Sunday, February 12, 2012

Life of Coliseum's Golson celebrated at service: More than 300 attend liturgy held at Christ Episcopal Church

Friends and family members make their way Saturday into Christ Episcopal Church in Macon for the services of Allen Golson. Golson, the CEO of Coliseum Health System, died Jan. 27 after the plane he was piloting to Florida crashed on a landing attempt near Ocala, Fla.


The life of Allen Golson was celebrated at a liturgy held Saturday at the Christ Episcopal Church in Macon.

Extra folding chairs had to be added to the aisles and at the back of the church to seat the more than 300 attending the service.

“It’s nice to see such a rich tapestry of ... all of us who are here because we knew Allen or because we support Carol (Allen’s wife),” said The Rev. David Probst.

Allen Golson, who had been chief executive officer for Coliseum Health System for seven years, was killed Jan. 27 when the twin-engine plan he was piloting crashed in central Florida.

Golson, 55, and his wife were flying from Macon to Ocala, Fla., when their Cessna 340 went down in a field south of the Ocala International Airport. Allen Golson died of burns and smoke inhalation, authorities said. Carol Golson, 52, was injured in the crash and treated at a nearby hospital. The couple had been married 30 years.

Earlier in January, Golson had announced he was moving to Ocala to be CEO of a hospital there. The couple was traveling to Florida to look for a house.

The church Saturday was filled with family, friends, neighbors co-workers or associates of Golson and his wife.

Rev. Probst reminded those gathered that everyone goes through a number of emotions while dealing with the death of a loved one. He mentioned that even Jacob “wrestled” with God.

“Sometimes we have to wrestle with God because we wonder -- particularly with someone Allen’s age -- why?” Probst said. “Why did this have to happen? Allen was in the prime of his life. He was beginning a new chapter in his life, and he was very excited about the opportunities.”

Probst said he didn’t have an answer.

“That’s a part of the wrestling that we have to do with God, as we deal with this,” he said. “We have to know that God did not cause this. We have to know that God did not take Allen home, ... but we can believe that Allen is at home with God.”

Probst drew chuckles from the crowd as he talked about what Allen may be doing.

“I imagined this morning that Allen, being an administrator, is probably helping St. Peter ... about how the various aspects of heaven should work,” he said. “It would be a shame to waste all that good administrative talent.”

Probst asked everyone to listen to the words of the songs and prayers during the service for the messages of hope and encouragement.

“It reminds us that at this moment, life is changing and not ending,” he said. “We shall carry on. We have to carry on.”

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