Ellen Anne (Cauthen) Utley

June 24, 1940 ~ September 28, 2019 (age 79)

Dr. Ellen Anne Cauthen Utley of Eatonton, Georgia, passed away September 28, 2019, at the age of 79. She was born in Gastonia, NC, the only child of the late Toy Jackson Cauthen and Vergie Wyatt Cauthen. She has been a resident of Eatonton for twenty-two years.

Dr. Utley earned her B.A. degree in Early Childhood Education at Mars Hill College, (NC); her M.Ed. in School Administration at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and her Education Specialist Degree in School Administration at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1985, she earned her Doctorate in Educational Administration at South Carolina State University. She completed post-doctoral study at Cornell University.

Dr. Utley has had experience as a teacher; principal at the elementary, middle, and high school levels; a director of special programs; and as superintendent of several school districts. She served as Educational Director of South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice. She launched the first JROTC Program for South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice. Dr. Utley was also the Director of Education for the Georgia Department of Adult Corrections. Dr. Utley’s experience covers three states—North Carolina, fourteen years; South Carolina, fourteen years; and ten years in Georgia before retiring in 2005.

She has always loved her profession and delighted in changing lives and helping people reach their highest potential. Ellen was truly God’s servant as she boldly shared her faith, lovingly gave her love, and graciously shared her gifts. Her actions have been passed on to so many that her legacy will continue through generations.

She has served on the Board of Putnam County Christian Outreach; Member at Large of the Ferst Foundation, Putnam County; Member of the Goodwill Advisory Council; Member of the Board of Paid In Full Ministries, Inc. She was also a Member of Community Bible Study, the Best Friends Forever Book Club and the Lake Oconee Presbyterian Church.

She is survived by her husband, Dr. Rush Utley of Eatonton, Georgia and other relatives and friends.

Memorial services will be held on Friday, October 4, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Lake Oconee Presbyterian Church, 113 Scott Road, Eatonton, Georgia 31024 with Reverend Sam Smith, Reverend Marion Clark and Reverend John Kinser officiating. The family will receive friends from 10:00 a.m. until time for the service.  A reception for friends will follow in the narthex of the Church.

Interment will be at Gaston Memorial Park, 1200 South New Hope Road, Gastonia, North Carolina 28054.  Donations may be made to the Lake Oconee Presbyterian Church Scholarship Fund, 113 Scott Road, Eatonton, Georgia 31024. McCommons Funeral Home, 109 West Broad Street, Greensboro, Georgia (706) 453-2626, is in charge of arrangements.  Visit us at to sign the online guest register.   

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