The Griffin and indeed many areas of Georgia were saddened on Monday to hear of the passing of a Griffin Icon Bill Haisten.  Bill was perhaps the biggest supporter of his beloved Griffin Bears, of Griffin High for years he worked with WKEUs Ted Taylor, and Tony Broski with his selections of the game of the week on our pre-game show of our Griffin Bears broadcast.

It was my privilege to have known Bill since I was 5 years old as a friend and neighbor in the early 1950s and until today.  Bills selections of the game of the week were phenomenal.  His success rate was amazing to us all.  I fondly remember when Bill was at the station during football season and several of us were sitting with Bill in the Lobby and I remembered I had not called the Coach at Lowdens County in Valdosta to get permission to broadcast the game. I said I wonder what the coach’s number is and Bill without hesitation said 912-and the rest of the number which was correct.  When I talked with the coach he said be sure and tell Bill Haisten hello for me.

He had a phenomenal memory and could recall action in many games played years before when we were students.

Bill was known throughout the State in sports circles.

The Griffin Spalding School System gave Bill the highest honor he said he ever received when they named the Football Field at Memorial Stadium “Bill Haisten Field.”

He was one of the largest supporters of youth events in Spalding County.  He always was present to waive or say goodbye to those 6th grade Junior Deputies that were taking the annual trip to Washington DC.

He was a friend to many.  Even when he fell into ill health he would call the station about sports evens. Or just chat a while. Bobby Chapell of WHIE was a great friend to Bill. And Bill would call as an active participant on the Lets Talk Sports program on Thursdays at 5:30.

Bill was one of those very rare individuals that never saw color in a friend or fellowman, he just saw another of God’s creatures with no reservations but innocence of great respect.

The hearts and prayers of our staff at WKEU and indeed my family got out to the Haisten family.  The one standard I always had in my life was my dear friend Bill.  When my twin grand boys were born I was in the room with Pam at the Hospital, she had just returned to the room she got a call thanked the caller looked at me and said Dad who’s Bill Haisten?  He was so nice and said how happy he was about the boys and every one was healthy. Pam just learned the value of a dear friend and met Bill several times. Bill watched the career of my twin grand boys when they were in High School and playing for Gwinnett County.

Several times he would call me when I was on active duty during my career in the Army.  Once at the pentagon, how he got my number I have no idea, but I was so happy to hear from my dear friend.  He even called me when I graduated Officer Candidate School, to congratulate me for the appointment to 2nd Lieutenant. There are those that you meet in life that may call you a friend. But to Bill Haistne you were his dear friend, and I felt the same. I have lost a Friend of a life time.

I will see you soon my friend we have a lot to talk about.

Funeral Servicers will be announced later by Haisten-McCullough  Funeral Home

According to Sheriff Darrell Dix on February 11, 2018, at approximately 3:00 p.m., an unnamed person committing a theft at the former Howard Johnson property, located at 1690 North Expressway, discovered a possible body inside an interior wall. The unnamed person left the scene and notified the Spalding County 911 system of his discovery approximately 3 hours later.

LT Joe Hudson, of the Griffin Police Department, responded to the scene and noted a foul odor coming from one of the rooms at the building. Lt. Hudson forced entry into the abandoned property and discovered a body in between the interior walls in the plumbing access area. Lt. Hudson notified Griffin Fire and due to his knowledge of a previously filed missing person report involving Timothy Johnson, the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office was contacted.

Sheriff Darrell Dix, lead Investigator Ray Hightower, Coroner Sonny Foster along with other investigators and crime scene personnel arrived at the scene.

Entry was made to the area where the body was located and identification documents found on the remains indicated Timothy Johnson.

The body was extricated by personnel from the Griffin Fire Department with the assistance of Spalding Sheriff’s crime scene investigators. The body was transported to the GBI Crime lab for autopsy and positive identification. No foul play is suspected at this time but investigators are awaiting results from the autopsy. The autopsy is scheduled for early Tuesday morning.

Sheriff Dix, Coroner Foster and Investigator Hightower met with the mother of Timothy Johnson and discussed with her the discovery of the body.

Mr. Johnson was last seen on December 6, 2017 and was reported missing on December 11, 2017. His truck was located in an adjacent parking lot on December 7, 2017 by Griffin Police.

Spalding investigators searched the property on three occasions, and cadaver K-9’s searched the area twice earlier in the investigation.

Sheriff Dix would like to thank the Griffin Police and Fire Department for their assistance. According to Sheriff Dix “Griffin P.D. and Griffin firefighters provided valuable assistance in locating the remains. We appreciate their assistance with the investigation.”