Dr. John Arrendale Ezzard
Dr. John Arrendale Ezzard, the founder of Tiger Mountain Vineyards and a moving force behind Georgia’s fine wine industry, died peacefully at the Ezzard home in the vineyards. A celebration of his life was held in the vineyards with a gathering for friends and family at Tiger Mountain’s Red Barn afterwards.
He left a lasting legacy in his pioneering quest to grow and make fine wines in the North Georgia Mountains and to share with others a taste of the Tiger earth he knew so well and loved so much. He also left a lifelong dedication to the practice of medicine — first in Colorado, then in North Georgia — to healing the sick in body and soul, no matter their means. He loved history, fishing and classical music and was an avid sports fan.
Ezzard graduated from the University of Georgia and the Medical College of Georgia, where he was selected for the AOA honor society. He served two years as admissions officer at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, then finished a four year residency in urology at the University of Missouri. He practiced 27 years in Denver, then returned to Rabun County in 1995 to restore the five-generation-old Arrendale-Ezzard family farm where he was born. He continued his practice in Rabun and Stephens counties. He was one of five children and the oldest son of Lt. Col. William Trimble Ezzard and Ruth Arrendale.
For his contributions to medicine and the winemaking business, he was awarded the Rabun Legacy Award in 2013.
He is survived by his wife, Martha McElveen Ezzard, three children, Shelly Ezzard Smith, Lisa A. Ezzard and John Arrendale Ezzard Jr., as well as his sisters, Lucy Ezzard Bartlett of Tiger and his foster sister, Jane Chang of Cranbury, New Jersey. The Ezzards have six grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to St. James Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 69, Clayton, Georgia 30525 or the UGA College of Agriculture, Viticulture/ Intern Program, 137 Cedar St., Athens, Georgia 30602
Beck Funeral Home, in Clayton, was in charge of the arrangements. An online memorial register book is available at www.beckfuneralhome.com.
The Clayton Tribune, Nov. 9, 2017