Coy Ashford Short

Coy Ashford Short, 83, passed away on September 7, 2018 in Savannah, Georgia after an extended illness.

He was born on May 7, 1935 in Moultrie, Georgia.  He graduated from Avondale High School in Avondale Estates, Georgia in 1954.  He went on to attend West Georgia College and graduated from Emory University with a business degree.  He married his high school sweetheart, and love of his life, Judith Compton in August 1956.  He was drafted into the U. S. Army in early 1958 and was stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas and Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. Upon fulfilling his active duty, he entered into the U. S. Army Reserves.

He moved to Savannah, Ga. in 1960 where he held various positions in sales and marketing.  During his time in Savannah, he was a very active member of the Alee Shrine Temple Clown Unit, serving as their President on two separate occasions.

In 1978 he was hired by the Social Security Administration with duty stations in Albany, Vidalia, and Atlanta.  He was promoted to SSA’s Regional Deputy Commissioner in Atlanta and finally retired in 2001.

He was a lifelong and tireless public servant who always served a cause greater than himself. He had a passion for public service and a passion to serve his fellow Georgians through community service. He provided extraordinary leadership and serviced our Troops and Veterans with his decades of service to the USO of Georgia, both as a Board Member and as a Constant Volunteer. He proudly served in several different civic clubs including Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions Club, Alee Shrine and the Royal Order of the Jesters. He loved, restored and collected war era ARMY Jeeps that he would show off during Veterans’ Parades by representing his AUSA Chapter. Coy was selected by Georgia Governor Zell Miller in 1995 to serve as the Executive Assistant of the Governor’s Military Affairs Coordinating Committee (GMACC) creating the first Intergovernmental Partnership between the White House and the Social Security Administration. He created the Annual Turkey Shoot at Townsend Bombing Range to create public awareness of the Bombing Range’s importance to our state and military training to ensure it would not be a victim of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC).

He was a role model for public service and previously served as the Head of the Community Events Committee for the Peach Bowl in Atlanta; he spent nine years on the Board for the Chattahoochee Technical College.  Many will remember him as President of the B-29 Superfortress Assn. which located, restored and displayed the B-29 “Sweet Eloise”, at Dobbins AFB in Cobb County, in honor of his mother who went to work at the Bell Bomber Plant to help our country during WWII.  He organized many “Boss-Lifts” as the Georgia State Chairman of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).  Coy was Secretary of the Old Guard of the Gate City Guard, one of the Nation’s oldest historic military service organizations.

He served on the Adjutant General of Georgia’s Youth ChalleNGe Selection Committee since its inception, until it was recently dissolved.  The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program was created by Congress in 1993 sponsored by Senator Sam Nunn and Senator John McCain to address our nation’s high school dropout crisis and its impact on our nation’s national security.  To date, 160,000 young men and women across our country have turned their lives around though this second chance program.  In Georgia, we have three Youth Challenge Academies located at Fort Stewart, Fort Gordon and Milledgeville and have graduated over 16,000 Cadets representing all 159 counties in Georgia.  This program was Coy’s heartfelt and lifelong passion.  He served as Chairman of the Youth ChalleNGe Academy Foundation for many years, and most recently became the Chairman Emeritus.  The purpose of this Foundation is to advocate for and support the three National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Academies in Georgia.

Coy has received numerous honors and distinctions from the various organizations he so tirelessly served.  He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend who leaves many fond memories to be cherished by all.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Eloise Short Strom, and his father Ernest Short.

Surviving are his beloved wife of 62 years, Judith Compton Short of Savannah, Ga; Son Gregory Short (Rhonda) of Savannah, Ga.; daughter Karen Martin (Tom) of St. Simons Island, Ga.; brother R. J. “Duke” Short (Dee) of Chesnee, S.C., brother-in-law James Compton (Ruth Ellen) of Columbus, Ga.; five grandchildren, Dustin Short, Tyler Short, Scott Martin, Jennifer Martin and Jessica Martin; three great grandchildren; a niece, and four nephews.

Please join us for a Celebration of Life service Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 11:00 am at Isles of Hope United Methodist Church, 412 Parkersburg Road, Savannah, Georgia followed by a reception at the Alee Shriners Temple, 100 Eisenberg Drive, Savannah, Georgia.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Memory of Coy Ashford Short to the Georgia National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Foundation, 875 Old Roswell Road, Suite D-500, Roswell, GA 30076 or online at

Below are photos submitted from Friends and Family of our Beloved Coy.

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