Mr. G. Pait Willis

Published 4:15 pm Monday, April 23, 2018

TY TY, GA – Mr. G. Pait Willis, age 78, passed away at his residence surrounded by his family April 22, 2018.

Services will be held at Ty Ty Baptist Church, Ty Ty, GA on Wednesday, April 25 at 3:00 pm with Reverend Rodney Owens and Reverend Shep Johnson officiating. Burial will be in the Oakridge Cemetery, Tifton Georgia, with Banks Funeral Home of Sylvester, Georgia in charge of the arrangements. The family will receive friends on Tuesday, April 24th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Banks Funeral Home in Sylvester.

Pallbearers will be his grandsons, grandsons-in-law and Mr. Frank Edwards. Honorary pallbearers will be the Directors and Executive officers of South Georgia Banking Company and the Deacons of First Baptist Church of TyTy.

Mr. Willis was born May 8, 1939 in Colquitt County, Georgia. He was the only child of J. Glenn Willis and Bernice M. Willis. He was married to Rachel Young of Worth County on June 20, 1959.

A lifelong resident of Worth County, Mr. Willis attended Sumner School until his eleventh-grade year when he enrolled at Berry High School in Rome, GA. After high school, he attended Georgia Tech in Atlanta. In 1963, he began his career in banking with a position at the main office of Citizens and Southern Bank (C & S), in Atlanta. There he worked as a teller and later moved to the loan department. He moved back to South Georgia in 1965 where he worked with The Bank of Tifton. His experiences with these organizations were invaluable and led him to a position to make a mark on the banking industry.

In 1969, Mr. Willis was approached by a group of business men from the Omega area to help reorganize the existing bank, The Citizens Service Bank. In 1970, South Georgia Banking Company was formed, beginning business in Omega, Georgia with just three employees. In the last 48 years, under the direction of Mr. Willis, South Georgia Banking Company has grown to include seven additional branches in five counties, employing more than 125 individuals and is a vibrant contributor to all the communities in which they serve. Serving as the CEO and Chairman of the Board of South Georgia Banking Company was one of Mr. Willis’ greatest accomplishments.

Throughout his career he has served on committees with the Georgia Bankers Association, chaired the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce, served on the ABAC Foundation Board, and served as deacon, treasurer, Sunday school teacher and many other leadership roles at First Baptist Church of Ty Ty.

Survivors include his wife, Rachel; children, Glenn Willis and wife Karen of Tifton; Sephus Willis and wife Cathy of Ty Ty; Amy Palmer and husband Rick of Marietta, Georgia; grandchildren, Amanda Lowe and husband Johnny of Tifton; Austin Willis of Norfolk, Virginia; Ben Willis and fiancé, Mary Catherine, of Marietta, Georgia; Jake Willis of Ty Ty; Sarah Willis Wilder and husband Curtis of Milledgeville, Georgia; Rachel Palmer of Athens, Georgia; and William Palmer of Marietta, Georgia; and great-grandchild, John “Jax” Lowe, III of Tifton.

The family would like to thank neighbor, friend and Palliative Care Nurse, Ms. Tammy Sledge; caregiver, Ms. Linda Gray and also the staff of Hospice of Tiftarea who have assited us for their kindness and support during this time.

Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the Annie Armstrong Mission offering c/o First Baptist Church of Ty Ty or The American Cancer Society: Tift County RFL, 804 Cherry Street, Suite A, Macon, GA 31201.