Coach Ben Park, 93, of Jesup and Baxley, died Thursday, June 28, 2012 after an extended illness. The Washington Co., native had lived most of his adult life in Wayne and Appling Co. He was a member of the Jesup First United Methodist Church and the Baxley First United Methodist Church and was a graduate of Auburn University, where he played football and basketball and started his coaching career with Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC. After serving in the U. S. Army, he served as athletic director in Vidalia, Jesup, and Alma, and influenced many young people with life skills in pursuing greater career goals. He laid the foundation for the Wayne County Recreation Department and was honored this year with the naming of the “Ben Park Complex” in his honor. He enjoyed all sports, especially golf, church activities, playing bridge, and fishing. He was predeceased by his wives: Frances H. Park and Maebelle Breen Park, a daughter, Lyn Park, great-granddaughter, Tinley Park, and ten siblings.
Survivors are a daughter and son-in-law, Patti (Kenny) Bryant of Jesup; one son and daughter-in-law, Pastor Brad (Debbie) Park of Baxley; one brother and sister-in-law, Clifford (Pat) Park of Blackshear; four grandchildren: Lauri (Craig) Davis, Brandi Edenfield and Allen Edenfield, Dallas (Larissa) Bryant, all of Jesup and Derek (Janna) Park of Collins, great-grandchildren, Graham and Gray Davis, Ryan and Rilie Edenfield and Bailey Bryant, and several nieces and nephews also survive.
Funeral services were at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 30 at Jesup First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Tucker Lewis and Kenny Bryant officiating. Interment was in Pinecrest Memorial Cemetery.
Active pallbearers were Gary Peel, Herschel Daniel, Johnny Wolfe, Mike Harrell, Kendall Keith, Paul Conner, Warren Purvis and Harry Spell.
Visitation was from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., Saturday at the church prior to services.
Memorials may be made to: Jesup First United Methodist Church Children and Youth Ministries, 205 E. Cherry St. Jesup, GA, 31546.
Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home of Jesup were in charge of the arrangements.