To the editor:
In 1998 broadcast journalist Tom Brokaw published a book entitled The Greatest Generation about the men and women who grew up during the Great Depression and fought in World War II. They experienced a world convulsing in economic collapse, despotism and war, yet they came together to defeat the totalitarian regimes which had devastated almost all of Europe and Asia, and then to rebuild the nations they had just defeated. The sacrifice, service and higher calling exhibited by this generation saved the world as we know it.
Last Friday, Newton County lost one of our remaining members of that greatest generation, Barbara Davis Morgan, who passed away at the age of 98.
Mrs. Morgan was born in a small settlement on the banks of the St Mary’s River during the Presidency of Woodrow Wilson just six months after the October Revolution propelled the Bolsheviks into power in Russia and seven months before the Armistice to end World War I.
She was 11 years old at the time of Black Monday in October 1929 which heralded the beginning of the Great Depression, and fifteen when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected our 32nd President. Mrs. Morgan graduated from Wesleyan College in Macon in 1939, just three months before German tanks rolled into Poland beginning World War II.
She was teaching elementary school in Porterdale on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II. She married Jack Morgan on June 16, 1945, just two months before President Truman ordered the use of atomic bombs over the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bringing about the surrender of Japan and the end of World War II.
Mrs. Morgan went on to raise a family of eight children and serve as an anchor for her ambitious husband as he built several successful businesses, served in the Georgia House of Representatives and was elected the Chair of the Newton County Board of Commissioners.
The personification of a Southern lady, she was elegant, resourceful and dedicated to her family. Her quiet demeanor masked her keen awareness of local and national affairs and her interest in politics.
During her lifetime, 17 Presidents lived in the White House, the United States became the predominant power in the world and the forces of fascism and communism grew and then faded. On the local level she was married to one Chair of the Board of Commissioners, the mother of another and the mother in law of a third.
Barbara Davis Morgan was a quintessential member of that greatest generation of which Brokaw wrote. She grew up in fearful times yet never allowed fear to conquer her dreams. She understood that in trying times service was the siren call which we all had to heed.
She will be missed not only by her family, but by a nation sorely in need of those who put family, community and country before self.
Thank you Mrs. Morgan,
Philip A. Johnson