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In Memoriam – John Harvey Cantrell

With deep sadness, the Georgia Jewelers Association announced the passing of past president, John Harvey Cantrell. John died peacefully with the love of his life Janice Nichols by his side. Born August 2, 1925 Johnny passed away January 28, 2021 at the age pf 95. A Marine veteran, he fought and was survivor in the Battle for Iwo Jima. He was a clock repairman, gemologist, skilled jeweler, and a successful store owner. Johnny led an eventful 95 years.

Loved by his hometown of Bremen, Johnny knew everyone, and everyone knew him. For years he was delighted to serve as the Grand Marshall of the Memorial Day parade and loved how folks would cheer and wave flags as he and others led the parade through town. We’ve all seen the image of the Marines raising the American flag at Iwo Jima, Johnny had a front row seat and watched it live. He was awarded ribbons with gold stars for Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and Saipan. Then Silver Stars for battles in the Marshall Islands and the Philippines. His stories were endless and interesting, though often hard to tell.

From Tom Brokaw’s book The Greatest Generation - “Hero is a description tossed around lightly these days – like “star” or “celebrity”. During WWII the phrase “You’re a hero” would bring the response “No I’m not; I’m just doing my job, just like everyone else”. The fighting men and women were so dependent on each other and shared so many common experiences they were embarrassed to be singled out”.

Johnny arrived back in Bremen in 1945 and joined his brother Horace in the jewelry business. Cantrell Jewelers anchored downtown Bremen until Johnny’s retirement at age 88.

He, like so many before him, make this a great industry. Johnny always did his job to the best of his ability.

A small private service is planned. Submitted by Jeff Koch, Bulova Representative and longtime friend of John Cantrell and Judy Lince GJA Executive Director.

AT: 02/04/2021 05:50:16 PM   LINK TO THIS NEWSLETTER

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