CLARKESVILLE - John Kollock, a man synonymous with art and history in northeast Georgia, died Monday night, surrounded by family and friends. He was 85.
Kollock is credited with the vision for modern-day Helen.
In 1968, Kollock was approached by Helen businessman Pete Hodkinson, who asked him if he had any ideas to dress up the rows of concrete buildings in that city.
Kollock visited Helen and photographed the business district and, about a week later, presented a series of watercolor renderings showing what Helen would look like as an Alpine village.
He gleaned the designs from being stationed in Bavaria while in the Army.
After Kollock's designs were given the go-ahead by businessman Jim Wilkins of Orbit Manufacturing, modern-day Alpine Helen was born.
Kollock was a noted author, having published These Gentle Hills in 1976, as well as books like Meg's World, The No-So-Empty Nest, Think Persian, The Long Afternoon, Seasons of Light in the Hills, Watercolor Memories of the Hills, and Painting Memories in Watercolor.
A watercolor artist, he captured the history of northeast Georgia by utilizing a variety of seasons, time periods, people and animals in his works.
For years, Kollock also has sketched local children at the Mountain Laurel Festival and other community events.
Last year, Kollock provided his voice to narrate Habersham EMC's travel guide called, "Experience Northeast Georgia - John Kollock's Guide to 75 Special Places." The 4.5-hour CD set features Kollock describing each of the 75 places across the region.
Arrangements are being handled by Hillside Memorial Chapel & Gardens in Clarkesville.