Sharon Rose Grant of Tiger, Georgia, died peacefully on Friday, November 11, 2022 at Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Georgia after a years-long battle with kidney and heart disease.
Born Sharon Rose O’Neal in Clayton, Georgia, December 3, 1943, she is the daughter of William (Bill) O’Neal and Rose Elliott O’Neal, both of whom preceded her in death. Sharon grew up in Tiger, Georgia on her parent’s farm where she learned to love gardening, cooking, sewing and canning—cleverly avoiding any outdoor farm work with the animals, except for fishing and fileting those she caught. Sharon was a 1961 graduate of Rabun County High School, where she met and made many lifelong friends. In 1965, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the Women’s College of Georgia (now Georgia College & State University) in Milledgeville, Georgia. She also earned a Master’s degree in Special Education.
After serving as a Home Economist with the Agriculture Extension Service in Whitfield County, Georgia, she found her true calling as a teacher at Dalton High School. During her career at Dalton High, she taught Home Economics and Special Education. Following retirement, she returned to Dalton Public Schools as a part-time support specialist in the district Special Education department. Throughout her life, Sharon enjoyed learning and teaching others. She was a voracious reader and researcher of all topics and subjects. During her teaching career, she discovered a love of travel and spent her free time traveling across the United States to all 48 contiguous states and several European countries. Travel was purposeful for Sharon. She used the travel experience to expand her knowledge of places, events and history, all of which she brought back to her students.
Following her second retirement she divided her time between her home and friends in Dalton and the farm in Tiger. She returned to her love of gardening, cooking, sewing and canning. She expanded her circle of friends once more and found great pleasure in teaching those same skills to them, even as her health declined in recent years. As one friend described her, Sharon was a life force who animated all those around her and brought her joie de vivre to every room she entered.
She is survived by her sisters, Joyce Gailey (husband Phil Gailey) of St. Petersburg, Florida and Melba Fugitt (husband Fred Fugitt) of Marietta, Georgia; a nephew Daniel Gailey of St. Petersburg, Florida and a niece Heather Fugitt (husband Greg Filce) and their son Ethan of Roswell, Georgia. Many cousins whom she loved dearly also survive.
The family extends their deepest thanks to Sharon’s cousin, Marcia McKean and her husband, Harvey, for their loving help during the years of her illness and to the staff at the Hospice at Northeast Georgia Medical Center for the compassionate care they extended to Sharon during her final days.
Contributions in memory of Sharon may be made to the Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center, mailed to 2150 Limestone Parkway, Ste 222, Gainesville, Georgia 30501 or made online at https://www.nghs.com/foundation.
A celebration of Sharon’s life will be held by the family at the Eastside Chapel of Hunter Funeral Home Saturday, December 3, 2022 at 2:00 pm officiated by Rev. James E. Turpen Sr.
Hunter Funeral Home, Clayton, Georgia is honored to serve Sharon’s family.