3.18.20 Obituaries


Joseph “Jody” David Mingledorff

Screven--Joseph “Jody” David Mingledorff, 71, died peacefully on March 15, 2020, at home with his family and friends after a lengthy illness.

He was born on April 30, 1948, in Screven in the home of his grandfather, Dr. Joseph Lawton Tyre, to the late George Lee Smith Jr. and Peggy Tyre. He attended school in Screven until the eighth grade, when he transferred to Georgia Military Academy in College Park.

In Screven he was a proud member of Troop No. 377 of the Boy Scouts of America. Two days before his 17th birthday, he was inducted into the United States Navy and completed three combat tours of duty during the Vietnam War. Afterward, he returned to Wayne County and attended various colleges, including Brunswick Junior College, Georgia Southwestern College and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

In 1975 he married Sheila NeSmith, and they had two daughters, Morgan Nicole and Kristin Sail. For years, he served as the president and general manager of Hinesville Ford Company in Liberty County, where he also was involved in the real estate business. While in Liberty County, he was deeply involved in many civic organizations, including being an Exhausted Rooster of the Hinesville Jaycees, and was very active with the Bradwell Institute Band Boosters.

He was heavily involved in politics at local, state and national levels throughout his life. In 1982 he was appointed by U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn to serve as a member of the South Atlantic Fishery’s Management Council, where he served as committee chair for four terms.

He moved back to Wayne County in the 1990s, when he built and operated two restaurants, the Krystal in Hinesville, the first Krystal franchise in the state of Georgia, and later opened Doc Holiday’s restaurant in Jesup. He was also a co-founder of Fussell Bonding Company and owner of Insul-Kwik Company, which insulated thousands of houses across Southeast Georgia.

When he “retired,” he moved to the coast and was the owner and captain of a shrimp boat, the “Miss Peggy,” out of Midway. Throughout his life, he enjoyed traveling and exploring the world. He enjoyed spending time in Central America and South America, especially in the countries of Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Mexico, studying the Mayan culture, and, of course, big-game fishing.

He was a member of the Rolling Thunder Military organization, which helped sick and homeless veterans, and became a Master Mason in Jesup Lodge No. 112.

He then returned to his city of birth, Screven, in 2012 and was elected to the Screven City Council in 2017. He served until October 2019, when he stepped down owing to his failing health. He loved hunting and fishing and anything outdoors. He was a loyal and loving fan of the University of Georgia Bulldogs.

In addition to his parents, preceding him in death were his grandparents, Dr. Joseph Lawton and Bertie Mae Tyre.

Survivors include his much-beloved wife of 46 years, Sheila NeSmith Mingledorff of Screven; his children, Morgan (Andy) Westberry of Jesup and Sail Coleman of Ludowici; a grandson, Lawton Henry Johnson of Ludowici; a sister, Judy Claire (Jake) Welch of Jesup; a half-brother, George Lee (Kim) Smith III of Jesup; a half-sister, Tammy Smith Titus of Jesup; stepbrothers, Neil Rogers of Pierce County and Greg Rogers of Appling County; and a host of nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.

He will be remembered as a man who always loved Screven, and though life often took him elsewhere, he always found a way to come back Due to concerns of public health, services have been postponed until a later date to allow for social distancing as recommended by healthcare professionals. Details will be announced by the funeral home once they have been completed.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the American Cancer Society, 428 Bull Street Suite 205, Savannah, GA 31401 or online at www.cancer.org.

Howard-Jones Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.


Clara Lee Connelly

Jesup--Clara Lee Connelly, 101, died peacefully on March 14, 2020, at Wayne Memorial Hospital under the care of Hospice of South Georgia.

A native and lifelong resident of Wayne County, she was born on Oct. 8, 1918, to the late Robert E. and Betsy Thomas Lee. She was a homemaker who devoted herself to her family first and foremost. She also worked outside the home at various times in her life in the retail and child care industries, and she loved reading and studying the Bible in her spare time.

She was an avid gardener in her younger years and remained an active member of Emmanuel Baptist Church until very recently.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two husbands, Dock Lee Thornton and Joe Talmadge Connelly; two brothers, Wilton Lee and Rufus Lee; two sisters, Eula Andrews and Lois Thornton; and a grandson, Ross Harper.

Survivors include her son, Roy (Myrtle) Thornton of Odum; four daughters, Dot (Bob) Whitley of Jesup, Carolyn Goodbread of Darien, Diane (Robert) Harper of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Donna Rentz of Jesup; one sister, Betty (Parnell) Crump of St. Marys; one brother, Bob (Janice) Lee of Jacksonville, Florida; 13 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; six great-great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and extended-family members.

Funeral services were held March 17 at Howard & Jones Funeral Home in Jesup with Elders Thomas Waters and Al Groover officiating.

Private interment services followed in Big Creek Cemetery.

All the grandchildren served as honorary pallbearers.

Howard-Jones Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Janet Phillips Daniel

Jesup--Janet Phillips Daniel, 59, of Jesup, died March 16, 2020.

The Wayne County native was a former owner and operator of Velocity Health & Fitness of Jesup and was an avid hunter who enjoyed spending time doing outside activities.

She loved running and actually ran in 27 marathons including the Boston Marathon.

She was predeceased by her husband, Royce B. Daniel, and father, Dafene Phillips.

Survivors include her daughter and son-in-law, Chasity (David) Geiger of Jesup; son, Aaron Daniel of Jesup; mother, Jackie Delk Phillips of Jesup; sister and brother-in-law, Teresa (Colin) Thorpe of Jesup; brother and sister-in-law, Greg (Christy) Phillips of Jesup; and grandchildren, Michael, Ella and Anna Grace Geiger.

A celebration of life will be held Thursday, March 19, at 11 a.m. at Crossroads Church of God with Vic Drawdy officiating. Interment will be in Pinecrest Memorial Cemetery. Active pallbearers will be family.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Solid Rock Christian Academy, c/o Prime South Bank, P.O. Box 11, Jesup, GA 31598.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.