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 www.carteroglethorpe.com
Carter Funeral Home Oglethorpe Chapel in charge of arrangements.