Home arrow Obituaries arrow Helen Joann Peterson Floyd, Ailey

Helen Joann Peterson Floyd, Ailey
Monday, 23 June 2014

June 23--Helen Joann Peterson Floyd passed away on June 21, 2014. She was born in Ailey, Georgia, April 7, 1930, the daughter of John Calhoun Peterson and Susie Smith Peterson_ and a member of this community’s extended family, whose town was named for her great grandmother. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Sue Peterson Durling, and her great grandson, James Anderson Berg IV, “Bo”.

Joann graduated from Brewton Parker in 1946 where she was class salutatorian and president. The youngest member of her class at Agnes Scott, she graduated with honors in 1950. While there she was an editor of the Agnes Scott News, a member of the Christian Association Cabinet, and the Cotillion Club.

After graduation, she married Waldo Emerson Floyd, Jr. of Statesboro, Georgia, They moved directly to Baltimore Maryland where she began teaching in the public schools and earning her Master’s degree in Education at the Johns Hopkins University. After graduating there, the couple moved to Atlanta where Waldo Emerson Floyd III was born in 1954 and Susan Lee in 1955.

To complete her husband’s training they moved to Augusta, GA until 1959 and then to Charleston, S.C. from 1959 to 1961. In Charleston she served as tour guide of historic homes and gardens and as president of the Naval Officers’ Wives Club.

The Floyds arrived in Macon in July 1961 where her husband established his medical practice. Another daughter, Joanna Marie, was born in 1962 and another son, John Calhoun Peterson in 1971. The development of these four children and subsequent grandchildren remained the main focus of her life.

In addition she continued to teach in various places, from the Baltimore Public Schools, The Augusta Episcopal Day School, to English 101 at Macon State, to Creative Writing at Mercer University.

Among her literary interests, was a published book, The Birthday Book, for which she was awarded first place by Georgia Press Women and National Press Women and writings which were included in Georgia On My Mind. Pepperdine University awarded her first place in national competition for her short story “The Short Run”. She served as an associate editor of the Georgia Journal Magazine and as coordinator for the Mercer University School of Medicines’ “Mornin’ Show”. She received a second Master’s degree in Communication at Mercer University in her sixties.

In connection with her interests in literary pursuits and her many opportunities to travel, she organized and conducted a literary tour of the British Isles.

Because of her interest in history and her love of country, she was an active member and officer of the DAR, the DAC, both in Statesboro and in Montgomery County, the National Society of Colonial Dames, The Magna Carta Dames, and the Daughters of the Cincinnati; through her prepositee, Lt Thomas Mitchell of the Georgia Continental Line, who fought as an officer with General Elijah Clarke during the Revolutionary War and common ancestor with her mother’s cousin, Margaret Mitchell, writer of Gone with the Wind.

She was proud, also, of her connection with King James of England and Scotland, because of the King James Bible. Bible Studies and Bible teaching were an important focus of her life. She was instrumental in helping to form the Macon Christian Women’s Club.

Joann served on the Board of the Garden Club of Georgia. She was a pianist and a member of the Macon Music Club and of the History Club of Macon, The Hillandale Garden Club, The Macon Writers’ Club, the Macon Duplicate Bridge Club where she recently was awarded Honorary Life Master under the auspices of the American Contract Bridge League, as well as the Thursday Bridge Club since 1961, and the Wednesday Bridge Group, and the Canterbury Sunday School Class where she was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Macon.

Joann, known as “Petie” by her family and many loved ones, had an untiring love of people and fun. She had an uncanny ability to find common ground with all new acquaintances. She was genuinely interested in everything and everyone and her zest for life has been and will continue to be an inspiration to all.

Joann is survived by her husband of 64 years, her daughters, Susan Lee Floyd Causey (Harold), Joanna Marie Floyd Jones (Casey), her sons, Waldo Emerson Floyd III, (Kathy), and John Calhoun Peterson Floyd (Leigh Anne), ten grandchildren, and three great granddaughters.

Services are scheduled for 10AM at First Presbyterian Church in Macon at 832 Mulberry Street adjacent to the Macon Opera House. That service will be followed by a home going song celebration at the Ailey Methodist Church at 2:30 PM and then the burial at the Peterson Cemetery in Ailey. Her Pastor from Macon is expected to preside at the service at the First Presbyterian Church as well as at the one at the Ailey Methodist Church.  In lieu of flowers and food, you may donate to one of her favorite charities_ Franklin Graham’s “Samaritan’s Purse,” First Presbyterian Church, Ailey Methodist Church, or the “Friends of Israel”.

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