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December 1, 1952 ~ November 25, 2023 (age 70) 70 Years Old
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Hinesville – 1SG Michael Grooms Gignilliat (US Army, Retired), passed away Saturday, November 25, 2023, in Savannah. 1SG Gignilliat was a God-fearing, great Christian who served 20 years in the U.S. military and was highly respected among all ranks, particularly by the men he led. First Sergeant Gignilliat was head of a 139-soldier Combat Heavy Engineer company which was responsible for training and professional development of all enlisted soldiers. As an SFC, Michael Gignilliat was presented the Navy Achievement Medal from Vice Admiral William A. Owens, United States Navy Commander Sixth Fleet while serving as the Army Engineer Liaison to Battalion Landing Team 2/8, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Special Operations Capable. While deployed in Northern Iraq with the U.S. Sixth Fleet he supervised the construction of the first Kurdish refugee camp in the area. Over 1,400 tents were erected, and the entire twenty-one-thousand-man camp was laid out under his determined and tireless supervision. First Sergeant Gignilliat also served as an NCOIC for a staff directorate. He provided staff advice and policy guidance to eleven military DEH organizations in five European countries with budgets of over $360 million and a workforce of more than 3,000 personnel. Michael Gignilliat was living proof of what a leader is. He was of the High Standard. After his service, he still worked overseas in humanitarian relief. Once that work was completed, he returned to the States to work as a project manager in construction. Michael was one of a kind. Talented, yet humble, he was always ahead of the curve. For the past thirteen years, he has been a missionary for the Hope Tract Ministry, sending over three million tracts to countries all over the world. He was a member of Trinity Baptist Church and was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Vetta Gignilliat, a sister, Lila Page, and a great-grandson, Vincent Leonardi.
Survivors are his wife, Brenda Gignilliat of Hinesville; daughters, Rachael Arrington (Michael) of Brunswick and Lila “Brandi” Gignilliat of Hinesville; son, Joshua Gignilliat of Davenport, FL; sister, Meta Carswell (John) of Hutchinson Island; brother, Robert Gignilliat, III (Debbie) of Thomaston; grandchildren, Amber Weber (Matthew), Victoria Leonardi (Daniel), Michael Richardson, Michelle Richardson (Anthony), Gabriella Richardson, Brooke Arrington, and Brittany Arrington; great-grandchildren, Kenley, Ayven, Brody, Lilianne, Collins, Ella and Michael “MRJ”; several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be Thursday, November 30 at 1 PM at Trinity Baptist Church with Pastor Matt Massey officiating. Burial with military honors will follow in the Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Glennville.
Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the church.
Remembrances are suggested to St. Jude’s at stjude.org.
Family and friends may sign the online register at www.howardfuneralga.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of Howard Funeral Home of Ludowici.