Oscar Lawrence “Larry” Comer, II: July 28, 2022 – America Times-Recorder
Oscar Lawrence “Larry” Comer II, a native of Sumter County, died on July 28, 2022, after a brief illness. Larry was born on June 18, 1933, in Plains, GA, to Caleb Fred Comer and Burt Jones Comer. He was a graduate of America’s High School in 1950, later moving to Atlanta, where he attended and graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He obtained a BS in Industrial Management in 1954, and a Master of Science in Industrial Management in 1957. Commissioned Ensign, US Navy, he served two years of active duty with the Pacific Fleet. Larry was an innovative businessman at heart for his community. He loved his God, his family, business and community, and believed in giving back whenever possible.
Larry is survived by his wife, Jane Little Comer. Larry and Jen met on a blind date in Atlanta and enjoyed an enduring love for each other for more than sixty years of marriage. He also has children alive: son Brandon Jones Comer and his wife Kim, of America, GA; Lauren Comer Stovall, daughter of Savannah, GA; Sarah Comer Jones, daughter of Griffin, GA, and her husband, Charles; and six grandchildren, Davis Campbell and Delaney Claire Comer, Andrew Martin (before she died) and Sarah Elizabeth Stovall, Charlotte Elizabeth and Walker Comer Jones.
Larry, a true businessman, moved to America in 1964 to form Metalux Corporation, a manufacturer of commercial and industrial lighting equipment. They built offices and a manufacturing plant in the US where production began in 1965 with seven employees. Operations expanded rapidly during the subsequent twenty years where they employed over 1,200 people in America, Elaville, and Preston, GA, and Eufaula, AL. During that time, President Jimmy Carter recognized Larry as the National Small Businessman of the Year at the White House in Washington DC. Larry was also awarded the Georgia Small Businessman Award of the Year in 1975, and was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Georgia State Chamber of Commerce in 1978. Before the McGraw Edison Company acquired Metalux in 1985, Metalux Lighting Equipment was a global one. Company, distributed in all 50 states and internationally.
Once an entrepreneur, Larry founded Caravelle Boats, Inc. in 1987. Organized and produced. The Americus, GA, company produces power sport and offshore sport fishing boats, employing over 130 people. In 1998, Caravelle Boats Inc. As chairman, chairman and founder of the company, he sold the company to the Caravelle Boats management team.
Later in life Larry and Jane moved to St. Simons Island, GA. Always competitive, Larry continued to “go to the office,” which now meant longer stays at the driving range or golf course. Larry continued to enjoy his other hobby of driving an Italian-made sports car. While in St. Simons, Larry and Jane were members of St. Simons’ First Baptist Church and enjoyed many close friendships there. Eventually, Larry and Jane move back to America and Larry is right back where he left off – trying to improve his hometown. He was in love with Georgia Southwestern State University and South Georgia Technical College. He often reminisced about his childhood and how he played on the Georgia Southwestern campus and planted trees there with his grandfather. Recently, Larry and Jane moved to Griffin, GA, where their youngest grandchildren live.
As a Christian businessman he remained an advocate of Judeo-Christian ethics and the American system of free enterprise. He served as a deacon at Central Baptist Church, and was devoted to his community, serving passionately in leadership positions to develop educational opportunities and small businesses in both the US and Georgia. As such, he was the first chairman of the board for the Technical College System of Georgia, the Business Council of Georgia, and vice president of the Georgia State Chamber of Commerce.
In education, he served as: Trustee Georgia Southwestern State University Foundation; Trustee South Georgia Technical College Foundation; Georgia Tech National Advocacy Board; Georgia Tech Research Institute Board; Governor’s Commission for Post-secondary Education, and the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education. Within the business community, he has served in a number of capacities, including: acting president and co-chair of the US and Sumter County Chamber of Commerce. America and Sumter Citizens Change Affecting the CEC; Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sumer Bank and Trust; Board of Directors Bank of Commerce; Board of Directors of Thomasville-based Davis Water & Waste Industries; Atlanta-based Southern Bank Group and the Georgia State Board of Industry and Trade and the Board of Directors of Sumter Regional Hospital. Larry Young was a member of the President’s Organization, Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, and bat-boy for the America Phillies in the old Georgia-Florida league after World War II.
Larry and Jane were members of the first United Methodist Church in America. Of his many titles and honors, the title he was most proud of was “Grandfather.” Larry was a loving husband, father and grandfather who will be greatly missed. A celebration of his life will be held on August 2, 2022 at 2:00 PM at the First United Methodist Church in America. Intervention will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made in Larry’s memory to Georgia Southwestern State University or South Georgia Technical College.
Hancock Funeral Home, 427 S. Lee St., is honored to entrust these arrangements to Oscar Lawrence “Larry” Comer II.