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.