Mr. Charles Frank Hollberg III, 82, of Senoia, Ga., passed away Sunday, June 11 at Wesley Woods of Newnan.
Mr. Frank was born on September 10, 1934, to the late Virginia Arnall and Charles Frank Hollberg Jr.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Sandra Thomas Hollberg, and a son, John Arnall Hollberg.
He is survived by his wife Bonnie Whidby Hollberg of Senoia, Ga.; sister, Barbara Tisdale (Marion); daughters, Louise (Ted) Gaskin of Bethesda, Md., Catherine (Steve) Minor of Carrollton, Ga., step-children Keith Eppinette of Woodstock, Ga., Kyle (Paige) Eppinette of Flowery Branch, Ga., and Kayle (Ricky) Boyd of Newnan, Ga., and 6 grandchildren and 5 step-grandchildren.
Frank grew up in Senoia, Ga. when Senoia was a small country town accessible only by dirt roads. He attended Brantley Institute, Newnan High School (class of 1952), and with his friend Jim Baggerly, earned the rank of Eagle Scout in Boy Scout Troop 49. Frank attended the Senoia Presbyterian Church, where one Sunday a month the minister would take the bus to Senoia to preach at the 3 p.m. service. In summers, he attended Athens Y Camp where “God and a Good Time are Friends.” He played trombone in the high school band, and was fond of recounting that although he had wanted to play football, after tryouts the coach told him that “the band needed him more than the team.”
At Georgia Tech Frank was president of the freshman class, a member of the KA fraternity, and the Navy ROTC. After graduation in 1956, Frank spent two years as a supply officer on the USS Bryce Canyon. After his military service, he brought Sandra to Senoia to help run the family’s country store, established by Frank’s grandfather in 1894. They lived upstairs in the Hollberg Hotel and adjusted to life in Senoia.
Mr. Frank was loyal – to his home town of Senoia, to “the store,”to a vast array of friends, and of course to his alma mater, Georgia Tech. Under Frank’s leadership, the store stayed relevant to the changing tastes and needs of the area, and transitioned from a country store selling shoes, overalls, and groceries, to include pharmacy, a soda fountain, appliance sales, and finally, furniture. As friend and fellow ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) member Dr. Jimmy Thomasson remarked, “Frank was the ultimate merchant and always came to lunch with his friends dressed in his tie and blue blazer.” While Frank saved and cherished the old hand written ledgers detailing individual credit accounts and the original mechanical cash register, he also implemented modern inventory management and accounting software, and even an internet presence. Hollberg’s Fine Furniture, as the store is known today, together with Hutchinson Hardware, the numerous enterprises of Paul McKnight, and the Crook stores, were for many years the only major businesses in town, and helped the town survive until it could re-emerge as a vibrant small town and film mecca.
Mr. Frank’s nickname, “Buddy,” is indicative of his penchant for making, and keeping, life-long friendships. Frank enjoyed many things in life – working at the store, volunteering, traveling, dining with friends, but his life was certainly not untouched by tragedy. Frank lost his son John when John was 23 years old, and his wife of over 43 years just two years later. Even in the midst of these difficulties, Frank never let life’s tragedies define him, and because of this, he was ultimately rewarded with a second chance at living a joyous life. At a wedding in 2001, Frank did what he did best – he connected with an old friend, Bonnie Eppinette. Although Bonnie was then living in Birmingham, Ala., she had previously lived in small-town Senoia, and Frank thought he just might be able to convince her to return to town. Frank immediately set his sights on doing just that, and they were married in November of 2002. Frank and Bonnie spent many happy years traveling and being involved in local activities.
Frank was always civic minded, and a willing volunteer to serve on community boards. He was active in the Georgia Lions Eye Bank, the Georgia Home Furnishings Association, the Newnan Coweta Airport Authority, the Senoia Cemetery Association, and the Senoia Downtown Devel-opment Association. He was a former board member of The Heritage School, the U.S. Navy Supply Corps Association, and the Coweta Community Foundation. He was instrumental in the early years of the Peach Bowl, spending three years as the Peach Bowl president. He was a retired Captain in the US Naval Reserves.
There will be a reception on Friday, June 16th from 3-5 at the Veranda Bed and Breakfast, 252 Seavy Street, Senoia. There will be a private family graveside at Senoia City Cemetery. Condolences can be expressed at www.mckoon.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations may be made to The Heritage School, 2093 Highway 29 North, Newnan, Ga. 30263 designated “in memory of Frank Hollberg.”
McKoon Funeral Home & Crematory, 770-253-4580.