William Howard Kitchen, 91, of Social Circle, GA, went to be with the Lord on December 5. Bill was born in Vestaburg, PA on December 16 at the home of his parents, Charles and Mary (Crockett) Kitchen. He lived much of his childhood in Monongahela, PA, and started his first job delivering newspapers at age 10. He earned a BA from Bob Jones University in 1950 and enlisted in the Air Force after graduation. He served as a 1st Lieutenant during the Korean Conflict and was honorably discharged in 1953, then served in the Air Force Reserves until 1960. He met and married his beloved wife, Carolyn (Heard), while stationed in Orlando, FL. They celebrated their 67th anniversary on March 20.
He entered the Sears Roebuck management training program in 1954 and worked in various management positions, retiring from the Ponce de Leon Atlanta headquarters in 1984. He then established Hard Labor Creek Blueberry Farm in Social Circle, GA, and actively ran the farm until his second retirement in 2015 at age 86. Lewis Grizzard once wrote a column criticizing blue food, so Bill took a bucket of blueberries to GrizzardÃ¢??s office. In response, Grizzard wrote an article about the farm which accelerated its success, and his farm was often featured in the AJC. During the farmÃ¢??s off-season, he worked at Farm & Home Supply in Social Circle, spearheading a modernization of their merchandising efforts.
Despite his many work accomplishments, faith and family mattered the most to Bill. He was a longtime active member of First Baptist Church in Social Circle, serving as a deacon, Sunday School Director, teacher, and head of multiple ministries. He often visited people in the community, bringing a loaf of bread that he had baked. He kept his Bible beside his favorite chair along with a personal prayer notebook which contained multiple pages listing what he prayed about daily.
He is survived by his loving family: wife Carolyn, sister Jay Nelson of Longmont, CO, four children: Kathy (Steve) Nelsen of Atlanta, Doug (Jan Jenkins) Kitchen of Murphy, NC, Carol (Andy) Cunningham of Lawrenceville, Sandra (Russ) Dukes of Athens; 8 grandchildren: Neal Kitchen, Karen (Jay) McGinnity, Brent (Jennifer) Kitchen, Matt (Heather) Nelsen, Bill Kitchen, Amanda Dukes, Carolyn Dukes, Jennifer Dukes; 10 great-grandchildren: Joshua & Andrew Kitchen; Jackson, Riley, Luke, and Nash McGinnity; Ryan, Natalie, Emily, and Andrew Nelsen; many nieces and nephews.
A private graveside service was held on December 10. A public memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to First Baptist Church of Social Circle