Rebecca Thornton Shauf

Published 10:13 am Friday, October 27, 2023

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Rebecca Thornton Shauf of Cordele passed away at Willson Hospice House in Albany Wednesday,  October 24, 2023. She was born in Cordele a long time ago to Cornelia and B.I. Thornton. After graduating from Crisp County High School, she attended and graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. After graduation, she had a three-year teaching career at Baker High School, Columbus, GA.

While in Columbus, she met and married a young Army Captain, Al Shauf, and began an “adventure of a lifetime,” living in seven states and Germany in 28 years. Wherever they lived, she always became active in military, church and community activities. When he retired from the Army in 1993, they moved back to Cordele, where both have continued to serve their church and community.

Becky helped form the Crisp Area Arts Alliance and served on the board for many years. She also organized and served Meals on Wheels through the Council on Aging.

Her first concern was always the children in our community, whom she has served in many varied ways. She loved children! Her work with and for children includes: Prevent Child Abuse Council board member at local and state levels, First Steps volunteer and board member, helped organize and serve on the board of Healthy Families, and helped organize and serve on the board of the Gateway Child Advocacy Center.

Becky served God through church and military chapel programs wherever her family lived during her husband’s 32-year military career. She especially enjoyed teaching Women’s Bible studies and Sunday School classes, but served in many other ways as well. She was a long-time active member of First Baptist and continued her church service at the First United Methodist Church. She taught Sunday School classes and was active in women’s ministries at both churches.

Becky is survived by her husband, Al of Cordele; her two sons, Steve (Mayble) of Lima, OH and Scott (April) of Boiling Springs, NC; and six brilliant grandchildren who were the light of her life. Nicholas, Nathan, Jonathan, Josie, Katrina, and Graham were truly her pride and joy! She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Patsy Thornton and four nephews and five nieces.

She was preceded in death by her parents,  B.I. and Cornelia Thornton; a grandson, Joshua Benjamin Shauf; sisters, Mayson (Bob) Bissell and Neal (Dave) Hawley; her brother, Ben Thornton; and one nephew, David Hawley.

She would best like to be remembered as a woman who loved God and exemplified this love by serving and loving others.

A time to honor and remember the life she lived will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, November 4, 2023 at Cordele First United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends Friday evening, November 3, 2023 from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Rainey Family Funeral Services.

For those that wish to honor Becky with memorials, the family ask that you consider, Cordele First United Methodist Church, 302 East 12th Avenue, Cordele, GA 31015; The Gateway Center, P.O. Box 4032, Cordele, GA 31010; or the charity of your choice.

Arrangements are by Rainey Family Funeral Services. An on-line guest register is available at