Gary Dodd
{ "" }
Share Gary's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Gary Dodd, 62, of Hinesville, a local businessman, community leader, devoted loving husband, father, grandfather, son, brother and uncle passed away Saturday, July 13, 2013, after a long illness in the Specialty Hospital in Jacksonville.
Gary was president of his high school class (1970). After graduation, he was elected to the local school board, serving as the youngest person elected to this position at that time. Gary received a full scholarship to Wayne State University upon graduation from high school.
In 1977, Gary received his first McDonald's franchise. At that time Gary was perhaps one of the youngest first generation McDonald's franchisees in the company's history. Throughout his time with McDonald's he served on the National Operators Advisory Board (NOAB), to include serving as chairman. Gary also served on the McDonald's National Leadership Council, a council he founded and served as its first chairman. In these capacities and others, Gary spearheaded several initiatives that still benefit McDonald's franchisees and the McDonald's corporation today.
In addition to his McDonald's business, Gary had several other business interests, two of them being real estate and radio stations. Throughout his entire life, Gary always gave back to the community personally and by way of his businesses. As an active member of the community, Gary was involved in serving as a member of the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce to include as its president, member of Hinesville Rotary Club, supporting the local Boy Scouts of America, a member of the Hinesville United Methodist Church, a member of the Hinesville United Methodist Church A.G. Overman Men's Bible Class, and a founding supporter of local YMCA and the Fraser Center.
Even during his battle with cancer, Gary continued to defy all the statistics. He was asked to speak at a medical conference due to his favorable response with a clinical drug. His positive attitude and sense of fight inspired many of the attendees at this conference; so much so that several came up to him afterward to personally thank him for sharing his experience.
Known as Mr. McDonald's or McDodd, he was a 47-year McDonald's employee and franchisee with McDonald's franchises in Hinesville, Jesup, Glennville and Claxton. Mr. Dodd credits his wonderful life to his daily relationship and faith with his savior Jesus Christ. In his own words, Gary believed: ""God has blessed my life and allowed me to share those resources with others. Our purpose in life is to love and help others find the glory of salvation; putting God first, your partner-wife Lisa, your families and friends are basic priorities in living your life on earth. I look forward to our next reunion in Heaven.""
Mr. Dodd was preceded in death by a son, Ryan Dodd; fathers, Bobby Dodd and John Miloian; brother-in-law, Bobby Altman (Laura); and sister-in-law, Denise King (Everett).
He is survived by his wife, Lisa; three children and spouses, Brent and Sara Dodd of Ethiopia, Jason and Tiffany Dodd of Hinesville and Ashley Dodd of Richmond Hill; grandchildren, Jayce and Pareeya; mother, Betty Miloian; sisters, Marilyn Stengle (Dan) and Gloria Elkins; brother, Robert Dodd (Shelia); uncle, Dr. Don Dodd (Amy); brother-in-law, Kenny Altman (Sandy); sister-in-law, Christina Copeland (John); and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, at Carter Funeral Home Oglethorpe Chapel. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 17, at First Baptist Church of Hinesville and burial will follow in Hinesville Cemetery.
Active pallbearers will be Bob Tunkel, Paul Booton, Kevin Dobson, Allen Brown, Jeff Arnold and Billy Jones. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the A.G. Overman Men's Bible Class of Hinesville First United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, please share your resources by donating to the Ronald McDonald House, Charities Inc. 26345 Network Place Chicago, IL 60673-1263 or American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718 Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718.
Online condolences can be made at
Carter Funeral Home Oglethorpe Chapel in charge of arrangements.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Coastal Courier from Jul. 15 to Jul. 22, 2013.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Please consider a donation, as requested by the family.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
53 entries
March 4, 2014
Gary was my manager when I worked at the McDonalds in Southgate Michigan in the early 70's, he fired our entire grill team one night for horsing around on the job, we all went to Cedar Point for a few days and he hired us all back when we returned, he taught us a lesson and we all liked Gary very much
Jeff Fraser
July 22, 2013
Aloha, had the privilege and pleasure of meeting Gary in Hawaii, while he was trying to add a few Hawaii radio stations to his roster.

I enjoyed working with him for that short period of time. He struck me as a man of faith, honesty and full of life and love for his family.

He invited me to have a Big Mac when i visit Savannah.

Going to take him up on it now that our family recently retired and moved to Georgia.

I know he will be over seeing the restaurant.


With warmest Aloha to the Dodd family


Jeff J Coelho
Jeff Coelho
July 21, 2013
My most sincere condolences to the entire Dodd family!! I still boast that my very FIRST job was with McDonalds in Hinesville, hired by Gary Dodd himself!! I worked in between BI band/football games (I was a drum major; Brent played trumpet) and over the summer break from college! Gary Dodd was a truly remarkable man!! God bless you all!!
Sheryl George
July 21, 2013
Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. Southgate High School 1970.
Jim Putz
July 19, 2013
Your Kindnesss, Concern, and Generousity will be missed by The Geechee Kunda Family and the entire community.
Jim Bacote
July 19, 2013
What a force of nature! I remember him opening the McDonald's in Hinesville - he had a smile for everyone...ALWAYS! Bless your heart, Gary - your wonderful spirit will be missed.
Ellen Donahue Lambert
July 18, 2013
Thank You for giving all of us an Opportunity to work for you and with you.
The Employees of McDonald's Claxton. You will be missed by many.
July 18, 2013
To The Dodd Family,
You all are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry for your loss.
Gena Rogers
July 18, 2013
My thoughts and prayers to Gary's family to find peace during this most difficult time. I remember Gary in high school as a gentle yet powerful leader. God Bless!
Sandy Ponto Kovacs
July 17, 2013
Gary touched everyone he ever met in a very special way. He has left such a Legacy & will remain in so many hearts....until we meet again my
friend from Southgate High... Blessings to The Dodd family....Cheri Fleming Hall
July 17, 2013
We are praying for the Dodd family and for peace during this time. Your friends at Altrua.
Melode Smelko
July 17, 2013
My thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of Gary. I'm sorry for such a great loss on this earth but know that God has blessed him and may God bless his family I this time of sorrow.
Greg Neusius
July 17, 2013
Gary, you shall be greatly missed and greatly remembered. God Bless you and your Family
Keith Muller
July 17, 2013
The Dodd family is in my thoughts and prayers. I just heard about Gary's passing. I worked at McDonald's Greenville regional office for 10 years and he was always a very kind and he was a true gentleman. Heaven has gained a wonderful saint.
Barbara Whitcomb
July 17, 2013
My heart goes out to the Dodd family. Lisa I'm glad I got to see you and Gary last summer when some of us from our class of 1970 got together for dinner. I remember him as always the kindest man, always helping others, I can't ever remember a cross word he said to anyone. He will be missed. I'm so sorry for your loss. He is now reunited with his son Ryan and other loved ones in heaven.
Donna Peck Lewandowski
July 17, 2013
July 16, 2013
My heartfelt sympathies to the family as you entrust this beautiful man into the arms of his Savior. Knowing into Who's arms he has fallen will give you comfort in the days ahead. He impacted the lives of many over the years. From those if us who knew him as kids in Michigan to those who worked with him in business. What a tribute it is to read so many wonderful comments. Gary will be missed and we will see him again! God bless you all.
Debby (McGee) McGaughey
July 16, 2013
Lisa and family, My condolences to you and your family. I had the pleasure of knowing Gary since the 60's and graduated with him from Southgate High School. I knew that he was going to be a great entrepreneur and businessman way back then. He has always been a great person and would do anything for anyone that asked for assistance. I'm so glad that I have seen him a few times since we graduated and so thankful that I had a great visit with him last summer when he was in Michigan. GOD BLESS you Gary and stay strong Lisa. You have the whole Class of 70' with you. If you need anything please let us know. Until we meet again Gary!
Deborah Ouellette Bartl
July 16, 2013
Gary and I, both from the Midwest, crossed paths in 1977 when he became a McDonald's operator in Hinesville. We struggled together in the early years, and I remember Gary for his indomitable spirit, and dedication to the System. He was the epidomy of persistence, integrity, and character, but most of all, he loved the Lord, and that love permeated all aspects of his life. Godspeed Gary, until we meet again.
Jack Pezold
July 16, 2013
Dear Dodd Family, We will all miss Gary. I remember meeting him when he first came to Hinesville. He has left a legacy that will long be remembered and will continue into the future.
Lil Shurtleff
July 16, 2013
You touched my heart and you were a great man. May the Lord bless and keep your dear family.
July 16, 2013
God got a very special angel and this special angel will be miss very much. God bless the family and give them strength to go though this with them
Dorothy & Robert Foster
July 16, 2013
Dear Lisa and Family,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Gary was such a great help to me and my family while I was the Director at the YMCA.I feel blessed to have had a friendship with such an outstanding man.God bless you and your loved ones
Lee & Gloria Boggess
July 16, 2013
Dear Lisa & family,
Our deepest sympathy to all of you. Gary will be missed by all who knew him. God bless each of you.
Dick & Charlotte Webb
July 16, 2013
Just heard the sad news. Did not know he was so seriously ill. Please know you are in my love and prayers.
Marjorie NeSmith
July 16, 2013
Dear Lisa and family, Sending love and prayers. We are so sorry for your loss. He was a wonderful and loving man. Always smiling when you saw him. God Bless you all and Love, Bruce&Donna Crawford,Glenna Lampp,John&Diane Griffis ,Pam Smith ,Timmy&Holi Griffis
Donna Crawford
July 16, 2013
I know that GOD had a reason for taking Gary at such a young age, but that doesn't relieve my pain of not having been able to visit with him and Lisa many more times. I'll just have to wait and see him in heaven.

Within a short period of time after I first met Gary, I knew that he was my kind of person. We had so much in common. Having spent a career as an United States Army Officer I feel uniquely qualified to report that Gary was a leader and patriot of the highest order. Had he chosen a career as an Army Officer there is no doubt that he would have risen to the upper level of leadership. Equally important is that he really cared for people and was a most generous person. He was one of the most interesting persons I have ever met.

One of the most enjoyable evenings of my life was the night I spent with Gary and Lisa in Fernandina Beach when I was returning to California after visiting my ill sister (Peggy) in Waycross. Peggy loved Gary as much as she did her own children. He gave her so much joy when he visited her.

My thoughts and gratitude go out to Lisa and the other angels who gave Gary their all. He was loved immensely by his family and I know that gave him much comfort.

Johanna and I are contributors to the Ronald MacDonald House and The American Cancer Society so we will happily make a contribution in Gary's name.
Jim Griffis
July 16, 2013
Rest in peace my friend...May God comfort your loved ones...
July 16, 2013
Dear Lisa, Ashley, and Family, Mike and I were so saddened to hear of your loss. We will forever remember the wonderful Ski vacations we all went on, and the good times we enjoyed with him and the kids. He was a wonderfully kind and cheerful man, and Mike and I are grateful for the times we shared with him. You are all in our thoughts and prayers, Michael and Janene Wilson
July 16, 2013
Dear Lisa, Brent, Jason and Ashley,
I write to express a sadness that I share with my children. We have memories that are special; my first trip to Florida, we stopped to visit, (Tyler & Trevor were 8 & 10), fishing in the pond, receiving warm hospitality. Gary was there for my wedding, for the Birth of Allison and Beau; the McDonalds Birthday parties, Beau's trip in California with the guys, and many visits to Fernandina Beach. Life pulls us in different directions. We each, bonded with Gary as he was open, loving, compassionate and giving. His legacy runs deep thru all of us, including Mrs. Suzie Skaggs (God Mother). We felt that Gary was always a phone call away if needed. I am so sorry - I send you love and light... Sincerely, Sandy
Sandy Dobson
July 16, 2013
We were fortunate to be next door neighbors when Gary and family moved to Hinesville. As his business,McDonalds, grew and prospered,so did everyone that knew Gary Dodd. I will miss your smile! Rest in peace my friend.My prayers and thoughts are with the Dodd family.
Regena Purser Callaway
Dalton, Ga.
Regena Callaway
July 16, 2013
Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort. He will forever be missed. God Bless you.
Sarah, Mackenzie, Bryce, and Chris Oldham
July 16, 2013
I extend my sympathy and support to the Dodd family in Gary's home-going. As Gary's pastor for the last 4 years, he was a source of support and encouragement for myself and many residents in this region. God has graciously received a truly Christian man into His presence. May God grant us mercy and grace as we grieve our earthly loss and heaven's gain. Lisa and family, you are greatly loved by many in our community and church. May you look to us for support as we learn to live a life without Gary in our presence but in our memories.
Pastor Rich Wright
July 16, 2013
I am so sorry to hear of Garys' passing. I graduated with him, and both my Mother and I had the pleasure of working for him at McDonalds in Southgate, Michigan many years ago. He was a truly wonderful person and I'm glad I got to visit with him briefly last year. My thoughts and prayers are with Lisa and the whole family.
Linda Gurney
July 15, 2013
Rest well my friend, you will be missed!
Sandy (Marsh)Perkins
July 15, 2013
Over the years Gary was not only a business confidant, but, more importantly, he was a friend. He will be deeply missed. My condolences to Lisa, his family and his extended family.
Art McCurry
July 15, 2013
Lisa and family – Please accept my sincere condolences over Gary's passing. We will all miss him very much but will take some comfort in knowing that his suffering is over. I have known Gary for nearly 50 years and in that time I've not only counted him as one of my closest friends but one of the finest people I have met. His warmth, his humor, his wisdom, his generosity – and certainly his love - define Gary and a life very well lived. I wish you strength as you move forward. My thoughts and prayers will be with you.
Randy Andonian
July 15, 2013
We met Gary in Sept of 1978 when he and his family were new to the area. We were so pleased to have a McDonald's in Hinesville. I worked with Gary on the board of Sandy Run School and have never met a more generous person. It was a pleasure and privlege knowing him. He never changed and I am so glad to know he had a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. May God continue to bless his family.
Jill and Richard Whitfield
July 15, 2013
Mr. Dodd was such a Blessing John & I we will miss so much...
Soon an very soon we will see each other again...
God Bless
John & Sue Menard
John & Sue Menard
July 15, 2013
Gary was a amazing person, he taught me so much and was dedicated to his family and community. I will miss him and his smile. Thoughts and Prayers for the Family.
Angela Powell
July 15, 2013
I've known Gary since we were teens working at McDonald's in Southgate, MI in the mid-60's, and moved with him in 1977 to help start the original Hinesville location. There are so many stories and memories I could share about Gary but through everything and all the years, Gary has always been the ultimate professional and cared so much for all who crossed his path. Gary will be missed by so many who have known him and to the countless others who will benefit by his generosity. This is such a great loss and Gary has fought a long battle. My thoughts and prayers go out to Gary's entire family and because of their faith, they know he is in a better place. We will meet up again Gary...
Don Barnard
July 15, 2013
Gary we will love You! Always & Forever. Lisa Reeder & family. Aunt Net too. Michigan family
July 15, 2013
We lost a special person and a lifelong friend, Gary you will always be in our hearts and memories.
Bruce & Debbie Burnett
July 15, 2013
Gary waa very special to me and my family. He was Very uplifting and never let me down. We will miss him dearly.
Dick / Cheryl Peluso
July 15, 2013
The battle is over. Rest.
Patt Gleason
July 15, 2013
Gary Dodd will certainly be missed by the whole community. I am glad that our paths crossed many times while I was in Hinesville. May God richly bless the family during this very sad time. Remember all the precious times you shared with him.
Margie DeLoach Love
July 15, 2013
To Gary's family - he will be missed very much - Our thoughts and prayers will be with you - Putbrese Hunsaker & Trent, P.C.
Sharon Hinderer
July 15, 2013
Gary was a great guy and I am honored to say he was my friend. Gary, I will miss not having you with us fishing in Canada, but I know you will be there in spirit.
John Trent
July 15, 2013
What a great man, he will be miss, one day we are going to see each other in heaven. Family hold your head up, he was a happy man. bebless.
Marcus Vargas
July 14, 2013
Im so sorry for your loss..Mr Gary had a big heart and was always there to help me everytime I called! He was truly a good man..He will be missed by many especially me...Praying for the family.Becky S Fowler..Long County
July 14, 2013
Gary's family is in my thoughts and prayers. Gary was always a wonderful contributor to the community. I remember when our school created a unique reading program for the K-2 students, Gary agreed to support the program through gifts and free lunches as incentives for the top readers. The program was called The McRead Reading Program. Many students were impacted in positive ways by the program and Gary's support and contributions. He will be greatly missed.
Sharon Joiner
July 14, 2013
to the family of mr gary dodd so sorry for your loss
chap clark
July 14, 2013
To each of Gary's loved ones I send my thoughts and prayers. The years I worked for the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce Gary was one of the strongest supporters, always first to step in and help with each function, always giving back to the community he loved. God Bless You.
Becky Branch
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences