Carpet pioneer, NW Georgia philanthropist dies of COVID-19

Dalton City Council member Annalee Harlan is shown in this undated photo with her grandfather, Burl Jackson “Jack” Bandy. Bandy died Sunday at the age of 93 after he contracted COVID-19, according to his family.
Dalton City Council member Annalee Harlan is shown in this undated photo with her grandfather, Burl Jackson “Jack” Bandy. Bandy died Sunday at the age of 93 after he contracted COVID-19, according to his family.

Credit: Annalee Harlan/Facebook

Credit: Annalee Harlan/Facebook

A carpet industry pioneer and well-known northwest Georgia philanthropist died Sunday after family members said he contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Burl Jackson “Jack” Bandy, who co-founded Coronet Industries in Dalton with former Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers owner Bud Seretean, became sick earlier this month with an upper respiratory and sinus illness, according to relatives.

He tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and died over the weekend at an Emory University Hospital location, his granddaughter, Dalton City Councilwoman Annalee Harlan, said in a statement.

Bandy was 93.

Burl Jackson “Jack” Bandy tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, on March 25, according to his family.
Burl Jackson “Jack” Bandy tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, on March 25, according to his family.

In 1956, he co-founded Coronet with Seretean and Guy Henley. Electronics giant RCA Corp. bought the company, which was later acquired by Beaulieu of America, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

He loomed large in Dalton, where his name adorns the Bandy Heritage Center of Northwest Georgia at Dalton State College.

Jan Love, the interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, said it would be difficult to overstate Bandy’s impact on the school and on churches in the Southeast.

“Across several decades, he found multiple ways to partner with Candler in developing outstanding church leaders, especially in the area of preaching and practical ministry,” Love said in a statement.

Bandy and his late wife, Aggie, established the Bandy Chair in Preaching at Candler in 1986 and helped to launch a lecture series in preaching. In 2014, he created the Aggie and Jack Bandy Doctor of Ministry Endowment to provide scholarships to those pursuing a doctor of ministry degree.

“Jack Bandy’s legacy will continue to shape remarkable students and scholars as well as the field of homiletics for years to come,” Love said.

ExploreRead and sign the online guestbook for Jack Bandy

According to Harlan, Bandy had been isolated since falling ill March 15. He began antibiotics and seemed to be improving before waking up with a fever greater than 100 degrees and a non-productive dry cough March 19, she said.

His condition worsened, and his doctors made the decision to hospitalize him Wednesday morning. By that afternoon, Bandy had his COVID-19 diagnosis.

Relatives were hopeful Bandy would pull through, Harlan said.

As of Monday, the Georgia Department of Public Health had reported seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Whitfield County and the death of a 93-year-old man with an underlying condition. Health officials have not confirmed that man to be Bandy.

Before her grandfather’s death, Harlan announced on Friday that she was participating in council meetings remotely while in self-isolation. A licensed paramedic, she said she wore the proper personal protective equipment while caring for her grandfather.

“I have no symptoms, but I’m self-isolating to follow the recommendations from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention),” Harlan said in a statement. “I’m still able to work as a city council member and vote remotely and will participate in any and all called meetings.”

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