Celebrating the life of

Joseph K. Ebberwein

October 27, 1935 - August 25, 2021

May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, The rains fall soft upon your fields, And, until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Joseph K. Ebberwein


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Joseph Keeshen Ebberwein, 85, died at 3:00pm on August 25, 2021, the Year of St. Joseph, at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Savannah. 

Joe was born October 27, 1935 in Jersey City, NJ to Savannah natives George A. Ebberwein, Sr. and Anne Dowling Ebberwein. The family returned to Savannah in 1945. He graduated from Sacred Heart School in 1949 and from Benedictine Military School in 1953. Joe served in the United States Coast Guard for two years in active service and 6 years in the Reserves. 

In Savannah, Joe was the CEO of J.K. Ebberwein, Inc. for more than twenty years; was founder of the Independent Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association; served as a commissioner of the Savannah Pilots Association; and was a board member of the Savannah Economic Development Authority. He retired from the Georgia Ports Authority and then served at Fox & Weeks from 2010 to 2021. 

Joe was a communicant of the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist and a member of the men's choir. He was a past Grand Knight, Savannah Council #631. He was an active member of the Hibernian Society and a member of the Notre Dame Club of Savannah. In 2016, he was awarded the Bishop Gartland Award by the Diocese of Savannah. Joe was a longtime American Red Cross blood donor. He urged all to become blood donors and organ donors to help save lives.

Joe was a devout Catholic, a loyal friend, and a faithful son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and uncle. He was preceded in death by his first wife of 25 years, Frances Haviland Ebberwein, his father, George A. Ebberwein, Sr., his mother, Anne Dowling Ebberwein, his sister, Anne Ebberwein Hoffman, and his brother, George A. Ebberwein.

Joe is survived by his wife of 33 years, Harriet Sanders Ebberwein; his sister, Sr. Angela Marie Ebberwein, R.S.M of Atlanta; his children, Joseph Ebberwein (Hope), Suzanne Douglas (Pat), Jane Harrod (Glen), John Ebberwein (Leigh), all of Savannah, and Christopher Ebberwein (Katie), of Wichita, KS; 23 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

A rosary will be held at 9:30 AM on Saturday August 28th at the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist, followed by a funeral Mass at 10 AM. Honorary pallbearers include the Benedictine Class of 1953 and the Hibernian Society of Savannah. Rosary and Mass will be live-streamed through the Fox & Weeks website. There will be no visitation or receiving line due to current health guidelines. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Anne Dowling Ebberwein Scholarship Fund at St. Vincent's Academy, 207 E. Liberty St., Savannah, GA 31401; Benedictine Military School, 6502 Seawright Dr., Savannah, GA 31406; or to the Mercy Convent, 11801 Mercy Dr., Savannah, GA 31419. 


Eternal God,
in whom mercy is endless
and the treasury of compassion
- inexhaustible,
look kindly upon us
and increase Your mercy in us,
that in difficult moments
we might not despair
nor become despondent,
but with great confidence
submit ourselves to Your holy will,
which is Love and Mercy itself.




To the Ebberwein family our sincere condolences. Joe will be missed by all who knew him. May God welcome him home. Tinka & Al Pace

- Pace, Savannah, GA

A candle has been lit!

- Pace, Savannah, GA

Chris and All the Ebberweins, My condolences and prayers for you all. Your father was an inspiring man of faith. May the angels lead him into paradise! RIP

- Mark Bandy, Savannah, GA

What a lovely and dear person. He always had a smile and a hug to give. God Bless all family and know my prayers are with you all.

- Nancy Manucy Lawson, Savannah, Georgia

Dear Ebberwein family, I and many, many others in the transportation community today mourn the loss of one of our most beloved members. Joe was the consummate gentleman in his business relationships and among friends! Joe will be sorely missed, but now is resting peacefully with the Lord. His memory will last forever. Sincerely, Brooks Youmans

- Brooks Youmans, Peachtree City, Georgia

To the entire Ebberwein family on behalf of the Story family I want to extend our condolences on the passing of Joe. What a great man he was, and my brothers, our wives and I remember fondly him playing the Notre Dame Fight Song at our Aunt Nancy's house. Of course, I was the only one to know the words. Peace and love to you all. Leo

- Story, Richmond Hill, Ga

I would like to send condolences from the McLaughlin family to the Ebberwein family. Sr. Angela Marie, I am praying for you all. Joe say hello to Jimmy and JoJo for me. Daddy is singing to welcome you to heaven. Rest in Peace Joe. Love to you all.

- McLaughlin, Savannah. , Georgia

I am deeply saddened that my dear, and best friend, Joe Ebberwein has succumbed to this terrible virus which has claimed so many fine lives throughout the world over the past 18 months. Joe and I have enjoyed a most special friendship and Brotherhood over some 72 years when we bonded as young Cadets of Benedictine Military School for a mutual friendship that was sustained through long separations by Time and Distance as we pursued our Families' lives , careers, and destinies. My many and varied Memories of our shared times include B.C., The Monks, Multiple trips to Notre Dame, Ireland, and yes, Tybee, and finally our renewed sharing of time as I returned Home in 2007 in Retirement. Joe's most gracious and selfless manner and concern for my welfare was so evident when I lost Judy Collins Daniels, 2 years ago after 64 years. His was the epitome of the old adage" A friend in need, is a friend indeed". Joe cherished dearly his Catholic Faith, and Irish Heritage, and I extend sincere condolences to the entire Family at this most difficult of times. I know you are comforted in the sure and certain Faith that He has passed through Death to Life forever with our Blessed Lord and Mary Immaculate. Jack

- Jack Daniels, Tybee Island, GA

A candle has been lit!

Joe your light still shines in all of us that have had the honor to know you.

- Suzanne McLaughlin Vonwaldner, Savannah, Georgia

He was a good man and always was a good friend each time I saw him. My condolences to his family.

- Andrew poulos, Savannah, Ga

A man everyone loved he is heaven

- Joe Robinson, Savannah, GA

Joe was a great friend and neighbor. He was a beacon of light to us in many ways. We will greatly miss watching sunsets with him on the deck. Blessings to all his family. Sandy & Dan O Davis

- Davis, Savannah, GA

John and all the Ebberweins, I just want to say how sorry I am for your loss. Joe was a great guy. Always a light, I'm remember the time he sang at my brother's funeral, but I also remember him dancing with a backwards baseball cap at at John's 50 birthday. I'm sure he is spreading his joy in Heaven now.

- Joe DeLorme, Savannah, Ga

Harriet, I can't begin to imagine your pain in losing precious Joe. I met Joe when he opened his office in Charleston in the 1970's and can honestly say, in all of these years, I don't believe I ever saw him without a smile on his face. You will recall our trip to the Notre Dame game with the James right after Hurricane Hugo. What fun we had! May God hold you and the family wrapped in his ever-loving arms as you go through your grief journey.

- Jackie Adamson, Charleston, SC

It is with sorrow that I learn of the passing of Joe Ebberwein. He was a wonderful man filled always with kindness, compassion and a song in his heart. My mother was always thrilled when he would dedicate a song to her, even at the cemetery when we buried her. The Angels will have another member in their chorus. May he RIP you will be missed.

- Kathleen Kenney Brown, Savannah , Ga 31405

My sincere condolcenses in the untimely death of Joe Ebberwein. Your voice you shared with many, is now singing among the angels. Rest in peace.

- Klair Kenney Snellbaker , Fort Myers, FL

To all of the Ebberwein Family, my deepest condolences. Being Joe’s neighbor and friend for over 20 years was definitely a highlight of my life. His smile and hugs always made my day brighter. I will miss him.

- Kathy Butler, Savannah, GA

Joe was a great Catholic, Irish-American friend. Joe would call me when he came through Augusta on business. We saw him almost every time we visited my sister Sandy & Dan and brother Robbie & Kelly. Joe was one of the first to call and welcome me to the Hibernians in 2011. He had a great smile, voice and heart. We will all miss him greatly! Our love and condolences to all the family. Anne and Kevin

- Shea, Atlanta, GA

To the Family, I am so sorry to hear this about Mr. Ebberwein. He was truly a very genuine nice person. I know you all will surely miss him. I’ll keep you in my prayers. Della Latimer

- Della, Savannah, Ga

Our prayers are extended to the entire family. Mr.Joe was a true gentleman and a man of integrity and of God. He will certainly be missed by all.

- Tim Ansley, Savannah, Georgia

I wish I could hear Joe sing, "OH DANNY BOY "just one more time.RIP JOE

- Sara Mahany, Savannah, Ga

I am blessed to have known Mr Ebberwein! He always took time to share a moment with me and flash his happy smile. He was truly an angel on earth. I love the entire Ebberwein family and hope you all find comfort in knowing he is now among the angels in heaven! Krista

- Krista Cummings, Savannah, GA

My sincere condolescence to the entire Ebberwein Family. I know you faith is strong as you grieve the loss of Mr. Ebberwein.

- Rebecca MacKinnon, Overland Park, KS

A candle has been lit!

Much love for the Ebberwein family. Mr. Ebberwein was an amazing man and he will be missed by many.

- Becca , Savannah, GA

A candle has been lit!


- JOHN MELL, Savannah, Georgia

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Joe's family. You have all been blessed by having this wonderful man in your lives. I don't think anyone can picture Joe without seeing his smile. He will be greatly missed. I'm sure St. Patrick met him at the gates. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. Roxie Barras Bryant

- Roxie Bryant, Savannah, GA

This will always be our memory of Mr. Ebberwien: Job well done sir! Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 English Standard Version 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.

- Kevin, Sally and Drew Werntz, Savannah, Ga

Sr. Mary Ellen & Hope. Sincere sympathy on Joe's death. He was a good man.

- Marie Green Bryant, Savannah, GA

Our deepest sympathy to the Ebberwein family. May he rest in peace.

- Joe and Michelle Brennan, SAVANNAH, GA

Our deepest sympathy to the Ebberwein family. May he rest in peace.

- Joe and Michelle Brennan, SAVANNAH, GA

A candle has been lit!

You are all in my thoughts and prayers! Joe was always so pleasant, you couldn't help but like him. He will be missed by all who knew him. I met him while he worked at the GPA and I'm so glad I got that opportunity to get to know him. May your hearts begin to heal so that your tears will turn to smiles as you remember your times spent with him. This is not goodbye, but rather, take care until you see him again. God is taking care of him now until you meet again.

- Gina Bogalis , Savannah, GA

This is such a huge loss for the Savannah Irish Catholic community and I am so sorry that this wonderful man will be deprived of the full tribute at the Cathedral that he so richly deserves. I remember him at my late brother’s funeral….last time I saw him. Actually we had a lot in common with his love of Notre Dame. My husband Don Gayhardt and our son, Don Gayhardt, JR attended Notre Dame and I believe Joe’s son was in the class of 1986. Since condolences to all of the Eberwein family and RIP Joe.

- Nancy Harris Gayhardt, Annapolis, MD

Savannah has lost it’s Favorite Irish Son and a good friend. He was a one of a kind Gentleman, always happy with a lilt of Irish laughter. Our condolences to the family. We Know he is singing Danny Boy with Saint Peter as we speak. He will be surely missed☘️

- Shirley and Tony Ryan, Savannah, ga

The McMillan family will miss you dearly Joe. My mom Claire and Joe were classmates at Sacred Heart and remained close lifelong friends, in good times and bad. Mom and I both had the honor or working at JK Ebberwein in Savannah and Charleston in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Joe gave me my first real job and I will always be grateful. He didn’t really need another employee at the time, but I needed help and he came through for a friend. That was Joe, always. Not only was he a mentor and faithful family friend, but one of the most kind, patient, generous, and selfless people I have ever known. Lifting spirits and giving comfort and help whenever he could. To the Ebberwein family, you are all in my prayers and I hope your sadness is eased knowing how much good Joe did for so many in his time here on earth.

- Karen M. McLean , Mt.Pleasant, SC

Joe was one of the kindest gentlemen that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. His devotion to his family and his devotion to God served him well throughout his life. Remember many days Joe, Tony Heidi and I would go to all you can eat clams day at Howard Johnson’s. And thanks Joe for all of the invitations to join your table at Hibernian Banquet. Savannah has lost a fine person and good Catholic son. Godspeed my friend !

- Bobby and Suzanne Everette, Savannah, Ga

It is with great sorrow I feel with the passing of Joe. He was a dear friend for many years and was always very kind to everyone he met. Harriet, I am so sorry for your loss and I pray GOD will surround you with HIS loving arms at this difficult time. To his children and their families, may you find peace in knowing your father is now at peace with GOD our FATHER.

- Mary A. Garvin, Savannah, Ga.

Sending prayers & condolences to Jane and all the Ebberwein family. Mr. Ebberwein was such a kind & joyful man and he comforted us in our own time of loss with his beautiful voice. His joy & happy smile will be remembered by all who knew him!

- L. DeLorme Atherton, Suwanee, GA

To Sister Angela and entire Ebberwein Family, my prayers are with each of you.

- Mary Watson , Atlanta , Georgia

Jane, Glen and family, our deepest sympathies. He is deeply loved by so many and will be missed.

- Jan Owen and Gary Harrod, Savannah, GA

Joe was a great guy and I was fortunate to have known him. He will be miss by all who knew him. My condolences to his family and prayers to you.

- Bob White, Greensboro , Ga

My condolences and apologies for not being able to attend the services this weekend. Mr. Ebberwein constantly checked in on me and my family during my wife's illness and, in typical fashion, he called from the hospital to check on me after my wife passed earlier this month. One of the most kind men I have ever known. Savannah won't be the same without him.

- Jeffrey Mahany, Savannah, GA

Joe was like an uncle to me when I was young, and was a dear friend when I was older. I consider Joe the epitome of kindliness and empathy. When he would sing Danny Boy, I smiled even as I teared up every time. As I am doing as I write this. RIP to a wonderful human being who brightened the world every day of his life.

- Matt Powers, Springfield, GA

My deepest condolences to the Ebberwein family. Joe was truly one of a kind and one of the loveliest people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Joe and our mom Claire had been lifelong friends since childhood. I have so many wonderful memories of Joe throughout the years. When our mom became ill, Joe continued to show up in the kindest most compassionate ways. Each visit was the highlight of her day as he always brought us smiles ,laughter, lively conversation and news of old friends and new. His friendship was a blessing to our entire family. Joe will be deeply missed and never forgotten.

- Katherine McMillan, Atlanta, Ga

A candle has been lit!

Prayers for deep peace and love for all. Joe was always so kind and caring. He deeply loved his family, friends and the St. Patrick's Day season !

- Kelly and Alex Hunt, Savannah, Georgia

Dearest Harriett and to the Ebberwein family, we loved Joe so very much. We will never forget the great times we had, his singing Danny Boy at our parties and having y’all as the best neighbors ever. We are sad but know that Heaven gained an angel. They didn’t come any better than Joe. May his memory be eternal ✝️❤️

- Crystal and Steve Nelson, Palm Coast, FL

I am saddened by the death of this good man. I didn’t know Joe before he joined the staff at Fox & Weeks. It has been a joy to work with him these last several years. With his easy smile, constant positivity and genuine concern for those on staff and the families we served he was a welcome drama free zone. His devotion to his family, his church, and his friends was an inspiration to all who knew him. He and Harriet became wonderful friends and confidants over the years. An evening on their deck or their boat with fun conversation, great food, and superb cocktails was always a welcome treat. Joe was one of the most thoughtful husbands I have ever known and adored his children and grandchildren. He was a consummate gentleman and a true friend. I will miss him.

- Joe Wall, Savannah , GA

I stand corrected. It was Michael Bart not Tony Heidt that enjoyed clams with Joe and me.

- Bobby Everette, Savannah, Ga

My condolences to the Ebberwein family. Joe was a good and faithful man. He has earned his place in heaven.

- Cecilia Trees, Savannah, GA

I am so sorry for the loss of Joe. He was truly a remarkable man. My thoughts and prayers go out to all members of the Ebberwein family.

- Butler, Tybee Island, GA

John,Leigh and family, Your Dad will surely be missed by all who knew him.Always a smile to share! May God’s love give all the Ebberwein’s strength.

- Tootie Phillips, Savannah, Ga

It is with a sad heart that I give the Ebberwein family my deepest condolence. I with Joe many years at GPA and can attest to the love he had for his church and his family. His face would light up when talking about his children and grandchildren. I know God has a special place in heaven for Joe....maybe a greeter at the Pearly Gates! RIP Joe. I’ll see you later.

- Dianne White, Brooklet, GA

A candle has been lit!

- Stephen C. Herb, Savannah, Ga.

We are so very sad to have lost such a wonderful and dear friend. Joe brought a smile to everyone he met, and had a warm hug that was so sincere. He was truly a kind and gentle soul like no other. Our deepest condolences to the Ebberwein family for your loss.

- Kelly & Robbie Shea, Savannah, GA

My deepest sympathy to the Ebberwein family on the loss of Joe. My mother, Martha Dowling Foster, was Joe’s cousin & I have fond memories of his visits to Jacksonville, Fl. to see my family when I was young, oftentimes bringing his Mom with him. What I remember most was his big smile & effervescent personality, and that he always took the time to show an interest in me, my sister & two brothers even though we were just kids at the time. Please know I will be keeping all of you in my thoughts & prayers. God Bless! Carol Foster Perkinson

- Carol Foster Perkinson, Gainesville, Va

Condolences to the Ebberwein family. Joe was truly a kind, warm man.

- Brian and Lisa Fogarty, Sugar Hill, GA

A candle has been lit!

- Mary Ellen Corbell, Savannah, Georgia

Dear Jane and Family, Your Dad was a wonderful man - we will forever remember his smile, his greetings and his fine singing voice. We are thinking of all of you. Godspeed.

- John Mulligan, Savannah, Georgia

We are so sorry for you loss! We will never forget his kindness and smile.

- Jeanette & Arthur Duncan, Savannah, Georgia

Joe my prayers are with you in the passing of your dad.

- Helen Yates, SAVANNAH, GA

Joe was a neighbor and friend. He also was a faithful and proud Catholic and member of Savannahs Irish community. He will be missed by all. His renditions of "Its Saint Patrick's Day in Savannah" and " Danny boy" will ring in our ears for the rest of our lives. Sla'n abhal'e Joe.

- Everett and Karen Owens, Savannah, Ga

God has called another "good guy" to heaven. May Joe rest in peace.

- joe krupp, Savannah, Georgia

A candle has been lit!

We are sending our heartfelt condolences to the entire Ebberwein clan. May wonderful memories and continued prayer keep him forever alive and close to your hearts.

- Jan & Tony Cuzzell, Savannah, GA

Chris, Katie and the Ebberwein family: we are so sorry to hear of Chris' father's death. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

- Rick and Janet Kellerman, Wichita, Kansas

You will be missed

- Lutz’s family , Savannah , Georgia

Joe became part of our family the day our daughter Leigh married his son John. We will remember him as a man of great faith and someone who loved spending time with family and friends. He held a special place in our hearts and now holds a special place in heaven. Goodbye Joe, we hope to one day be spending time with you again.

- Carol & Harold Horton, Savannah, Ga.

To all Joe's Family I offer my prayerful support at this time. So many have commented on his perpetual smile. I believe his smile was his outward sign of God's presence within him. So many times I have been in Joe's company. My one recollection is that never did I hear an unkind word come from Joe Ebberwein. He will continue influencing the lives of his family and friends as he sings his praises to God on high. Love to all of you. Jeanne

- Jeanne Zittrauer, Savannah, GA

May this good man rest in peace.

- Frank P. Rossiter, Jr., M.D., Savannah, GA

My thoughts and prayers are with the Ebberwein Family! I'm also sending sincere condolences from my father, Frank C. Mathews for your loss.

- Alice Mathews , Duluth, Ga

Joe was a wonderfully kind person with a jubilant Outlook on life. He had a beautiful smile and manner about him that was oh so welcoming and calming. He had a beautiful voice given to him by God to share with the world. He will be surely missed by my family as he was a close friend to my father in the class of 53 from BC. I send my deepest sympathy and prayers to the family.

- Capt. P. Michelle Gillikin, Tybee Island, Georgia

Joe was a wonderfully kind person with a jubilant Outlook on life. He had a beautiful smile and manner about him that was oh so welcoming and calming. He had a beautiful voice given to him by God to share with the world. He will be surely missed by my family as he was a close friend to my father in the class of 53 from BC. I send my deepest sympathy and prayers to the family.

- Capt. P. Michelle Gillikin, Tybee Island, Georgia

Services under the direction of:

Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel