Mrs. Denna Ansley Maddox, 60
On Dec. 13, after reading nearly every book published in this world, Denna Ansley Maddox of Hazlehurst decided it was time to check out some books in heaven’s library. The daughter of a cabinet maker and a postmaster, she was born Oct. 3, 1962, in Toombs County, to Ray and Fredna Sisson Ansley. She was raised in Collins and lived most of her life in Tattnall County. Known by many as Mama D, she was as beautiful inside as she was outside. Mama D was Baptist by faith; she chose to rejoice and be glad in every single day! Her favorite verse was found in Psalms, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
A natural born teacher from the very beginning, she was enthusiastic about learning each and every day. As Dr. Seuss said, “your words shape your world” and that’s how she lived her life, using her words to shape the world with positivity. She was encouraging, uplifting, precious, and optimistic. Denna was a 1980 graduate of Reidsville High School, she attended Brewton-Parker College, earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Georgia Southern College, and an education specialist degree from Armstrong State University. Denna was a lifelong educator and devoted her life to teaching and enriching the lives of hundreds of children. She served at the Tattnall County Board of Education where she performed a variety of roles from elementary school teacher, Special Education Director, School Psychologist, and finally as Coordinator of Testing and Compliance. As if that wasn’t enough, she found a way to continue spreading joy in a program called Babies Can’t Wait. Her passion led her to serve as an evaluator and special instructor. Throughout these years of educating and developing children, she always believed every child can learn and every kid has something to teach us.
She is preceded in death by her father, Ray Ansley; grandparents Greely and Elise Ansley, and M. L. and Alice Sisson; and brother Dallen Ansley.
She is survived by her loving and devoted husband Ray Maddox of Hazlehurst; her mother Fredna Ansley of Collins; children Kyle Maddox (fiancé Kayla Griffin) of Uvalda, Kerri Maddox of Macon, Dea Barnard (Alvin) of Reidsville, Brandon Champion (Lindsey) of Newberry, Fla., and Tege Oliver (Belen) of Collins; grandchildren Stephanie Barnard, Gracie Barnard, Brayden Maddox, Harley Barnard, Cal Champion, Uriah Oliver, Harper Champion, Atlas Oliver, and Lennox Barnard; and brother Darren Ansley (Barbara) of Collins.
A woman who loved life and lived every day to the fullest, Denna leaves behind many close friends, countless beautiful memories, and a massive collection of sea turtles. She could be found quoting Jesus, Nelly, and John Grisham in the same conversation, reading a book while driving, cheering loud for the most random moments in life, or somewhere with her best friends on a beach.
A true educator through and through, her final selfless act was a whole body donation for medical education and research.
A celebration of life will be held Dec. 30 at 6 p.m. at the BKY Event Hall located at 545 Baxley Highway, Hazlehurst.
Remembrances can be made to the Denna Ansley Maddox Scholarship Fund at South Georgia Bank, P.O. Box 367, Reidsville, GA 30453.