It is with great sadness that the Paulk family announces the passing of “Papa Jacob” Willis Paulk, Sr., on February 24, 2017. A wonderful example of a husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, he leaves behind a gaping hole in the hearts of the Paulk family which will never be filled. A man truly ahead of his time, his innovation and ingenuity in agriculture, particularly the muscadine industry, may never be matched. Although we grieve over our loss of such a great man, our consolation is that he will be reunited with his sweetheart, Judy, in Heaven. The Paulk family thanks you for your kind thoughts and prayers during this time of mourning. “Papa Jacob” Willis Paulk, Sr., was born to Lott and Rachel Paulk on October 20, 1931, in Irwin County, Georgia. A 1948 graduate of Ocilla High School, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from UGA before joining the Air Force and receiving another bachelor’s degree in Meteorology from Penn State. He married his high school sweetheart, Gladys Juliette “Judy” Handley, in 1953. Their first two sons, Terrence and Gary, were born while he served in Puerto Rico, while their last two sons, Larry and JW, Jr., were born after moving back home to Irwin County. After surviving a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery in his forties, he became a proponent of healthy living, including a mainly vegetarian diet, vitamins and dietary supplements, and exercise. Papa Jacob spent his time here on earth taking care of those he loved, particularly his beloved Judy up until her death in 2013. His mechanical and engineering-inclined mind was always looking for a better way to do things or how to make use of what he had on hand. He appreciated the simple things in life - a blue button-down shirt, a dark roast coffee with just enough creamer and sweetener, and watching his grandchildren and great-grandchildren play and succeed at whatever they put their minds to. Papa Jacob also knew how to have fun and enjoy some things that weren’t expected from older folks, like traveling across the country or to the Bahamas, being the first in the Paulk family to own an iPhone, and driving his ruby red Ford Mustang - fast! Perhaps the one place he loved almost as much as his home on the family farm was his church home, Satilla Baptist, where he served as a deacon. He lived out his faith through his generosity, as he was known to donate to any and every cause or project at the church, particularly anything that would benefit children. If he ever heard of a child doing without or missing out on something, he did whatever he could to remedy the situation. Years ago, he had John 15:5 painted on the wall of one of the buildings on the farm: “I am the vine, ye are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit.” Just like this verse says, he produced much fruit, as evidenced by his loving family, his faithful employees, and so many others whose lives he touched. He is survived by his sons and daughters-in-law, Terrence and Susan Paulk of Fitzgerald, GA, Gary and Ann Paulk of Wray, GA, Larry and Laura Paulk of Denver, NC, and JW, Jr., and Tammy Paulk of Wray, GA; grandchildren, Christy and Ryan Copeland, Chris and Jorjanne Paulk, Eric and Stephanie Paulk, Dorie and Will Bacon, Amy and Derek Grist, Daniel Paulk, Anna and Matthew Driggers, Lydia Paulk, Jonathan Paulk, Sarah Paulk, and Abby Paulk; great-grandchildren, Seth and Caleb Paulk, Mason and Miley Grist, Audrey and Noah Paulk, Paulk, Jacob and Juliette Bacon; his sister-in-law, Jeannette Oakley; and friend, Beverly Bauerband. He was preceded in death by his wife, Judy Paulk.