Gone But Not Forgotten


Published:

If you have ever been to the South magazine office, you know that from Bull Street, it appears to be just a door. A slim frame, snug between the cute primary colors of the Soda Pop Shop and the minimalistic aesthetic of Harper’s boutique, it is entirely unassuming. But for a moment, consider the many distinguished figures that have crossed that simple entryway, climbed a flight of 19 stairs, and emerged into a storm of writers, graphic designers, marketers, and editors, all ready and working to make something amazing. This is a description of every day for the past ten years. How many faces have we seen through that glass door pane, on their way up for an interview, a photo shoot, or just to stop by and say hello? These people are what make our publication not just a magazine but a masterpiece - they provide the depth, profundity and interest that not only sells issues, but spreads stories, opens hearts and inspires great ideas. In gratitude for their inclusion in South, we want to highlight some of these celebrated Southerners that have since passed away. They stepped through that modest doorway on Bull Street into the pages of South magazine, as well as the hearts of all our readers. They will not be forgotten.

Remembering the jogfather, Robert Espinoza - Featured on the cover of Issue #42, Photography: Ryan Gibson

Few people had as much an impact on health, fitness, and community in Savannah as Robert Espinoza. Crowned “The Jogfather” in our Dec/Jan 2012 issue, this local running guru and Savannah kingpin revolutionized the Savannah running scene with races, events and his brainchild running store, Fleet Feet.  His charitable contributions, connection to the community and passionate vision will never be forgotten.

1. Jay Hiers 

“He was the kind of guy who walked into a room and was like a magnet. Everyone just wanted to be around him.“ Jay Hier’s cousin, Bobby Deen, remembers “Jay Bird” as the life of the party. His outgoing and magnetic personality played a huge role in his responsibilities as a manager of his aunt Paula Deen’s restaurant, The Lady and Sons, as well as in his interactive role in the community. This Georgia native and SCAD grad will always be remembered as one of the greatest hosts of the south, as well as a great friend to South magazine.

2. Ben Tucker 

The opener of a jazz club in Savannah called Hard-Hearted Hannah's, a regular at the Westin hotel, where he played the Sunday jazz brunch, and a man whose impact could be felt deeply in fields like broadcasting, music publishing, and Saturday-morning television, Ben Tucker was an icon in the Savannah’s music community. But Ben Tucker's legacy reached beyond jazz clubs and T.V. jingles. "One of the most interesting things about playing with Ben was he was so beloved by so many people in Savannah,” said Howard Paul, a jazz guitarist who played and recorded with Tucker for more than 20 years. Tucker is remembered today as a good man, a talented musician and a longstanding influence on the Savannah jazz scene.

3. Robyn Reeder 

Let me tell you about a woman who worked, performed, and lived with cancer for 11 years. Let me tell you about a woman who fiercely, playfully, and passionately pursued her ideas, interests and inclinations. Robyn Reeder was a wild ball of whimsy, spontaneity and industrial drive focused on executing a creative vision. Some people achieve an idea in an instance or a flash but Reeder lived in a perpetual state of brainstorming. She threw parties, performed as a drummer in two bands and ran her downtown art shop, Primary Arts Supply, with a fantastic  artistic and professional finesse - all amidst a raging battle with cancer. Reeder claimed that she “had this series of goals that really helped [her] keep going.” "Civvies", another local favorite, in addition to the origin of the coolest arts store Savannah has ever known had Robyn at her core as an artist, a visionary, and in the world of her close friend Kevin Rose, "A force
of nature."

4. Ron Higgins 

Ron “Hollywood” Higgins brought a greater appreciation of film and film history to the Savannah community. The founder of Savannah Movie Tours, Higgins was an inspirational and charitable part of Savannah. With his 16-seater coach, unparalleled enthusiasm and entrepreneurial flair, he traversed the Savannah movie scene, transformed the Savannah tourism industry and guided our community to a greater knowledge and love of film. 

5. William Webb

Voted one of the South’s greatest kids in our Oct/Nov 2014 issue, William was a truly unique and sweet spirit. After his 11 month battle with cancer and tragic passing in 2015, his gentle goodness is still felt today by those who were lucky enough to know him, as well as those who have been participating in the nonprofit organization inspired by him and his fight against neuroblastoma: The Warriors for William Foundation. William’s 2014 title still holds true today; he will forever be one of the South’s greatest kids. 

6. Al St. Lawrence 

Serving and protecting Chatham County for six decades, St. Lawrence was a fighter in every sense of the word. After being honorably discharged in 1956 from the Air Force, St. Lawrence decided to make Savannah his home. His zeal, will and valor were the backbone of the Chatham County Sheriff's Office. In the midst of his battle with cancer, St. Lawrence continued to serve the community. His illness made no difference in his career. St. Lawrence showed that life has to be lived well, no matter what the circumstances. 

7. UGA VII 

Notable for his laid-back and unruffled demeanor, Uga VII had a successful year and ended his first season with a record of 10-3. Unfortunately, his tenure ended abruptly, near the end of his second season, when he passed away unexpectedly on Nov. 19, 2009 of heart-related causes. It was the Thursday before the final home game of the 2009 season and rather than have a live mascot at the game, the Bulldogs placed a wreath on Uga VII's doghouse, and the players wore a special Uga VII decal on their helmets to remember the lovable, 56-pound furball.  

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

South's Greatest Moms Contest 2019

We're looking for the greatest, most authentic and sincere, southern moms. Taking nominations through February 4th!

South's Greatest Dads 2019

Show your dad some love and enter him in the South's Greatest Dads contest and get him some votes!
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Events Calendar

  • "Keita Takahashi: Zooming Out" Exhibition at Telfair Musuems

    Jan 24, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Telfair Museums hosts the first museum survey of the work of visionary videogame designer Keita Takahashi (Japanese, b. 1975). Takahashi is noted...

  • "The Prints of Dame Laura Knight" Exhibition at Telfair Museums

    Jan 19, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Telfair Museums' Jepson Center

    Telfair Museums exhibits nine prints by Dame Laura Knight (British, 1877-1970), together for the first time since they were acquired by the museum...

  • SBF Children's Tent

    Feb 17, 2019
    1:00 PM - 4:00 PM @ Reynolds Square

    Join Live Oak Public Libraries and Savannah Book Festival for the SBF Children’s Tent on Sunday, February 17 from 1-4 PM in Reynolds Square....

  • Hospice Savannah Oyster Roast

    Feb 17, 2019
    2:00 PM - 6:00 PM @ Isle of Hope Marina

    Join us for our 2nd annual oyster roast in memory of Isle of Hope's beloved Sammy Moore. As many of you know, Sammy died under our care in...

  • Fundamentals of Salsa On2 (Mambo Style)

    Jan 16, 2019
    7:00 PM - 8:00 PM @ Fit912savannah

    Fundamentals of Salsa On2 (Mambo Style)    Fundamentals of Salsa On2 (Mambo style) is for beginners and advanced beginners  of this type of...

  • 23rd Annual Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration

    Feb 01, 2019
    All Day @ Hilton Head Island

    The Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration showcases the rich cultural heritage of theGullah people and their history on Hilton Head Island. Hilton...

  • Savannah Book Festival

    Feb 14, 2019
    All Day @ Downtown Savannah

    The 12th Annual Savannah Book Festival will continue to celebrate nationally-recognized and local authors through their contributions to literacy,...

  • License to Chill Snow Island

    Nov 16, 2018
    All Day @ Margaritaville at Lanier Islands

    Margaritaville at Lanier Islands is preparing for a winter wonderland makeover that will surprise and delight local residents and travelers...

  • Balletomane: Paintings by Spain’s Antonio Torres

    Feb 01, 2019
    All Day @ R. Alexander Fine Art

    The show will be on display at R. Alexander from February 1- March 2, 2019. In conjunction with Atlanta Ballet, a special opening reception will be...

  • Savannah Black Heritage Festival

    Feb 01, 2019
    All Day @ Savannah

    The Savannah Black Heritage Festival (SBHF) is a professionally produced, multi-disciplinary festival, and it is one of the many ethnic cultural...

  • 2019 American Traditions Vocal Competition

    Feb 18, 2019
    12:00 PM - 12:00 PM @ Skidaway Island UMC & The Trustees Theater

    The 2019 American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) will be held Feb. 18-22, 2019. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit...

  • Fashion Show & Luncheon

    Feb 20, 2019
    11:00 AM - 2:00 PM @ The Plantation Club, The Landings

    Vendor Fair Fun Runway Fashion Show with local celebrities including former Mayor Edna Jackson, Tina Tyus-Shaw, Dawn Baker, Cynthia DeLoach,...

  • 2019 Groundhog Day 2.2 Mile Virtual Race

    Feb 20, 2019
    1:00 PM - 3:00 PM @ YOUR CHOICE

    February 20th is Love Your Pet Day! We want to celebrate all of the animals we love so much with a Love Your Pet Day 5K & 10K! We will be...

  • "A Star is Born"

    Feb 20, 2019
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

    The last feature in our run up to the Academy Awards Feb. 24 is, of course, “A Star is Born!!”In this new take on the tragic love story,...

  • Fundamentals of Bachata

    Jan 16, 2019
    8:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ fit912savannah

    Fundamentals of Bachata    Come learn the sensual dance of Bachata with us. We're a small Savannah group and  would love to expand it with dance...

  • Opioid Alternatives & Resources Seminar

    Feb 21, 2019
    4:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Richmond Hill City Center

    The Bryan County Opioid Prevention Project (BCOPP) is hosting an Opioid Alternatives & Resources Seminar for healthcare professionals Thursday,...

  • Brews for a Cause

    Feb 21, 2019
    5:30 PM - 7:00 PM @ Jazz'd Tapas Bar

    South Magazine and Southern Eagle presents BREWS FOR A CAUSE, Thursday February 21st, 2019.  Once a month, join a collection of like-minded...

  • Piano in the Arts-Music of the Americas

    Feb 21, 2019
    7:30 PM @ Armstrong Fine Arts Auditorium

  • World of Illusion at Savannah Theatre

    Feb 21, 2019
    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Savannah Theatre

    The Savannah Theatre is presenting this incredible blend of comedy, close-up magic, and grand illusion featuring two dynamic, world-class acts for...

  • Cinema Circle: The Kid

    Feb 21, 2019
    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Trustees Theater

    Journey through the era of silent film with "The Kid" (1921), Charlie Chaplin's first full-length feature masterpiece, where he served as director,...


Show More...

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Scenes of the South

Hearts for Healing Gala

The Faith Equestrian's Annual Hearts for Healing Gala at Tybee Wedding Chapel on Friday evening started out with a bang as the Free Spirit Orchestra' violin twins played their rendition of some of the greatest musical hits. The attendees were reminded what the event was all about as the founder Bonnie Rachael was recognized after story after story was shared to a room of teary eyed party-goers. Congrats to event director Bonnie Karr and her amazing team for a job well done!

The Cure Gala

Sisters on a journey sold out to a crowd of over 600 mainly female partygoers as they celebrated a night dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer.This special dinner featured unique, individually-themed table decorations, a silent auction, live auction, and a room full of big generous hearts. The event was held at the beautiful trustees garden, Charlie Morris's masterpiece of a venue.

Southern Coast Heart Ball

The American Heart Association's 22nd Annual Southern Heart Ball took place on February 2, 2019 and celebrated all the life-saving advances made so far while raising funds to continue to further AHA's mission. The black-tie gala brought together more than 400 guests to enjoy a night of dining, dancing, live entertainment and both live and silent auctions. Those in attendance got to hear the story of Lily Cochran, who was born with several congenital heart defects. Her father, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, also had a heart disease and was honored at the event.

PUTTING Away Crime

On Saturday, January 12, 2019 Savannah helped McGruff the Crime Dog take a bite out of crime at the Crimestoppers Savannah's 3rd Annual Putt Putt Mini Golf Tournament held at Island Miniature Golf and Game on Wilmington Island. Proceeds went to helping fund rewards for the Crimestopper's anonymous crime tip line.

Dining in the Dark

On Saturday, January 12, 2019, the 3rd Annual Dining in the Dark event presented by The Charles C. Taylor and Samir Nikocevic Charitable Foundation benefitting the Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision, was held at the Embassy Suites/Downtown Savannah.

Beaujolais Nouveau Day 2018

Savannah's 39 Rue De Jean celebrated Beaujolais Nouveau Day, the official end of this year’s growing season. Harvest is complete and vintners—especially in France—are ready to celebrate the completion of the harvest. Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine that is annually released on the third Thursday in November. Nouveau wine undergoes a very short fermentation process, and yields an extremely fresh and fruity wine.

A Chefs Collaborative

This five course dinner held at Pacci Italian Kitchen and Bar allowed guests to taste exceptional flavors steeped in tradition. Included were the culinary skills of Chef Adam Barnett of The Katharine Brasserie & Bar, Winston-Salem, NC, Chef Robert Hoffman of Angeline’s Charlotte, NC, Chef Daniel Gorman of The Henley Nashville, TN, Chef Sebastien Rondier of Brabo, Alexandria, VA, and Chef Lauren Teague of PACCI Italian Kitchen + Bar.

East and West BBQ

A whole hog BBQ showcase, from two of the south’s most legendary Pitmasters, Pat Martin and Sam Jones. Hosted by Alida Hotel this event was a fabulous juxtaposition between Eastern North Carolina style BBQ and Western Tennessee style. Made possible by the Savannah Food and Wine Festival.

Savannah Food & Wine Fest

Hundreds came to experience Southern charm and hospitality, Savannah Style. The South's best culinary happenings - one exceptional week in Savannah. Iconic and historic coastal venues provided the perfect backdrop for gourmet and fun. South magazine captured the experience at the VIP tent.

Big Wig Boat Bash

Savannah's Riverboat, The Georgia Queen set sail to host the final fundraiser for the 2018 class of Big Wigs, together raising over $100,000 for the Susan G. Komen Coastal Georgia Foundation. This evening included heavy hors d’oeuvres, beverages, a silent auction, music and dancing and a contest to crown the Biggest BigWig! Contest categories included: The Biggest Wig, The Pink Ribbon Award and Best Pink Personality.