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Obituary - Dr. George Hewett "Hew" Joiner Jr.
Crowe-Fields Funeral Home
Dr. George Hewett "Hew" Joiner Jr.

Born in Albany, Ga., on June 9, 1941, the son of George H. Joiner Sr. and Elnora Brewer Joiner and predeceased by his younger sister, Sara Joiner Eubanks (2023).

He is survived by his wife, Martha Sasser Joiner; daughter, Barbara Virginia "Gina" Joiner-Bly; his son, George Stubbs Joiner (Marianne Joiner-Hughes); and his five grandchildren, Lucy Bly (26), Charlye Bly (24), Annie Bly (21), Gabriel Joiner (7) and Rhiannon Joiner (4).

After attending schools in Albany, he graduated with honors from Emory University in 1963, then attended Northwestern University for his masters (1966) and Ph.D. (1971) in Modern European history.

In 1968, he joined the faculty at Georgia Southern College in the history department. In 1981, Georgia Southern made the decision to launch an Honors Program and Hew was selected as the founding director. He built the Bell Honors Program into a national model of honors education that focused on a cohort experience for a coterie of talented students taught in team-taught seminars by dedicated faculty.

The Bell Honors Program was a transformative experience for its students and Hew remained a mentor and a valued friend to its graduates for the rest of his life.

He was also an active participant in honors organizations and served as president of the Georgia Collegiate Honors Council, the Southern Regional Honors Council and the National Collegiate Honors Council.

As a result of his lasting contributions to honors education, Hew was named a Fellow of the National Collegiate Honors Council in 2013.

After retiring in 2002, Hew and his wife, Martha, became active volunteers in an effort to preserve and protect native plants. The two worked as Ogeechee-Canoochee riverkeepers and were the first amateurs to serve as “Botanical Guardians” of a five-mile stretch of land, a program of the Georgia DNR and the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance (GPCA).

Their passion to protect the diversity of life led them to purchase property in Jenkins County that is now in a permanent conservation easement.

Beyond his work as an educator, Hew played guitar and thought he could sing. He was an avid tennis player until he was 78 and over the years had to swap out opponents for younger people who could match his pace.

He loved car racing. (He raced cars and served as a flag marshal in both Great Britain and throughout the U.S.).

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Hew’s honor to the Dr. George Hewett “Hew” Joiner Jr. Scholarship at

Crowe-Fields Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Statesboro Herald, February 21, 2024

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