Celebrating the life of

James (Jay) S. Waddington

Passed away on November 21, 2021

James (Jay) S. Waddington

James “Jay” S. Waddington died peacefully on November 21, 2021 in Savannah, GA, where he resided since 1974. 

Jay was born in 1945 in Philadelphia, PA to Regina (Kerr) and Edwin B. Waddington Sr. He grew up in Alloway, NJ, and attended George School in Newtown, PA. He completed his undergraduate degree in Divisional Social Science at Michigan State University in 1968. While there he met and married Deborah (Debby) D. Holden of Tecumseh, MI, his wife of nearly 56 years. 

Jay moved his family to Savannah in 1974 with Goodwill Industries. At Goodwill, he worked as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for over 15 years. After leaving Goodwill, he worked for a variety of insurance companies, and was highly sought after as a skilled professional in the vocational rehab field. He later took a job with the State of Georgia Department of Labor, and retired in 2014. He continued to work as an expert witness in Social Security disability claims cases on a part-time basis.

Jay was a life-long tennis and golf enthusiast. He scored an ace on May 27, 1985, on the third hole at Plantation Golf Course, Sea Pines Resort in Hilton Head Island, SC. Jay also enjoyed coaching young men, including his son, in baseball and soccer. Jay and Debby’s living and dining rooms were often filled with their children’s friends and were lively symposiums of conversation, debate, advice, storytelling, and most of all, laughter. He was a second father to many of Jess and Andrew’s friends. Jay also enjoyed fishing, reading, gardening, listening to music, watching movies, and socializing. He was a regular attendee and founding member of “Happy Hour Thursdays” at Spanky’s Southside, until health issues and COVID-19 prevented him from attending. Jay was also an unapologetic animal lover, hosting a variety of animals in his home over the years, including countless cats, dogs, a snake, lizards, gerbils, fish, and a flying squirrel. He is personally responsible for creating a cult of fans of Jesco White, aka “The Dancing Outlaw.” Jay was an Atlanta Braves fan for over 40 years, and their World Series win in 2021 brought him much joy in the final weeks of his life.

James S. Waddington is survived by his wife Debby; his brother, Edwin B. (Kay) Waddington, Jr., of Alloway, NJ; his daughter and son-in-law, Jessamyn and Tom Saltysiak, of Bel Air, MD; his son, Andrew Waddington, of Hinesville, GA; three grandchildren, Pax, John, and Benjamin Saltysiak; and numerous nephews and nieces and other extended family. 

No service is planned at this time.

In lieu of flowers, the Waddington family encourages you to hold your loved ones close, drink a nice glass of wine, watch the Rolling Stones concert film from 1974, and vote Democrat, which is what Jay would have wanted.





So sorry for your loss I only met Jay a few times but really enjoyed his company great folks such wonderful children and grandkids he will be remembered forever ❤️

- Rob Saltysiak, Baltimore , Md 21214

To my cousin-I haven’t seen you since I was a little kid at the house in Alloway. Such fun times as you and Eddie were the older cool cousins. The Lord has taken you into his arms to comfort you. A better place. My condolences to Debbie and the kids as I remember meeting you too. Praying to ease your pain.

- Barbara Kerr Finnegan, Mullica Hill, New Jersey

Colin and I are very sorry for Jay's passing. Thinking of you at this difficult time.

- Monica Stevens, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Debby, Jess and Andrew, Sending our sympathy as we remember Jay so fondly. He was a mentor to me in my early days in the field of Vocational Rehabilitation and we had many great memories together as couples in those days. He will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

- Rosemary and Claiborne Lewis, Savannah, Georgia

Debby, Andrew and Jess, I am so sorry for your loss. I have many great memories of him. Sending love and prayers to all of you.

- Ashley Almand, Pooler, Georgia

So sorry to hear about Jay. I had the pleasure of working with him at Vocational Rehabilitation. He will be greatly missed. Extending deepest sympathy and prayers to you.

- Jamie Herbster, Savannah, GA

I had the privilege of working with Jay for a number of years. He was intelligent, witty, and had a great sense of humor. Cathy and I are sorry for your loss. Our condolences to to you, Debby, as well as Jess, Andrew, and your family. Irvin J. Levine, Savannah, Georgia

- Irvin Levine, SAVANNAH, GA

A candle has been lit!

- Sexton’s , Savannah , Georgia

A candle has been lit!

- Sexton’s , Savannah , Georgia

I am so sorry for your loss, Debby. Jay was a nice guy. May the Lord bring comfort and peace to you during this difficult time.

- Carol Ogle, POOLER, Georgia

John and I (Sexton’s) adored Jay. I always ran into him at either Publix or Habersham Beverage. I worked with Debby and our weekly happy hours were always more exciting and enjoyable because of Jay’s unique personality. He always wore a smile and had jokes to share. He was definitely one of my favorites! God bless him and his family and Debby was very fortunate to be married so long to such an amazing man.

- Fannie & John Sexton, Savannah , Georgia

So sorry to hear of Jay’s passing. He was our son John’s soccer coach and I worked with Debby at Windsor. Fond memories. Glad to have known him. In my thoughts and prayers. Nancy and Ken McCorkle

- Nancy McCorkle, Arden, North Carolina

So sorry to hear of Jay’s passing. He was our son John’s soccer coach and I worked with Debby at Windsor. Fond memories. Glad to have known him. In my thoughts and prayers. Nancy and Ken McCorkle

- Nancy McCorkle, Arden, North Carolina

Although I have not been in touch with Jay in a number of years, I have wonderful memories of our many days playing tennis as doubles partners in the 4.0 USTA tennis leagues. Jay was a great pleasure to be with. He was always good humored, bright, intelligent, and fun to be around. His tennis style centered on frustrating his opponent with flawless defense rather than flashy point making. He seemed to rarely make any errors. He took special pleasure in beating the other team while attired in an unfashionable pork pie hat and actually smoking a cigarette during play. I was deeply saddened to read about his passing. Don Jones

- Don Jones, Savannah, GA

Debby, Jess and Andrew, we are saddened to learn of Jay's passing. He was a very up-beat and interesting man to be around who always had a good story to tell and always a humorous point of view. The memory of all of you from years ago when we were young will always be with us. Steve and Renee

- Steve and Renee McGehee, Savannah, GA

Debby, Kim and I are very sorry to hear this news. Jay was a great friend and mentor. He will be greatly missed. God bless you.

- Kenneth Bennett, Waycross, Georgia

It is with great sadness I learn of Jay’s passing. He is a great man and friend and is dearly missed by all. Please accept my deepest sympathies.

- Hon. Richard W. Furcolo, Washington, DC

Debby and family, I worked with Jay for several years at SSA and always enjoyed my time with him. I am so sorry for your loss. Prayers for you all.

- Brenda Rogers, Townsend, GA

My world feels emptier with Jays passing. Mom and I spent time recalling our last visit with you (9 years ago?), and how great it was to discuss the state of the world with Jay! In Peace, Jim

- James Waddington, Salem, NJ

Debby I am so sorry for your loss. Jay was one of my Counselors at Vocational Rehab and one of my best friends. I lost touch with him after I retired. But thought of him often. My prayers are with you and the family. May God ease your pain.

- Mary Ann Wetherbee, Savannah, Georgia

I had the pleasure of first meeting Jay when he was a counselor at Goodwill Industries. I referred my clients to him and over the years we shared many cases together. After he started to work at Vocational Rehabilitation Services, we also shared many laughs especially when we all went to various trainings and conferences. Jay had a wit and sense of humor like none other. The world is going be a sadder place without Jay in it. Please accept my condolences. Your entire family is in my thoughts and prayers as you begin your lives without Jay. Heaven has a new angel - for sure. Virginia Love

- Virginia Love, Savannah, Georgia

Services under the direction of:

Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel

  • No Funeral Service