Honoring a few of the pecan industry members we lost over the last few months.
Elliott Ellis passed away May 31, 2021, at his residence. Elliott was known as a true leader of the Georgia Pecan industry and will be dearly missed. His parents purchased the family’s original pecan grove in 1944 in Vienna, Georgia. Elliott worked 20-plus years as a County Agen with the Georgia Extension Service before returning to the farm to help his father with the pecan orchards and farming operation. He carried on his family legacy in Ellis Bros. Pecans, a family owned and operated business with 3,000 acres of pecans, a retail and wholesale business, and other crops. Elliott accomplished much in his lifetime, including having a new pecan variety—’Ellis’—named after him.
James “Jimmie” Rodgers Buchanan, Jr., 88, peacefully passed away on May 24, 2021. Jimmie was born on March 12, 1932, in Americus, Georgia. He was the son of Elizabeth and James R. Buchanan, Sr. Growing up, he was a member of Troop 21 in the Boy Scouts of America and earned the honor of Eagle Scout. In 1953, he graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. Following graduation, he served in the Air Force for two years. He met the love of his life, Joyce, while he was serving in the Air Force. Shortly after they wed, they moved back to Americus to begin their life together and later raised their three beautiful children. Mr. Buchanan began his banking career at the former Bank of Commerce, serving as president. Jimmie also completed banking school at LSU. He held the position of City President as the bank became First Atlanta Bank and then Wachovia before retiring. When he wasn’t banking, Jimmie worked at the pecan farm on the weekends, which was passed down to him by his father. He later became a partner in Buchanan Farms Inc. with his son, Jim Buchanan III.
Richard Alfred Grebel, Sr., 88, of Albany, Georgia, passed peacefully May 19, 2021, at his home surrounded by family and loved ones. One of six children, Richard was born on his family farm in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, on August 21, 1932, to Emerson and Verna Grebel. He relished his time spent with his loving wife, 5 children, 16 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, and all of their spouses. He enjoyed having them all along as he continued his pursuits of various hobbies, from his not-so-small vegetable garden to making delicious fruit wine from his grapevines and fruit trees, harvesting pecans, beekeeping, and raising animals like sheep, turkeys, chickens, and rabbits. There was barely a moment when Richard wasn’t busy outside, which has reflected on future generations as several of these interests continue as a legacy within his family.