Donnie Wayne Churchwell - Class Of 1967

Donnie Wayne Churchwell

Donnie Wayne Churchwell

April 23, 1949 ~ August 11, 2020 (age 71)

Donnie Wayne Churchwell, 71, of Macon, GA passed through heaven’s doors on August 11, 2020. He’s now rejoicing at the right hand of the Father he loved so much. He went for a walk and died of a massive heart attack.

Donnie Wayne was born in Perry, GA on April 23, 1949 to William Clarence (WC) Churchwell and Margaret Lee Clements Churchwell. He was the eighth of ten children. Donnie Wayne was an athlete all his life. He played Little League at Ocmulgee and at Morgan Field. He was on the State Champion Lanier Poets baseball team as a sophomore. When Mark Smith and Lasseter were built in 1965, he became a Bulldog and played football, baseball and basketball. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds out of high school but chose to play on scholarship for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks instead. He was coached by the famous Yankee, Bobby Richardson for two seasons.

Donnie Wayne and his wife, Charlene, met when they were eighth graders. They began dating in 1966 as high school juniors. After graduation, she went to the University of Georgia, and since he was at USC, their distance became an obstacle. They married on September 7, 1969 and just celebrated 50 years of marriage last year. After living in Columbia for several years, and having two sons, they moved back to Macon to be close to grandparents, and they added one more son. Donnie Wayne worked with the City of Macon as Assistant Parks and Cemeteries Director and when C.A. “Red” O’Neal retired, Donnie Wayne became the supervisor of that department. He worked for the city for 20 years and then went to work for ANCO which eventually became Chem-Aqua. He retired from Chem-Aqua in 2018 after 25 years of service.

Donnie Wayne was blessed with a large and loving family. Not only his parents and nine siblings, but he was doubly blessed to have a loving wife in Charlene and three wonderful sons, Bryan, Jason and Todd. He also considered Charlene’s parents, Red and Mary O’Neal, to be his second set of parents and her sister, Judy, to be his sister too. Donnie Wayne was always drawn to children and children were drawn to him. He became “Cookie Monster” in the O’Neal extended family. He instilled a love for the Lord in his sons and was a wonderful role model in his love for his wife. His sons married and blessed him with eight grandchildren.

Donnie Wayne and Charlene became part of a small group fellowship many years ago and became lifelong friends with many of its members. In recent years, he has attended several churches, enjoying each for its unique “style” and type of worship: North Macon Presbyterian, Ingleside Baptist, Christ Chapel and Harvest Cathedral are places where he’s made lasting friendships. The men’s group from Ingleside Baptist has been especially meaningful to him over the last year.

Donnie Wayne loved his children, their spouses and grandchildren unconditionally. Bryan and Misty’s two are Haden (16) and Mirabelle (12); Jason and Payton’s three are Jay (19), Emory (17) and Packy (13); and Todd and Amanda’s three are Lauren (10), Brooklyn (5) and Jacob (3). Donnie Wayne was never without a toy or game and often became “one of the children.”

As Donnie Wayne and Charlene celebrated their 50th anniversary, they were able to take a dream trip to Tuscany and Rome for two weeks. It was one of the highlights of their years together.

Donnie Wayne was predeceased by his parents, W.C. and Margaret Churchwell; his siblings; Ricky Churchwell, Buddy Churchwell, Peggy McWilliams, Kenny Churchwell, W.C. (Junior) Churchwell and Rusty Churchwell; and his in-laws: Red and Mary O’Neal.

He is survived by his wife, Charlene O’Neal Churchwell; sons Bryan (Misty), Jason (Payton) and Todd (Amanda) and his eight grandchildren listed above.

Donnie Wayne has been cremated and his ashes will be buried in Rose Hill Cemetery.

In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Theatre Macon, 438 Cherry Street, Macon, GA 31201.

John 14: 2 & 3 says “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

Our hearts hurt to have lost such a wonderful husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, brother and friend. But he would want you to rejoice that he is sitting at the feet of his Father.

“Today, love a little deeper, laugh a little louder and hold the ones you love a little closer for tomorrow is not guaranteed.”

Please visit to express condolences.

Hart’s at the Cupola, Hart's Mortuary and Cremation Center, 6324 Peake Rd, Macon, GA 31210 has charge of the arrangements.

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08/18/20 10:53 AM #1    

Kinley Wayne Howard (M. D. , D. P. M. ) (1967)

My condolences to his family. Rest in Peace with GOD Donnie Wayne.



10/14/20 05:36 PM #2    

Gary McLeod (1968)

Donnie Wayne's playfulness and self-deprecating sense of humor is one of the things I remember most about him. Regardless of the situation, you could always depend on Donnie Wayne to brighten up the moment. I can personally attest to his closeness to God by his witnessing to me on one of his last days of high school. He was gracious enough to give me a ride home and as I lived a considerable distance from school we were able to have a meaningful conversation during the drive. I lived in the Pendleton Homes in South Macon and each house had but a small stoop at the entry. Poor Donnie Wayne was so thrilled to "tell the good news" that he spent the next 3 hours sitting on that hard concrete stoop and witnessing to me. I don't know, maybe he had some special foresight in knowing I was a lost cause. Although his efforts were futile, I still remember that night and the earnestness in his voice and I continue to have a place in my heart for such a caring individual. I hope his family can find comfort in knowing how genuine he was even at such a young age.

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