James Ernest Key, age 88 years, departed this life on August 9, 2018, in Marietta, Georgia. He was the son of the late Irving and Lucille Key. He had six siblings, the late Clarence Key, the late Hugh Lee Key, the late Woodrow Key, the late Mildred Key, the late Frances Key, and his surviving brother, J.D. Key.
Born September 3, 1929, he possessed that other-worldly work ethic often seen in those of his generation. Married at the age of 19, he and his wife, the late Cellie Claudia Drummond Key, would eventually welcome 7 daughters: the late Sarah Ann Key Porter, Joan Key Hill, the late Janice Key, Shelia Key Dean, the late Donna Marie Phillips, Pam Key Millsapp, and Gail Key Porter. Mr. Key (or “Fuzzy” as he was known to many in the family) was for many, many years a milkman, rising in the wee hours of the morning for decades to ensure that children and their families, schools, and restaurants were well supplied with that dietary staple. He was employed by Cloverleaf Dairy, Atlanta Dairies, and finally Parmalat. For several years, with so many mouths to feed at home, he worked a second job at a gas station after finishing his milk route. Trying retirement for a brief stint, he determined that it would likely kill him and so he returned to the workforce in his mid sixties stocking produce and dairy products at his local Walmart, working well into his 80s.
In his younger years, he enjoyed fishing and watching professional wrestling. He loved a good story or joke and had a laugh that was equally mischievous and infectious. His biscuits and cornbread dressing were legendary within his family.
He is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law Joan and Billy Hill, Shelia and Johnny Dean, Pam and Floyd Millsapp, and Gail and Virgil Porter; grandchildren Tim Porter, Kenneth Porter, Cleve Hill, Seth Hill, Chad Millsapp, Ashley Holcomb, Shaun Harper, April Brown, and Brooke Freeman. He was preceded in death by one grandson, Brandon Millsapp. He is also survived by eleven great grandchildren, and four great-great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. in the chapel of Parnick Jennings Funeral Home and Cremation Services with The Reverend Gerral Richards and Reverend Ronnie McCormick officiating. Interment will follow in the Kennesaw Memorial Park Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Monday, August 13 at the funeral home.
Parnick Jennings Funeral Home and Cremation Services is honored to serve the family of James Ernest Key; please visit www.parnickjenningsfuneral.com to share memories or to leave a condolence message.