Freeman Napier Jelks Jr.
Freeman Napier Jelks, Jr. - SAVANNAH - Freeman Napier Jelks, Jr., 80, died on November 28, 2009 with his children at his side. Mr. Jelks was a lifelong resident of Savannah. He was a member of Christ Church Episcopal. He was a Life Member of The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Georgia; an honorary member of the St. Andrews Society of Georgia; and an honorary member of The Oglethorpe Club of Savannah. Mr. Jelks was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Freeman N. Jelks of Savannah. He was the great-great-great-grandson of Benjamin Andrew Coleman, who served under Washington at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-1778 as Captain of the 5th North Carolina Regiment of the Continental Army. Mr. Jelks' primary interest for many years was The Savannah Country Day School, where he served as a member and then Chairman of the Board of Trustees. The Jelks Fine Arts Center, the Jelks Auditorium and the Jelks Scholarship are named in his honor. Jelks graduated from The Hill School in Pottstown, PA, in 1947. He graduated from Princeton University cum laude in economics in 1951. He served for two years in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Jelks was discharged from the Army in Japan in 1954 and wrote a widely read weekly column for the Savannah Morning News about his 6-month trip west around the world. On his return to Savannah, Jelks joined his father in the local firm of Johnson, Lane, Space and Co., a member of the New York Stock Exchange, from which he retired as a vice-president in 1994. Jelks was named Outstanding Young Man of the Year in Savannah at age 29 in 1958. He was prominent in leadership in the early years of the Savannah Symphony Society and the Historic Savannah Foundation, serving on both boards and as executive vice-president of the Symphony. Jelks is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Freeman Napier Jelks III and Heather O'Neill Jelks of Alexandria, VA; a daughter and son-in-law, Laura Jelks Crawford and Keith Alan Crawford of Charlottesville, VA; twin grandchildren, Savannah Napier Jelks and Connor O'Neill Jelks; three step grandchildren, Jordan Ashley Crawford, Zachary Joseph Crawford, and Matthew Jacob Crawford; a sister, Mrs. Allen (Retta) Vance of Bristol, TN, a brother in law Allen I. Vance; three nieces, Mrs. William (Julie) Brown, Mrs. Jay (Retta) Poynter, and Mrs. Robert (Helen) Scott; two great nieces and two great nephews; and a first cousin, David A. Jelks and his family of Riceboro, GA. Visitation: 5:00 PM. to 7:00 PM, Monday, November 30, at Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel. Graveside Service: 11:00 AM, Tuesday, December 1, in Bonaventure Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the Oglethorpe Club immediately following the service. Remembrances may be made to the Jelks Scholarship Fund at Savannah Country Day School, 824 Stillwood Drive, Savannah, GA 31406. Please sign our on-line guest book at www.foxandweeks.com Savannah Morning News November 30, 2009 Please sign our Obituary Guest Book at savannahnow.com/obituaries .

Published by Savannah Morning News on Nov. 30, 2009.
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21 Entries
Remembering Mr. Jelks fondly on the anniversary of his passing. He was a friend to everyone he met on campus.
Warmly,
Mindy Nash
Mindy Nash
Friend
November 24, 2020
Dear Laura,
Sorry to be so late--it takes news longer to reach Spain. I am so sorry for your loss. I only met Freeman a few times but I know he did so much for SCDS and Savannah. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Love, Jennie Wilburn
December 7, 2009
I shall always remember Freeman as a delightful, caring gentleman.
Sincerely
Emily Amburgey Pidgeon
December 3, 2009
Dear Jelks Family,
As a former teacher at Country Day for fourteen years, I know the amount of children that were touched by "Mr. Jelks Joy". He knew us all by name and provided a father image to many.When my son (Chris) and I heard this tragic news, we were deeply saddened. Mr Jelks and "his cap"will forever be in our hearts!
Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.
Marge Arnsdorff
December 2, 2009
Please accept our sincere sympathy on the passing of your Dad . Although we were never fortunate enough to have known him, our son Stephen was a recipient of the Freeman Jelks Award here at Country Day in Savannah. He now attends UGA and is hoping to pursue a career in International Business. What a kind, generous gentleman to have funded such a wonderful endowment that has helped Stephen and so many other students and their families throughout the years.

Sincerely,
Michael, Kathleen and Stephen Amburgey
December 2, 2009
Dear Lolly,
So sorry to hear of the passing of your father. I will never forget all the 10 cent cokes in those little bottles he asked me to get for him while I worked at Johnson, Lane, Space Smith and Co. during my summer breaks. He always had a smile on his face. I will never forget him.
Kitty Curran Collins (Savannah, Ga.)
December 1, 2009
Dear Jelks family,
I was terribly sad to hear about Freeman's passing. I cannot tell you how much he meant to me, but he has left me with so many memories. I am so glad my family and I were able to spend time with him this summer in Highlands, NC. We ran into him hiking up Whiteside Mountain and he invited us over for dinner that evening. I don't know many people as kind and thoughtful as Freeman. He truly lived a life of service and devotion to other people. He will be sorely missed!
Stuart Espy
December 1, 2009
To the family of Mr. Jelks,
It is with great fondness that I remember Mr. Jelks. I don't know how many times he tossed his cap at me and I caught it! In the classroom, on the playground or the quad, or at a football game, his presence was always at SCDS. He had a gift for making each student feel special. I remember how I felt extra-special growing up in Vernonburg with him. He came to the house one Christmas to drop off holiday treats. We had been baking and my sister, Elizabeth, and I got white flour handprints all over his coat when we enthusiastically hugged him.
He will be missed.
Katie Godfrey
December 1, 2009
Dear Jelks Family,
All of Freeman's friends at High Hampton were so sorry to hear of his death. We were priviledged to know Freeman and to have him as a loyal guest through the years. He always had a twinkle in his eye and seemed to truly enjoy life. What a wonderful gentleman-so humble and modest. We will miss him.
You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Sincerely,
Becky McKee
December 1, 2009
Dear Jelk's Family,
All of Freeman's friends at High Hampton were so sorry to hear of his death. We were priviledged to know Freeman and to have him as a loyal guest through the years. He always had a twinkle in his eye and seemed to truly enjoy life. What a wonderful gentleman-so humble and modest. We will miss him.
You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Sincerely,
Becky McKee
Becky McKee
December 1, 2009
Lolly and Freeman,
I am so sad to learn of your sweet father's passing. He obviously meant so much to literally generations of students, teachers, and parents in the SCDS community. I have several fun memories of him popping into my classes...once into typing class to take a poll of 9th graders--did we agree with the "Ms." movement to replace "Miss." He would often join our cross country practice and I can still picture him jogging around the track with his sweat bands! Although many years have passed since I last caught his hat, I know that he was my friend and I will always remember his kindness, loyalty, sense of humor and that great laugh! God bless your family and God bless Mr. Jelks. Ashley (Sparks) Stamoulis
Ashley (Sparks) Stamoulis
November 30, 2009
Dear Lolly and Freeman, I was so sad to hear of your father's passing. He was such a kind and wonderful man. I have so many happy memories of him from growing up in Vernonberg to my school life at SCDS. I was always amazed at how he remembered me even up until my last visit with him at Panera last week. I am happy that I was able to introduce him to my boys and to explain to them what a great man he was and everything he did for their school, SCDS. I know he will be missed by many.
Emily (Dimond) Jowers
November 30, 2009
I was very saddened to hear of Mr. Jelks's passing. It was a privilege to know him, and, during my time, at SCDS his wise counsel and encyclopedic knowledge of Savannah and Country Day's history was of great value to me. He will be missed.
John Carr
November 30, 2009
To the family of Mr. Jelks,

I was deeply saddened to learn that Mr. Jelks had passed. He was one of the sweetest people and a staple figurehead at Country Day. I think I caught his hat a hundred times or more (that was a favorite past time of his--to throw his cap to you across the quad or walk way). He was even kind enough to let my friend and I interview him for our Senior project--he said our Class '93 was one of his favorites! He was a treasure to us too.

I recently wrote to Mr. Jelks this summer to catch up with him. He was so nice to write back and fill me in on life. So glad I was able to reconnect with our pal Mr. Jelks. He will be missed and remembered forever.

My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. May the source of peace bring comfort to all who are in mourning.
Mindy Nash
November 30, 2009
Freeman & Lolly, so sad to learn about the passing of your father. "Mr. J" was as much a part of SCD during my years there as any teacher or classmate. So happy to have spent time with him at the recent reunion. I missed his call the next Monday. I am sorry.
Adger Ross
November 30, 2009
DEAR FREEMAN AND LOLLY
I WANT TO TELL YOU HOW SORRY I WAS TO HEAR OF THE SUDDEN LOSS OF YOUR FATHER --WHAT I MEAN TO TELL YOU BY WRITING THIS NOTE IS HOW VERY SPECIAL AND IMPORTANT YOUR FATHER WAS TO ME . I KNEW HIM AT COUNTRY DAY AND HE WAS WARM AND GENTLE AND GENUINELY CARED ABOUT ALL OF US . I KNEW IN MY HEART OF HEARTS EVERY TIME I SAW I SAW FREEMAN JELKS I WOULD GET A JOKE OUT OF HIM AND A HAPPY "HI KATHRYN".IF EVER I'M HOME AND YOU NEED A KATHRYN FIX YOU COME OVER AND SEE ME AND WE'LL TALK ABOUT YOUR FATHER . STAY STRONG . I WILL BE THINKING ABOUT YOU .
ALL MY LOVE
KATHRYN CURRAN
KATHRYN CURRAN
November 30, 2009
We deeply regret the loss of Freeman. A mass will said for him in Chestertown tomorrow. Ed & Lisa Raffetto
Edward Raffetto
November 30, 2009
With deepest sympathy, my thoughts are with you.
Houston Vissage
November 30, 2009
Our daughter, Jessamyn, was a recipient of the Jelks Scholarship. Her four years at SCDS had a tremendous impact on her education and life. Mr. Jelks was always very encouraging to her and to us. The scholarship enabled her to pursue a wonderful education. We are forever grateful. Jay and Debby Waddington
November 30, 2009
I was so sorry to hear of your loss. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help at this time.
Susan Floyd-Chambers
November 30, 2009
Please accept my deepest sympathies.
Angel Lord-Miller
November 30, 2009
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