Ford Belmont Spinks, Sr., 89, of Tifton passed away Wednesday, July 27, 2016, at his residence. His funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, July 29, 2016, at Salem Baptist Church with Rev. Andy Ring officiating. A eulogy will be given by Jimmy Allen. Mr. Spinks will be laid to rest at Salem Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends Friday, July 29, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. until the hour of the service at Salem Baptist Church.
Theodore Foster, Jake Jarnagin, Zack Dunn, Joseph Spinks, Justin Hand, Brett Price, Robert Massey and Hector Montalvo will serve as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be the Board of Directors of South Georgia Banking Company, Deacons of Salem Baptist Church and W. P. “Buddy” Bryan.
Born April 5, 1927 in Excelsior, Mr. Spinks was the son of the late Durward B. Spinks and Jewel Ford Spinks. He was also preceded in death by his wife, Ruby Lee Pritchard Spinks and his step-mother, Maureen Patrick Malcolm Spinks. He served in the United States Army during World War II during the occupation of Germany.
Upon returning from the war, he attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. In 1962, he ran two successful campaigns for the Georgia State Senate. He continued in the Georgia Senate and served on many committees until leaving the Senate in 1971. He supported Jimmy Carter through many campaigns, and was appointed Public Service Commissioner in 1971, a post he held until 1989. Outside of politics, he was a farm equipment dealer and owned and operated Tifton Tractor Company. He served as director of South Georgia Banking Company and chairman of the Coastal Plain Area Tourism Council. He was inducted into the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce Wall of Fame in 2000. He was instrumental in creating the Georgia Agrirama in Tifton, which is now the Georgia Museum of Agriculture. He was a member of Salem Baptist Church, where he was a member of the church choir and served as a deacon.
Mr. Spinks is survived by his children, Ford Belmont “Monty” Spinks, Jr. and Lori Rowell, Suzanne Spinks Dunn and Michael and Marcie Spinks, all of Tifton; seven grandchildren and their spouses, Jaclyn Semmelink, Sara and Justin Hand, Jake and Madeline Jarnagin, Zack Dunn, Hannah Dunn, Brooke Spinks and Joseph Spinks; and four great-grandchildren, Cheyenne Semmelink, Blakely Semmelink, Ellie Jarnagin and Ford Jarnagin. He has many special friends and relatives, including Aunt Ferol Cosper and Aunt Mary Alice Yarbrough, Carol Yarbrough Bell and Margarita Montalvo.
Flowers will be accepted or memorial gifts may be made to the Salem Baptist Church Memorial Fund, c/o Sara Lamb, 15 Ellis Bryan Road, Tifton, GA 31793.