Everett Vernon Griner, 93. Of Moultrie, died Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at Colquitt Regional Medical Center. Graveside rites will be held at 2:00PM Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at Murphy Cemetery with the Rev. Shane Smith officiating. The family will greet friends after the service at Murphy Cemetery. Casketbearers will be Rev. Shane Smith, Hamp Connell, Zachary Griner, Bill Burt, Jessie McMullen and Dave Bannister. Born September 7, 1926 in Sale City, GA, he was the son of the late Judson Griner and Jetta Carr Griner. He was an active member and deacon at Temple Baptist Church The Colquitt County native broadcast agricultural news and commentary from the studio above the barn he built behind his home and was one of the nation’s longest continually airing farm broadcasters at the time of his retirement less than two years ago. His broadcasting career spanned nearly 70 years, including some 30 years with Southeast AgNet. In fact, he was known by people in the industry as the “Granddaddy of Southeast AgNet,” revered not only for his informative news reports aimed at farmers and others in agribusiness, but also for his unique commentary that drew a loyal following among listeners in Georgia and the Southeast. He joined the Navy during World War II, serving in the Pacific. Upon returning home, he began his radio career. He was playing rhythm guitar with a country band at a Thomasville radio station when he was offered a part-time job as a disc jockey in 1948. He returned to uniform again during the Korean conflict, this time as a member of the U.S. Air Force. Back in Colquitt County, he resumed his radio career with station WMGA and started doing a daily farm news hour. In 1953, he began broadcasting Moultrie High School football games with Bob Lenihan and the next season took over the play-by-play duties and held that job through the 1972 season. Among his memorable broadcasts were of the 1963 state championship game at Avondale and the 1959 Moultrie-Albany High game in which Don Porterfield returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown in a contest to determine the Region 1-AAA championship. Griner also called Moultrie High playoff baseball games for many years. In 1955, City of Moultrie Recreation Director Jim Buck Goff started the community’s first Little League program and Griner, Bob Byers, Emmett Lawson and Ben Newell were the first coaches. Two years later, when the new Little League park was built, Griner led the effort, supported by the Jaycees, to raise money for lights at the field. On nights when he was not coaching Little League teams, he was broadcasting games on WMGA. And when Moultrie was the home of minor league baseball teams, he served as the public address announcer at Holmes Park. Griner was inducted into the Colquitt County Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. In 1980, he left local radio broadcasting and became the full-time farm reporter for the Georgia Network, which, in 1982, had 100 station affiliates in the state. In 1989, he joined the three-state agricultural network that later became Southeast AgNet and anchored regional broadcasts for many years. He later cut back on news reports and concentrated on commentaries called “AgriView.” Griner was a member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters for many years and served on its board as a southeast regional vice president. He called farming “the hardest profession there is” and asked once why he was successful, he told an interviewer, “I think people trusted me and what I told them.” In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his siblings, Burma McMullen, Edna Gilpin, Carlese Snipes, Coy Griner, Jeanie Jenkins, Colen Burt and Billy Griner. Survivors include his wife, Vivion Smith Griner of Moultrie, GA; son, Billy E. Griner and wife Kimberly of Woodbine, GA; grandchildren, Brittany Griner Burns and husband, Jason, Zachary S. Griner and wife Courtney all of St. Marys, GA; great-grandchildren, Asher Burns and Atlas Burns; sister, Delores Griner of Moultrie, GA. Flowers are appreciated or memorial contributions may be made to the Moultrie/Colquitt County Humane Society, PO Box 2915, Moultrie, GA. 31776 and or D.A.V., PO Box 6608, Thomasville, GA. 31758. The family requests guests to be mindful that my mother is in frail health. We welcome anyone who so wishes to attend the service. However, anyone who has flu like symptoms should please be considerate and not attend.
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