October 30, 2021
James Perry Champion, III, a resident of Sylvester, GA for the past 45 years, passed away on Saturday, October 30, 2021 following a brief illness. Born in Americus, GA on Veterans Day, November 11, 1943, he was the son of James Perry Champion, Jr., and Jane Luthy Champion. He graduated from Albany High School in 1963 and from Mercer University in 1967. He served in the United States Army which included a tour in Vietnam, and he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Upon his release from the Army, Jimmy returned to Albany where he worked in the family business and served as president of Albany Warehouse. Jimmy was the owner and president of Champion Groves, Inc. which has been in his family for 80 years. During that time, he also worked as a Regional Sales Representative for ChemNut, Inc. Jimmy was a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church. He was a former president of the Albany Rotary Club where he had perfect attendance for over 30 years. He served on various boards including Worth Academy and the Flint River Water Council. His dedication to agriculture included membership in The Pecan Growers Association and as a board member of Certified Crop Advisors. He was the recipient of the Georgia Crop Production Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award. Jimmy’s real passion was his association with Georgia Agribusiness Council, having served as president and executive board member and as president of Georgia Plant Food Educational Society for the past 22 years. Jimmy was an avid NASCAR fan and an even bigger fan of the Georgia Bulldogs. His greatest love was his family and watching his grandchildren participate in their many sports and school activities. Jimmy added value to the lives of all who knew him. He was a true southern gentleman and a man of great integrity. Survivors include his wife, Pat Champion of Lake Blackshear; his children: Chip Champion(Leigh Ann) of Perry, Fran Sheffield(Tony) of Cairo, Heather Yeiser(Jay) of Albany, Ryan Lanier of Sylvester, Lindsay Martin (Mike) of Carmel, IN; grandchildren: Fletcher and Sarah Sheffield, Claire Champion, Mary Adelaide and Lanier Yeiser, Shepherd Martin. Other survivors include his sisters: Wendy Baker(Frank), Kitty Edwards(Hal), Elizabeth Champion. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents and his first wife, Bunny. The family requests donations in Jimmy’s memory be made to the Georgia Plant Food Educational Foundation, PO Box 1383, Commerce, GA 30529, which provides scholarships to college students planning to major in agriculture. Visitation will be Wednesday, November 3, 2021 at 10:00 AM at First United Methodist Church. Funeral service will follow visitation at 11:00 AM. A private family graveside will follow the service. The family is at the residence of Jay and Heather Yeiser in Albany.
James Perry Champion, III, a resident of Sylvester, GA for the past 45 years, passed away on Saturday, October 30, 2021 following a brief illness. Born in Americus, GA on Veterans Day, November 11, 1943, he was the son of James Perry Champion,... View Obituary & Service Information
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