Dr. Ralph Lightsey, a minster of 72 years, age 93, died on Sunday, September 2, at the Ogeechee Area Hospice Inpatient Facility. Born in Appling County in 1918, he moved to Statesboro in 1965, where he lived until his death. Dr. Lightsey received his A.B. Degree from Mercer University in 1945; a B.D. Degree in Theology from Emory University in 1951; a Masters in Theology from Columbia University in 1955 and a Doctorate Degree in Education from the University of Georgia in 1965. He was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1940; he served churches in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Mississippi. After serving as an active pastor for more than 52 years, he served as a supply speaker at more than 50 churches in Bulloch and surrounding counties. In addition, he was an educator. He served 16 years as Professor of Educational Research at Georgia Southern University and as an assistant to the Vice President. Upon his retirement, the Board of Regents conferred on him the title of Professor Emeritus of Educational Research. In keeping with his concern for his fellow human being, he received the Dean Day Smith Service to Mankind Award. He was also the original owner of Lightsey Construction Company, Inc. The family would like to express their appreciation to his special caregivers, Gloria Dekle and Chyrl Johnson.
Surviving are his wife of 67 years, Wavine Reeves Lightsey, of Statesboro; a daughter and son-in-law, June and Van Pool of Statesboro; a son and daughter-in-law, Nelson and Diane Lightsey of Statesboro; two grandsons, Scot (Tifani) Pool of Tybee Island, and Jameson (Diana) Lightsey of Statesboro; a granddaughter, Shera (Chris) Harper of Nashville, GA; and a sister, Ruth Johnson of Waycross.
The visitation will be held on Wednesday from 10:00 until 11:00 at Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home.
The funeral service will be held on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. in the Chapel of Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home with the Rev. Julian Ward, the Rev. William “Buddy” Morris and Dr. John Waters officiating. Interment will be in Eastside Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Dr. Billy Nessmith, Perry Yawn, Coley Cassedy, Jerry Parker, John Flake and Howard Nessmith.
Honorary pallbearers will be the members of the Harmony-Fellowship Sunday School Class.
The family requests that memorial contributions be made to Ogeechee Area Hospice, P.O. Box 531, Statesboro, GA 30459.