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Fall 2011_Winter 2010_Holiday 8/12/11 12:48 AM Page 28


the next 10 years of service. In 2000, Mathis moved back to Moultrie to fin- ish the last 10 years of his service with the reserve forces. “It is neat to be able to come back to a town and people you know,” says Mathis, who spent time living in Colorado, Florida, Vir- ginia, and Texas during his military career. “It’s interesting to come back where everyone knows your name when you are used to being anony- mous, to come back and you are rub- bing shoulders with people as contemporaries instead of superiors.” Te opportunity to open the FBO


came in November 2003 when the longtime tenants of the space Eagles of America now occupies, decided to let their contract lapse. “I was just a cus- tomer who had a hangar out there,” said Mathis. Te idea for opening an FBO dawned on him shortly aſter re- ceiving the letter on the demise of the


previous tenents lease. “We really felt like God wanted to have his presence


in aviation in this community.” Fast-forward seven years and Mathis


now runs one of the most successful small-town FBOs in the area, and he


does it with the indispensable help of his family. Alan’s wife Dena, a teacher at Sunset Elementary, helps man the front desk and runs Te Cotton Shop, a small giſt shop located in the airport that has become a favorite of visiting pilots. Father Marion works the air- port line, parking and refueling planes. “He is 75 and works like he is 25,” says Mathis with a laugh. Alan’s mother Charlotte runs the front desk and han- dles payroll and taxes. She is one of the ubiquitous voices that welcomes aviators to Moultrie. His mother-in- law, Laverne Henson, runs Te Cotton Shop while Dena teaches. On working with his wife, parents, and mother-in- law, Mathis jokingly says there are ups and downs. “Having your family work there is having people you can trust,” says Mathis. “It’s having the people around you know want the best for you.”


28 Fall 2011


Moultrie Magazine


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