Jesse S. Dyess, Jr., 81, of Fitzgerald, died Friday, September 6, 2013, at Phoebe Dorminy Medical Center in Fitzgerald.
Funeral services will be held 6 PM, Sunday, September 8, 2013, at Central United Methodist Church in Fitzgerald with the Rev. Dr. Lloyd Stembridge and Rev. Keith Goodlett officiating. Burial will follow at a later date in Greenwood Cemetery in Wildwood, Florida. The family will receive friends from 6-8 Saturday evening at the funeral home.
Mr. Dyess was born August 25, 1932, in Wildwood, Florida to the late Jesse Stanley & Allie Myra Rice Dyess. He graduated from high school as a Wildwood Wild Cat and served his country honorably in the United States Coast Guard. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in History from Florida State University. Coach Dyess was a history teacher and football coach for over 30 years having served schools in Fort Lauderdale, Mt. Dora and De Land, Florida as well as Fitzgerald High School, Ware County High School, East Laurens High School and North Gwinnett High School. While in Fitzgerald, Coach Dyess was honored by the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association as the Coach of the Year in both 1969 and 1971. He led the Purple Hurricanes to the state playoff game in 1969. He returned to Fitzgerald in 1995. He was a former member of the Ben Hill County Board of Education, a former deacon, and was of the Baptist faith. He loved to fish and garden and was an avid reader, being a life-long student of history as well as politics. Coach Dyess loved his family and friends.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years: Betty Dyess of Fitzgerald; two daughters: Laurie & Tommy White of Fitzgerald and Anna & Nathan Forrester of Rome; one son: Timothy David “Pete” & Debbie Dyess of Fitzgerald; six grandchildren: Leah & Jarrett Yarbrough and Kelly & Lupe Aguilar, both of Fitzgerald, T.J. White of Albany, Kim & Reese Vann of Dothan, Alabama, Kristen & Justin Burke of Statesboro, and Jacob & Dana Kelley of Screven County; nine great-grandchildren: Blake Yarbrough, Chandler Yarbrough, Claire Yarbrough, Ben White, Thomas Aguilar, Jack Burke, Lewis Burke, Clara Burke, and Asher Vann; as well as one brother: Johnny Dyess of Wildwood, Florida.
The family suggests those desiring to send memorials may send them to Imagine Ministries, P.O. Box 428, Fitzgerald, GA 31750.