Jerry Roger Wolff

Obit_jerry Wolff copyWINNSBORO – Jerry Roger Wolff, 78, husband of Janice H. Wolff, passed away June 19 at his home, surrounded by his family, after a three month battle with cancer.

Born July 25, 1936 in Charlotte, N.C., Jerry was the only child of Augusta Orr Wolff and John Rufus Wolff. He grew up in Johnson City, Tenn. where he graduated in 1954 from Science Hill High School.

Jerry attended East Tennessee State University in Johnson City before transferring to Erskine College in Due West, S.C. on a basketball scholarship. During his tenure at Erskine, Jerry helped lead the Flying Fleet to a Little Four Tournament Championship. He graduated with a BA in History in 1959.

At Erskine, Jerry met his beloved wife of 56 years, Janice Hiers, from Bartow, Fla. On Aug. 23, 1958, he married the love of his life. Being an only child, Jerry embraced the fellowship and community he found in Janice’s large family and loved them as his own.

Jerry, Janice and their two children lived in several communities in S.C., Fla. and Ga. where he served as an educator and basketball and football coach. He started his coaching career in Florida at Winter Haven High School. While in Florida, Jerry also coached at Haines City High School, and later in South Carolina at Winnsboro High School and Richard Winn Academy in Winnsboro, Fort Mill High School in Fort Mill and Clover High School in Clover. In Georgia, Jerry served as a counselor, Bible instructor and coach at The Westminster School in Atlanta.

Jerry’s basketball coaching accomplishments included six conference championships, one state runner-up and two state championships. Even though he was best known for his accomplishments in basketball, he loved coaching football as well.

Jerry’s passion for coaching and working with young people was a vital part of his personal ministry. Many of his former students have described him as one of their greatest influences. The friendships and accomplishments of his former students and athletes brought him much joy over the years.

As an educator, Jerry was principal of Mt. Zion Elementary School in Winnsboro, S.C., headmaster of Pee Dee Academy in Mullins, S.C. and headmaster at Colleton Prep Academy in Walterboro, S.C.

In 1974, Jerry completed his Master of Divinity at Erskine Theological Seminary and became the minister at the Clover ARP church in Clover, S.C. Jerry served 20 years in the pastoral ministry including seven years at the Bethel Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Winnsboro, S.C. He retired from the pastorate at Doctor’s Creek Baptist Church in Walterboro, S.C. in 2001, but continued to supply churches throughout his retirement.

Jerry loved to preach. He was a born public speaker. He had a way with words and knew just what to say whether it be a Sunday morning sermon, a funeral, a family reunion or an athletic banquet. He was known for his honesty, insight, humor and brevity.

Contributing to the communities where he and Janice made their home was important to Jerry. He served on the Board of Trustees at Erskine College for 12 years. He represented the S.C. Sixth Congressional District on the S.C. Board of Youth Services for four years. He was a former member of the Rotary Club and served on the Boards of Directors for the United Way and the Fairfield County Conservation Board. Jerry received the Distinguished Service Award from the Fairfield County Jaycees.

Jerry loved being outdoors. He was an avid fisherman and enjoyed working in his yard and gardening. In recent years, he took pleasure in teaching tricks to his beloved black lab, J.J.

Jerry and Janice retired to Winter Haven, Fla. in 2001 to be near her family. Not one to be idle, Jerry served as associate athletic director and associate head coach for women’s basketball at Warner Southern College in nearby Lake Wales. However, it was not long before the unexpected blessing of grandchildren brought them back to Winnsboro, S.C. to be closer to their children.

Jerry was always grateful that he was able to use his faith to encourage the best in himself and others. Whether he was having coffee at a Waffle House, coaching, teaching or preaching, he was a man of God who lived with purpose that was uncompromising in his high expectations of himself and others.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents Augusta Orr Wolff and John Rufus Wolff.

He is survived by his wife, Janice, his two children, Wendy Wolff (Jim Brodersen) of Alpharetta, Ga. and Rod Wolff (Jennifer Wolff) of Columbia, S.C. and two grandchildren, Jamie and Lillabeth, who affectionately referred to him as “Pawpaw.”

Visitation will be Monday, June 22, 6-8 p.m. in the Stephen Greene Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. A memorial service will be held at 11a.m., Tuesday, June 23, at Stephen Greene Baptist Church with the Rev. Dr. Mickey Cockrell officiating and the Rev. James McManus assisting. A private burial will take place at a later date.

The family would like any former athletes who plan to attend the service to serve as honorary pallbearers. Please meet at 10:45 a.m. outside the church sanctuary.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org), Stephen Greene Baptist Church, 500 7th St., Winnsboro, S.C., 29180, or charity of choice.

Special thanks to his faithful caregivers Sharon Davis and Stacey McCray.

He will be missed dearly by his loving family.

Pope Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Online condolences can be sent to the family at www.popefuneralhomesc.com.