Joe Wingate

December 16, 1942 ~ June 1, 2022 (age 79)


Luther Joe Wingate

December 16, 1942 — June 1, 2022

If ever there was a good man, it was Joe Wingate. His goodness permeated his success in business, his thoughtfulness with friends and strangers, his private acts of kindness, and right down to his saltwater fishing.

Luther Joe Wingate, 79, of Quitman died June 1 of complications following a brain bleed. The funeral is at 10 a.m. Friday, June 10, at Quitman United Methodist Church. Interment will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery. The family will be receiving friends Thursday evening, June 9, 2022 from 6-8 p.m. at Maxwell-Purvis Funeral Home. 

Joe always had a project going and kept every detail in his head with one exception. He hated paperwork and left that task to his wife of 56 years, Mary Frank Powell Wingate. When it came to his lottery tickets, though, Joe kept up with them in excruciating detail. His first job was in the 1950s delivering newspapers to almost every house and business in Quitman. When he was older, Joe cropped tobacco in Canada for a summer, and agriculture never left his life. As Dick Noel on the radio, Joe was one of the first rock and roll disc jockeys in this area. That served him well as did his experience as a Brooks County High School Tiger football player. Later, he called local games for 30 years. With his deep knowledge of football, Joe didn’t hesitate to anticipate coach and referee calls or question them from his perch in the announcer’s booth. Early on officials confronted him about expressing his opinion then came to respect his balanced reporting of what was happening on the field.

Joe owned a greenhouse, managed Coastal Plains Farmers Co-op, retired as a Rhone-Poulenc agricultural chemical salesman, managed his own farm, started a successful agricultural business, and continued representing yet another agriculture related company. When a friend lost his job, Joe immediately found him another with a competitor and supported him throughout his career and their friendship. That friend credits Joe, after his father, with being the most influential person in his life. A child that Joe befriended when he was 8 and today is a father himself tells countless stories of how Joe changed his life. Joe took newcomers under his wing. He never had to be asked for help. Wherever he saw a need, he filled it. People going through hard times would come home to find supper on the stove or groceries in the refrigerator, all done privately by Joe. 

A lay leader at Quitman United Methodist Church, Joe led the men’s prayer group and organized Saturday Sunday school at Presbyterian Home. He lined up speakers and musicians, from 7:30 a.m. to early afternoon personally visited residents, organized young people to escort them into the class, and at the last minute filled in as Sunday school teacher when needed. For his community, Joe served as Brooks County Commission member 2012-2018. 

Joe had his limits. When you crossed the line he‘d let you know. His upper lip would turn gray, his nostrils would flare, and you heard, “Don’t you say another mumbling word to me. The best thing you can do right now is … .” Joe took pleasure in the family’s Cherry Lake place whether doing maintenance work, driving the boat for children to enjoy tubing and wake boarding, grilling for a holiday crowd, or killing a water moccasin with his bow and arrow. Another pleasure was his saltwater fishing. One trip his fishing was interrupted when he spotted a boat adrift at sea. He approached and learned the fishermen had forgotten to put the plug in their boat and it was sinking. Joe stripped off his clothes, got the sinking boat’s plug, swam underwater until he found the hole and inserted the plug, then towed it to shore.  This caring, funny, smart, thoughtful, kind man will be missed throughout his community and beyond.

In death, Joe joins his parents, Lucious Terrell and Beatrice McDaniel Wingate; brothers Donald Wingate and Carlton Wingate; and sisters Lillian Floyd and Bertie Ruth Pollock. 

Survivors include his wife, Mary Frank Powell Wingate of Quitman; son Benjamin Powell Wingate and his wife Kristina of Quitman; two grandchildren, Mary Anne Wingate and Monroe William Wingate of Quitman; and six nieces and nephews, Dennis Floyd, Wayne Floyd, Terry Wingate, John Wingate; Donna Treend, and Dopson Pollock.

The family requests that contributions in memory of Joe Wingate can be made to Quitman United Methodist Church, 501 E. Screven St., Quitman, GA 31643.

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June 9, 2022

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Maxwell-Purvis Funeral Home
908 N. Court Street
Quitman, GA 31643

Funeral Service
June 10, 2022

10:00 AM
Quitman United Methodist Church

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