The Valdosta Daily Times
For 69 years, Ed Lightsey didn’t just live his life. He seized it. With enthusiasm.
Edward Harvey Lightsey, Jr., 69, of Albany, Ga., passed away Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, after a massive stroke. He was born March 13, 1944, in Valdosta, the son of Edward Harvey Lightsey and Betty Lightsey. Ed’s life included turns as a writer, television anchorman, author, auctioneer, disc jockey, public speaker, soldier, and numerous positions in politics and government. Ed loved life, and the people in it, and approached each day with a festive nature, a gift for storytelling, and a booming, joyous laugh that he shared generously.
For the last 22 years, Ed served as a senior correspondent for Georgia Trend magazine. Prior to that, Ed’s career included a decade as an independent contractor and auctioneer; a stint as district director and campaign manager for U.S. Congressman Charles Hatcher; administrative assistant to Georgia Speaker of the House Tom Murphy; anchorman and reporter at WALB in Albany from 1970-1979; host of Georgia Public Television’s “The Lawmakers;” anchorman and reporter for WCTV in Tallahassee (1969-1970); disc jockey and play-by-play announcer for Valdosta High School football (1966-69); and he served his country in the U.S. Air Force from 1962-1966.
Ed attended Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., and was an alumnus of Valdosta State University. In 2006, Ed donated 122 reels of film to Valdosta State’s Odum Library that documented the political and media history of South Georgia in the 1960s and 1970s. Thirty years earlier, after Ed spotted WALB’s film librarian dumping old film in the trash, he dived into the dumpster to retrieve the film. That “treasure trove of film” he saved ended up being the “Lightsey Collection” now housed at the VSU library.
Ed was a sought-after speaker around Georgia, and authored “Flashback: The First 50 Years of WALB-TV,” which chronicles the history of the television station.
In addition to his mother, Ed is survived by his beloved companion of nearly 30 years, Marilyn Nobles, of Albany; daughters Angel Hobby (husband Gary) of St. Simons Island, and Jenny Robbins (husband Len) of Homerville, Ga.; son, John Lightsey (wife Laine) of Cordova, Tenn.; four grandchildren who loved their “Big Daddy,” Reilly, Zack, and Tucker Robbins of Homerville, and Rooker Hobby of St. Simons Island; Chris Nobles (Amy Masters) of Albany; Greg Nobles (wife Sarah) of Chicago, Ill.; Brianna Masters and Brooklyn Nobles; special niece, Rebecca Wells Brice (husband Mitchell) of Lake Park; numerous other nieces, nephews and cousins; and other relatives and dear friends. He was preceded in death by his father, brother Danny Lightsey, and sister Valerie Lightsey Wells.
A celebration of Ed Lightsey’s life will be held Sunday, March 2, from 4 -7 p.m. at Henry’s, 2516 Dawson Road, in Albany. Friends are invited to come swap stories in Ed’s memory. The family will have a private graveside service at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, a fund has been established in Ed’s memory to support various causes. Contributions to the fund can be made in Ed’s name at AB&T Bank, P.O. Drawer 71269, Albany, GA 31708. — Kimbrell-Stern Funeral Home, Albany, Ga.