Raleigh Sheppard Way Sr., 87, of Hinesville, was called to his heavenly home early Wednesday morning, April 02, 2014.
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He was born Sept. 29, 1926, in Cedar Key, Fla., the natural son of Faithy Foster Sheppard and Franklin Luther Sheppard, and adopted son of his aunt, Hattie Foster Way and her husband, Edgar Peyton Way.
Raleigh was raised in Hinesville. He graduated from Riverside Military Academy. He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific theater of operations.
At a young age, Raleigh was an enterprising businessman. For many years, he owned the Midway Oil Company, a Texaco distributor for four counties: Liberty, Long, South Bryan and McIntosh. He formed the Hinesville Gas Company, a propane distributor for Liberty and surrounding counties. Raleigh had a talent for knowing how the local communities were growing, and he had extensive investments in real estate in several counties. He was a successful businessman who was instrumental in the development of Hinesville.
Over the years, he donated land for civic causes such as a library in Hinesville and the land for the headquarters of the New Sunbury Baptist Association. He was a faithful member of Elim Baptist Church and served on a number of committees.
Raleigh was a fine horseman. In the early days, he rode with the other cowboys who drove the cattle from the Camp Stewart Military Reservation. All his life, he took the time to explore trails by horseback in the mountains of Tennessee and Virginia and the lowlands of South Georgia. For his friends, there was no better guide to have on the trails. He looked forward to fishing with his buddies and knew the good fishing drops on the coast of Liberty County.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Peyton Way; son, Peyton Way; granddaughter, Pam Way Hester; sisters, Cynthia Way Holt, Bea and Willa; and brother, Buck.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Delilah Way; son, Raleigh Way Jr., of Statesboro; daughters, Laura Way of Sunbury and Beth Way Pearl of Jacksonville; granddaughter, Shelby Roberts (Ryan); grandson, Jonathon Sheppard Pearl; great-grandsons, Trey Hester, Rylee Roberts and Reece Roberts; several loving nieces and nephews; lifelong friend and business associate, Wyman E. May; and good and faithful friend and caretaker, Dorothy Roberts.
Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Friday, April 4, at Carter Funeral Home Oglethorpe Chapel. His funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at Elim Baptist Church with the Rev. Greg Bentley officiating. Burial will follow in Elim Baptist Church Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be James Smith, Wayne Collingsworth, Jim Gray, Trevor Sikes, Stevie Sikes and David McDonald.
Memorials may be made to Elim Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, 6650 Elim Church Road NE, Ludowici, GA 31316.
Carter Funeral Home Oglethorpe Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. Online condolences can be made at www.carteroglethorpe.com.
Published in Coastal Courier from Apr. 3 to Apr. 10, 2014