Terry Daviston, the owner of McKoon Funeral Home in Newnan, will be honored as Coweta County's Veteran of the Year in ceremonies Friday.
American Legion Post 57 Post Commander Dick Dennis announced plans for the community Veterans Day ceremonies -- including the honoring of Daviston. For the seventh year, the American Legion-sponsored program in Newnan will feature a selected local veteran who represents a successful life and a spirit of service to community, state and nation.
Daviston, an Alabama native, served his country during the Cold War as an Intelligence Specialist in the U.S. Army. He served in Japan, monitoring clandestine radio traffic from North Korea, China and the Soviet Union.
Upon completion of his enlistment, he began working in the funeral business, eventually completing mortuary school in Kentucky. A career of funeral home management brought him to Georgia, and his purchase of the McKoon Funeral Home from the founding family brought him to Newnan.
Dennis lauded Daviston's unselfish giving of his time and spirit to causes and individuals throughout Coweta County and Georgia. "Terry gives so much to so many and it is always with anonymity. He is what I call a quiet hero," Dennis said.
"He has always been our right arm during parades, ceremonies and our participation in veterans' funerals. He has stepped up when financially distressed veterans pass away, making sure that their final rest is with dignity and honor," Dennis said.
Kiwanis, the Coweta County Development Authority and the Veterans Plaza Committee have all benefited from Daviston's involvement. He is an active member of First Baptist Church of Newnan.
Daviston shares his life with Martha Ann, his wife of 46 years, son John and daughter Tracy Piepho and three grandchildren.
"In all he does, he has not forgotten to be thankful for the service of his fellow veterans," Dennis said, describing Daviston as "the perfect combination of success and compassion for others."
The ceremonies will begin at 11 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Plaza in the city park at Jackson Street and Temple Avenue. A musical program will feature the eighth-grade chorus from Smokey Road Middle School, directed by Mrs. Denise Meacham.
As seating is usually limited, the public is advised to bring folding chairs. In the case of inclement weather, the program will be held in the chapel of McKoon Funeral Home next to the park.
Parking is also available for the ceremony at McKoon's.
The traditional Veterans Day Luncheon at the Coweta Veterans' Club, will follow the ceremony. Dennis extended an invitation to all of Daviston's friends to attend the ceremonies and share in his pride and join the post for a meal and fellowship.