Tharon Douglas Godwin

January 14, 2021

Tharon Douglas Godwin, passed away on Jan. 11, 2021, after living 100 years of life in only 78 calendar years, because he truly knew the meaning of enjoying the time he had been given, especially when one on one with God, the river and the woods. Born to his parents, Clifford Oree and Hazel Jackson Godwin, Tharon, also known as “Uncle Bo,” to all of his nieces and nephews, quickly acquired a stellar reputation for being the go-to for agriculture, not only because he grew up on the Old Godwin Farm, working the land “by hand and by machinery,” but because he also learned and excelled in Jay High School’s Agriculture and FFA programs, something he always encouraged current young kids to do also. After his 1960 graduation from Jay and many lessons of ballroom dancing (something he said he wished he had continued doing for the rest of his life), Uncle Bo never desired to venture too far away from his family, his town and his history. “There’s just something about living around people you went to school with, or sharing tomatoes with an old friend’s elderly mother,” he would softly exclaim. “These are the people that’ll stand by you when you mess up, and cheer for you when you do something great. That’s what a hometown is all about.” Uncle Bo practiced this idea because after attending Pensacola State and taking classes in agriculture and public speaking, he kept his roots planted in the Jay area.

Anybody who knew him became privy to his thoughts on the government, music, politics, turkey hunting and perhaps a few secrets about willow flies and fishing, but that particular conversation was only if he decided he liked you. An outspoken advocate against too many regulations, Uncle Bo sometimes wrote his own rules and paved his own way. As a lifetime farmer, Uncle Bo was very successful with peanuts, cotton and beans, but the one thing he could manage to grow without much effort was animals. “For the life of me, every time I would save an abandoned dog or leave my door open for that little squirrel that I called Grayson, pretty soon I had more dogs and squirrels than I bargained for.”

His love of animals didn’t keep him from enjoying their harvest. His nieces and nephews have heard all the details about his fishing trips to Mexico and hunting trips to White Oak. “Those were some great trips,” he would say at the end of the stories; however, the love affair of Uncle Bo and the White Gobbler that he had chased forever but actually let him go, is the family’s favorite, and most of them know the story by heart. Even his pet turkey hen Maybelle would accompany Uncle Bo on his turkey trips, riding shotgun in his truck and assisting him in All Things Gobbler.

Uncle Bo enjoyed his time alone, but only if he could get outside. His favorite time was in the fall during peanut season when the soil had been freshly turned and the smell of the dirt could fill every part of his thinking. “It takes me back to earlier days,” he would always say. “When things were simple.” Simple things were what he would surround himself with, including old “Andy Griffith” series and music from the 60s and 70s, especially Elvis. He looked forward to bonfires and fireworks with his extended family, and believed in “baptizing” a family member’s date with firecrackers and Roman candles.

Uncle Bo is preceded in death by his parents, Oree and Hazel of Jay; his brother, Brandon Earl Godwin of Jay; sister-in-law, Peggy Godwin of Jay and nephew Solon Gandy of Jay. Survivors include his older brother Terrell Wayne Godwin and sister Brenda Godwin, both of Jay; nephews Bruce Godwin (Debbie); Haynes Gandy (Suzanne) and Stacey Godwin (Miranda); Nieces Stephanie Solomon (John); Suzi Godwin; Sandy Godwin; Melissa Godwin; and Vicki Baggett (Garry); a great friend, Richard Savage, and several great-nephews, great-nieces, and other relatives whose hearts were truly touched by his large and unforgettable spirit.

There will be graveside services on Thursday, Jan. 14, at 3 p.m. with Rev. Justin Morgan of Cora Baptist Church officiating and burial to follow. Trahan Family Funeral Home is handling all arrangements. Active pallbearers will be Corry Baggett, Jace Gandy, Sawyer Gandy, Brandon Godwin, Levi Solomon, JP Solomon, and Luke Theron Gandy, a great-nephew, who is named after Uncle Bo.


One Response to “Tharon Douglas Godwin”

  1. Chris on January 25th, 2021 12:30 am

    I always read the obituaries because I feel that every person should be acknowledged. I particularly like the ones written from the heart. Mr. Godwin sounds like a great man and a rock to the family. It sounds as if this man’s life deserves to be celebrated.
    Condolences to his family. God bless you.

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