Dr. Juanita Brookins Nails, a native of Appling County, a member of First African Missionary Baptist Church and a pillar in the community found eternal rest on Monday, March 17, 2014. Dr. Nails was born on July 9, 1947 to the late Louella Brookins McTier, the late Sampson Brookins, Sr. and the late Adel McTier, Sr. She attended school in Appling County, beginning in the first grade at the age of five and graduating at the age of 16 in 1964.
Juanita always had the desire to make a difference in the lives of children. To fulfill this desire, she chose education as a profession. She attended Fort Valley State University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education in 1969 and a Master’s of Education in 1978. Juanita received her Master’s of Educational Leadership and Supervision from Valdosta State University in 1993 and a Doctor of Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1997.
Juanita began her teaching career at Jeff Davis County High School in 1969. She taught in Kingsland, Jesup, and also taught in DeRidder, Louisiana. James Twiggs welcomed her aboard with a teaching position at the Appling County Junior High School in 1976. Since then, Juanita has been Assistant Principal at both the Appling County Elementary and Appling County High School, from which she retired. Dedicating a total of 40 and 1/3 years to education.
Juanita always said that out of all her major investments to make life better for her, her first investment was choosing Jesus as Lord and Savior of her life. She lead by example and was a great role model for all people.
She was affiliated with several different civic and religious organizations, including being a member of the First African Missionary Baptist Church, the Baxley Trio, the NAACP and the Retired Educators Association to name a few. Juanita was named Grand Marshal for the 2011 Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade. Some of her hobbies were working with puzzles of any kind, music, fishing and spending time with family and friends and just interacting with nice Christian people.
Juanita was one of the first administrators in Appling County to obtain a Doctorate Degree in Education. She did not only inspire children but other teachers as well. Appling County Schools now have more teachers and personnel with Doctorate Degrees than ever before. Her family knows that Juanita was the woman that inspired them all. She was married to the late James W. Nails and Hovis James.
Survivors include one daughter, Theresa Hayes; two sons, Janos (Prescola) Nails and Jamie Nails of Baxley; one step-daughter, Gwendolyn Ryals of Baxley; eight grandchildren, Jalone, Jahnae, Autumn, Joy, Jacy, Courtney, Torreon, and Nicheon; five sisters, Gerty Akinleye of Upper Marlboro, MD, Rebecca Ogden, Nadeen Sumner, Alberta Ryals and Martha Crosby, all of Baxley; six brothers, Sampson (Mary) Brookins of Durham, N.C., Harry (Yvette) Brookins of Brooklyn, NY, Adel (Ozella) McTier, Jr. of Williamsburg, NY, Lorenzo Brookins of Surrency and James (Pat) and John McTier of Baxley; one aunt, Helen Davis of Baxley; one uncle, Ben (Hester) Smith of Baxley; two godchildren, Thandie Lee of Savannah and Jamela Morgan of LaGrange and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A Funeral service celebrating the extraordinary life of Dr. Juanita B. Nail was held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 22 from First African Baptist Church with the Rev. J. M. Blair officiating. Eulogy was given by Dr. Leonard L. Gibbs, Jr. and a tribute was given by grandson, Jalone Nails. Interment was held in Appling Memorial Gardens.
Active pallbearers were Lonnie Zinamon, Mitchell Williams, Tyrone Smith, James Mitchell, Larry Nails and Michael Williams.
Honorary pallbearers were The Baxley Trio, Appling County Board of Education, FAB Senior Citizens Ministry, Class of 1964, retired teachers, Johnnie Mae Reddish, Carolyn Wade and Phil Murphy.
Musical selections were rendered by David Sharpe.
Arrangements were entrusted to Baxley Funeral Home.