James Doby Warbington, Sr.

Published 8:20 am Wednesday, July 10, 2024

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James Doby Warbington, Sr., age 88, of 3200 Tippettville Road, Vienna, passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, July 9, 2024.

Born in Norcross, Georgia, on December 24, 1935, James was the youngest of three children of the late James Dewey “J.D.” Warbington and Emma Josephine Doby Warbington. In 1941, J.D. and Emma moved their family south to Dooly County, Georgia, and began a small row crop operation.

Upon graduation from Pinehurst High School in 1954, James attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College for two years. Continuing his education, he transferred to The University of Georgia, graduating in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with a focus on Agronomy. Thereafter, James was employed by Georgia Farm Bureau, traveling the state of Georgia to launch their insurance program for two years before returning home to his family’s farm. He was a lifelong member of Dooly County Farm Bureau.

In addition to earning his degree, James also met the love of his life, Betty, at the Baptist Student Union in Athens, Georgia. After Betty earned her degree, they married on March 27, 1960, in Pine Mountain, Georgia. The couple settled in Dooly County, where they raised two sons, Jimmy and Teel, on the farm. James was a leader in his community, faithfully serving on the Dooly County School Board from 1965 to 1978, acting as chairman from 1969 until 1978.

Aside from his collegiate experience and the two years he worked with Georgia Farm Bureau, James farmed his whole life. He shared his passion for working the land with his sons, grandsons, and his grandson-in-law, with whom he farmed until the day he died. He was most content in the cab of a tractor laying off rows or mowing stalks, bossing Jimmy and Teel around on the farm, and fixing things in the shop. An accomplished agrarian, James was voted Georgia Peanut Farmer of the Year in 2015. He also served on the board for the Ocmulgee District of the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission for over 33 years.

His work ethic and generosity were eclipsed only by his faith in God. A lifelong, dedicated member of Smyrna Baptist Church, James served his church faithfully as a deacon and Sunday School teacher for the adult men’s class. Family holiday gatherings—particularly Easter and Christmas—were a favorite of his, as he was happiest when surrounded by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A true southern gentleman, James never met a stranger, sharing his quick wit and a hug or handshake with all those he encountered. On Sunday afternoons, he especially loved visiting friends and family. He genuinely cared for others in his community, especially those who had fallen ill or were grieving a loss. James was a lover of sweets, particularly ice cream and layer cakes, and enjoyed sharing his favorite candy—Starbursts—with children at church. He adored his family, particularly his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, rarely missing a recital or sporting event.

James was preceded in death by his beloved best friend and wife of 61 years, Betty Jean Teel Warbington, his mother and father-in-law, George and Dorothy Teel, his sister, Bernice Warbington Smith (Dilbon), his sister-in-law, Dotty Teel Croker, and his brothers-in-law, Render Wright and William Croker.

He is survived by his sons, James Doby Warbington, Jr. (Sandy) of Vienna, and George Teel Warbington (Jeanie) of Vienna; sister, Janice Warbington Stewart of Kingman, Arizona; sister-in-law, Joyce Teel Wright of Greenville, Georgia; grandchildren, James Doby Warbington, III (Alaina), Bethany Warbington Cason (Landon), Lauren Warbington Fletcher (Michael), George Austin Warbington (Elizabeth), and Madison Warbington Luke (Barry); and great-grandchildren, Sarah-Margaret Teel Warbington, Emma-Reese Elizabeth Warbington, James Doby Warbington, IV, Audrey Jane Fletcher, Wesley Chapman Cason, Mary-Austin Caroline Warbington, Mackey Charles Warbington, Maddox Preston Warbington, Parker Dru Cason, and Hadley Ann Warbington. He was joyously awaiting the birth of his eleventh great-grandchild, Evelyn Teel Luke, who is due in September.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 pm on Thursday, July 11, 2024, at Smyrna Baptist Church with interment in Vienna City Cemetery.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home at Post Office Box 329, Palmetto, Georgia 30268.

Brannen-NeSmith Funeral Home of Vienna has charge of arrangements.