Graydon Hall
March 26, 1921 - March 2, 2015

Dedicated to Friends, Past and Present

Graydon "Papa" Graydon Hall passed peacefully Monday, March 2, 2015 at The Acosta Rua Center for Caring in Jacksonville, FL. The son of J. Graydon Hall and Dovie Granade Hall, Graydon was born in Birmingham, Alabama on March 26, 1921, a birthday that he shared with his beloved wife, (Cindy) Eleanor Anne Posey Hall, who predeceased him on October 21, 2010. Together Graydon and Eleanor built a loving Christian home, a career in the passenger air service industry and a lifetime of adventure. Graydon and Eleanor married on August 9, 1941 and worked together in an Alabama munitions factory preparing their country for war until Graydon enlisted in the U.S. Navy following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He served in the South Pacific until honorably discharged on November 9, 1945 with the rank of Radioman, First Class. In recognition of this service, he was presented the World War II Victory Medal in December 2014, thanks to the efforts of John Couch of Trinity Baptist Church and the philanthropy of Mrs. Carl D. Southard. Home from the War, Graydon joined Eastern Air Lines on January 1, 1946 as a station agent in Birmingham, Alabama. He wrote the tickets by hand, collected fares in cash, checked bags, flagged planes to the gates and escorted passengers to the steps of the aircraft. Graydon developed a leadership presence and sales/marketing expertise that Eastern recognized with promotions and moves to Tennessee, Indiana and ultimately Chicago, Illinois where he served as Assistant Vice President of the Midwest Division. A 1959 offer to join Southern Airways, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia gave Graydon and Cindy the opportunity to return to the South, a warmer climate, family and friends. With the spirit of a Southern gentleman, humor and courage, Graydon led the growth and presence of the company in the airline industry and the burgeoning Atlanta community. In November 1972, Graydon guided Southern Airways through a game-changing experience in commercial aviation; the hijacking of Southern Airways Flight 49 that stretched over 30 hours and 3,000 miles to end in Havana, Cuba. Passengers and crew were returned to the U.S., but the aircraft was not allowed to come back for about a month and the ransom money returned much later. To negotiate with the Castro regime for return of these Southern Airways assets, Graydon made an unscheduled flight to Havana. Graydon was named President of Southern Airways in 1975 and became Senior Vice-President and Vice-Chairman of Republic Air Lines when that company formed from the merger of two local carriers, Southern and North Central. Graydon retired from Republic in 1980, and his retired executive status was recognized through two additional mergers, first with Northwest and ultimately Delta Airlines. Graydon served the airline industry as President of the Air Traffic Conference of America, Chairman of the Association of Local Transport Airlines and a director of The Air Transport Association. He was active in civic and community affairs throughout his career, particularly in Atlanta. He was a member of the Capital City Club and the Atlanta Athletic Club, where he served as president. A Mason, Graydon was a member of Gate City Lodge #2 Atlanta and of the Atlanta Consistory of the Scottish Rite. He was a member of Yaarab Temple. A life-long Presbyterian, Graydon was a member and Elder in Peachtree Presbyterian Church of Atlanta. Upon moving to Florida in 1999, He and Eleanor were active members of The Amelia Island Chapel. Graydon and Eleanor are survived by their daughter Judith Hall Lanier and her husband Larry Ellis Lanier, their son Graydon Hall, Jr., grandchildren: Scott Harrison Russell and his wife Mandy Holland Russell and daughter Sara Eleanor Russell; Ashley Sarah Hall; Jonathan Graydon Hall and his wife Jessica Cie Hall and daughter Madison Elisabeth Hall, son Jamison Graydon Hall and "April baby-to-be" Hall, and by John William Lanier and Michael Ellis Lanier. The Hall family expresses their deep appreciation for the loving caregiving provided since 2011 to "Papa" by Bessie Dues while he made his home with Judy and Larry in Jacksonville. The funeral service will be held at H.M. Patterson & Son, Arlington Chapel, 173 Allen Road, Sandy Springs, at 11 a.m. Friday, March 6, 2015 with Dr. Steve Huntley officiating. Interment will follow at Arlington Memorial Gardens. The family will greet friends prior to the services and at a reception following at the Capital City Country Club, 53 W. Brookhaven Drive N.E. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made in Graydon's name to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville, FL 32257, The Arc Jacksonville, 1050 North Davis Street, Jacksonville, FL 32209 or St. Catherine Laboure Manor, 1750 Stockton Street, Jacksonville, FL 32204. Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Mar. 5, 2015. See more at: