Kenny Melear, one of Fayette’s most well-known community leaders, passed away Thursday morning. He was 86.
A Fayetteville resident for more than half a century, Melear, a Newnan native, moved to town after establishing his already-successful Melear’s Barbecue restaurant. Melear and his barbecue house would become landmarks for the South Atlanta region. When national politicians visited the area, they made sure to have their picture taken at Melear’s.
When Georgia Congressman Newt Gingrich was installed as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1995, Melear and a few of his friends, including current Fayetteville City Councilman Paul Oddo, drove up to Washington, D.C. in a big van to cater his inauguration. At Gingrich’s behest, Melear and his buddies had catered one of the inaugural events as well in 1989 when George H. W. Bush was elected President of the United States.
Melear was also known in Fayette as one of the county’s magistrate judges, serving several years as chief magistrate.
Funeral services for Melear will take place Monday, Oct. 31, at 11 a.m. at Parrott Funeral Home on Senoia Road (Hwy. 74) in Fairburn. He will be buried afterwards at Holly Hill Memorial Park. A viewing will be held at the funeral home on Sunday, 4-7 p.m.
The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Southwest Christian Care, a ministry that provides senior care, respite care and hospice care, at 7225 Lester Road, Union City, 30290.
Melear’s obituary appears below.
Albert Kenneth Melear, Sr.
Mr. Albert Kenneth Melear, Sr. of Fayetteville passed away on October 27, 2016. Kenneth was best known as the owner of Melear’s Barbecue in Fayetteville, GA where he opened his restaurant in 1957. During his time as owner of the restaurant, Kenneth was asked by Governor Jimmy Carter and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to cater events at the Governor’s Mansion and in Washington, DC. An Army veteran, and the Chief Magistrate Judge in Fayette County until 2002, Kenneth had a passion for politics and love of NASCAR. He was the son of the late J.V. and Ludie Melear and is survived by his son, Albert Kenneth (Ken) Melear, Jr. and his wife, Sharon of Fayetteville; sister, Edna Melear Mitchell of Fairburn; brother, Harvey Melear and his wife, Myra of Fairburn; grandchildren , Holly Melear; Albert Kenneth (Bert) Melear, III ; Michelle Melear and Michael Melear. Funeral services will be held Monday, October 31, 2016 at 11 o’clock at the Chapel of Parrott Funeral Home with Dr. Gene Tyre officiating. Interment to follow at Holly Hill Memorial Park. Those wishing may send an online condolence at www.parrottfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers those desiring may make donations to Southwest Christian Care, 7225 Lester Rd., Union City, GA 30290. The family will receive friends from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. Sunday at Parrott Funeral Home and Crematory.