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1933 John 2013

John "Sonny" Applewhite

June 24, 1933 — November 23, 2013

Obituary Image
John “Sonny” Applewhite

Augusta, GA  – John M. “Sonny” Applewhite, 80, entered into rest Saturday morning, November 23, 2013 at the Georgia War Veterans Home.  Funeral services will be held at 1:30PM on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 in the Chance & Hydrick Funeral Home Chapel in Augusta with Reverend Kevin Steele officiating.  Interment with full military honors will follow in the Ways Baptist Church Cemetery outside of Wrens.

John was one of three sons born in Augusta to the late Anne Beatrice Murphy Applewhite and the late Claude Lee Applewhite.  He graduated from Richmond Academy, Augusta Junior College and The University of Georgia with a BS in Physical Education. He later obtained his Master’s Degree in Education from Georgia Southern University and Certification in Interior Design from Augusta Technical College. Before entering the Navy, John was known in the local boxing arenas in Augusta and Aiken as Sonny White. He served in the US Navy in Communications during the Korean Conflict stateside and in the Azores and re-enlisted during the Vietnam Conflict serving on Guam. During his active duty, he received the National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and Unit Citation for Outstanding Service while in charge of a special Communications Unit and Armed Forces Reserve Medal.  After leaving active duty, he served in the Naval Reserves in Atlanta, Charleston SC, Homestead and Pensacola FL before retiring as Commander. John worked with his father at Applewhite’s Custom Draperies and later continued the business on his own, designing valances, cornices and draperies for historic homes in Augusta and many homes and businesses throughout the CSRA.  He taught and worked with troubled children and teens throughout his life, on his own time with the Girl’s and Boy’s Club in downtown Augusta and through various schools, including Garrett Elementary, Lawton B. Evans School, and Gracewood Hospital. He also spent a short time in Hospital Education at University Hospital. He was a Christian and a member of National Hills Baptist Church. Some of his favorite moments on earth involved fishing and being with his grandchildren and family.

John was also preceded in death by his first wife, Muriel McSheehan Applewhite; and his brother, William “Billy” Applewhite.  His survivors include his wife, Brenda Gay Applewhite; daughter Cathy Brown (Sid) and grandchildren, Benjamin and Bethany Brown, all of Wrens; a brother George “Buddy” Applewhite (June), nephew, Brian Applewhite (Tricia) and great niece, Kaitlyn Applewhite, all of Evans; nieces, Arloa Dolphin (Brien) of Summerville SC, and Robin Applewhite of St. Maries ID; great nieces, Alethea Knowles of Gilbert AZ, Jennifer Davidson of Houston TX, Christina Dolphin of Ft Jackson SC; great nephew, Aaron Applewhite (Jocelyn) of San Diego CA; and great-great nieces, Trinity Knowles of Gilbert AZ, Zoey Hoadley of Winchester VA and Ruth Applewhite of San Diego CA; daughters by marriage, Kimberly Bodie (Gene) of North Augusta SC and Paige Couron (Troy) of  Ft. Meyers FL; grandchildren by marriage, Somer Miller (Tres) of  Stafford VA, Alyssa Rosser (Addison) and Zane Balbag of North Augusta SC, and Brianna and Dalton Davis of  Alberquerque NM.

James Funeral Home, Wrens, is in charge of the arrangements. The family will receive friends from 12:00-1:30PM the same day as funeral services, Tuesday, November 26, 2013, at Chance & Hydrick Funeral Home in Augusta.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that memorial donations be made to help troubled teens through Broken Shackle Ranch, Davisboro GA—a Christian-based residential school for abandoned, abused and underprivileged young men—online at or call (478) 348-6555; or to Full Circle Refuge, Augusta GA—a ministry to at-risk youth including work with Youth Development campuses through the Juvenile Court systems in Richmond, Columbia and Burke counties—online at or call (706) 951-2693.
He Touched Me

Shackled by a heavy burden,
'Neath a load of guilt and shame.
Then the hand of Jesus touched me,
And now I am no longer the same.

He touched me, Oh He touched me,
And oh the joy that floods my soul!
Something happened and now I know,
He touched me and made me whole.

Since I met this blessed Savior,
Since He cleansed and made me whole,
I will never cease to praise Him,
I'll shout it while eternity rolls.

He touched me, Oh He touched me,
And oh the joy that floods my soul!
Something happened and now I know
He touched me and made me whole.

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