Dr. Maurice Rawlings, 87, of Chattanooga, died Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at his residence. In the spring of 1982, longing to fulfill his farmer dreams, Rawlings bought a 52 acre tract of land in the foothills of Lookout Mountain in the Northwest corner of Georgia. He and his family planted a vineyard and started a winery.
Today, Georgia Wines, Inc. aka The Georgia Winery of Ringgold is credited as the oldest Georgia Farm Winery of the 30 plus Georgia wineries in operation. The Georgia Winery, now operated by Rawlings’ daughter Patty Prouty, has won over 200 medals in numerous commercial wine contests, competing with entries from around the world. Some of The Georgia Winery’s most prestigious awards include “Best of Show”, “Best of Class”, “Double Gold”, “Concordance Gold” and “Best of Blush” medals.
Dr. Maurice Rawlings was a longtime resident of Chattanooga, and had served in the US Navy during WWII, and in the US Army during the Korean War. Dr. Rawlings was physician to President Dwight Eisenhower, and served as physician to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine for the University of Tennessee, and a National Teaching Faculty for the American Heart Association. Dr. Rawlings also served as Medical Director for Aventis and ZLB Bio-Science Laboratories. Dr. Rawlings was the author of several books, including: Beyond Death's Door, Before Life Comes, Life Wish, and To Hell and Back, published in several languages. His first and last publications were made into movies. Dr. Rawlings was a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, Angiology, and Chest Physicians; a Diplomat for the American Board of Cardiology, and served as Chairman for the TVA Medical Retirement Board. Dr. Rawlings was also a licensed private pilot, with both instrument and multi-engine ratings. He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years: Martha Emilia Rawlings.
He is survived by a son: Maurice S. Rawlings, Jr., M.D.; four daughters: Ann Elizabeth Rawlings, M.D., Norfolk, VA; Susan Rawlings Dowis, Rainsville, AL, Patricia Rawlings Prouty, Chickamauga, GA, and Margaret Rawlings Pearce, Chattanooga; and a sister: Ruth Rawlings Miller, Clearwater, FL; 11 grandchilden and 4 great grandchilden. Visit www.heritagefh.com to share words of comfort to the family and view the memorial tribute.
Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 PM Friday at Brainerd Baptist Church with Pastor Robby Gallaty and Harry Eustice Officiating. Interment will be in Forest Hills Cemetery. Memorial Contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, 519 E. 4th Street, Chattanooga, TN 37403, or to Brainerd Baptist Church 300 Brookfield Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37411. The family will receive friends 4-8 PM Thursday at Heritage Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 7454 E. Brainerd Road., Chattanooga, TN 37421