According to the Webster’s New World College Dictionary, one definition of “matriarch” is a highly respected elderly woman.
Peggy DeLoach Nobles, who epitomized this definition, died Sept. 30 after a brief illness.
Most people knew Mrs. Nobles as “Ms. Peggy” or “Mrs. Peggy,” the woman behind the late sheriff Cecil Nobles.
But she was much more than that, and most didn’t even know that she was the longest-serving public safety worker in Long County. She was the administrator of the Long County Sheriff’s Office — first with Cecil Nobles, from 1969 until 2012, and then with her son, Craig, who was elected sheriff in 2012.
She also was an inspiration to others and oftentimes was sought out for advice.
“Mrs. Peggy Nobles was such a lovely woman. She loved her family, friends and Long County,” Long County Clerk of Superior Court Sherry Long said. “I had the privilege of working with her while organizing Law Day, which involved the dedication of Mr. Cecil’s portrait to hang in the courtroom, and I enjoyed getting to know her better. She will deeply be missed by everyone.”
Mrs. Nobles was very active in the community and Long County Chamber of Commerce, according to her obituary.
“For as long as I have known Mrs. Peggy she had a quiet, humble spirit,” Coastal Manor Chief Long Term Care Officer Elise Stafford said. “She didn’t seek a lot of attention, but she had a way of being the administrator of many tasks at once. I am thankful to have known her, and she will be greatly missed in our community.”
Mrs. Nobles was born Sept. 24, 1936, in Tattnall County to Henry William DeLoach and Navada Todd DeLoach. She was raised on a farm in Tattnall County and graduated in 1954 from Glennville High School. Mrs. Nobles also was a graduate of Draughon’s Business College in Savannah.
“Mrs. Peggy was a true Southern lady,” Long County Probate Judge Marie Middleton said. “It was such a pleasure working with her through the years, and she will be missed by all.”
She was a longtime member of Jones Creek Baptist Church in Long County.
“Ms. Peggy was the sweetest little lady that always kept the sheriff’s department in order,” Long County Tax Commissioner Becky Fowler said. “I spoke with her right before her surgery, for she was having the same procedure that I had in May of 2014. I never dreamed that would be our last conversation. My heart hurts for her family, as she will truly be missed. God had a different plan for her; therefore, she is now singing with the angels. My prayers are with each one who knew her because she was a blessing to so many.”
Perhaps more important to her was her love of her family and extended family, with whom she always enjoyed spending time.
“Ms. Peggy added a great deal of class to the sheriff’s department,” former Long County Board of Education member Linda DeLoach said. “She was an icon there, always offering a kind word and having a smile on her face. She will be greatly missed.”
Mrs. Nobles is survived by three sons and daughters-in-law, James Cecil Jr. and Stephanie, Kenneth Elliott and Bonnie, and Craig William and Elizabeth; grandchildren, Heather Foster (Justin), William Nobles, Jordan Nobles, Shelby Thompson and Hunter Thompson; great-grandchildren, Caitlyn Lowe, Preston Lowe, Lily Foster and Rylie Nobles; sisters, Gaynell DeLoach Paulk of Alexandria, Louisiana, and Ava Jean DeLoach Rooker of Glennville; brothers, Charles P. DeLoach of Glennville and Larry L. DeLoach of Lakeland, Florida; brother-in-law, Raymond Gus Nobles of Ludowici; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to numerous dear friends in the community, Mrs. Nobles also leaves many close friends and colleagues in the Long County Sheriff’s Office and in the law-enforcement community throughout Georgia.
Visitation was Friday at Brannen-Kennedy Funeral Home in Glennville. Funeral services were Saturday at Jones Creek Baptist Church, with the Revs. Steve Davis and Steve Stokes officiating. Burial followed in the Jones Creek Baptist Church Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Robert Berry, Nicky Anderson, Jimmy Middleton, Tom Sollosi, Danny Dinkins, Mark Hall and Don Bierly. Honorary pallbearers were employees of the Long County Courthouse and all law-enforcement officers.
Remembrances may be made to Jones Creek Baptist Church, 69 Jones Creek Church Loop, Ludowici, GA 3l3l6.