Dr. John Arrendale EzzardAugust 28, 1936 ~ November 2, 2017 (age 81)
Dr. John Arrendale Ezzard, the founder of Tiger Mountain Vineyards and a moving force behind Georgia’s fine wine industry, died peacefully at the Ezzard home in the vineyards.
A celebration of his life will be held in the vineyards with a gathering for friends and family at Tiger Mountain’s Red Barn afterwards.
He left a lasting legacy in his pioneering quest to grow and make fine wines in the North Georgia Mountains and to share with others a taste of the Tiger earth he knew so well and loved so much. He also left a lifelong dedication to the practice of medicine—first in Colorado, then in North Georgia-- to healing the sick in body and soul, no matter their means. He loved history, fishing and classical music and was an avid sports fan
Ezzard graduated from the University of Georgia and the Medical College of Georgia where he was selected for the AOA honor society. He served two years as admissions officer at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, then finished a four year residency in urology at the University of Missouri. He practiced 27 years in Denver, then returned to Rabun County in 1995 to restore the five- generation -old Arrendale-Ezzard family farm where he was born. He was one of five children and the oldest son of Lt. Col. William Trimble Ezzard and Ruth Arrendale.
Ezzard practiced urology in Denver for 27 years and after returning home, continued his practice in Rabun and Stephens Counties while creating Tiger Mountain Vineyards. His locally grown wines won gold medals in San Francisco and Los Angeles competitions—putting Georgia fine wines on the national map. But colleagues say he proudly proclaimed to be a farmer first of all.
For his contributions to medicine and the winemaking business, he was awarded the Rabun Legacy Award in 2013.
He is survived by his wife, Martha McElveen Ezzard, three children, Shelly Ezzard Smith, Lisa A. Ezzard and John Arrendale Ezzard Jr. as well as his sisters, Lucy Ezzard Bartlett of Tiger and his foster sister, Jane Chang of Cranbury, N.J. The Ezzards have six grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to St. James Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 69, Clayton, GA., 30525 or the UGA College of Agriculture, Viticulture/ Intern Program, 137 Cedar St., Athens, Ga., 30602
Funeral services for Dr. John will be held Monday 1:00 pm November 6, 2017 at the Tiger Mountain Vineyards. The Rev. Jim Cantrell, of Snellville United Methodist Church and Rev. Mary Demmler, of St. James Episcopal Church, Clayton will be officiating.