Elton Josiah Spann, Jr., age 85, of Brookhaven, passed away on June 2, 2023, surrounded by loved ones. He was born in Savannah, lived his entire life in Georgia, and from his earliest days, he was known as “Rock.” He graduated from Savannah High School, and he obtained an Associate of Arts degree from Armstrong College. He then entered the United States Marine Corps, ultimately joining the 5th Rifle Company reserve unit in Savannah. After his active duty, he returned to college, obtaining his B.S. in Business Administration from Georgia Southern College, although that tells only part of the story. To put himself through college, Rock sometimes slept in his car as he worked a variety of jobs—line cook at Howard Johnson’s, clerk at Bryant’s Motel, and the owner of Rock’s Rock ‘n Roll Superette. After college, Rock became a Certified Public Accountant. True to his nickname, Rock spent his whole 50-year accounting career with the same firm (Moore Stephens Tiller LLC) —its name changed over the decades, but his commitment to serving his clients did not. Rock served as Partner-in-Charge of various offices, and he eventually served on the policy committee for Moore Stephens International.
Rock was a life-long student of baseball and, growing up he was a feared left-handed power-hitting first baseman who played on several state championship teams. Rock coached youth baseball, football, and basketball teams and was an avid Braves fan and golfer.
But as good as Rock was as a CPA, Marine, baseball player, and coach, he was a unanimous, first-ballot Hall-of-Famer as a husband, father, grandfather, and friend. Rock married the love of his life, Betty Jean Bryant, in 1962, and they slow-danced their way through six decades together. They raised two children and unabashedly spoiled six grandchildren.
Rock grew up in the Methodist Church and, took seriously his vow to support the church with his prayers, his presence, his gifts, his service, and his witness. Rock was often drafted to oversee the finance committee at congregations he joined. He was most recently a faithful member of Saint James United Methodist Church in Atlanta.
Rock is preceded in death by his father, Elton Josiah Spann, Sr., his mother, Henrietta Smith Spann, his son-in-law Scott A. McCraney and his brother-in-law Robert E. Bryant. He is survived by his loving wife, Elizabeth Bryant Spann, his daughter Beth Spann McCraney Andrews (Charles), son Bryant J. Spann (Carol), grandchildren Wright A. McCraney (Sarah), M. Connor McCraney, Conrad W. Spann, Hope E. Spann, Sarah Andrews Gough (Matt) and Charles J. Andrews, two brothers Henry L. Spann, James A. Spann (Betsy), sister-in-law Kathy Bryant and loving nieces, nephews, family and dear friends.
A funeral service, followed by a reception, will be held at Saint James United Methodist Church on Saturday, June 17, 2023 at 11:00 am. In lieu of usual remembrances, memorial contributions may be made to Saint James United Methodist Church, 4400 Peachtree Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, GA 30342 or http://www.stjamesatlanta.org/give.