James William "J.W." Exley Jr., 80, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 at his residence surrounded by his family.
The Effingham County native was the owner and operator of J.W. Exley Lumber Company, founder of Riverfield Sales, Inc., and Riverfield Rentals, Inc. He was the Past Master of Clyo Masonic Lodge No. 280 F & AM, honorary Georgia state trooper, honorary member of the Augusta Golf Association, and lifelong musician whose greatest honor was to have performed on the Grand Ole Opry. He was the winning pitcher of the State-C Championship in 1949 for Effingham Academy.
"J Bird," as he was affectionately known, will be dearly missed by his family, friends and business associates, whom he entertained at Wednesday afternoon golf outings for many years.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James William "Jimmy" Exley and Ruby Valarie Wilson Exley; and sister, Willie Marian Hodges.
Survivors include his soulmate of 32 years, Diane S. Lee of Clyo; children, J.W. "Bill" Exley III (Sue) of Springfield and Donald Carlyle Exley (Suellen) of Clyo; sisters, Wanita Exley Rahn (Reiser) of Clyo and Brenda Exley Nease (Mac) of Atlanta; grandchildren, James William "Jim" Exley IV (Becky) of Alpharetta, Rhett Nease Exley (Nichole) of Cumming, Donald Carlyle "Chip" Exley Jr., Emmaline Marie Exley, and Miles Ellison Exley, all of Clyo; great-grandchildren, Natalie, Ally, Emery and Briggs; and a number of nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, March 2 from 1-3 p.m. at Thomas C. Strickland & Sons Funeral Home, followed by a memorial service at 3 p.m. in the chapel.
Remembrances may be given to Hospice Savannah, P.O. Box 13190, Savannah, GA 31416.