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Longtime resident George Roebuck passes

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Longtime resident George Roebuck passes

George Allen Roebuck

    Longtime Brooklet resident George Allen Roebuck, known by many as "Coach Roebuck," is remembered as being a compassionate "pillar of the community" who cared a great deal about young people.
    Roebuck died Sunday at his home in Brooklet.
    He was a native of Cumming, but lived in Bulloch County since 1954. After graduation from Georgia Teacher's College (now Georgia Southern University), Roebuck coached basketball for 25 years at Southeast Bulloch, Statesboro High School and Effingham County High School.
    "It would take a book" to tell everything roebuck has done for the community, said Ed Wynn, who recalled watching Roebuck play basketball as a child.
    Roebuck was coaching at Southeast Bulloch High School when Roebuck was principal at Brooklet Elementary School,  and built a house behind Wynn in the early 60's. The two developed a close friendship, competing to see who could grow the best vegetable garden.
    "We had vegetable gardens side by side," he said. "We had a lot of fun, gardening together."
    The two also shared a friendly rivalry, as Roebuck was a "Yankees fan  and I am a Boston Red Socks fan," Wynn said. Roebuck " was one of the finest neighbors anyone could possibly have."
    Billy Tyson, another neighbor,  recalled how Roebuck always found ways to serve the community.
    "Brooklet certainly lost a pillar of the community," he said. "He was a good friend and neighbor, a caring person, willing to help anyone in need. He was a great man and certainly will be missed by everyone."
    Coaching was Roebuck's passion, and his track record reflected his dedication and skills.
    In 1960, 1965 and again in 1974, Roebuck was chosen as the Georgia High School Athletic Association “Coach of the Year.” In 1970 he was an Honorary Inductee into the Southeast Bulloch Hall of Fame; won the Distinguished Coaching Award in 1975 and Georgia Southern's Outstanding Achievement Award in Athletics in 1979.
    In 1990, Roebuck the City of Brooklet renamed the Brooklet Recreation Department as the  George A. Roebuck Sports Complex.  This was the year he was also presented the Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Award. More recently, Southeast Bulloch High School honored him  by dedicating  the new gym to him.
    A scholarship is awarded each year in his name, founded by a group of former athletes, among numerous other honors.
    The World War II Army veteran was  a member of the Brooklet United Methodist Church, and a member of the Brooklet Kiwanis Club.
    Fred Shaver said he will miss attending Kiwanis and Booster Club meetings with Roebuck.
    "George was a dear, dear friend," he said. "He was a wonderful person, dedicated, a coach  that loved children. We really lost a wonderful person who contributed greatly to the school and community."
    "He's done so much for a lot of people," Tyson said. "He was just a caring person."
    "If we ever needed them, they were always there," Wynn said of Roebuck and his wife, Dot. "He had a tremendous love for youth and loved his coaching. His integrity was just as s rong as anyone could have, and he was as good as his word."
    "He used to always put youngsters first," Shaver said. "I couldn't say enough about the influence he has on the lives of so many youngsters."
    Roebuck is survived by  wife Dorothy Burch Roebuck and his son, Jimmy Roebuck, both of Brooklet, as well as several nieces ,nephews and 'grandchildren of the heart," James and Beth Kicklighter.
    Visitation for Roebuck will be held today from 4-7 p.m. at Hodges-Moore Funeral Home, with funeral services  held Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at the Southeast Bulloch High School gymnasium. Burial will follow in Brooklet's City Cemetery.
    Honorary pallbearers will be former athletes.
    Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at 489-9414.
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