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1925 Wallace 2011

Wallace Lawson Jernigan

June 23, 1925 — July 9, 2011

WALLACE L. JERNIGAN June 23, 1925 – July 9, 2011 Homerville, GA Mr. Wallace Lawson Jernigan, 86, passed away Saturday, July 9, 2011, in the Clinch Memorial Hospital. Mr. Jernigan was born June 23, 1925, in Jesup, Georgia, to the late Fred W, Jernigan and Sammie Bishop Jernigan. He was preceded by his wife, Carolyn Moore Jernigan and one sister, Betty Welch. Mr. Jernigan graduated from Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia in February 1946 with a “Bachelor of Civil Engineering” degree. He went in business with his father in Homerville Georgia as an apiarist and funeral director. He also served four years as county surveyor for Clinch County. In 1954 he was appointed as a commission agent for Standard Oil Company and was engaged in selling and distributing petroleum products for the ensuing 15 years. During that time, in 1958 he was elected to the Georgia State Senate without opposition. As a State Senator he was appointed Chairman of the Senate Committee on Educational Matters. He received wide recognition for his service as Chairman of the Senate Interim Committee known as the “Jernigan Committee”. This committee promoted legislation and administrative procedures designed to improve quality in education emphasizing new criteria for determining teacher pay including testing teachers. At that time the Georgia Constitution did not allow a senator to succeed himself, so he was elected in 1962 (Again without opposition) as State Representative from Clinch County Georgia. He resigned from the House of Representatives to become Executive Secretary to the Honorable S. Ernest Vandiver, Governor of Georgia where he served until 1964. In 1961 House Resolution HR 315 was passed unanimously by the Georgia House of Representatives commending Wallace Jernigan for his outstanding contribution to the State of Georgia, especially in the field of education. In 1966 he managed the successful Congressional campaign for Williamson S. (Bill) Stuckey and served 6 years in Washington, D.C. as Administrative Assistant to Congressman Stuckey (1967- 1973). In 1973 desiring to return to Georgia he served as District Representative for Congressman Stuckey remaining on the Congressional Staff for approximately 4 more years while living in Homerville, Georgia. In 1973 he received a National Association of Securities Dealers license. As Administrative Assistant he supervised the congressional staff including legislative study and recommendations, public relations, including speech writing and editing, publishing a tabloid size congressional newspaper, maintaining contact with state and local officials, maintaining liaison with federal agencies including FmHA for district projects. During the time he served as Executive Secretary for the Executive Department of Georgia and as a member of a congressional staff, he gained a broad knowledge of federal and state programs and the people administrating those programs. Some of the federal and state officials he came to know were former presidents Truman, Johnson, Ford and Carter. He received a special citation from President Ford for his efforts in successfully writing and promoting legislation to place the Okefenokee Swamp in the “National Wilderness System”. His biographical sketch also appeared in Marquis “Who’s Who in Government” in its first edition in 1972. In 1977 when Congressman Stuckey retired from Congress, Mr. Jernigan joined FmHA as a County Supervisor serving Nassau and Duval counties in Florida. In 1983 he was promoted to District Loan Specialist for District IV in Florida which covered Central Florida from Cape Kennedy on the Atlantic to Tampa on the Gulf of Mexico, including Orland, Winter Haven area. In 1985 he received a certificate of merit from FmHA for outstanding performance in his work. He retired from FmHA on June 30, 1987 with a commendation from FmHA Administrator, Vance Clark. After retirement he worked for Jay Shaw Realty Company as a certified real estate agent. He was President of the Men’s Christian Alliance, member of the Farm Bureau Board of Directors, Chairman of the Clinch County Democratic Committee, past Clinch County Citizen of the Year and the 200 Richard B. Russell Service Award from the Georgia Democratic Party. He was a long time member of the Homerville First Baptist Church, where he was recently was awarded Deacon Emeritus. He also helped form an orchestra for the church. His love for music started at an early are playing saxophone with many bands including Botie Chitty and The Singing Americans. Survivors are his daughter and son-in-law: Nancy & John “Wink” Strickland, Homerville; three grandchildren: Amy & Craig Hunt, Greenville, SC, DeAnna & Matt Courson, Mayday, GA and John Strickland, Homerville; three Great grandchildren: Sam Hunt and Caroline Hunt, Greenville, SC and Maddie Courson, Mayday, GA and several other relatives. Services for Mr. Jernigan will be held Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at eleven o’clock from the Homerville First Baptist Church. Interment will be in the Pine Forest Cemetery. The family will receive friends Monday, July 11, 2011 from 6 till 8 pm at the First Baptist Church. Roundtree Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
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