Jessie Creel
August 4, 1937 - December 17, 2007
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Jeff Creel went to be with his Lord on December 17, 2007 after a brief illness. "The entire town will greatly miss Big Jeff. He was a local legend and an institution at his barber shop in downtown Carrollton," said Mayor Wayne Garner. "It will be a long time before we see the likes of Big Jeff again. He was an original and Carrollton has suffered a painful loss in his passing."

Jessie Vinson (Jeff) Creel was born August 4, 1937 in Cartersville, Georgia. He attended the Roopville Schools and graduated from Roopville High School in 1955. Jeff entered the United States Marine Corps in 1959 at Parris Island, SC and later served at Camp Lejeune, NC, where his sprinting and athletic exploits became legendary. Jeff was the "hometown news" officer for the Corps and became an accomplished photographer from his duties. Jeff was "always a Marine," but he left active duty in 1964 and returned to Carrollton after completing barber college in Atlanta and joined his brother-in-law, Kenneth Crawford, at Little Gem Barber shop on Newnan street in the mid-1960's. Around 1968 another shop space became available on Newnan Street and Jeff officially opened Jeff's Barber Shop, with Ralph Shirey joining soon thereafter. In the late 1990's Jeff relocated to a shop of his own on Bradley Street and Big Jeff's Barber Shop was christened with a sign made by Dr. Phil Astin, Jr. that told people what could and could not be discussed in the shop. Jeff's was a hub of political, sports and local gossip and many prospective public officials went to Jeff to test the public reaction of their candidacy or platform. They always received blunt honesty and his own personal brand of wisdom.

Having received Christ at an early age as a Baptist, Jeff was a longtime member of Carrollton First Untied Methodist Church, where he was a member of the Men's Bible Class and an Usher captain.

Jeff was a member of Kansas Masonic Lodge #683 and Carroll Lodge #69 and was past Worshipful Master of both lodges. He was also past Commander of Hebron Commandry #23, past Illustrious Master Western Council #29, past High Priest Royal Arch Chapter #22, past District Deputy to the Grand Master and a past Ambassdor to the Masonic Children's Home.

Jeff was preceded in death by his father, Earl Delone (Jack) Creel and a daughter, Courtney Beatrice Creel. He is survived by his 104 year-old mother, Mamie Grizzard Creel Ashmore, a sister, Charlotte Creel Crawford Cowart (W.G. "Bill"), three nephews, Dave Crawford (Sarah), Mark Crawford (Alicia), and John Crawford (Laraine) and one niece, Lisa Hayden (Rick), and many great-nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 5 – 8 pm on Tuesday, December 18 at Martin & Hightower Heritage Chapel in Carrollton. Funeral services will be Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 2:00 pm at Martin & Hightower Heritage Chapel with internment to follow at Carroll Memory Gardens with full Masonic Rites. Members of Kansas Masonic Lodge #683 will serve as pallbearers and honorary pallbearers, also serving as honorary pallbearers will be local members of law enforcement and fire departments and the Men's Bible Class of Carrollton First United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Kanas Masonic Lodge 683,
Franky Robinson, Sec., 234 Melear Road, Bowdon, GA 30108.

Messages of condolence may be sent to the family at


Tuesday December 18, 2007, 5 PM - 8 PM at Martin & Hightower Heritage Chapel
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Wednesday December 19, 2007, 2 PM at Martin & Hightower Heritage Chapel
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Wednesday December 19, 2007 at Carroll Memory Gardens
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