October 11, 1948 ~ July 13, 2012
Willard Robert Bobby Ethridge, age 63, of Lawrenceville, Georgia passed away on July 13, 2012. Bobby was co-captain of the Bass High Football Team in Little Five Points, GA. He served his country from May '67 to March '69 as an Airborne Ranger with a tour in Vietnam as a Squad Leader, Long Range Recon Patrol LRRP, 4th Calvary, 25h Infantry Division. He had many achievements, while in the Rangers including graduation from NCO candidate school's Combat Leaders course in 1967; graduation from MACV Recondo School in 1968 in Nha Trang, Vietnam; being awarded a Purple Heart in July of 1968 and the Silver Star for valor in action in January 1969. Bobby joined the Dekalb County Police Department in October of 1969. While with Dekalb County, Bobby continued to obtain information and knowledge to better help him serve his community and his country. Some of these accomplishments include attending Georgia Police Academy in January 1970; an Associate of Arts degree from Dekalb College in June 1978; graduating from FBI National Academy in 1980; going to Woodrow Wilson College of Law in 1983; graduating from Georgia State University in June of 1988 with a Masters in Science degree with a 4.0 GPA. Bobby was instrumental in obtaining a $19, 000 grant for Georgia State University from the National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health because of his research on probable causes for robberies in convenience stores. He was appointed to Academy Director in November of 1988 and nominated Police Officer of the year in 1998 by the North Decatur Lions Club. Bobby retired in 1999 as Tucker precinct as a Commander in DeKalb County. Bobby is survived by his wife, Jean; 3 children, 4 grandchildren, his step mother; brother and numerous other family and friends. Inurnment will be at Georgia National Cemetery, Canton, GA on Wednesday July 18, 2012 at 2 o'clock. The procession will leave the funeral home at 12 o'clock on Wednesday going to the cemetery. The family will receive friends on Tuesday July 17, 2012 from 2-4 o'clock until 6-8 o'clock at Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, 770-277-4550. Online condolences may be expressed at www.wagesandsons.com.