Cecil A. Callaway

A heart of gold stopped beating today and is now at peace; Cecil A. Callaway, age 87, of Homer, passed away on Thursday, February 22, 2024.

Born on November 23, 1936, in Washington, Georgia, he was a son of the late Henry T. Callaway and Myrtice Ogletree Callaway. He had humble beginnings in rural Georgia, where he worked in the cotton fields and was inspired by the state patrol cars as they drove past. After graduating from Washington-Wilkes High School in 1954, he went to Washington, DC and began working with the FBI doing fingerprinting. He entered the military in 1955 and served in the United States Marine Corps. He was stationed on “The USS Leytee” until he was honorably discharged as a Military Police in 1958. After the military, he began working at the Tampa, Florida Police Department. He graduated from State Patrol School in 1959. After graduation, he started working as a Georgia State Patrol at the Toccoa Office and eventually transferred to the Gainesville Office, where he worked for many years. He was appointed to the GBI by the Georgia Governor and became the lead investigator in the Floyd Hoard, DA Murder Case that took place in Jackson County relating to the Dixie Mafia in 1967.

He was a part of the one and only graduating class from the FBI Academy to graduate at the White House during the Nixon Era in 1969. Mr. Callaway personally knew five US Presidents and was a personal friend of Governor and President Jimmy Carter. Upon his 1969 graduation, he returned to the GBI to serve as Lieutenant of the Narcotics Division in Atlanta and thereafter, the Georgia State Patrol. Due to health reasons, he transferred to the DNR, at which point he retired in 1982. During his 24-plus years of law enforcement, he also worked for the Banks and Jackson County Sheriff’s Offices. Mr. Callaway was a member of Homer Baptist Church.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sisters, Mary Callaway McRee and Annie Callaway; brothers, Albert Callaway and Sonny Callaway; and son-in-law, Mark Knepp. He was the last surviving member of his immediate family.

Survivors include his loving wife of 48 years, Sharon Dills Callaway of Homer; daughters and son-in-law, Angela Callaway Welborn (Daren) of Cleveland and Pamela Callaway Knepp of Gainesville; grandchildren: Erica Dukes, Cheyenne Welborn, Dillon Callaway Knepp, Tyler Welborn (Jolene), and David Knepp; great-grandchildren, DJ Dukes, II and London Dukes; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins; and other extended relatives and friends.

Funeral services are scheduled for 11:00 am on Monday, February 26, 2024, at Homer Baptist Church, 5026 Highway 441 South, Homer, Georgia 30547, with Rev. Charles Crabbe and Rev. Swayne Cochran officiating.

Interment is scheduled for 3:00 pm after the service on Monday at Phillips Mill Baptist Church Cemetery, 5479 Greensboro Road, Washington, Georgia 30673. Military honors will be provided by the United States Marine Corps Honor Guard.

The family will receive friends from 3-5 pm on Sunday, February 25, 2024, at McGahee-Griffin & Stewart Funeral Home and from 9:30 am until the service hour on Monday at the church.

Flowers are accepted, or memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tennessee 38105.

An online guest register is available and may be viewed at www.mcgaheegriffinandstewart.com.

McGahee-Griffin & Stewart Funeral Home of Cornelia, Georgia (706/778-8668) is in charge of arrangements.

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