Josie Faye (Embry) McLaney, affectionately known as “Jo,” passed away July 28, 2014, at the age of 81. She was born in Rockmart, Georgia, to the late Noel and Rena (Davis) Embry. Jo was a graduate of Cedartown High School, in Cedartown, Georgia. In 1951, she married Milton (Coach Mac) McLaney, and together they moved to Monticello, where he started his coaching career and she found her interest in floral arrangements. They moved to Newton County in 1956, where she became active and served as president of the Covington Garden Club. Jo worked part-time for several years for Abre Sherwood of Sherwood’s Flower Shop on the square. In January of 1965, she opened Covington Flower Shop in its first location on Floyd Street. The shop was very successful and grew to its new location on the east side of the square in Covington. In addition to the flower shop, she opened the Covington Flower Mart - a wholesale florist store for the public. She was well-known in the floral industry and was commentator for many years for AFS – a floral wire service that served the entire U.S. In addition to owning and managing a local shop, Jo taught a floral school, on the Island of Curaçao, for several years. Along with her passion for flowers, she was very interested in the history and growth of Newton County. She was on the tourism committee, and she would share her knowledge of the town’s history while conducting tours. While in her original Covington Flower Shop location, she opened a souvenir shop for both the “In the Heat of the Night” and “Dukes of Hazzard” television series, which added to the tourism and interest of Covington. Jo started “In the Heat of the Night” reunions and attended and promoted “Dukes of Hazzard” reunions that were held in Covington for many years. She made several lifelong friends who shared in her passion for these shows. She enjoyed the “spotlight” of the movies filmed in and around Covington, and even “starred” as an extra in many of those local films. She was an avid bridge player for more than 50 years. The bridge club met twice a month with each lady hosting a different Friday. Jo was a religious woman and raised her family in the First United Methodist Church in Covington. She later attended Screven Baptist Church in Screven after moving to live with her daughter, Marci. Jo valued the new friendships created while at Screven Baptist. She was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, and her later years were spent adoring her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was cherished by many and will be greatly missed by all those lucky to call her ‘friend.’
Survivors include her daughters and sons-in-law, Marci and Butch Hutcheson, Susan (Sissy) and Ron Skipper; grandchildren, Ryan Marks, Allen and Natalie Martin, James and Alison (Marks) Brown, Lisa Martin, Steven Dobbs, Scott Dobbs; great-grandchildren, Collin Marks, Emily Marks, Austin Marks, Colton Mitchell, Asa Brown, Tanner Martin, Kennady Martin, Kambrie Morrow, Asher Martin; brother and sister-in-law, Kenneth and Diane Davis; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral Services for Jo will be held Friday, August 1, 2014, 2 p.m., at the Chapel of Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home, 1215 Access Road, in Covington, with Rev. Dr. Douglas Gilreath officiating and interment following in Lawnwood Memorial Park. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Thursday, July 31, from 4 – 7 p.m.
www.caldwellandcowan.com to place online condolences 770-786-7062.