professional basketball team.
In 2009, Garland was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Just like many others who die as a result of this disease, she never gave up. She fought the dreadful disease with courage and dignity and lived by the words of Paul, "I fought a good fight, I have finished the race and kept the faith." One of her prayers was: God help me to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
The family would like to say a special thanks to her caregiver, Inday Rayl and to her sister, Dotty for caring for her when Inday was off.
For those desiring memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church P. O. Box 309, Sylvester, GA, 31791
Banks Funeral Home