Norwood Jerry Van Dyke passed away Tuesday, Jan. 11.  Jerry was born in Dillon, South Carolina, to Dorothy Kearson VanDyke and Norwood Graham Van Dyke.  He graduated from Dillon High School in 1966.

After serving in the Air Force in Vietnam from 1969 to 1971, he returned to South Carolina and pursued a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Animal Science from Clemson University. He worked with the U.S. Extension Service in Matthews, South Carolina, and then moved to Alabama to pursue his PhD from Auburn University.  His entire career was devoted to research, extension and teaching in the animal science department of Auburn University, until retiring Professor Emeritus in January 2000.

There was no retirement for Jerry.  He jumped into building projects which included an airplane, a boat, Habitat for Humanity homes and projects of every description.  He ran a faith-based lawn service which worked with recovering individuals and provided services to low-income communities in Lee County.

He was once declared to be “Pop-Pop to the world” and he always had time for the grandchildren and any other child who happen through his life. 

He is survived by his wife, Judith Croft Van Dyke, daughter Becky (Tim) Wyman, son Jason (Blake) Merrill-VanDyke, daughter, Lara Lea Woodham; daughters Liliana, Gracie and Penelope VanDyke; grand-children, Lauren Sweezey, Samantha Sweezey, Dylan Woods Hobson, Iris Anahli Woodham,  and Noah Sampen; sisters, Jean (Larry) Herring, Barbara (Homer) Bethea, Anne (Bo) Cromartie and Ginger (Terry) Turbeville; brothers, David (Elaine) Van Dyke and Brian (Robin) Van Dyke.  He was pre-deceased by his parents, Norwood and Dorothy Van Dyke and an infant son, Norwood Jerry Van Dyke, Jr.  

In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made to Church of the Highlands, Highland College, whose purpose is furthering the Kingdom of God by training “workers for the field” or to your local church.  Highland College donations can be made from their website at

In honor of Jerry’s keen sense of JOY, the family will not be wearing black, feel free to come comfortably dressed.

Services were held on Jan.14, at 11 a.m. Following the graveside service at Town Creek Cemetery, family and friends were invited to lunch at the family home in Waverly.

Pall-bearers were Kevin Jordan, Rowdey Jordan, Daniel Bryant, Wesley Bryant, Jordan Madden, Tim Wyman, Larry Wells and David Seay. 


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