He was one of a kind in so many ways. He had a unique personality; always a big smile, a friendly greeting, and yes, a big signature, and he loved life. He was one of a kind and thought that Guyton and Effingham County were one of a kind and as he said, “the garden spot of the world.”
Yes, I am speaking of Lawton Nease Jr. At 91 years old, he had lived longer than most and I believe that the measure of those years did not fully measure the life he lived; it greatly exceeded the years that are measured by those 91.
I write from a personal point of view. I have been privileged to know the gentleman since coming to Effingham in the mid-’50s. I knew him as the gentleman who ran the gas station in Guyton. You got nothing but first-class service from Mr. Nease and also from his helper, always dressed in a dress shirt and tie. I probably knew him best in my role as the community “do-gooder” who was always around asking for donations for any number of causes. He never met a good cause that he did not appreciate and support.
He was a veteran of World War II and was a strong supporter of the Veterans Park and a faithful attendee to the park program until this last just two days before he died.
I know from many others in the community that he was strong in his faith and faithful to his church and other churches in the community.
As I have heard folks speak about him, I know that he was a man of many acts of kindness that most folks knew nothing about. While he would always step up and speak up when it was important to do so, he had a private side that probably even his family is not fully knowledgeable.
Until the last two or three months, he was out and about and interested in everything that was going on. I personally regret that he was not able to see the finished product of the restoration of the courthouse. He was on the committee that oversaw the plans for doing the work and he would have been so proud to see the end result of that work.
Lawton Nease was a man who loved his family, his church and his community. He contributed in many ways to things being what they should be and he will be greatly missed.