The following gentlemen will serve as pallbearers: Joe Sewell, Jack Sales, Roger Sheppard, Richard Greenway, Phillip Caputi, Tom Hopewell, Daniel Hayes and Joe Casali, and should meet at the funeral home by 10:15 a.m. The employees of Acree Oil Company and Hasty Mart will serve as honorary escort and should meet at the McNeely Fellowship Hall of the First Methodist Church by 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow in the Toccoa City Cemetery.
Mr. Acree died Sunday, June 2, 2013, at his residence.
A son of the late Robert Walter and Sadie Isbell Acree, he was born April 18, 1927, in Stephens County, where he lived all his life. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Mary Bob Acree Hobgood.
He graduated from Toccoa High School, attended Clemson University and then transferred to the University of Georgia, graduating in 1950 with a BBA degree. Richard began his career with Acree Oil Company in 1950, upon his graduation from UGA. Acree Oil Company was started in 1927 by his father, Robert W. Acree. Richard served as president of Acree Oil Company with offices in Athens, Elberton, Toccoa and Seneca, S.C. He also owns the convenience store chain, Hasty Mart of Georgia and Hasty Mart of South Carolina. He founded Northeast Waste Control Inc. in the early 1970s. He later sold the company to Waste Management Inc., with the proceeds being donated to the University of Georgia.
He has served on the Board of Directors and as president of the Toccoa-Stephens Co. Chamber of Commerce. He served on the State of Georgia’s Board of Industry and Trade under Governors Maddox and Carter. Gov. Zell Miller appointed him a member of the Jekyll Island Authority, where he served for a number of years.
He served in the Georgia Army National Guard 26 years, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. During his years as commanding officer of the Toccoa unit, they received many honors for outstanding performance.
Richard and Emily were among the first recipients of the prestigious University of Georgia’s Pinnacle Award for generous and continuous donations to the University’s Terry College of Business. The Acree Family Foundation has endowed a chair at Terry College for a professorship in entrepreneurism. Richard served on the University’s Foundation Board of Directors, retiring with emeritus status. He has served as president of the Georgia Oilmen’s Association and was still an active member. He has a long history of supporting schools and colleges in Northeast Georgia as well as numerous civic organizations.
In March 2008, Acree Oil Company was recognized as a finalist in the 2008 Georgia Family Business of the Year. This was sponsored by Cox Family Enterprise, Georgia Trend and Kennesaw State University. In March, 2009, Acree Oil Company was awarded the 2009 Georgia Family Business of the Year. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church, a member of the Masonic Lodge 309, a Shriner and a member of American Legion Post 104.
Mr. Acree leaves a legacy of past service to his community, and will be greatly missed by his many friends and business associates.
Survivors include his wife, Emily Wynne Edwards Acree, of the home; a daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca Wynne Acree Lott and Charles R. Lott of St. Simons Island; grandson, Judson Richard Lott, who is currently employed by Acree Oil Company; nephew, Bobby Hobgood and his wife Kathy of Toccoa; and Ms. Helen Hayes Gilbert, long-time friend, employee and caregiver.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Toccoa-Stephens County Humane Shelter, P.O. Box 2182, Toccoa, GA 30577, in memory of Mr. Walter Richard Acree.
Online condolences can be made by visiting the website, acree-davisfh.com.
Acree-Davis Funeral Home, Toccoa, is in charge of arrangements.
The Northeast Georgian
June 5, 2013