Funeral Services Date: September 29th, 2017
David Leigh Wickersham, 72, who for many years published The Sandersville Progress, Wrightsville Headlight, and other small-town Georgia newspapers, died unexpectedly from complications of yellowjacket bites on September 26, 2017.
A native of Washington, Georgia he was the son of the late Charles Almond Wickersham and Katie Brown Wickersham and brother to the late Charles A. Wickersham, III.
A long-time resident of Sandersville, Mr. Wickersham divided his years in retirement between homes in St. Simons, Sky Valley, and Atlanta. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Mary Eleanor (Rawlings) Wickersham; son, Penn Wickersham, MD and wife Valerie of San Antonio, Texas; daughter, Eleanor Cates and husband Nathaniel of Atlanta; sisters Kathy Wickersham Grosshans of Sandersville, Laura Wickersham Toburen of Washington, and a host of grandchildren, in-laws, cousins, and close friends.
A 1966 graduate of UGA’s business school, Mr. Wickersham taught in Washington County Public Schools before joining with childhood friend Bobby Garrett to found the Sandersville Georgian in 1971. Later that year, they purchased the Sandersville Progress, and over the next 20 years, the partners expanded the business to include newspapers in Wrightsville, Cochran, and Gibson and were instrumental in starting a newspaper printing service in central Georgia. His newspapers won numerous Georgia Press Association awards for layout, quality newswriting, and community service.
He was a lifelong Methodist, a member of the Sandersville United Methodist Church, and since spending time in Sky Valley, attended services at Rabun Gap Presbyterian Church and at Lovely Lane Chapel at Epworth.
After selling the business to Tribble Publications, Mr. Wickersham spent the next 20 years first working with his beloved mother-in-law, Eleanor Rawlings, in the antiques field, and later traveling the nation as he developed a successful estate jewelry business. A gregarious, outgoing fellow, Mr. Wickersham cultivated long-term friends across the country and counted as his regular clients such notables as Vernon Jordan and John Grisham.
Although retired, Mr. Wickersham remained extremely active until the day of his untimely death. He was known as an easygoing traveling companion; for his positive and cheerful spirit; for his gentlemanly ways; for his ability to listen and encourage others; and as an interesting, intelligent dinner guest. He found adventure in every step of his life, brought cheer to those around him, and especially loved his grandchildren: Will, Kat, Nora, and Rawlings.
A memorial service is set for Friday, September 29, at 11 a.m. at the Rabun Gap Presbyterian Church, 8937 Wolffork Road, Rabun Gap, Georgia.
For those wishing to make memorials, contributions would welcome to Rabun Gap Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 333, Rabun Gap, Georgia 30568, or to Lovely Lane Chapel at Epworth by the Sea, 100 Arthur J. Moore Drive St., Simons Island, GA 31522
This is a courtesy announcement of May and Smith Funeral Directors in Sandersville.