Ernest Kay Brantley, a resident of Milton, GA, passed peacefully in his sleep on June 14, 2022, at the age of 89.
Ernest had lifelong ties to the Atlanta area and also lived in Moultrie, GA and Dallas, TX, as well as LaGrange, GA and Guntersville, AL - before settling in Milton, GA in 2018.
Ernest was born in Lyons, GA on October 14, 1932. He lived in Savannah, GA with his parents, until he joined the Army and Navy and served in active duty during the Korean War in the early 1950s.
After the military, Ernest completed his studies in Psychology and Economics at Mercer University (Macon, GA), in the 1960's and obtained his Masters in Psych Guidance & Counseling at Bradley University in Peoria, IL in the 1970s. This began a long and storied career in the field of education.
Ernest served on the Governor's Drug Abuse Advisory Council (appointed by Governor Jimmy Carter) in 1973. He was then appointed Chairman of the Governor's Drug Abuse Advisory Council from 1975-76 under Governor George Busbee. Ernest Brantley was one of the original founders of the Odyssey Family Counseling Center in College Park, GA. The center was founded in 1973 and is still in business today and is dedicated to Family Counseling Services for the Atlanta area and surrounding cities.
Ernest met his first wife, Ethelyn Kemp (and mother of his two children, Ethelyn & Kevin) on the Mercer University, Macon campus in the late 1950s. They lived in College Park and East Point, GA, as well as Atlanta, GA from 1963-1973, and then again from 1976-1982.
Ernest served as a teacher, administrator, and headmaster or president at the following private schools in Georgia and Alabama from the 1960s through the early 1990s:
Georgia Military Academy, Woodward Academy, Pineland School, Arlington Schools, and LaGrange Academy. He retired from his profession in 1993.
After retirement, Ernest married the love of his life, Joan Barbara Urbach and lived in Dallas, TX from approximately 2000 2005. They moved to Guntersville, AL in the mid 2000's and remained there, living on Lake Guntersville where Ernest enjoyed fishing and outdoor sports.
By 2012, Ernest and JB moved back to Roswell, GA where they could be close to family (multiple children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren).
While living in Texas and Alabama, Ernest and his wife, JB were actively involved in the local VFW and American Legion where he served in leadership roles (Sr. Vice Commander) and as chaplain for these local veteran's groups. Ernest and JB regularly participated in leading Veterans events to display and describe the POW/MIA table, for Veterans Day and Memorial Day services, and at other local events to honor our Veterans.
Ernest was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Avis Brantley; his first wife, Ethelyn Kemp; grandson, David Wood, and his wife, Joan "JB" Brantley.
Ernest is survived by his children, Ethelyn Geiger Rusty) and Ernest Kevin Brantley; stepchildren, Scott Wilbanks (Christine), Cheri Grubbs; granddaughters, Camryn Geiger, Michelle Soto (Fabian); grandsons, Ryan and Zachary Grubbs, Ethan Wilbanks; and great-grandchildren, Carter Erisman Wood, and Carter and Noah Soto.
His hobbies included international travel (Germany, Venezuela, Italy and other parts of Europe) and fishing, hunting. Ernest also enjoyed playing the clarinet and banjo.
During the time that Ernest was a teacher and school administrator, he won the Star teacher award seven times between 1985 and 1994. He was very passionate about his job and the field of education, and up until very recently Ernest regularly spoke to several of his students from Georgia Military Academy nka Woodward Academy.
Ernest considered Joan Brantley, aka JB ,his soulmate, and we are confident he is happily reunited with JB and so many other loved ones who left this earthly home before him.
Ernest will be laid to rest at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, Georgia at a future date. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in his honor and memory to the Veterans organization of your choice.