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Celebrating the life of

Arthur M. Gignilliat, Jr.

Passed away on February 03, 2024

His was a life well lived and full of love.

Arthur M. Gignilliat, Jr.

Arthur M. Gignilliat, Jr. loved God and loved people.  He was placed on the “cradle roll” at First Presbyterian Church of Clarkesville, Ga, by his maternal grandmother the day after he was born and he worshipped Jesus at First Presbyterian Church of Savannah for most of seven decades.  He wisely served the church as a deacon, elder and Clerk of Session.  Arthur requested that in lieu of flowers, any memorial gifts be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Savannah.

The person Arthur loved best in this world was his wife of 69 years Molly Barnhardt, whom he affectionately called “the wind beneath my wings” and “the best roommate I ever had.”  He and Molly faithfully reared their children Triece and Matt and loved their spouses David Ziblut and Maggie Peterson as their own. Arthur and Molly thanked God daily for their six grandchildren and spouses Michelle (John Harvey), Elizabeth (Clay Zielinski), Mathew (Kali Weiland), Brooks (Jordan Kor), and Molly and Sophie Ziblut, as well as their eight great-grandchildren Daniel Harvey, El Harvey, Emilia Zielinski, Cora Zielinski, Garner Gignilliat, Owen Gignilliat, Lola Gignilliat and Sammy Gignilliat.  After being received by Jesus in heaven, Arthur was likely welcomed next by his parents Dr. Arthur and Beth Gignilliat, his sister Betty Leland Downs, daughter-in-law Maggie, granddaughter Michelle, and a host of others in a joyful reunion.  

Arthur used the leadership skills and compassion gifted to him by God in a number of ways to the benefit of his community, state and nation.  He may be best known for his 40-year career at Savannah Electric and Power Company where he retired as President and CEO.  He was also elected to eight terms in the Georgia House of Representatives where he served as Chairman of the University System of Georgia Committee.  Arthur was appointed by different governors to  the Board of Regents and the Georgia Ports Authority board and served terms as Chairman of each.  He was a member of the Metropolitan Atlanta Olympic Games Authority and the Georgia Board of Industry, Trade and Tourism.  

Locally, he served in leadership roles for the Savannah Economic Development Authority, United Way Campaign, Armstrong State College Foundation, and the Georgia International Maritime Trade Center Authority.  He enjoyed relationships with other members of all those boards as well as the Bethesda Union Society, Exchange Club of Savannah, Rotary Club of Savannah and other charitable, civic and business groups.  Arthur served 20 years in the Georgia Army National Guard retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.  He was a proud member of the Chatham Artillery and the Savannah Volunteer Guards.

Arthur was educated at Charles Ellis Elementary School, Richard Arnold Junior High and graduated from Savannah High School, class of 1950.  He attended Armstrong Junior College where he played basketball and he graduated with a degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia.  He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Georgia Southern University.  

His was a life well lived and full of love.

Visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 10, 2024 in Stewart Hall at First Presbyterian Church, 520 Washington Avenue, Savannah, GA.  A memorial service will follow at 11:45 the Sanctuary at First Presbyterian Church. A private burial will be held at a later date. 




Sending love and prayers. Arthur was always so nice to our family.

- Tina Meinholz, Rogers, AR

Triece and family- My sincere condolences for the loss of your father and grandfather. Praying that you experience God's grace in the midst of this storm.

- Heather Wallace, Rincon, GA

Sincere condolences to Molly and all the Gignilliat Family on the passing of Arthur. Savannah has lost an Icon and all of his family Is blessed with his memories and guidance. May he rest in peace.

- Dr.&Mrs. Frank P. Rossiter, JR., Savannah, GA

Love and peace to the whole Gignilliat family- you all have meant so much to me and my family for years and years. So sorry to hear about Arthur’s passing, always loved him. Love especially to Molly.

- Mary Kraft, Atlanta, GA

Prayers to all the family,Mr.Gignilliat will be greatly missed by me.Betty -dutch Island gate


We offer our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to all of the family. Arthur was a magnificent role model of a good man. As a husband, father, grandfather, friend and community leader… he absolutely set the example. I especially admired his leadership and professionalism as President and CEO of Savannah Electric and Power Company. It was an honor to work under his leadership. He inspired me as a professional mentor and as a community leader. Again, a model citizen and human being. He will be missed…but his legacy will live on.

- Jim and Rose Mary Cone, Savannah , GA

I had the pleasure of working with Arthur Gignilliat, Senior when he was the founding president of Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State College). He was very kind to mentor a young Academic Dean. While there I met Arthur, Jr. and was greatly impressed by his poise and graciousness. I know that numerous people in Savannah and throughout Georgia are remembering his extraordinary accomplishments and contributions and have felt personal positive impacts on their lives. Our sympathies go out to all his family and love ones. Ben and Reika Wygal

- Benjamin and Reika Wygal, Ooltewah, TN

A gentleman and a really nice person. I didn't meet him until I was elected to politics in 1994. He was always the same and treated everyone with respect. Condolences to the family.

- Regina Thomad, Savannah, Ga

At this difficult period may you find comfort in knowing that others share in your loss and sorrow.

- Al and Diann Scott, Savannah, GA

My most deepest condolences and prayers to Mr G. (which we called him at Savannah Electric) Mrs G. and the entire family. May GOD continues to keep his healing hands around you all. Mr G., thank you for the giving me an opportunity to a wonderful career and to share part of your life. My friend forever.

- Eric Groover , Savannah, Ga

When I was 17 years old, I was fortunate to be hired as a part-time employee in the SEPCO Personnel department. Mr. Gignilliat personally came to welcome me to the company and I never forgot his warmth and kindness, traits I thought all Presidents and CEOs would have throughout the long career ahead of me. Sadly, I never met another leader who cared about his or her team as much as Mr. Gignilliat. He was truly in a rarefied league. My deepest condolences to the family as you mourn his loss.

- Roz E. Weiss, Palm Bay, FL

One of the truly greatest men that I ever knew.

- Charlie Brannon, Statesboro, GA

Arthur and I were the same age, and we grew up as friends together in Ardsley Park. We were in the same classes at Charles Ellis Elementary School and at Richard Arnold Jr. HS on 34th Street. We both graduated from the University of Georgia. My sincere condolences to Arthur's family and his many, many friends.

- Noel B. Wright, Savannah, GA

We were so sad to hear this news, but what a life and what a legacy. The Krafts have long had a special fondness for you all and that continues. Toni and I send sincere condolences to Molly, Matt, Triece and the whole family.

- John Kraft, Acworth, GA

This wonderful family as well as our wonderful city of Savannah has lost a man who exemplified servant leadership. We are so grateful for his life. We extend sincere condolences to this family. We know Arthur’s legacy lives on through his family and to all he mentored throughout his life. His was a life well lived. Thanks be to God. Gail and Mickey Rountree

- Gail & Mickey Rountree , Savannah , Ga

I read through some of these nice post about Uncle Arthur. I will add that he was as kind and nice at home as in public. A genuine man through and through. When I was between 8-11, Uncles Arthur allowed us kiddos to join him at the state capital to be a page. This was an opportunity for us to service the House running errands for the Congressional members. While on the House floor the member would push a button paging for assistance. We would run an errand like get coffee, food, cigarettes (lol), and paperwork. We had our picture made with the governor (Jimmy Carter and Joe Frank Harris) and the speaker of the House. Those were some unforgettable visits. Years later when I was working for the State, Uncle Arthur would meet me for lunch as at the time he was President of the Board of Regents. Always enjoyed conversation with Uncle Arthur and Aunt Molly. Mom and I were fortunate to visit a few times these last two years. We had a great time reminiscing. He will be greatly missed. So all our love to the Gignilliat family! Hugs for Aunt Molly! Nancy Keith and family

- Martens Family, Dacula, Georgia

Molly and Matt: Sad to hear of Arthur's passing but what a life of Giving he gave to his family, his company and this community. My years working for him at Savannah Electric showed me the way a Leader handled his Company and his employees. He had great vision and was always approachable. I know he has left us, but his memory will be with us forever.

- Tom and Debbie Harris, Savannah, Ga

Sending love and prayers, Arthur was always such a nice man

- Tina and Lloyd Meinholz, Bentonville, AR

Arthur was the Dean of the Chatham Delegation and was one of the most respected members of the 180 members of the Georgia House of Representatives. Many times I looked to Arthur for guidance and advice. He was a true giant and I will miss him dearly. RIP my friend

- Tom and Helen Taggart , Savannah , Georgia

I did not see this, until now. I would have come to the funeral for many reasons. Arthur helped my family when he was in the general assembly with getting medical care for my father, as well as when we first opened the Georgia Advocacy Office. He was an early believer in the possibility of our work. A steady hand, steady voice, and steady heart. My condolences to all. We have lost a gentle giant of a man.

- Tom Kohler, Savannah , Ga

Services under the direction of:

Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel