Mr. Steven Erle Fanning, Senior, ("Steve”), 73, of Grantville, Georgia passed away on Sunday February 4, 2018, at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York.
He was born August 20, 1944 in Bryan, Texas to the late Erle Wilford and Elizabeth Carroll Fanning. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Karen Elizabeth Fanning, and grandparents, Robert and Bessie Carroll and Earnest W. and Zula M. Fanning.
Steve grew up in East Point, Georgia and was a 1962 graduate of the Georgia Military Academy in College Park, Georgia, now known as Woodward Academy. In 1966, he graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Economics, where he was a Vice-President for his second senior year of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity and the UGA U.S. Army ROTC Program.
After college, he fulfilled his ROTC commitment and joined the U.S. Army, where he was stationed in Germany and later throughout Southeast Asia for several years. He earned the Ranger Tab, the Parachutist Badge/ “jump wings”, and his Expert Marksmanship Qualification Badge while attaining the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army.
He volunteered to go to Vietnam where he operated in the Military Intelligence and later the Special Forces branches. While serving with the 5th Special Forces throughout Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, Steve was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” Device (for valor) for “distinguishing himself by acts of heroism during land warfare that involved conflict with an armed enemy;” and was honored with the Air Medal for “single acts of heroism while participating in aerial flight.”
After his military service, Steve entered the University of Georgia School of Law, where he earned a Juris Doctorate degree of Law. He was a member of Moot Court and the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity.
Upon graduation in 1973, he moved to Newnan and began his Practice of Law, where he was a member of the Newnan-Coweta Bar Association and the Coweta Circuit Bar Association and was licensed to practice in multiple federal courts.
Steve was a member the Coweta Beekeepers Association and the Coweta Cattlemen's Association. He was the President of the Coweta County Republican Party and was President for numerous years of the Woodward Academy Parents Club.
He was an Eagle Scout and a member of the Order of the Arrow, earned the BSA Wood Badge status and spent many years in various leadership roles with the Boy Scouts of America.
Steve was also honored by being elected to The Top 100 Georgia Super Lawyers List.
Steve was almost inseparable with his loving wife, Diane, who was always by his side and who over 45 years of marriage they together built their dream home, went on numerous adventures around the world and somehow found time to enjoy gardening, antiquing and attending numerous charity events and balls.
He was a true renaissance man, who while a member of the Phoenix Debutante Society of Atlanta and thoroughly loving twirling his debutante daughters around on the dance floor, he also enjoyed driving his tractor and tending to his horses, cattle and later his bees on his farm.
He loved his family dearly, most especially his Grandsons, who while in their company was the eternal “big kid” as it was always uncertain about who was getting whom into more trouble. He and his grandkids were always playing ball, visiting train museums, going on trips to Italy, sneaking out to go get ice cream and running to catch a funny newly-released animated film at the local theater. He just marveled in their wonderfulness.
Steve lived life to the fullest with a humorous take on everything. If ever there was someone who lived every day to the fullest, it was him.
His many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends were an integral part of his life. Steve, especially enjoyed the Saturday morning breakfast meetings with his close buddies from the Coweta Combat Veteran Group, as well as, all of the jokes and great times had with numerous members of the Newnan and Coweta County Court system(s), and all of the members of the Newnan and Coweta County Law Enforcement Community.
He grew up in the Episcopal Church in East Point, Georgia and later joined the First United Methodist Church of Newnan.
The funeral will be held on Saturday February 17, 2018 at 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Newnan, located at 33 Greenville Street, Newnan, Georgia. The Reverend Charles Robinson and the Reverend Gene Tyre will be officiating. Visitation is Friday evening, February 19, 2018 between 6-8 p.m. at McKoon Funeral Home, located at 38 Jackson Street, Newnan, Georgia.
Steve was an avid lover of nature but due to his illness has been unable to enjoy God’s beauty for several years; thus, flowers are very much appreciated. Condolences can be expressed online at www.mckoon.com
Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Diane Caldwell Fanning of Grantville; son, Steven Erle Fanning Jr. of Atlanta; daughters, Merideth Elizabeth Fanning Gilmor and husband Mark Gilmor of Wilton, Connecticut and Ansley Caldwell Fanning Thoma and husband Kevin Thoma of Providence, Rhode Island; grandsons, Colin Steven Gilmor of Wilton, Connecticut and Caldwell Hennion Thoma of Providence, Rhode Island. He is also survived by many loving cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Pallbearers include Allen Daniels of Dalton Georgia; Quentin Daniels of Little Rock, Arkansas; Walter Haugen of Newnan, Georgia; Dennis Johnson of Bowman, Georgia; James Panepento of Grantville, Georgia; and Bob Yeager of Newnan Georgia.
Honorary Pallbearers are members of Newnan Coweta Bar Association and members of the Coweta Combat Veterans Group.
McKoon Funeral Home and Crematory can be contacted at 770-253-4580.