JEFFERSON - Walter Hodges Tonge, 71, died Wednesday, October 2, 2013, at his residence.
He was the son of the late Walter Hodges, Sr., of Duluth and Hilda Blackstock Tonge of Jefferson. He was a graduate of Jefferson High School and a lifelong Jackson County resident. Walter was a man of many interests, talents and ideas. As a farmer, he planted corn, soybeans, and likely harvested the last cotton crop in the county. He introduced sheep production to the county by running 500 head of sheep on his Blackstock Road farm. Students at the University of Georgia traveled to the farm with their professors to gain experience. He was influential in county and state agricultural politics. Later he traveled extensively in the north and southeast United States developing his self-taught interest in buying and selling antiques, making many close friends in the process. In later years, he ran a grading business. Always a man who loved conversation, Walter will be missed by his family and his many good friends.
Survivors in addition to his loving mother, include his devoted aunt, Martha Jo Blackstock, Jefferson; daughter, Suzy and son-in-law Kevin Perry; son, Andy and daughter-in-law Martha; grandchildren, Brooke Streetman, Kara and Kadi Perry, and Tan, T.J. and Drew Tonge; wife, Betty Moore Tonge; half-sister, Margie Ross; and half-brother, Bill Tonge.
The family will have a celebration of life on Thursday, October 10, at 6 p.m. at the Academy Baptist Church in Jefferson. Visitation will be immediately before the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Jefferson FFA, 575 Washington St., Jefferson, GA 30549.
Little-Ward Funeral Home, Commerce, is in charge of arrangements.