Cover photo for John "Rodney" Townsend, Sr.'s Obituary
John "Rodney" Townsend, Sr. Profile Photo
1945 Rodney 2024

John "Rodney" Townsend, Sr.

September 27, 1945 — February 9, 2024

Mr. John Rodney Townsend, Sr., 78, of Statesboro, Georgia, passed away on February 9th, 2024

at Ogeechee Area Hospice. Rodney was as a devoted husband, father and grandfather that

loved the Lord Jesus Christ. He was born in Screven, Georgia to Norman and Lavonia

Townsend. He attended Wayne County High School and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in

Education from Georgia Southern College in 1967. 

He and his wife, Anne, lived in Waycross, Georgia for 56 years where they were members of Trinity United Methodist Church 

and First United Methodist Church. He was active in Jaycees and Gideons for many years. He started his

career teaching Industrial Arts at Ava Street Waycross High School, but soon realized his true

passion was sales. He became a partner at Jacobson’s on the Mall in Waycross where he was

known for providing expert advice to men purchasing clothing and suits. Later, he was a sales

representative for Wrangler Jeans and Abilene Boot Company and became friends with many in

NASCAR racing and country music. 

He was also owner and partner with his wife at Waycross Dance and Gymnastics, where he was known as Coach Rocket. 

Coach Rocket and his performance group, The Rocket Stars, performed at Georgia Southern University, Florida State

University, Valdosta State University, South Georgia College, and the Atlanta Hawks halftime

shows. In June 2015, The Rocket Stars performed at the Disney World Performing Arts

exhibition. In addition, each year The Rocket Stars would hold a fundraiser for The ALS

Association in memory of his friend David Wall. Rodney was also an excellent golfer with 18

hole-in-ones (all witnessed!) across many golf courses in the Southeast, including an Albatross

on Hole #4 at the King and the Bear in St. Augustine, Florida in 2001. Rodney also was a

talented artist using oils, watercolors and pencils and especially enjoyed drawing cars and

special landmarks. 

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Anne Holloway Townsend, daughter

Ashlee Townsend Cribb Woliver (Walt), son John Rodney Townsend, Jr. (Connie), grandchildren

Laura Cribb Todd (George), Matthew Cribb, Noah Townsend, Olivia Townsend, and Chris

Woliver (Abby), brother Jimmy Townsend (Linda), sisters-in-law Ellen Townsend, Pam Holloway

Hodges (Landrum), and Jean Holloway Zunkel, brothers-in-law Strickland Holloway, Jr. and Bill

Zunkel and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother Bobby

Townsend and son-in-law Ric Cribb. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to The ALS Association ( in honor of David Wall.

Deal Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.

To order memorial trees in memory of John "Rodney" Townsend, Sr., please visit our tree store.


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