Joseph “Jody“ David Mingledorff, 71, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 15, 2020 at home with his family and friends after a lengthy illness.
Jody was born on April 30, 1948, in the City of Screven of Wayne County in the home of his grandfather, Dr. Joseph Lawton Tyre, to the late George Lee Smith Jr. and Peggy Tyre. Jody attended school in Screven until the eighth grade when he transferred to Georgia Military Academy in College Park, GA. In Screven, he was a proud member of Troop 377 of the Boy Scouts of America. Two days before his seventeenth birthday he was inducted into the United States Navy and completed three combat tours of duty during the Vietnam War. Afterward, he returned to Wayne County and attended various colleges including Brunswick Junior College, Georgia Southwestern College and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.
In 1975 he married Sheila NeSmith and they had two daughters, Morgan Nicole and Kristin Sail. For years he served as the President and General Manager of Hinesville Ford Company in Liberty County where he also was involved in the real estate business. While in Liberty County he was deeply involved in many civic organizations, including an Exhausted Rooster of Hinesville Jaycees and was very active with the Bradwell Institute Band Boosters. He was heavily involved in politics at local, state and national levels throughout his life. In 1982, he was appointed by Senator Sam Nunn to serve as a member of the South Atlantic Fishery's Management Council where he served as committee chair for four terms.
Jody later moved back to Wayne County in the 1990s where he built and operated two restaurants, the Krystal in Hinesville,GA, the first Krystal franchise in the state of Georgia, and then he later opened Doc Holiday's restaurant in Jesup. He was also a co-founder of Fussell Bonding Company and owner of Insul-Kwik Company which insulated thousands of houses across southeast Georgia. Later when he “retired”, he moved to the coast and was an owner and Captain of a shrimp boat, the “Miss Peggy”, out of Midway, GA. Throughout his life, he enjoyed to travel and explore the world. He enjoyed spending time in Central and South America, especially in the countries of Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Mexico studying the Mayan Culture and of course, big game fishing. He was a member of the Rolling Thunder Military organization that helped sick and homeless veterans and became a Master Mason in Jesup Lodge 112.
Jody then returned to his city of birth, Screven, in 2012 and was elected to the Screven City Council in 2017. He served until October 2019 when he stepped down due to his failing health. Jody loved hunting and fishing and anything outdoors. He was a loyal and loving fan of the Georgia Bulldogs.
In addition to his parents preceding him in death were his grandparents, Dr. Joseph Lawton and Bertie Mae Tyre. He is survived by his much-beloved wife of 46 years, Sheila NeSmith Mingledorff of Screven; his children Morgan(Andy) Westberry of Jesup, Sail Coleman and grandson Lawton Henry Johnson of Ludowici, a sister Judy Claire(Jake) Welch, half-brother George Lee(Kim) Smith III, half-sister Tammy Smith Titus all of Jesup, stepbrothers Neil Rogers of Pierce County and Greg Rogers of Appling County and a host of nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.
He will be remembered as a man that always loved Screven and though life often took him elsewhere, he always found a way to come back home.
Due to concerns of public health, services have been postponed until a later date to allow for social distancing as recommended by healthcare professionals. Details will be announced by the funeral home once they have been completed.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the American Cancer Society,428 Bull Street Suite 205, Savannah, GA 31401 or online at www.cancer.org.
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