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‘If you were one of her customers, you were friends for life’

The death of Georgia Ziglar on Friday left all those who knew her smiling through their tears.

For her family and friends, it would be difficult not to cry and just as difficult not to smile.

“Miss Georgia,” as she was affectionately known, had a way about her that made others smile.

Her patented response to “How are you?” was always “I’m perfect, but how are you?”

“Of course, Georgia was not always perfect but she always turned the attention away from herself to others,” David Helms said of his mother-in-law. “Georgia was the most unselfish person I have ever known. She was full of fun and her store was always a happy place.”

Georgia Ziglar was a successful business owner in downtown Troy for more than 40 years. She worked first as an accountant but took advantage of the opportunity to purchase The Corner Store, a grocery and meat market on the corner of Love Street.

“Georgia had dreamed of owning a store and The Corner Store was her opportunity,” Helms said. “The Corner Store was where a lot of older people shopped. There they could get snuff and hard-tined bacon and hoop cheese; things they liked.”

Helms said over on the left side of the store Ziglar would sometimes put a piece of furniture, a lamp or some little do-dad and it would sell.

“That just set her on fire,” Helms said. “So, she started to think that she might could sell furniture. She would take brown paper bags and different little things in them. She called them grab-bags and put 99 cents on them. It was just something to get interest going.”

And, Ziglar attracted a lot of interest so much so that Georgia Ziglar, the business woman emerged.

She expanded her business to include Home Gallery, also on Love Street. And, for Ziglar, her business was all about her customers.

“The reason for Georgia’s success was the personal attention she gave to her customers,” Helms said. “If you were one of her customers, you and Georgia were friends for life.”

Many times a sale was sealed with a word and a hand shake. She wanted people to have nice things and she made it possible for them.

“Georgia was such a caring person and so trusting,” Helms said. “Her customers didn’t want to disappoint her and very few ever did. She did many acts of kindness that no one every knew about. And, she wanted to show her appreciation to her customers for shopping with her. She would have customer drawings and give cash prizes at different times and always at Christmas.”

Helms said his mother-in-law was a smart business woman and very caring and generous. Her relationship with her customers meant more to her than anything.  She was fun, caring and always upbeat.  She would always tell us- Sherry and me and the grandchildren- that the Lord has been good to us and we should be so thankful. We are thankful for all our blessings and one of our greatest is having ‘Miss Georgia’ in our lives.”

Sharon Tew worked part time for Ziglar for four years but was a customer long before that and she, too, said Miss Georgia was a generous, sweet lady.

“Georgia was a sweet precious woman” Tew said. “She loved to laugh and she loved a good story and she could tell a good story. I enjoyed hearing her tell stories about things that happened in her life — about things that she and Sherry did together.”

Tew said Ziglar and her daughter would go to pick up furniture on a less than reliable truck and would have stories to tell when they got back to Troy.  “Georgia knew how to do things and she knew how to overcome any that came her way.

“She was a very smart woman and she also had common sense,” Tew said. “Georgia loved and appreciated her customers and she let them know that they were important.  She would hug them and treat them like family, no matter their bank account.  She loved them all.”

And, there was no better friend in the world that Georgia Ziglar.

Ellen Baker was one of her closest friends and the loss hurts deeply.

“Georgia was the best and closest friends I could ever have or want to have,” Baker said. “She always had a smile on her face. She loved her life for her family and friends and her customers.”

The Ziglars, Georgia and Randolph, and the Bakers, Ellen and James, and two other Troy couples were very close and spend a lot of time together.

“How much fun we had. All of us together,” Baker said. “Georgia always kept us laughing. She was always happy. I never saw her down. I felt good just being around her. If you were having a bad day, she would make you feel like it was a good day.

“And, no matter what kind of day she might be having, when you asked her, she would say, ‘I’m just a perfect, how are you’ And, you would be better, because she was your friend.”