Mr. Lonnie Waters, 86, of Hazlehurst, died Oct. 6 at his residence surrounded by his devoted wife, family, and friends.
Born and raised in Jeff Davis County, he was the son of the late Will Waters and Mollie Rowell Waters and was preceded in death by brothers Herbert Waters, Jimmy Waters, and Wendell Waters, grandchildren Jenna Waters and Scout Woodcock, and son-in-law Larry Woodcock.
A life-long patriot, Lonnie joined the U.S. Army in 1955 and spent a large part of his service stationed in Korea. Discharged as Specialist Third Class in 1957, he returned home to establish his family, home, farm, career, and business.
An unforgettable day for Lonnie, he married the love of his life JoAnn Miles Jan. 11, 1959, and they were happily married for 63 years. Together, they raised three children, Cindy, Kevin, and Peanut. The couple established a farming operation in Jeff Davis County’s Altamaha District, which is still thriving today. After working as an electrician, he went on to earn his state electrical contracting license and started Waters Electric, Inc. He and JoAnn’s business quickly became well-known, trusted, and respected throughout the tri-state area. Lonnie’s community service continued as he served 16 years as Jeff Davis County Commissioner. Firmly establishing himself as a pillar of the community, he worked tirelessly for the betterment of the county. He was a devoted member of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, where he worshipped and served.
Lonnie’s legacy of titles is extensive – son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather, veteran, electrician, county commissioner, devoted friend, neighbor, and community leader – and he was proud of every single one. His family and friends loved him, appreciated him, and counted on him. Whether it was bailing hay, working cows, feeding up, planting, or harvesting, he loved working on his farm. Spending time with his family was the most important thing of all though. The Waters’ home was always buzzing with kids and grandkids and standing room only during holidays and birthdays. Like a true patriot, Independence Day was his favorite holiday – for years he and his family hosted a barbecue and fireworks show to share his love of country with the entire community. Lonnie Waters was a one-of-a-kind and he will be missed by so many for a very, very long time.
Survivors include wife, JoAnn; daughter Cindy Woodcock; sons Kevin (Priscilla) Waters, and Keith “Peanut” (Sara) Waters all of Hazlehurst; sister Sue Williams of Macon; grandchildren Trent Woodcock, Travis Woodcock, Ansley Hall, Julie Simmons, Christopher Powell, Kenlie Sharpe, Treyton Waters, and Will Waters; 20 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and a host of other nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Pallbearers were Trent Woodcock, Travis Woodcock, Christopher Powell, Treyton Waters, Will Waters, and Lucas Kirkland.
The family greeted friends Oct. 10 at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church followed by a memorial service officiated by the Rev. Bill Stone, the Rev. Robert Wiggly, and the Rev. Glenn Stinson.
He was laid to rest at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church cemetery, where the Jeff Davis Veterans Association conducted military honors.
Wainright-Parlor Funeral Home was in charge.