Samuel Albert Way, Ill

Published 8:32 am Monday, February 13, 2023

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Samuel Albert Way, Ill passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 12, at Taylor Regional Hospital, an institution he cherished. Services will be held at First Baptist Church in Hawkinsville on February 14 at 11:00 a.m., followed by a family graveside service at Orange Hill cemetery.

Sam was born on August 16, 1926 in Warrenton, Ga to Samuel A. Way, Jr and Mary Thompson Way. In 1929 he moved back to his family’s original hometown of Hawkinsville. There, he graduated from Hawkinsville High School. Immediately after graduating high school, he enlisted in the Merchant Marines and served his Country in post-World War II Germany. Upon returning from overseas he enrolled at Emory at Oxford College and then transferred to the University of Georgia, where he graduated in 1949. After graduation he joined his father Sam A. Way, Jr. and his Uncle Bob Way in their family business, Way Brothers Auto. Several years later his younger brother, Ramsey T.(Bub) Way joined the business.

This began a partnership and bond of the two brothers which lasted for over 7 decades.

It was also during this time that Sam met the love of his life, Dorothy Cook from Cochran, Georgia. They were married in 1956. Out of this union they had four children, Mary Ann, Dottie Lee, Bob and John.

Sam’s interests were wide and varied but above all else was his love for his family. He was an avid reader of history, he had a profound interest in politics and he loved to travel this country and the world with his beloved wife Dot. He witnessed many historical events in his 96 years. Sam also had a deep and abiding love for his hometown of Hawkinsville. Out of this came many great things for his community. Among them are the Archway Partnership with the University of Georgia and the Sam A.

Way Workforce Development Center of Central Georgia Technical College.

Sam devoted much of his life to Baptist interests. He served as a Board Member and Chairman of

Baptist Village in Waycross, Board member of the Georgia Baptist Hospital, Board member of the Baptist

World Alliance, Trustee of Mercer University and Chairman and Deacon of First Baptist Church in Hawkinsville for over 60 years.

Among his business associations, his proudest was as Chairman of Planters Bank. After joining the Board in 1961, he went to work full time as President in 1978. His leadership and vision of this company led to a community bank that now serves numerous counties in Middle Georgia.

Other affiliations he had were serving on the Board of Regents of the University of Georgia, The University of Georgia Foundation, and the Georgia Board of Economic Development.

Sam was a lifelong member and past president of the Rotary Club of Hawkinsville. He was recently awarded for 75 years of membership in Mount Hope Lodge #9 F & AM.

He was preceded in death by his parents and wife of 65 years, Dorothy Cook Way. He is survived by his brother Ramsey T. Way; his children Mary Ann Way, Dottie Woodroof(Cole), Robert F. Way(Wendy) and John Way(Lisa); grandchildren, Mary Margaret Sandy, Will Woodroof, Haley Way Yarborough, Gray Way, Walker Cook Way, John Samuel Way, James Daniel Way, Mia Carroll and Ava Carroll; great grandchildren Ann Ballard Sandy, Cole Sandy, William Yarborough, and Elisabeth Yarborough.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to First Baptist Church of Hawkinsville, 155 Broad Street, Hawkinsville, Ga 31036 or Taylor Regional Hospital, 222 Perry Highway, Hawkinsville, Ga 31036.