Martin Walton NeSmith
Shellman Bluff—The world lost a very special man; who was loving, gracious and kind. He was a loving husband, great father, amazing brother, wonderful friend, fantastic boss and the best friend anyone could ask for. Martin Walton NeSmith, 72, of Claxton and Shellman Bluff, died Nov. 17, 2020, at his home.
He was born in Nevils on Nov. 1, 1948. He attended Southeast Bulloch High School in Brooklet and then graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business management from Georgia Southern College in 1970. He was President of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. Following his college graduation, he served in the National Guard. He began his career with Siefert Equipment, an automobile parts distributor. In 1974, he purchased the Chevrolet dealership in Claxton, and became the youngest dealer in the United States at the age of 24.
He was known as a man of integrity. He would always do what he said he would do. This is one reason he was such a good businessman—along with the fact that he never met a stranger. He absolutely loved being in the car business, and he loved his customers. He revolutionized the car business in the early 1990s with No Hassle Buying. He wanted every customer to be treated as an honored guest every time, without fail, no exceptions. He was not only a great car guy, but he had heart for giving back to others what God had so graciously given to him.
He expanded his dealership holdings to include dealerships in Hinesville and Jesup, as well as a used car dealership in Statesboro and a rental car company in Claxton.
He lived with Suzette, his wife of 50 years, and they were a team in every aspect of life. They attended church and sang in the choir at First Baptist Church in Claxton for many years. They began attending Shellman Bluff Baptist Church in 2015.
He was a wonderful philanthropist in his communities and beyond. His love and financial support of Georgia Southern University never declined. He served on multiple boards for Georgia Southern University, to include the state Board of Regents. He was a graduate of Leadership Evans and Leadership Georgia and was a leader in every sense of the word. He served on state and national boards, including the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association and the National Automobile Dealers Association. In 2001, he received the highest honor an automobile dealer can achieve, the Time Magazine Quality Dealer of the Year Award. He was a proud member of the Gridiron Society at the University of Georgia.
He gave of his time, money and talents to countless civic organizations, churches, and other organizations. The NeSmith family was a major contributor to many organizations in Evans and Wayne counties, including the United Way, Red Cross, local recreation departments, Pinewood Christian Academy, 4-H Clubs, Evans County Christian Food Bank and many more. He supported the local school systems and booster clubs in Evans, Wayne and surrounding counties. He served on local boards within the community, including the local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club and the Evans Memorial Hospital Authority. With his partners, he also built a local medical clinic in Shellman Bluff to be utilized by those with and without medical insurance.
He had many personal interests to include fishing, hunting all over the world, traveling with Suzette and golfing. He was one of the founders of Shellman Bluff Acquisitions LLC, and owner of Shellman Bluff Golf Club (Sapelo Hammock). His leadership, generosity and passion significantly contributed to its success.
He was amazing man, who knew how to lead by example. He did this not only for his employees but also in his family life. He taught his children and grandchildren what it meant to work hard and be fair. He always put family first. He loved his wife, children and grandchildren like no other. He also loved his two sisters, Judy and Sonya. He knew what it meant to be the only boy in the house and what came with that: love and protection. He was truly a great man! His heart of kindness and caring was recognized by everyone and Suzette was his anchor and guiding light.
Above all he loved God. He made sure that his family was in church every Sunday. He wanted everyone to know that his relationship with God is what drove his desire to be a good husband, father and businessman. Every building he built he made sure there was a plaque that said “Dedicated to the Glory of God” posted that everyone could see.
He will be sorely missed by all, especially by his wife, his children, grandchildren, siblings, extended family, employees and friends. But, one thing is for sure, he is sitting at the feet of Jesus giving Glory to the Most High King and singing Hosana, Glory to God in the highest, where Jesus will welcome him with open arms and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
He was preceded in death by his father, Walton NeSmith, and his mother, Lavada NeSmith.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Suzette; two sons, Demere (Ashley) NeSmith and Chad (Mallory) NeSmith; five grandchildren, Demy, Caleb, Chevy, Tyler Mari, and Mela Vada; two sisters, Judy (George) Chappell and Sonya (Hubert) Tucker; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Frank (Ann) Proctor, Phillip (Tut) Proctor and Beth (Joe) Mathews; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
A celebration of life will be held outside on Sunday, Nov. 22, at 2 p.m. at Sapelo Hammock Golf Club, 1354 Marshview Drive NE, Shellman Bluff, GA 31331.
The family welcomes all who feel comfortable attending. In lieu of flowers, the family requests remembrances be sent to: Lavada Ministries (240 N Main Street, Statesboro, GA 30458); Delight in the Lord Ministries (P.O. Box 183, Brooklet, GA 30415); Epworth by the Sea (P.O. Box 20407, St. Simons Island, GA 31522 www.epworthbythesea.org); and Sapelo Hammock Golf Club (attn: General Manager, 1354 Marshview Drive NE, Shellman Bluff, GA 31331).
Darrell Beasley, 69, of Jesup died Friday, November 13, 2020 after a short illness. The Wayne County native attended Jesup Church of God and was a retired boilermaker with the Local Union 26 out of Savannah. The outdoorsman loved to bass fish, hunt and travel. He was predeceased by his parents, Leon and Mary Louise Beasley; a sister, Dene Beasley Noland; a sister-in-law, Rebecca Beasley.
Survivors are a daughter, Julie (Chay) Chauncey of Powder Springs; two sons, Darrell “Bubba” (Briana) Beasley, II of Americus and Derrick (Cheyenne Lane) Beasley of Jesup; 3 brothers, Don Beasley, David (Sandra) Beasley and Dorman (Brenda) Beasley, all of Jesup; 18 grandchildren and two great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.
Memorial services will be 3 PM Sunday, November 22, 2020 at Vann’s Cookout House, 1900 Savannah Hwy., Jesup, GA 31545 with Rev. Clayton Dowd officiating.
Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home of Jesup is in charge of arrangements.