County Mourns the Passing of Former County Commissioner, Mayor George P. Jaynes
George P. Jaynes passed away on April 7, 2022, at the age of 80 following an extended illness. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, farmer, businessman, salesman, volunteer fireman, store owner and respected public official.
George was born July 28, 1941, in Limestone to the late Clarence and Daisy Jaynes. He attended Washington College graduating in 1960
In 1963 he married Sandra Fox (Sandy) of Limestone where they worked side by side on their tobacco and cattle farm. He also had a successful career selling new Chevrolets and then Fords in the 60’s and later Buicks and Pontiacs.
He and his wife Sandy owned and operated Jaynes Market in downtown Limestone for 13 years with a fully functioning butcher shop and fresh produce and loyal customers from around the area.
His commitment to public service began in 1972 when he was elected county-wide to the Washington County Commission and continued with his election to County Executive/Mayor in 1986 where he served the residents of Washington County for a total of 38 years.
During his tenure, he worked with Governors, Senators, Congressmen, a host of state legislators, county, and city officials and 119 different County Commissioners, constantly looking for ways to help Washington County. He was a Republican and conservative but never let politics get in the way of getting things done. He was as a straight shooter that tried his best to treat everyone equally.
He strengthened relationships with Johnson City and Jonesborough and developed strong working groups with surrounding counties. Public Safety was a priority with relentless support for Fire, Police and Emergency Departments. In earlier years, George was a member of the Limestone Volunteer Fire Department.
As County Mayor, he was an active board member of the First Tennessee Development District Board, Alliance for Business and Training Board, First Tennessee Human Resource Agency, Mt. States Health Alliance Board, Tri-Cities Airport Board, the Washington County / Johnson City EMS Board and Washington County Emergency Communications District Board.
He helped create the Washington County Industrial Park, anchored by Bush Hog and large investments by Naketetsu Corporation and Koyo Corporation. He diligently worked on development of the new criminal justice center and was humbled when the building was named after him in 2009.
In 2010, he retired to the family cattle farm, and he continued to enjoy traveling to events across the state to spend time with and share ideas with a host of friends he had made over the years. From Mountain City to Memphis, he knew how to find the hidden backroads and the country restaurants. Nothing could keep him from fried catfish and white beans.
And throughout his time – he always loved helping people. It was the one thing he missed most.
Following his retirement, he was appointed by Governor Bill Haslam to the Tennessee Ethics Commission and to the ETSU Government Relations Advisory Council.
George was preceded in death by his parents, sister Bea Jones (Dallas); brother Marlin Jaynes (Frances); brother Dallas Jaynes (Dorothy); sister Agnes Jones (Clifford); sister Lillian Curtis (Stanley); sister Argent Arwood (Jack).
He is survived by his wife Sandy of 59 years; son and daughter-in-law Patrick and Jill Jaynes of Knoxville, TN; son and daughter-in-law Tim and Kellie Jaynes and two grandchildren Grayson and Andrew of Limestone, TN sisters Frances Davis of Limestone, TN and Hilda Williams (Bob) of Limestone, TN; several nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to New Salem Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, 554 Frank Stanton Road, Limestone, 37681.