Mr. John Rodney Townsend Sr., 78, of Statesboro, Georgia, passed away on February 9th, 2024, at Ogeechee Area Hospice.
Rodney was a devoted husband, father and grandfather that loved the Lord Jesus Christ.
He was born in Screven, Georgia, to Norman and Lavonia Townsend.
He attended Wayne County High School and graduated with a bachelor of arts in education from Georgia Southern College in 1967.
He and his wife, Anne, lived in Waycross, Georgia, for 56 years, where they were members of Trinity United Methodist Church and First United Methodist Church.
He was active in Jaycees and Gideons for many years.
He started his career teaching industrial arts at Ava Street Waycross High School, but soon realized his true passion was sales. He became a partner at Jacobson’s on the Mall in Waycross, where he was known for providing expert advice to men purchasing clothing and suits. Later, he was a sales representative for Wrangler Jeans and Abilene Boot Company and became friends with many in NASCAR racing and country music.
He was also owner and partner with his wife at Waycross Dance and Gymnastics, where he was known as Coach Rocket. Coach Rocket and his performance group, The Rocket Stars, performed at Georgia Southern University, Florida State University, Valdosta State University, South Georgia College and the Atlanta Hawks halftime shows.
In June 2015, The Rocket Stars performed at the Disney World Performing Arts exhibition. In addition, each year The Rocket Stars would hold a fundraiser for The ALS Association in memory of his friend, David Wall.
Rodney was also an excellent golfer with 18 holes-in-one (all witnessed!) across many golf courses in the Southeast, including an Albatross on Hole #4 at the King and the Bear in St. Augustine, Florida, in 2001.
Rodney also was a talented artist using oils, watercolors and pencils, and especially enjoyed drawing cars and special landmarks.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Anne Holloway Townsend; daughter, Ashlee Townsend Cribb Woliver (Walt); son, John Rodney Townsend Jr. (Connie); grandchildren, Laura Cribb Todd (George), Matthew Cribb, Noah Townsend, Olivia Townsend and Chris Woliver (Abby); brother, Jimmy Townsend (Linda); sisters-in-law, Ellen Townsend, Pam Holloway Hodges (Landrum) and Jean Holloway Zunkel; brothers-in-law, Strickland Holloway Jr. and Bill Zunkel; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Bobby Townsend; and son-in-law, Ric Cribb.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to The ALS Association at www.als.org in honor of David Wall.
Statesboro Herald, February 13, 2024
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