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Bruce Yawn, longtime owner of Snooky's, passes at 74
Back in February 2020, Bruce Yawn, right, was introduced as the Rotary Club Citizen of the Year by former Georgia football coach Vince Dooley at the Forest Heights Country Club. Dooley, who coached Yawn at Georgia, recounted some stories from the glory days before making the announcement. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/file

Longtime Statesboro businessman and beloved family man, Bruce Yawn died Thursday afternoon after suffering a heart attack in the morning. He was 74.

“It is with great sorrow that we share the news that Bruce has passed away this afternoon. Please join us as we pray for Bruce’s family and remember this good man and wonderful friend,” said Benjy Thompson, CEO of the Development Authority of Bulloch County, on which Yawn served as chair.

Yawn is most well known for operating Snooky’s Restaurant from 1971 until 2012, at first along with his father, the late Vivian D. “Snooky” Yawn.

Since retiring and closing the restaurant, Yawn continued in several business and community roles.

Along with his role with the Development Authority, he served on the local Synovus board and worked part-time as assistant executive director of Willow Pond Senior Care.

Former University of Georgia head football coach Vince Dooley introduced Yawn as the Rotary Club Citizen of the Year in 2020.

“I look at the table and there’s Bruce Yawn, who helped me get started,” Dooley said at the February 2020 luncheon at Forest Heights Country Club. “Bruce actually was part of the first full recruiting class that we had at Georgia, and that class won two SEC championships.”

After graduating from Statesboro High School, Yawn went to Georgia on a football scholarship, and played offensive guard his sophomore through senior years. During that time the Bulldogs won the Southeastern Conference championships in 1966 and 1968, also won the 1966 Cotton Bowl over Southern Methodist University.

Mandy Fortune, marketing director for Citizens Bank of the South in Statesboro and chair for the Board of the Statesboro-Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce said about Yawn:

“My heart is so broken.  There will never be another Bruce Yawn.”

No arrangements have been announced for Yawn’s funeral.

Come back to and read Saturday’s Statesboro Herald for a more complete obituary and story about the life and passing of Bruce Yawn.

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