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Mr. Doyle NeSmith, Sr.

Mr. Doyle NeSmith, Sr.

W. Doyle NeSmith, Sr. age 92, of Lyons, GA, died at Memorial Hospital in Savannah on January 9, 2022. Doyle was the youngest son of John Daniel and Mittie Shelton NeSmith of Cochran, GA. Doyle grew up on the family farm and graduated from high school in 1946. He graduated from Middle Georgia College in 1949. He attended Mercer University for one quarter and was drafted into the US Army in 1950. He served 3 years and finished his career as a heavy weapons instructor at Ft. Rucker, Alabama.

In 1951, while still in the Army, he married his college sweetheart, June Walters of Ocilla. Upon leaving the Army, Doyle, along with his brother, opened The Ford Dealership in Forsyth, GA. In 1958, he sold the dealership and purchased a wholesale oil distributorship in Lyons. He soon purchased a water well drilling business. Pure Water and Gas Company was established. The well drilling company was eventually sold, but the oil company evolved into NeSmith-Traffic Oil Company and continued to grow into a convenience store business. Doyle immersed himself in civic and religious activities as a member of committees and organizations. As a member of Lyons First Baptist Church, he has served in many capacities. He was President of the Lyons Jaycees, Chairman of Lyons Housing Authority, Vice-Chairman and Building Chairman of the first Meadows Memorial Hospital Board, President of Lyons Lions Club, two terms on Toombs County Development Authority, sixteen years on Brewton-Parker College Board of Trustees in addition to being Chairman of the Finance Committee for twelve years. He served on the Board of Directors of Darby Bank for a number of years. He was also on the Foundation Board of Middle Georgia College. In 1998, he was chosen Lyons Citizen of the Year. This past December, he was asked to be the Grand Marshall of the Lyons Christmas Parade. Doyle worked hard, but Saturdays in the Fall were reserved for Georgia Football games. Until last year they held season tickets. They loved traveling to Athens every Saturday with their friends and tailgating. They even traveled to out of town games for many years. In the hospital, he told his nurse, “Make sure I have a TV on Monday night because the Dogs are playing.” We are confident he helped pull them through. As Saturdays were reserved for football, July was reserved for Daytona. There are many happy memories of our family and friends in Daytona.

After more than 50 years in business, Doyle retired and built an office in Lyons, the NeSmith Dawg House. This became a Man Cave and a daily hangout for men and friends to meet and discuss all subjects of interest – politics, business, world affairs, local events and a lot of GA Bulldog news.

He is preceded in death by an infant daughter, Linda Leigh NeSmith, one sister, Rubye, two brothers, Jimmy and Buddy.

He is survived by his wife of 70 years, June Ne-Smith; one daughter, GinnyAnne Lipscomb and husband Lee of Vidalia; one son, Willis NeSmith and wife Beth of Lyons; five grandchildren, Kara Martin and husband Jamie of Vidalia, Daniel NeSmith and wife Brandy of Watkinsville, Kyle Lipscomb and fiancé Kelsey McLelland of Mooresville, NC, Will NeSmith and Sam NeSmith of Lyons; and six precious great-grandchildren, Brinson, Laney, Harper, Micah, Jay and Sally.

The funeral was held on what would have been his 93rd birthday, Friday, January 14, at 2:00 p.m. at Lyons First Baptist Church with Daniel Ne-Smith and George Holcomb officiating. Burial followed at Lakeview Memorial Gardens. Pallbearers were Kyle Lipscomb, Daniel Ne-Smith, Will NeSmith III, Sam NeSmith, Jamie Martin, and Speck Nobles.

Honorary pallbearers were Glenn Durden, Theron Faison, Bruce Herndon, Sam Polk, Gene Jones, Ben Martin, Eddie Tyson, and Men of Faith Sunday School Class. Flowers are welcome, but memorial contributions can be made to Robert Toombs Christian Academy/ Pl ayground Fund, 628 W. Oglethorpe Ave., Lyons, GA 30436 or to Cornerstone Children’s Center c/o Vidalia First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 150, Vidalia 30475.

Ronald V. Hall


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