Willie A. Haslerig Sr. was born on December 12, 1921 in Chickamauga, Georgia and died on November 25, 2013 at Lafayette Healthcare in Lafayette, Ga.
Willie was the seventh of eight children born to the late Charles” Deedie” Haslerig and Odessa White Haslerig.
He graduated from Howard High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1939. He served in the Marine Corp during World War II in Hawaii. After the war he came back to Chickamauga and began a career in the family dairy business that grew to serve greater Chattanooga and North Georgia with home and whole sale delivery, and a dairy bar restaurant. The business was sold in later years and Mr. Haslerig retired from Flavor Rich Diary in the mid 80’s. After retiring he dedicated his time and talent to helping others achieve a better life. Some of the civic, fraternal, religious organizations and affiliations were: Juvenile Court System Volunteer, Georgia Transportation Commission, Lions Club of Chickamauga, Founding Board member of the Walker County Habitat for Humanity; Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Bethel A.M.E. Church; Masonic member Georgia Council of Deliberation Scottish Rite Masons-33 degree, Prince Hall Grand Masons, Rome Consistory #264, Volunteer Social & Civic Club, Founding Board member of the Family Crisis Center serving Dade, Walker, Chattooga and Catoosa Counties.
He was the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions for his work over the years. In 2003 he was named the Walker County Citizen of the Year, a lifetime member of the Lions Club- a Melvin Jones Fellow and Lion of the Year. In 2012, He received the United States of America highest Civilian Award: The Congressional Gold Medal for his service as a Montford Point Marine.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Dorothy Morton Haslerig of 66 years, six siblings, son Willie A. Haslerig Jr. and grandson Trevor James Haslerig.
He is survived by his children, Carol Newman, Philadelphia; Joyce and Thomas Harrison, Chickamauga; Delores and Robert Hodges, Savage, Md.; grandchildren, Darryl Haslerig, Tamara Carter, William Hodges II, Thomas Harrison III (Anne), Montina Daniels (Donell), Michael Harrison (Beth), Akeia Reed ( Morris), Robert Hodges, Jr. (Tijia), Jusston Hale, Marissa Shrum; sister, Nora Marshall White Plains, New York; sister-in-law, Milah Haslerig, Jefferson City, Mo.; 20 great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews and friends. His faithful extended family includes: Art and Dorothy Grisham, David and Helen Myers, The Peak family, Leroy and Eulene Matthews, Betty and Joe Brown.
Mr. Haslerig will be best remembered for his humorous stories, words of wisdom, his generous spirit of giving.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to Bethel AME Church, Family Crisis Center and/or Chickamauga Lions Club.
Funeral services will be at noon on Saturday, Nov. 30, at Bethel AME Church at Walker Avenue, Chattanooga, Tn. Interment will be in Wallaceville Community Cemetery.
Family visitation is from 2-8 p.m. on Friday, and from 7-8 p.m., the Rome Consistory #264 will conduct the last rites ceremony at John P. Franklin Funeral Home, 1101 Dodds Ave., 622-9995