Mr. Milton Benjamin Guy Jr.

Published 6:25 pm Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Milton Benjamin Guy Jr., 98, of Manchester passed away at his home on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018.

M.B. was born on Jan. 8, 1920, to Nettie Kate Childs Guy and Milton Guy Sr. He was one of four children and the only boy.  His three sisters were Virginia, Kathryn and Laura Jean. He began working in Manchester at the age of 13, hauling slabs from the saw mill in Shiloh for his dad’s business. His dad’s business was fire wood, also known as stove wood, coal, grist mill and corn feed mill which ground feed for animals. His next jobs were working at Grubbs Cleaners, picking up and delivering dry cleaning. He also worked at City Drug as a soda jerk and curb boy. He always waited on President Roosevelt at the curb with a Cherry Coke.  He recounted that he and the President would chat for 15-20 minutes and added that this made a great impression on the people in Italy years later.  During his service there during World War II, he would describe to them where Manchester was located.  The people would not know anything about Atlanta but to quote M.B., “they would have a fit when I mentioned Warm Springs, as they all knew about our President.”  He went on to tell that it really impressed them when he told them he was the only one that could serve him a Cherry Coke.  That was good enough for an invitation to dinner in their home anytime, and some even gave him a key to their front door.

Before the war M.B. was also employed at the President Theater. After leaving the theater, M.B. and his dad’s brother opened Guy’s Cleaners in February of 1939.  He was there until early 1941.  At that time he joined his dad again in business and was there until he joined the Army Air Corps in December of 1941.  He was in the service until August of 1945.  He was in the 325th Fighter Group known as the Checkertail Clan and served in North Africa and Italy. They escorted bombers, and they were the only outfit to take action on the Island of Sardinia, which later surrendered to the outfit.  In August 1944, M.B. was promoted to Corporal, in September 1944 to Sargent and October  of 1944 to Staff Sargent. In November of 1944, he was again promoted to Tech Sargent and in January 1945 to Master Sargent.  He was Group Sargent Major from 1942 to the end of his service.

In October of 1945, M.B. married his longtime sweetheart, Margie.  His sisters told the story of him proposing to her through them. He sent money back home while he was still in the service and asked them to buy a ring and propose to Margie for him, which they did, and the two were married for 71 years.  It is well-known that these two shared a love that is rare.  M.B. passed away on what would have been their 73rd wedding anniversary and the family finds peace and comfort in the knowledge that they spent this anniversary together.

After returning home from the service, M.B. went into the wholesale candy and tobacco business with other related items until he took over the service station on Main Street. He operated the service station which later also became the bus station. Greyhound and Trailway buses came through every day. M.B. and Margie would make sandwiches and sell them, along with candy, crackers and ice cream, to the bus customers.  He also serviced the cars of the people who came to Manchester to go to Columbus or Atlanta by bus and who would return the same day. In 1957, M.B. made arrangements to buy Georgia L.P. Gas Company.  He loved every minute of his 12-hour work days until the business was sold in 2014.  There was always family working with him. Early on this included Margie, his sisters, both daughters and sons-in-law. Grandchildren also worked from time to time at the business.  The business was always known as a gathering place, the coffee was always hot and M.B. was always there to welcome any and all who stopped by to visit.

Being a part of the community was always important to M.B.  He was an active member of First United Methodist Church in Manchester and served as Sunday school superintendent, chairman of the finance committee, chairman of administrative board, chairman of the building committee, chairman of the pastor/parrish committee, member of board of trustees and a member of the church choir for over 75 years.  He was in the Jaycees and served two terms as president.  He was also in the Manchester Kiwanis Club as an active member since 1957. He served on the local school board and as a city commissioner.  He served on the board of directors of the First American Bank for many years where he served as vice chairman of the board.  He served on the local board of education as a member of the Manchester Board of Commissioners and was chairman of this board for 8 years. He has been a Mason and Shriner for more than 50 years. He served on the Manchester Business Association Board of Directors and was active on the Manchester Development Authority until shortly before his death. M.B. has always said his greatest joy was being able to share with others, the wonderful people he had the pleasure to work with, and most of all his family, who brought him more pride and joy than anyone could imagine.

M.B. was preceded in death by his spouse, Margie, his parents, three sisters and brothers-in-law.  M.B. is survived by two daughters, Vicky (Al) Olivent and Meg Sullivan, all of Manchester; five grandchildren, Brooke Bozeman of Newnan; Jennifer Bozeman Leebern (Stephan) of Newnan; Ruth Olivent Brown (Matthew) of Manchester; Ashlee Reddick Fuller (Dan) of Thomaston; Benjamin Joseph (B.J.) Sullivan of Manchester; adopted granddaughter, Haley Hewett of Newnan; 10 great grandchildren, Cole and Ross Clifton; Brooks, Reeves and Guy Leebern; Levi, Lily Kate and Davis Durham; Gracyn and Bella Fuller; as well as many nieces and nephews and extended family.

The funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 at the First United Methodist Church in Manchester with interment following in the Manchester City Cemetery.  The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 6 p.m. to  9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Mr. Guy may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 206 Broad Street, Manchester, GA, 31816.

Cox Funeral Home, Manchester, GA, is assisting the Guy family with arrangements. All are invited to sign the online registry and share a fond memory of Mr. M.B. Guy Jr. at