Raiford Charlie "R.C." Webb, age 90, passed away peacefully on Saturday evening, February 15, 2014, at his home in Statesboro, Georgia.
He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Ella Ree (Mimbs) Webb; and six children, including Charles (Lynda) Webb, Stacy (Faye) Webb, Gwen Gerrald, Jack (Chantel) Webb, Paul Webb and Sherri Cribbs, all of Statesboro; eight grandchildren, including Scott (Mary Beth) Webb of Statesboro, Whitney (Ken) Austin of Sylvania, Lauren (Bob) Massee of Statesboro, Parker (Caitlin) Webb of Charleston, South Carolina, and Katie Webb, Casey Webb, McKenzie Webb and Clay Cribbs, all of Statesboro; four great-grandchildren, including Caleb Collins, Emma Webb, Ella Webb and Cater Massee, all of Statesboro; his sisters, Faye (Ernest) McClure of Athens and Carolyn Durden of Statesboro; and sisters-in-law, Rita Webb of Soperton, Maggie (Cessum) Young of Dublin, Dot Dickens of Soperton and Lillian Mimbs of Adrian; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, C.P. and Ruby Webb; a brother, John Webb; two sisters, Ann Hicks and Betty Mikell; four brothers-in-law, Lamar Mikell, William Durden, Elmer Mimbs and Edward Mimbs; and three sisters-in-law, Bernese Youngblood, Ruby Smith and Mavis Mimbs.
Born in Treutlen County, Georgia, on April 2, 1923, R.C. Webb attended Soperton schools and continued through mid-year of the eighth grade, during which time he earned a varsity letter playing on the Soperton High School football team in the autumn of 1939. In December 1939, he withdrew from school to join the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), leaving home in 1940 to work on public projects in Oregon. After returning in 1941, he worked as a short-order cook at Red Ricks in downtown Soperton. It was there that he first met his future wife, the former Ella Ree Mimbs. His favorite story was about the first time he met her, recounting to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that while working one day, he noticed the "prettiest girl I ever saw" walking by the store with two of her girlfriends. He remarked to a friend with him, "Some day, I'm going to marry that girl." Within a few months, however, the United States entered World War II
and he volunteered for active duty, enlisting in the U.S. Army
He was assigned to a new branch of combat engineers responsible for transporting assault forces from troop transport ships to enemy beaches. He trained at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and later at Carrabelle, Florida, before being shipped to the Southwest Pacific Area of Operations commanded by General Douglas MacArthur. He earned the rank of staff sergeant with Company B of the 594th Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment (EBSR), part of the 4th Engineer Special Brigade (ESB) "Seahorse Soldiers." He fought in the New Guinea and New Britain amphibious landings, earning the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with two bronze campaign service stars, in addition to the Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal and the Philippine Liberation Medal. He was honorably discharged in 1945.
He returned to Soperton, where he found temporary work and married Ella Ree Mimbs on October 22, 1945, as he had said he would four years earlier. In 1946, the young couple moved to Statesboro, Georgia, where he borrowed $4,000 from a local bank to purchase a small (26 seats) restaurant at 63 East Main Street and opened for business on August 17, 1946, with $17 in the cash register. For the next 46 years, the Nic Nac Grille and Restaurant became a favorite eating establishment of local families and visitors to Bulloch County, as well as college students at Georgia Teachers College (and later Georgia Southern University). It expanded in 1964 and again in 1968 to become the largest eatery in Statesboro, capable of seating more than 500 patrons. The slogan for the Nic Nac was "Food is our business, sports are our pastime and happiness is our way of life." He and his wife sold the Nic Nac and retired on November 25, 1992.
All six of the Webb children and many of their own children grew up working in the family restaurant, and they learned about hard work, honesty, dependability and serving others.
R.C. Webb also instilled in his children the value of a formal education. His six children all earned degrees from Georgia Southern, and many earned advanced degrees. All of his descendents and their spouses possess 34 undergraduate and graduate degrees. He himself was awarded a Georgia Veterans Honorary Diploma during baccalaureate services at Treutlen County High School on May 19, 2002.
Mr. Webb was a member of the Free and Accepted Masonry Ogeechee Lodge #213, having been awarded the 50-year membership pin. He was regarded as one of Statesboro's best business leaders and was active in supporting many community initiatives. For more than 25 years, he helped sponsor a statewide Preacher's Appreciation Golf Tournament in Statesboro. He actively supported youth and educational programs for more than 50 years. He was recognized by the Georgia Recreation and Parks Society (GRPS) with its Lay Leader Award in 1968. He was also a strong supporter of high school extracurricular activities, including sports teams. The Statesboro Quarterback Club presented its first Honorary Lifetime Membership to him in 1997.
Most of all, he wanted to be remembered as a good husband and father. His strong faith in God led him to enjoy a life blessed with a good family and many friends. He especially found strength when he was able to quietly help others one on one, especially those in need.
Visitation will be held Tuesday (February 18) from 4-7 p.m. at Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home in Statesboro.
The funeral service is scheduled on Wednesday (February 19) at 11 a.m. in the chapel of Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home with Elders Randy Waters and W.H. Durrence officiating. Interment, with military honors, will follow in the Eastside Cemetery on Northside Drive.
Pallbearers will be Scott Webb, Parker Webb, Casey Webb, Clay Cribbs, Ken Austin and Bob Massee.
The family expresses its deep appreciation to Jack and Irma Todd for their neighborly friendship and assistance for many years, and to Randy Smith, MD, and the doctors, nurses and staff at Statesboro Family Practice for their care and patience the past several years.
Memorial contributions may be made to a
Friends may sign the online register book at www.joineranderson.com.
Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home of Statesboro is in charge of arrangements.
Statesboro Herald, February 18, 2014
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