SPRING GRANITEER 2023
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SPRING 2023 In the last edition of the Graniteer, I talked about some of the history and changes that have occurred in our industry over the last 123 years. It is amazing to look at where we have come from and possibly where we are going. On the next page, you can read through an article from the Winter edition of the 1999 Graniteer. Twenty-three years ago, the granite industry was preparing to enter the new millennium, and folks were predicting what kind of changes we would see. In looking at their predictions and concerns, we can see that currently, we are experiencing many of these same issues. Labor is definitely a concern; it is getting harder to find people who want to work in the granite industry today. Employees want to work in a clean climate-controlled environment, and granite quarrying and manufacturing definitely are not that. Not to say that there aren’t people who enjoy this type of work, it is just that those folks are getting harder to find. Companies are looking at technology as a way to increase production and efficiency in a shrinking labor market. However, this new technology comes with a price, and quite possibly a waiting period for delivery. Companies investing in new technology also must invest in infrastructure upgrades to support and house new equipment. As well, employee training for operation and maintenance need to be factored in. Competition from foreign markets continues to impact the domestic granite market as shipments of finished monuments are resuming again after shipping delays caused by the pandemic. Cultural change is also impacting the monument industry in the ways that the younger generation views memorialization and its impact on society. Twenty-three years ago, there were predictions about what our industry would look like in the new millennium, and as we have discovered, many of those predictions came true. However, in addition to those predictions, there are also other issues the industry is dealing with, that may not have been considered back then. In recent years, governmental regulations have played an increasing role in how the industry operates. While we are not running out of granite, environmental regulations are making it increasingly more difficult to access the granite deposits as was done in the past. While safety is always a top priority, severely restrictive regulations on exposure in certain environments limit the amount of time an employee can operate, thus, requiring more skilled labor, which is already in short supply. Transportation is another area that has been greatly affected by regulations. New requirements for drivers and the hours they can drive have limited the amount of time available to make deliveries, thus, pushing delivery time many weeks out from when manufacturing is completed. The granite industry will continue to change, and the next twenty-five years will undoubtedly look much different than today. How much change? Only time will tell, but in looking at the present and looking at our past, we can gauge some idea of our future. Graniteer News The Winds of Change Are Blowing Again 3 Matthews Granite Announces Purchase of Eagle Granite Company 4 Elberton Granite Association Welcomes Elberton Stoneworks 5 Elberton Granite Assoication Welcomes Beaverdam Quarry & Blue Ridge Quarries, Inc. 6 Husqvarna & A.Q. Stone Design New Employees 7 Glass Art Imaging Reassigns Oregon Employee to Manage Elberton Location 8 Brownstone Memorials Recently Created Golf Markers for ECCHS Golf Teams 8 Design Mart’s Loving Memories Design Featured on 2022 EGA Downtown Display 9 Travco Metal Works Stays Busy Crafting New Machinery 10 Johnson Machine Shop Builds Radial Arm Hand Polishing Machine 11 Wilson Industrial Electric Builds New Polishers for Georgia Mausoleums 12 Member Spotlight - Reynolds Marble & Granite Company 13 A.Q. Stone Design Introduces New Online Design Store 15 40th Year of Training Monument Retailers Course Now Open for Enrollment 16 Purchasing Guide & Directory of EGA Members Voting Members 18 Sustaining Members 20 Associate Members 20 Graniteer Gallery On The Cover 21 Memorials In Review 23 Public Memorials 26 Convention Camera STONEXPO 27 PNMBA Convention 28 MBNA Convention 29 In Memoriam Manuel Fernandez 32 Kartis Ray Howell 32 Clois Bernard Worely 33 Robert Carnell Veal 34 Twenty-three years ago, the Elberton Granite Industry was set to enter a new millennium. People working in the industry realized that change was coming and new challenges would present themselves. Reading through this article from 1999, we can see that today, many of the predictions mentioned have indeed come to pass. Skilled labor shortages, investment in new technology, foreign competition and most definitely cultural changes, are all issues the industry is currently facing. Where are we going from here and what changes and challenges await us in the next 20 years? One thing can be said, the granite industry will adapt, and it will grow as it always has. As we see the changes occurring today much like we saw changes twenty-three years ago, it will rise to the occasion. New companies, new formats and new ways of business will cause hiccups, but the granite industry will stand strong through it. Matthews Granite Announces Purchase of Eagle Granite Company MATTHEWS GRANITE recently announced the purchase of long-time member firm, EAGLE GRANITE COMPANY. Eagle was founded in 1961 and is one of the leading granite manufacturers in Elberton, Georgia. The company provides monument retailers, cemeteries, funeral homes, and building companies with various types of granite products. A variety of granite colors have been offered such as locally quarried blue and gray granite along with black, red, pink, and mahogany. Eagle Granite Company has extensive experience with personal cemetery monuments, civic and war memorials, building and structural materials, landscape materials, interior and exterior stone. “We are excited to welcome the Eagle team to Matthews” states Roger Stonecipher, President of Matthews Granite. “Adding Eagle’s outstanding capabilities continues our vision to be the premier granite memorialization provider to the death care industry and provides an opportunity, over time, to offer an expanded product and solution set to both companies’ customers. I am also pleased that Eagle’s senior leaders, Nick Fleischer and Bob Paul, have made long-term commitments to continue leading the Eagle business within Matthews.” We are proud to be bringing Eagle’s exceptional capabilities to Matthews Granite and are excited about the future as part of the Matthews team,” said Fleischer. “Importantly, our same team will continue to serve our loyal customers in the same way they always have, so they will experience essentially no change. (Left to Right) Bob Paul, Roger Stonecipher, and Nick Fleischer Elberton Granite Association Welcomes New Voting Member Firm! A new manufacturing company in Elberton called ELBERTON STONEWORKS, has formed and jumped right into the EGA family. This is one of three new members for this quarter of the year. The company is run by Chapin Phillips of Savannah Valley Quarries as the CEO. Michael Batur will operate as Director of Operations while Noah Fried will be responsible as the Director of Sales. The company formed toward the end of 2022 and purchased the manufacturing plants, equipment and inventory of both Central Granite Company and Pyramid Materials. By consolidating these amazing companies, they hope to meet the goal of producing the highest quality granite monuments and do it in a timely manner. Both Central and Pyramid leaders agreed to remain in their respective positions to maintain a sense of normalcy. Along with the leaders, much of the existing staff decided to stay in their roles. This makes roughly 100 employees on staff at Elberton Stoneworks. The company office is being renovated and will be located on West Tate Street where the old Pamas building. There will be multiple different locations functioning for Elberton Stoneworks in and around the Elberton area. The end goal is to have each location specializing in either a color of granite or item type. For instance, one location may specialize in dimension stone or architectural projects while another specializes in monuments made from Elberton Gray or Chapel Rose. As Elberton Stoneworks catalogs the equipment and capabilities of each manufacturing plant, they become more and more encouraged by the amount of machinery and production possibilities that they find. Their goal is to utilize each location to the best of its production capability. Elberton Stoneworks is looking forward to continued relationships with customers that the previous companies had done business with. They are in hopes of establishing new relationships with each customer old and new. “Our mission is to consolidate, reorganize & re-imagine what can be done in the granite industry as we assess and retool each facility to meet its greatest potential for increased production.” Two New Voting Member Firms Bring Lots of Excitement to the Elberton Granite Industry! Elliott Paul was most recent to bring his quarries and granite plant to the Elberton Granite Association for membership! This new addition includes Beaverdam Quarry as one member firm and Blue Ridge Quarries, Inc. as the second member. Quarries such as these have served the world for over 133 years with monuments to memorialize lost loved ones, honor military lives or commemorate significant places or times in history. Let’s give these newest members a great big “Welcome”! BEAVERDAM QUARRY is a quarry in Elbert County, Georgia that offers monument and dimension stone with fine, dark shades of Georgia granite. The color has been listed in the past as Eagle Blue and Beaverdam Blue. The color offers a fine contrast in the shades and is great for stones that require both frost and polish, as in many popular designs. Beaverdam Quarry has been in the Paul family since 2002. In those years, enough granite has been quarried from the ground to make many monuments of every shape and size. Nestled in the heart of Oglethorpe County, Georgia are BLUE RIDGE QUARRIES, INC. along with the affiliate companies Greene County Quarries, Inc., and Eagle’s Danburg Quarry, Inc. These quarries along with Georgia Curbing & Sawing, LLC are the third member firm to be added to the Elberton Granite Association this quarter. Monumental granite along with dimensional stone is quarried from these locations. The granite is used throughout the United States for memorials. These quarries have been in the Paul family since 1991. The granite that is quarried and processed consists of a medium grain and is known as Georgia Gray, Blue Ridge and Millstone. Husqvarna Diamant Boart Hires New Employee HUSQVARNA recently employed Ryan Wright as their diamond blade technician. Ryan has been working for Husqvarna since February of this year and states “I am enjoying the job, I’m loving it. My goal is to learn more of the trade and responsibilities so maybe I can grow into a bigger role someday.” Previously Ryan worked for a local granite manufacturing plant. He also owned his own lawn care company prior to the Covid shutdown. A.Q. Stone Design Welcomes Newest Employee Associate Member Firm, A.Q. STONE DESIGN COMPANY recently hired their newest associate, Laura Fleming. Laura began her new full-time position in September of 2022. Laura’s days are filled with running the stencil cutters and being taught the skills of drafting. “I really like working here. All of the people in the office are a fun group to work with.” stated Mrs. Fleming. Her goal is to learn the skills to do what she does to the best of her abilities. When outside of the office, Laura loves spending all of her time with her husband and son with their church’s youth group. Glass Art Imaging Reassigns Oregon Associate To Manage Elberton Location Glass Art Imaging recently made the decision to ask a long-time Oregon associate to relocate to Elberton to run the new facilities located on the corner of College Avenue and Jones Street. The new location is fully functional and has future plans for expansion already in place. Brian Monaghan began with OM Stone and Glass Art Imaging in August of 2010. He began his career as a delivery driver for the company and had a great desire to learn the different trades associated within the foundation. He quickly picked up on installation, sandblast, polishing, and even cutting and chipping. Brian along with his wife and two daughters moved to the Elberton area in July of 2022 to manage the Elberton location. He is excited and hopeful about the opportunity and looks forward to the future of the company. “When the opportunity peaked its head up, I thought moving the family to the Elberton area and learning even more with the Glass Art & OM Stone’s repertoire was a great idea.” - Brian Monahan, Laser Technician, Glass Art Imaging BROWNSTONE MEMORIALS recently made a total of seventy-two golf markers. Thirty-six 0-6 x 0-6 x 0-8 markers were made with Standard Blue granite and thirty-six were made using India Red granite. The markers are all polished with a bevel top. They were made for the Elbert County Comprehensive High School golf team’s Blue Devil Shootout along with the upcoming Class A State Tournament at the Arrowhead Pointe Golf Course. The Standard Blue markers are used for the boys while the India Red are used for the girls. The markers are sandblasted with the team’s logo and painted with blue and silver litho. The markers were made in a way that they can be kept and reused each year. Design Mart’s Loving Memories Design Featured on 2022 EGA Downtown Display Design Mart’s D1524 along with D1509 from Loving Memories have recently been featured in the Elberton Granite Association’s downtown display. The display is located in Elberton, GA at the intersection of highways 72 and 77, which allows retailers and other visitors a glimpse of some of the monuments produced in Elberton. D1524 is featured in the Loving Memories book, pamphlet, and Design Mart’s Online Monument Designer. Loving Memories is a collection of contemporary monument designs in a variety of colors and shapes, and includes designs D1465-D1529. Hundreds of Design Mart monument designs and thousands of components are all available in the Online Monument Designer. As shown here, monuments appear as a color CAD drawing on the screen. JPGs may be exported or printed for customer approval. In addition, the CAD file created in the Online Monument Designer may be exported for use in any popular illustration or CAD application. The series is also available in a 48-page catalog as well as matching pamphlets. CAD files may be purchased individually or as a series. The series can be previewed at https://designmart.com/art-and-graphics/brochures-and-print-catalogs/cremation/. Loving Memories, as well as all other Design Mart collections are also available in Design Mart’s Online Monument Designer. A free 30-day trial is available at https://designmart.com/online-catalog-and-monument-designer/monument-designer/about-online-monument-designer/. Dmart 1509 is currently on display on the corner of 72 and 77 where the downtown display stands. It can also be seen in the Winter edition of the Graniteer on pages 20 and 22. Travco Metal Works Stays Busy Crafting New Machinery TRAVCO METAL WORKS built this core hole machine for a monument retailer in Hamilton, Texas using heavy duty construction. The retailer ordered the core hole machine to add to their existing equipment so they can customize their inventory as the need arises. This allows them to stock their inventory and pull from it as needed. The machine features a variable speed spindle to optimize the correct RPM for each size of hole. Barrels from one-inch up to eight-inches can be used with the machine. A 10-HP motor was used to ensure that optimum operation is reached. The second machine crafted by TRAVCO METAL WORKS is an Automatic Slab Polisher built for member firm, HILLCREST GRANITE COMPANY. Travis Christian, of Travco began looking at the different styles of slab polishers currently used in the industry and designed his own brand new version. The new design features some of the best aspects currently being used while improving some of the unpopular aspects of current models. After being programmed, this machine is capable of polishing up to 100 slabs of various sizes. It was created to be able to be programmed for a 24-hour time and have all the slab bed complete by the beginning of the next day. The slab bed is 19 x 150. The column has been redesigned to be interchangeable should something fail. The repair time is a matter of hours instead of the standard time-frame so long as a replacement column is on hand. Wheels have been used instead of slides alleviating the need to oil the rails which in turn causes oil drips that stain the stone. The LED control is touchscreen to add ease to programming. This machine offers a great design and great new features! Johnson Machine Shop Builds Radial Arm Hand Polishing Machine JOHNSON MACHINE SHOP manufactures and sells the very best quality stone industry machinery. They specialize in machines that are used for the natural stone industry such as this radial arm hand polisher. It is designed to work with granite polishing wheels that are up to 18-inches in diameter. The main drive motors are five horsepower with variable speed. The polishing head has a vertical lift capability of 4-feet. This hand polisher is mounted to the beam of a building giving it the support needed to function. By designing the machine to brace to a beam it also offers a compact space that might be needed to be tucked against the exterior wall and out of the way. Johnson machines are proven to be long lasting, efficient and easy to use. This is why after almost forty years in the business, they are still a leading edge company in Elberton, Georgia! Polishing arm swings along wall to minimize space used. Wilson Industrial Electric Builds New Polishers for Georgia Mausoleums! GEORGIA MAUSOLEUMS recently tasked fellow EGA Member-Firm, WILSON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRIC to build two new polishers for their production plant to replace existing polishers and the need for hand polishing larger pieces. This slab polisher was built with a 30- horsepower motor that keeps going from start to finish. The machine automatically changes heads to the next level of polishing bricks on its own. Once programmed, the machine fully runs automatically. Eight points of the surface of the slab can be programmed to ensure that most odd shapes have a full polish. The second polisher is made to polish the edges and sides of monuments and mausoleum pieces. This end mill polisher was built with a 5-horsepower motor. Once the machine is programmed with the boundary positions, it will automatically polish the area with intermittent stops to allow changing of the pads from 15 grit to 3,000+ grit. A pendant control is attached to this machine to make the programming process easier for the user. Time and production capabilities are the key elements that this machine is a huge benefit for. With this machine doing the edge polishing, it frees up the employees to be productive in other areas of the plant. REYNOLDS MARBLE & GRANITE COMPANY is this edition’s Member Spotlight. When Reynolds became a member of the Elberton Granite Association in the fall of 1978, they were introduced as the definition of “a family operation”. The company was founded by J.N. Reynolds and his son Harold Reynolds. Harold and J.N. built machinery including polishing mills and saws for many of the firms in Elberton. J.N. retired shortly thereafter and Harold took over running the daily operations. Today, Hal Reynolds carries on the family company with the same dedicated tenacity and quality work that his grandfather and father had. The company was originally established in 1970, originally known as Reynolds Granite Company, to perform custom sawing sub-contracts for the Elberton, Georgia granite industry. In 1977, they began producing custom, marble monuments. With this venture into marble production, they became the first manufacturing facility in Elberton to produce marble monuments. In the mid 1980’s, they devoted all of their manufacturing facility to the production of marble monuments. During their history, they have produced monuments from several different stone sources. Currently Reynolds produces monuments exclusively from domestic stone quarries. The use of domestic stone ensures that a high quality product will be shipped to their customers. The use of domestic stone also ensures availability of raw material. They specialize in the production of personal memorial stones, though they also produce specialty stone items upon request. They offer a number of marble types with Georgia Marble Cherokee and Colorado Yule being the most popular stones. J.N. Reynolds was a machinist at Elberton Oil Mills for 28 years and later worked with several granite firms prior to opening his own family business. Harold Reynolds, son of J.N. Reynolds, attended North Georgia Technical School in Clarksville, Georgia. He could be known as a “pioneer of possibilities” or “Elberton’s entrepreneurial spirit” as he would see future growth opportunities and not hesitate to pave a path for a new way of doing things. He was quick to be “the first” with many of his machines when he saw a possibility that a new type of method might be more productive. Harold designed and fabricated much of his own machinery. He and his father, J.N. were both equipment experts and operated Reynolds Machine Works prior to opening Reynolds Marble & Granite Company. He was known to be on top of getting exclusive contracts on marble to ensure his company was a step ahead of the competition. And when he saw things that he knew his company could do... he made sure he provided what it needed to accomplish the task. Harold maintained his dedication to the company until his health began to decline and it became necessary for Hal to return full time to the family business. This allowed his father to slowly begin stepping down and enjoying more and more time with his family and friends. A gradual transition occurred leaving Hal running the company for about the last 15 years. Hal began learning the skills of the trade at an early age when he began going to work with his dad for the summer. Hal completely polished a large granite column on one of the firm’s special turning lathes during one of his younger years. Hal continued working alongside his dad whenever he had the opportunity throughout his childhood. He wanted to learn everything he could learn. During high school, Hal was an All-State football lineman and was named to numerous all-area and all-region all-star teams. He played in the Georgia-Florida All-Star game. He was named to the 1993 Academic All-State Team by the Georgia High School Magazine, A “Top 50 Prospect for 1993” at the pre-season Georgia High School Combine. Hal went on to earn his degree in Criminal Justice. Through all of his football years and his high school and college studies, Hal still remained by his dad’s side assisting in the business until it was time for him to begin running the company. Today, Hal teaches his two sons the same fine arts of the trade that his father and grandfather taught him. John and Andrew are learning aspects of the business as Hal prepares them for the day that they may choose to take the career path of their forefathers. Reynolds Marble is located on Jones Ferry Road off the Athens Highway five miles west of Elberton. A.Q. Stone Design Introduces New Online Design Store After 19 years of drafting for the monument industry, Quinn Floyd founded A.Q. Stone Design Company in 2008. Since then, Quinn has been steadfast in establishing rock solid foundations with his customers and colleagues in the granite industry alike. Many monuments leaving Elberton, Georgia, leave with a design from A.Q. Stone. A.Q. Stone Design focuses on Monucad drafting and pre-cut stencil cutting but have recently added several other areas to their list of things they can accomplish. Custom sandblast designs along with font matching and training are a few of the areas the company has expanded in recently. Kathie “Kat” Bell, lead draftsman for A.Q. Stone recently created a YouTube channel where she offers Monucad and Turbo Cutter tutorials. In spring of 2022, Kat approached owner, Quinn Floyd, with an idea to upgrade their website while also adding a benefit to the company. Kat proposed the company offer an online design store within the newly designed website. The idea was received with excitement and the team got right to work that fall. Some designs were pulled from existing art previously drawn and others were drawn from scratch. Kat along with her team spent several hours a day for months drawing and cataloging designs for the new online design store. The process of creation and gathering lasted almost six months. The site went live around the beginning of March of 2023. The goal is to add more content monthly as the need arises. The design files can be purchased using PayPal which accepts multiple forms of payment. A wide variety of options on the online design store are available. Components such as, animals, angels, floral, career, emblems, floral and religious, along with several other options. Also available are entire monument design files. This category offers full designs ready to letter and cut. For details and questions contact Kat at 706-283-7799. “I want the online store to be a successful site because digital content seems to be the future of our industry.” - Kat Bell, Head Draftsman for A.Q. Stone Design Learn The Journey Of Earthed Granite To Monument! Once a year, EGA offers a 5-day class that walks you through everything it takes to create a monument. The 5-day course offers a trip to an active quarry where the attendees can witness the granite being quarried from the Earth. A tour to a production facility will give the class first-hand knowledge of how the block is cut to a more manageable size and sent to finishing to be polished, pitched or carved. The class will she updated setting techniques, monument design tips, laser and hand etching along with ca tour to a local cemetery where symbolism and monument design will be discussed. Keynote Speaker, Troy Caldwell, CM, AICA of Caldwell Monuments in Kokomo, Indiana will be available all week as not only the speaker, but mentor. Cost of class is $300 and includes lunches throughout the week along with transportation to and from two hotel options in Elberton for all days except Friday. MONUMENT RETAILERS TRAINING INSTITUTE ENROLLMENT FORM Cost $400 Per Person Limit 2 people per company. Participants must be sponsored by one of our members. Lunch provided throughout the course. Send checks to P.O. Box 640 Elberton, GA 30635. Contact Matthew Pruitt at 706-283-2551 or email@example.com Nestled in a park near the courthouse in Ashland, Alabama sits this fine monument created by WALKER GRANITE COMPANY. The monument was designed by stone carver Charlie Hunt of Hunt Memorials in Nashville, Tennessee to honor Supreme Court Justice, Hugo Black. The monument consists of six pieces of polished American Black granite along with five pieces of Elberton Gray granite with a steel finish. Standing eight foot tall, this monument dominates the center focus of the surrounding park where it sits atop the ground that once held Hugo Black’s childhood home. The monument consists of two outside wings along with two inside wings that feature a slanted angle along the top with a raised portion made by cutting a check that outlines the top. A polished black post was placed between each set of wings to both unite and separate the Elberton Gray pieces at the same time. The center portion of the monument consists of an American black pedestal with a slanted front that holds the bronze replica of Mr. Black. The Elberton Gray sub base mimics the check that is found along each of the wings to offer a separation of the two pieces of granite. Luke and Rhett Walker of Walker Granite Company along with Plant Supervisor, Brad Holland join Charlie Hunt and his team from Hunt Memorials in Alabama to set the Hugo Black memorial. This was quite an accomplishment and honor after many months of planning and hard work. “Marty and I have been friends for over 40 years. I would not take on a project of this nature without the Walker Team. Three generations of quality and craftsmanship.” Charlie Hunt FAICA, Hunt Memorials This stunningly elegant 2-crypt mausoleum was crafted by member-firm, GEORGIA MAUSOLEUMS. Georgia Marble was used for both inside and outside pieces. The beautiful bronze and glass door is flanked on each side by fluted pieces that feature a scotia leading to the nosing along the bottom. The pieces are all steel finished giving a look of sophistication and class. This beautiful marble mausoleum weighs 20,000 pounds. RIVER EDGE GRANITE COMPANY, INC. recently manufactured this memorial consisting of a sandstone headstone and ledger and granite base. The round monument was cut to imitate a sawn tree trunk with the outside ridges replicating the pattern of tree bark. A recess was cut to include the porcelain photograph. The ledger was cut and polished before being sandblasted with detailed artwork. The granite base was cut from a slab of Peerless Blue granite and polished on the top with rock pitching along the edges. CHILDS & CHILDS GRANITE COMPANY along with Sculptor Clint Black created this monument for Carroll Monuments in King, North Carolina. Georgia Premium Dark Blue granite was used to create all three pieces. The tablet is all polished and is adorned with rounds on each top corner of the oval top leading to flawless concave ends. An 8-inch by 10-inch bas relief carving of a dove is featured just under the frosted family name panel. The oval niche is approximately 1.5-inches deep. The base is all polished to complement the glossy image of the tablet. One great thing about the Elberton granite industry is how everyone teams up to complete a job in the best way possible. Great Job! This dynamically customized monument was made by KEYSTONE MEMORIALS for DeChristopher Brothers, Inc. in Pitman, New Jersey. The special shaped tablet features a polished front and back that is topped with a traditional serp top. The front of the monument displays beautiful shape carved sandblasting that frames the top of edges. The ends each are cut with steeled checks and setbacks that offer a perfect canvas for a raised sword cross carved on each side. The back features a recessed pieta carved in the center with the family name curved along the top. The base of this monument features an 8-inch bevel along all four sides that ends with rock pitched nosing. On each end of the base is a highly detailed sculpted lion head. The tree of life is carved in a recessed panel on the front with a 7-inch v-tooled cross centered on the back. This monument is highly impressive! GEORGIA MAUSOLEUMS created this beautifully dignified private mausoleum from Missouri Red and American Black granite. The two colors contrast so appropriately with this mausoleum. The American Black granite was used for the rounded columns and vases along with the step. Each piece compliments the beautiful black and bronze door. The roof was built with a gable top and is adorned with the family name. Each piece is beautifully polished to a shine. This mausoleum is a two-crypt mausoleum but can be adjusted to hold up to six if needed. 55,000 pounds of granite was used for the creation of this mausoleum. Quality is in the craftsmanship with Georgia Mausoleums. They pride themselves in high quality monuments and mausoleums. JENSON ETCHING is always prepared to showcase their many talents whether it be laser etching, impact etching or hand etching. This artwork was created to completely match the shape of its canvas. In this occurance, the customer provided nearly spot on artwork for Jenson to etch. But on a typical order, once Jenson’s artists are given details of an order along with coordinating photography from the customer, their artists begin the task of fitting just the right images to the space they have. Once the customer approves a professional proof, the stone is acquired and the art is put onto the stone. In the example to the left, the laser machine was used to etch the image onto the stone allowing the art to fit perfectly within the curves of the rock. These spectacular military tablets were created by KEYSTONE MEMORIALS for Ocala Marble & Granite in Ocala, Florida. Keystone Blue granite was used for their creation. Each tablet was stands five-feet tall with an oval top. The monuments are each an impressive one-foot thick. The front and back are each polished with a circular recess cut into the stone to secure the bronze medallions signifying each branch of military along with the POW emblem. Edges and tops of all eight monuments are rock pitched. This regal public monument was crafted by DIXIE GRANITE COMPANY. Dixie utilized their specialty, Dixie Blue granite in the creation of this monument honoring a former mayor of Canon, Georgia, Ray Morgan. The monument is polished on both front and back with a curved shape along the top edge to mimic the curve of the inserted laser etched tile. The edges of the monument are rock pitched. The base features a polished top and a two-inch polished margin on the edges with the remainder being rock pitched to match the edges of the monument. One can find this monument standing at the main entrance to the Ray Morgan Ball Fields in Canon, Georgia. STONEXPO Las Vegas, Nevada. StonExpo is a stone industry event under The International Surface Event (TISE) brand offering stone industry professionals a global discovery of specialty stone and machinery, stone tools, equipment, services, and demonstrations from leading manufacturers and associations. StonExpo’s flagship annual event occurs each January in Las Vegas in conjunction with SURFACES and TileExpo. Top Photograph (Left to Right): Cory Parham along with Karlie, Chris and Matt Wilson of WILSON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRIC Right Photograph (Left to Right): Alberto Fraccaro and Marco Meggiorin of ITALDIAMANT USA (Left to Right): Hank Newton, Eric Chaloux, Tia Emery of MILES SUPPLY; Francesco Baggio, Veneto, Italy; Frank Andrews and Paul Strohl of MILES SUPPLY This year, Pacific Northwest Monument Builders Association joined with California Monument Association for their annual convention. This year it was located in Las Vegas, Nevada. The convention covered manufacturers and retailers from California, Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Photographed left are Joey Fuerstenberg, Vancouver, WA and Matthew Pruitt with Elberton Granite Association. This year’s MBNA conference was held at the Renasant Convention Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Conference attendees had the opportunity to meet with exhibiting companies including many from the Elberton area. Educational sessions with the industry’s most respected leaders was offered to attendees. Suppliers offered demonstrations and samples of product available. As one of the largest conventions, this gathering offers each participant a great opportunity for networking and fellowshipping with colleagues and fellow business owners. EGA Executive Vice President, Chris Kubas, seated far right, is photographed during an open question and answer session about the granite industry. (Left to Right): Anthony LeCompte, Laurel, DE; Brad Myers, South Boston, VA; Ian Turpin, Hammond, LA; Quinn Floyd with A.Q. STONE DESIGN; Anthony & Vickie Rowland along Autumn & Daniel Raper and children Ryleigh & Andy of Bethel Springs, TN. (Left to Right): Brett Foster, Jonesboro, AR; Michael Hughes and Bruce Bicknell from BICKNELL SUPPLY COMPANY; Chris St. John, Jackson, MI and Leslie Turpin with BICKNELL SUPPLY COMPANY (Left to Right): Joshua Laird, Bolivar, MO; George Arnold and Tim Bronleewe with GLASS ART IMAGING; Lindsey Laird and Brad Wommack, Bolivar, MO (Left to Right): T.J. Atkins and Charlotte Cornelison, Iuka, MS; Mike Fernandez with DESIGN MART and Ricky Cornelison, Iuka, MS (Left to Right): Mitch & Rhonda Williams along with Connie & Tony Mills with L & M GRANITE COMPANY and Anthony & Jennifer LeCompte from Laurel, DE (Left to Right): Richard Schultz and Al Schwartz from Madison, TN; Stacey Drake from GRANITE SALES & SUPPLY CORPORATION along with Anthony Rowland of Bethel Springs, TN (Left to Right): Adam, Susie, Donald and Logan Bodenrieth of St. Marys, PA; Cory Schneider, Jeff Poirier, Brady Turner of MILES SUPPLY (Left to Right): Alicia St. John, Jackson, MI; Becky & Kurt Luckemeyer with KING’S MONUMENT COMPANY; along with Chris St. John and Aaron Maurer from Jackson, MI (Left to Right): Tanner Lewis of LEWIS TRANSCONTINENTAL & PORCELAINS UNLIMITED with Houston Gordon, Brookhaven, MS; Joseph Timms, Conway, SC and Dave Pace, Brookhaven, MS (Left to Right): Noah Fried, ELBERTON STONEWORKS; Edward Fielding, III, Covington, LA and Zach Nix of ELBERTON STONEWORKS (Left to Right): David Alfortish from Gretna, LA; Scott Streetman with MATTHEWS GRANITE; Melissa Rodrigue, Gonzales, LA; Trey McAvoy, MATTHEWS GRANITE; Sos Rodrigue, Gonzales, LA along with Hunter Red and Randy Murray with MATTHEWS GRANITE Manuel Fernandez, 92, of Elberton, passed away Monday, Jan. 2, 2023. Manuel was born in Barre, Vermont to the late John Fernandez and Julia Peña Fernandez and was proud of his Spanish heritage. Known for his work ethic, he loved to share stories of his first job at eight years old as a soda jerk at Reed’s Drug Store on the one-way street. He would spend the rest of his working years in the granite industry, founding former EGA member-firm, Landmark Granite Company in the summer of 1967. When he wasn’t working, Manuel could be found watching football or in a deer stand. For years, he would coach Little League on Thursdays, cheer on the Blue Devils under the Friday night lights at the Granite Bowl, spend Saturdays in Athens or Clemson, then spend Sundays in Atlanta watching the Falcons. As a hunter, he was instrumental in the repopulation of deer in Elbert County at a time when there were no deer left in the area. Manuel loved his community and was active in the Jaycees civic organization. Upon retirement, he remained active by spending hours feeding the birds from a chair in his garage and by making sure his lawn remained manicured and pristine. Manuel will be remembered for his hard work and his love for his family. Kartis Ray Howell, age 89, entered into his Heavenly reward on Friday, January 27, 2023 while he was surrounded by the love and care of his devoted family. A native of Hart County, he was the son of the late Arthur “Bud” Howell and Thelma Barfield Howell. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, A.B. Howell and William Howell; and sister, Lily Belle Wiles. After graduating from Elbert County High School, Ray joined the United States Navy and served his country from April 1952 through April 1956 during the Korean War. He served on the USS Kearsarge CVA33 aircraft carrier and received numerous commendations including the Good Conduct, National Defense, and China Service medals. He served in Korean waters, the Philippines, Japan, China, and Singapore. It was during this time Ray learned to become a meat cutter so following his discharge from the Navy, he became a meat cutter at the Winn Dixie and Colonial stores. He later became a car salesman, where he spent most of his working years building relationships with his customers through his honesty and integrity. Following his retirement as general manager of Watkins Chevrolet in Royston, he owned and operated EGA Member-Firm, Howell Granite Imports and later became an integral part of the Hicks Funeral Home family. Having a servant’s heart, he enjoyed serving the community as a former member of the Elberton Lions Club and through his church. Ray will be remembered for his love of God, country, and family. Mr. Clois Bernard Worley, age 81, husband of Sandra Gray Lutz Worley, died on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, at his residence on Jaudon Road in Elberton. Clois was born in Elberton on September 30, 1941, son of the late Dunston Baker Worley, Jr. and Eunice Gladell Lovinggood Worley Taylor. Growing up, he was the baby of the family, joining brother Roland and sister Gladell. Clois was a 1959 graduate of Elberton High School and furthered his education at Atlanta Business College. He had dreams of becoming an electrician, but failed a color test that prevented him from being able to obtain his license. Clois then moved back to Elberton and went into the granite business with his brother at former EGA member-firm, Worley Monument Company, Inc. Clois served on the Board of Trustees for the Elberton Granite Association several times throughout his membership. He served his country in the Georgia Army National Guard. Clois later met Sandra Gray Lutz, and the two would go on to become soulmates and best friends. They were privileged to celebrate 58 years of marriage. From the time he was born, he was spoiled rotten and Sandra continued that throughout their married years. In return, Clois did the same for her. A very talented man, he could make absolutely anything, and especially enjoyed steel work and working on race cars. Clois was an avid traveler who enjoyed family trips to Destin, Florida, scuba diving, and cave diving. He used his love of diving to benefit others. Clois was a member and former Vice President of the Elbert County Rescue Unit Dive Team and a certified scuba diver instructor. Of all the places he had been privileged to travel, he was always quick to say Gills Point in Lincoln County was his favorite. Clois enjoyed may summers there boating and water skiing. He was a talented roller skater who taught most of his grandchildren how to skate. He was extremely proud of the fact that he could dance on skates. Clois and Sandra have been devout Jehovah’s Witnesses for many years. They have enjoyed working together with fellow witnesses with their time and resources to further Jehovah’s kingdom. Clois will be remembered as a kind, loving, generous, and noble man who never met a stranger. Survivors, in addition to his wife Sandra, include his children: Clois Shane Worley of Elberton, Kevin Trace Worley of Athens, and Marjorie Elizabeth Worley of Elberton; and sister, Gladell Worley Brock of Athens. He was the fun loving and devoted “Papa” to his grandchildren: Candace Worley Erlandson, Timothy Clois Worley, Cassidy Elizabeth Worley, and Emily Destyn Higginbotham and his great-grandchildren: Erin, KJ, Elizabeth, Clii-Lynn, Chevy Clois, and Adriel. 1st Lieutenant Robert Carnell Veal, Ret., ARNG, passed from this life to the next at home on Friday, February 17, 2023, while surrounded by his family. He was 91. The self-proclaimed Mayor of Sara Jane Drive, Bobby Veal lived life on his own terms, and died just the same. Born in Lithonia on July 23, 1931, the Veal family relocated to Elberton for work in the granite industry when Bobby was a small child. He grew up in Elberton where the family attended First Baptist Church and he graduated high school in 1949. Bobby served his country faithfully in the Army National Guard. Bobby, just as his daddy before him, devoted his life’s work to the granite industry. He was the owner/operator of Veal Granite Company, an EGA member-firm. Bobby was a cowboy at heart who loved sharing his love of the horse world with others and was a founding member of the Elbert County Saddle Club. An extremely talented man, he enjoyed piloting airplanes as a licensed pilot, playing guitar, and was very successful in the martial art of karate. Bobby was an avid outdoors man and an accomplished hunter and fisherman. His last days were spent in the comfort of his home admiring many of his taxidermy game and reminiscing of days gone by. The oldest of three children born to Roy Carnell Veal and Margaret Farmer Veal, he is preceded in death by his daughter, Margie Rodgers; and brother, Royce Eugene Veal. Bobby is survived by his wife of 48 years, Dianne Gail Pratt Veal and his children: Janice Meyer de Stadelhofen and her husband Francois Meyer of Switzerland, Allan Carnell Veal and his wife Fran of Elberton, Julie V. Dye and her husband Ron of Elberton, Rena Smith and her husband Doug of Elberton, and Bob Thurmond and his husband Bill Hooper of New York.