Martin Walton NeSmith

Shellman Bluff—The world lost a very special man who was loving, gracious and kind. He was a loving husband, a great father, an amazing brother, a wonderful friend, a 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, the 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 Golf Course). His leadership, generosity and passion significantly contributed to its success.

He was an 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; and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Frank (Ann) Proctor, Phillip (Tut) Proctor and Beth (Joe) Matthews, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A celebration of life was held Nov. 22 at Sapelo Hammock Golf Club.

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

Jesup—Darrell Beasley, 69, of Jesup died Nov. 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; and a sister-in-law, Rebecca Beasley.

Survivors include a daughter, Julie (Chay) Chauncey of Powder Springs; two sons, Darrell “Bubba” (Briana) Beasley II of Americus and Derrick (Cheyenne Lane) Beasley of Jesup; three brothers, Don Beasley, David (Sandra) Beasley and Dorman (Brenda) Beasley, all of Jesup; 18 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial services were held Nov. 22 with the Rev. Clayton Dowd officiating.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Willene Ring Sparks

Jesup—Willene Ring Sparks, 75, of Jesup died Nov. 19, 2020.

The Wayne County native was a member of Odum Church of God, Sunday school teacher of 54 years and homemaker. She enjoyed being “Granny” to all of her grandchildren and was committed to studying God’s word.

She was predeceased by her parents, Ralph and Mezzo Trull Ring and stepfather who reared her, George Davis.

Survivors include her husband of 59 years, Kenneth Sparks of Jesup; two sons, Greg (Delinda) Sparks of Jesup and Stan (Kimber) Sparks of Pooler; four grandchildren, Brittney (Heath) Denmark of Jesup, Blake (Danielle) Sparks of Kansas City, Missouri, Josh Sparks of Augusta and Abbi (Bobby) Dunn of Atlanta; a great-granddaughter, Adalyn Denmark of Jesup; four sisters, Charlotte (Clyde) Fabre of Richmond Hill, Patricia Ring Ogden and Wanda (Carl) Shattuck, both of Jesup, and Myrtle (Roy) Thornton of Odum; a brother, the Rev. Carlton (Chris) Ring of Jesup; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Graveside funeral services were held Nov. 22 in the Odum City Cemetery with Pastor Justin Moriarty and the Rev. Carlton Ring officiating. Active pallbearers were her family.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Odum Church of God, 608 S. Main St., Odum, GA 31555.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.



Ben James Flowers Jr.

Jesup—Ben James Flowers Jr., 75, died Nov. 14, 2020, at Memorial Health University in Savannah after a lengthy illness.

A resident of Jesup for most of his life, he was born on Aug.29, 1945, to the late Ben James Flowers Sr. and Doris Bernice Williamson Flowers.  He served his country in the United States Marine Corps in Vietnam and Cuba before returning home, where he was a member of the boilermakers union and later worked for Alloy Cladding as superintendent for many years. He was a lifetime member of the VFW and the Masonic Lodge and earned the Scottish Rite 32nd Degree, which is a supreme honor bestowed upon those who have demonstrated outstanding service to the brotherhood as well as professional and personal accomplishments.  It is conferred on members who have made major contributions to society or to Masonry in general.  In his spare time, he enjoyed hunting, fishing and woodworking.

Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Fran Flowers of Jesup; two children, James Bryan Flowers of Jesup and Derrick Ray (Ginny) Flowers of Nahunta; brothers and sisters, Anne Graham of Jacksonville, Linda Ray of Orangeburg, South Carolina, Johnny (Audrey) Flowers of Jesup, Mary Beth Walling of Jesup, Dennis (Sylvia) Flowers of Jesup, Kathy Lynn of Glennville, Nancy Griffin of Wilmington, North Carolina, Michael Flowers of California, Terry Diller of Cochran,  Russell Flowers of Louisiana, Barry (Gloria) Flowers of Jesup, Thomas (Misty) Flowers of Jesup, and Jennifer Bower and Allison (Andy) Kicklighter of Jesup; grandchildren, Kyler Flowers, Shayla Flowers, Dylan Flowers, Caleb Arrington, Skyler Douglas, Mikylee Crews, Drew Garbutt, Hugh Long and Joseph Long; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and extended-family members.

Funeral services were held Nov. 19 at Howard & Jones Funeral Home in Jesup with the Rev. Larry Harris and the Rev. Tim Horne officiating.

Private interment followed in the Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Glennville.

Remembrances may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Family and friends may sign the guestbook online at www.jesupfuneralhome.com.

Howard & Jones Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Jerry David Davis Sr.

Offerman—Jerry David Davis Sr., 66, died Nov. 21, 2020, at home under the care of GHC Hospice and his loving family.

A resident of Offerman his entire life, he was born on Jan. 5, 1954, in Jesup. He worked in construction for most of his life before taking a position with the Pierce County Jail, where he worked for nearly 10 years.  In his spare time, he enjoyed growing plants, woodworking, fishing and deer hunting. Fall was his favorite season, and he truly loved spending time outdoors with the ones he loved the most.

Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Carolyn Gill Davis of Offerman; mother and father, J.B. and Geraldine Davis of Offerman; four sons,  Davey (Angie) Davis of Offerman, Michael (Daun) Davis of Offerman, John (Elisha) Davis of Offerman and Jeffry (Jessica) Davis of Offerman; siblings, Diane (Randy) Crawford of Patterson, Juanita (Jack) Tyre of Offerman, Benjy (Roxanne) Davis of Offerman and Lyndell Davis and fiancé Shane Vickery of Offerman; grandchildren, Corrie Lynn (Tra) Williams, Kaitlyn (Mith) Mohanan, Devlin Combee, Ashley (Ashlie) Thornton, Michael Benjamin (Mallorie) Davis, Joseph Wyatt Davis, Clowee Davis, Lorrie Davis, Skyler Lang Davis, Ashly-Ann Davis, Sophie Davis and Emma Joy Davis; and great-grandchildren, Wesley Carter, Raiden Williams, Saraya Mohanan, Rowan Mohanan, Madison Combee, Stetson Thornton and Maddox Thornton.

Funeral services were held Nov. 24 at Offerman Baptist Church with the Rev. Freddie Walker and the Rev. I.B. Boyette officiating.

Interment was in Offerman Cemetery.

Active pallbearers were his family.

Family and friends may sign the guestbook online at www.jesupfuneralhome.com.

Howard & Jones Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Gaylon Paul Marshall

Odum—Gaylon Paul Marshall, 58, died Nov. 18, 2020, at Harborview Healthcare in Jesup.

He was born in Missouri and had lived in Wayne County since 2009. He had worked with the Wayne County Road Department several years until his health began to fail. He enjoyed hunting and time spent outdoors and was a loving husband and family man.

A faithful member of New Life Church in Jesup, he sang with the Praise Team and served whenever and wherever needed.

Survivors include his wife, Kim Denison Marshall of Odum; daughters and sons-in-law, Kasi and William Wilson of Edmond, Oklahoma, Nena and Shaun Hinkle of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Kelsie Lewis of Odum and Taylor and Cody Hudson of Screven; sons and daughter-in-law, Brandon Marshall, Landon Marshall, and Chase and Elizabeth Marshall of Conway, Arkansas; brothers and sister-in-law, David and Stacy Marshall of Bell-ville, Arkansas and Clayton Marshall of Conway, Arkansas; seven grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held Nov. 20 in the funeral home chapel with Pastor Justin Drawdy and the Rev. Jimmy Lord officiating.

Burial was in Piney Grove Cemetery.

Active pallbearers were Greg Carter, David Forbes, Eric Denison, Anthony Gilbert, Ricky Pruitt and Jason Teston.

Honorary pallbearers were the New Life Praise Team and Hospice of South Georgia staff.

Remembrances are suggested to Hospice of South Georgia, 1625 Sunset Blvd., Jesup, GA 31545.

Family and friends may sign the online register at www.howardfuneralga.com.

Arrangements are under the direction of Howard Funeral Home of Ludowici.