In Memoriam: Herbert Womack

Herbert Womack, 87, of Chula, Georgia, passed away March 16, 2017. Mr. Womack was born May 25, 1929 in Mantee, Mississippi. He was raised on a family farm that produced some of the first documented one-bale cotton yields in Mississippi. He was preceded in death by seven brothers and one sister. Mr. Womack attended East Central Junior College and The University of Mississippi before serving in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953. He then continued his education at The Mississippi State University where he earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in entomology.

After completion of his graduate degree, Mr. Womack moved to Tifton, Georgia, where he was a research entomologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service. He later joined the faculty of the University of Georgia as an extension entomologist and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1989, at which time he was named Associate Professor Emeritus. During his career, Mr. Womack served the Georgia agricultural community with distinction by specializing in the management of insect pests of peanut, cotton, tobacco, and stored commodities. He was one of the first entomologists in the Southeastern U.S. to organize comprehensive integrated pest management schools.

Mr. Womack's stellar professional reputation was demonstrated by his invited testimony to the U.S. Congress on pesticide issues of critical importance to Georgia agriculture. Deeply respected by his colleagues, he served as president of the Georgia Entomological Society in 1985. Mr. Womack received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents in 1984 and the Distinguished Service Award of the Southeastern branch of the Entomological Society of America in 1981. His impact on peanut growers was acknowledged by the Georgia Peanut Commission when they awarded him the Georgia Peanut Distinguished Service Award in 1985 and the Georgia Peanut Research and Education Award in 1986.

Mr. Womack was an avid outdoorsman and often participated in group hunting and fishing excursions with friends and coworkers. He was a long-time member and former president of the Herb Bonner Hunt Club, an organization whose members are agricultural professionals in the public sector. He was also a member of the historic Ferry Lake Club in rural Tift County. After his retirement, he served as a volunteer at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village for 20 years.

Mr. Womack was a dedicated member of First Baptist Church of Tifton for 60 years. He served in numerous capacities, including deacon, and was elected as a Lifetime Deacon in 2008. Mr. Womack contributed many years of service as a member of the food service team with Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief. He was deployed to Manhattan in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks and to Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He provided food, comfort, and spiritual guidance to those affected by these tragic events.

Mr. Womack is survived by his wife of 60 years, Sara Fulton Womack; three daughters and sons-in-law; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.