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Miscellaneous Bacon County, Georgia Obituaries


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Corene Taylor
Corene Taylor, age 87, of Nicholls died Saturday morning, January 11, 2003 in the Coffee Regional Hospital in Douglas after an extended illness. A native of Coffee County, she was the daughter of the late Dan Varnedore and Lillie Smith Varnedore. Mrs. Taylor was a retired dietician with the Dade County School System and was a member of the Nicholls Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by two sisters, Irene Bottin and LaVadia Meeks; two brothers, Marvin Varnedore and Oliver Varnedore. Survivors include her husband, Paul Taylor of Nicholls; two sons, Warnie Cason and wife Paula and James Daniel (Jimmy) Cason and wife, Veronica, all of St. Petersburg, FL; one daughter, Rennell Penn and husband, Wallace M. of Acworth; two brothers, Shafter Varnedore of Alma and Ralph Varnedore of Millwood; three grandchildren, Wayne Penn of Anniston, AL; Todd Cason of Robertsdale, AL and Kim Bailey of St. Petersburg, FL. Eight grandchildren also survive. Funeral services were held Monday, January 13 at the chapel of Crosby Funeral with the Rev. Jerry Campbell and Rev. Robert Tanner officiating. Interment followed in the Hall Cemetery. Active pallbearers include Jon Bailey, W.E. Miller, DeWayne Streat, Todd Cason, Randy Harrell and Jerry Anderson. All those attending the services were considered honorary escorts. Crosby Funeral Home was in charge of all arrangements.

Albert Paul Smith
Albert Paul Smith, age 46, of Brookneal, VA died suddenly Tuesday evening, January 28, 2003. He was a native of Deland, FL and son of the the late Charles Edwin Smith. Survivors include his mother, Suddie Jordan Smith Jernigan of Alma; step-father, Willie Jernigan of Alma; his wife, Jonelle Smith of Brookneal, VA; one son, Albert Paul Smith, Jr. of Brookneal, VA; three brothers, Charles (Buddy) Smith of Altona, FL, T.R. Smith of Cusseta, and Peck Smith of Umatilla, FL; six sisters, Samella Taylor and Annie Lee Cole, both of Alma, Doris Smith of Leesburg, FL, Wanda Green of Headland, AL, Judy Sanchez of Baxley and Catherine Robertson of Indiana. Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon, February 2 at New Vision Church with Rev. Pet Hayes officiating. Interment followed in the church cemetery. Active pallbearers included Pete Johnson, Stevie Johnson, Brian Tyre, Pet Hayes, Allen Sanchez, Frank Cole and David Jernigan. All those in attendance were considered honorary escorts. Crosby Funeral Home was in charge of all arrangements.

Mary Inez Cothern
Mary Inez Cothern, age 64, of Martinez died early Sunday morning, February 2, 2003 at Doctors Hospital in Augusta after an extended illness. She was a native of Ella Jay, but had lived most of her life in Alma. She was the daughter of the late Bill Townsend and Faye Goble Townsend Parnell. Survivors include a son, Donald Aldridge of Alma; four daughters, Deborah Richards and husband Timmy of Martinez, Brenda Gail Johnson of Grovetown, Sonya Jean Smith of Alma, and Carol Ann Cothern of Jacksonville, FL; one brother, David Townsend of Orlando, FL. Eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren also survive. Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon, February 4 at Tenth Street Church of God with Rev. Hulet Smith and Rev. Earl Merritt officiating. Interment followed in Rose Hill Cemetery. Active pallbearers included Timmy Richards, Clay Williams, John Johnson, Ricky Johnson, Keith Cothern, Rodney Hatcher and John Cothern. All those in attendance were considered honorary escorts. Crosby Funeral Home was in charge of all arrangements.

James Billy Christmas
Bill became a silent key at his residence on January 20, 2003. He is survived by his wife of 44 years; Aileen, a daughter, Carol; a son, Paul and his mother, Mrs. Juanita Christmas. He was preceded in death by his father, Curtis Christmas and three brothers, Harry, Donald and Danny. Bill served twenty-eight years in service to his county in the United state Army, retiring as a First Sergeant/Master Sergeant, that included two tours in Germany, one in Alaska, and one year in Vietnam where he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. He also spent three years in Hawaii where he was responsible for establishing the MARS station, KH6EOQ, that enabled many recovering wounded soldiers to contact loved ones at home through the use of a network of connections and friends that he had established through the years as a amateur radio operator (HAM). While in the service, he also received the Meritorious Service medal on four occasions, the Army Commendation medal twice, the Vietnam Service Medal for four campaigns, the Army Achievement Medal and a Meritorious Unit Commendation. Bill was also instrumental in the development and creation of the Military Amateur Radio Station at Fort Gordon, GA and was a 25 year member of Martinez Masonic Lodge #710 F. & A.M. In addition to being a HAM, Radio Operator, his hobbies included fishing, woodworking, boat building, and he was avid outdoorsman. After retirement, he and his wife traveled extensively throughout the USA and Canada in their RV, including two trips to Alaska on the Alaskan Canadian Highway. Funeral services were held with full military honors on Saturday afternoon, January 25 at Big Creek Baptist Church with Rev. Lowell Lee and Rev. david Miller officiating. Interment followed in the church cemetery. Crosby Funeral Home was in charge of all arrangements.

James Perdie Boatright
James Perdie Boatright, age 89, of Alma died Thursday morning, January 23, 2003 in the Appling County Hospital after an extended illness. A native of Bacon County, he was the son of the late Ellis Boatright and Ida Williams Boatright. Perdie was a retired farmer and a member of New Lacy Church of God. He was preceded in death by his wife, Macy Howell Boatright; and three sons, Martus, Hoyt and Larry Boatright; two brothers, Junior and Harold Boatright. Survivors include two sons, Drexel Boatright of Fernandina Beach, FL and Ronald Boatright of Alma; three daughter, Lawanda Boatright, Linda Peacock, and Caryl Jean Hayes, all of Alma; one sister, Laverne Carter of Alma; three brothers, Winfred Boatright, Bobby Boatright and F.D. Boatright, all of Alma. Twenty grandchildren and twenty one great-grandchildren also survive. Funeral services were held Saturday, January 25 at New Lacy Church of God with Rev. Calvin lewis and Rev. Jr. Hayes officiating. Interment followed in Wesley Chapel Cemetery. Grandsons served as active pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers included D.R. Graves, Henry Collins, Mike Wheeler, Dale Morris, Harriet Carter and Rena Gordy. Crosby Funeral Home was in charge of all arrangements.

Louise Crosby
Louise Crosby, age 64, of Alma died Saturday night, January 23, 2003 at the Appling Health Care Center after an extended illness. A native of Appling County, she had lived in Bacon County most of her life. She was daughter of the late Alex Scott and wife of the late Jerry Wilton (Bill) Crosby, Sr. She was also preceded in death by a granddaughter and was a member of the New Lacy Church of God. Survivors include her mother, Myrtle Lee Wiggley Scott of Alma; two sons, Jerry Wilton Crosby, Jr. and a close friend, Charlotte of Alma, David Crosby and wife Paula of Alma; four brothers, Herman Scott of Cleveland, TN, Benjamin Scott of Hilliard, FL, Harry D. Scott of Baxley and Daniel Scott of Alma; six sisters, Earlene Lee Duncan, Lawanda Johnson and Glenda Hennesy, all of Alma, Velma Tyre and Edna Dyal, both of Baxley and Erma Winn of Bristol. Four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren also survive. Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon, January 28 at New Lacy Church of God with Rev. Calvin Lewis and Rev. jimmy Boatright officiating. Interment followed in Pinelawn Cemetery. Active pallbearers included Alex Scott, Robbie Winn, Darren Lee, Matthew Hennesy, George Dyal, Lewis Tyre, Ray Johnson, and Lonnie Murphy. Honorary escorts included Dr. Garland martin, Dr. Nick Coppola, Dr. Perry Sweat, Dr. Sartaj Hans, Cliff Mobley, Employees of Alma Telephone and members of New Lacy Church of God. Crosby Funeral Home was in charge of all arrangements.

Wannell Carter Henderson
Wannell Carter Henderson, age 72, of Alma died early saturday morning, January 25, 2003 in the Bacon County Hospital after an extended illness. A native of Bacon County, she was the daughter of the late W.V. Carter and Nobella Rigdon Carter. She was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond A. Henderson, Sr., a daughter, Deborah L. Henderson and a brother, Larry V. Carter. Wannell was a former member of the Eastern Star. Survivors include two sons, Phillip M. Henderson and wife Peggy of Alma, and Ray Henderson, Jr. of Hawkinsville; one daughter, Pattie Henderson Johnson and husband Gary of Alma; two grandchildren, Nicole Henderson and Deedra Johnson, both of Alma. Funeral services were held Monday afternoon, January 27 from the chapel of Crosby Funeral Home with Rev. Lowell Lee, Rev. Ronnie Howell and Rev. J.M. Rigdon officiating. Interment followed in Rose Hill cemetery. Active pallbearers included Tim Carter, Junior Boatright, Bill Jordan, Jackie Jordan, Edward Jordan and Kevin Henderson. All those in attendance were considered honorary escorts. Crosby Funeral Home was in charge of all arrangements.

Mae Sturges
Mae Sturges, age 94, of Alma died Saturday night, January 25, 2003 in the Bacon County Hospital after a short illness. A native of Coffee County, she had lived in Ware and Bacon Counties most of her life. She was the daughter of the late E.J. Meeks and Eliza Wilcox Meeks. Mrs. Sturges was a homemaker and farmer. She was preceded in death by her husband, Williams Willey Sturges, and two sons, Elisha James Guthrie and Sammy R. Sturges. Survivors include two sons, Charles B. Sturges of Fernandina Beach, Fl and Sidney D. Sturges of Alma; one sister, May Stone of Callahan, FL. Eight grandchildren, fourteen great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren also survive. A private funeral service was held Monday afternoon, January 27 at the chapel of Crosby Funeral Home with Rev. Lowell Lee officiating. Interment followed in Telmore Cemetery in Ware County. The deceased asked that no flowers be sent. Crosby Funeral Home was in charge of all arrangements.

Morgan Eugene Solomon
Mr. Morgan Eugene Solomon, age 63, of Douglas, passed away Friday, January 24, 2003 at Coffee Regional Medical Center following a brief illness. A native of Coffee County, he was the son of the late Morgan and Manda Taylor Solomon. He attended Reedy Branch Baptist Church. Survivors include wife, Kathryn Ward Solomon of Douglas; a son, Ronald E. Solomon and wife Cheryl of Douglas; two daughters, Sharie Burke and husband Ferrell, Kim Bennett and husband Jerry, all of Broxton; one step-daughter, Tina Hinson-Fuches of Valdosta; a sister, Ruby Taylor of Alma; James Solomon of Douglas, Aldeen Solomon of Fitzgerald, Joe Glynn Solomon of Douglas; and granddaughters, Leigh Ann Fussell and Dana Solomon, both of Douglas, Suzette Bennett and Mandy Bennett, both of Broxton, Morgan Solomon of Germany, Bonnie Solomon of California; a grandson, Bo Burke of Broxton; and a great granddaughter, Kelly Carter of California. Funeral services were held Sunday, January 26 at Reedy Branch Baptist Church with Rev. Den Weniger and Rev. Glenn Fussell officiating. The Golden Stage Trio sang “Amazing Grace” with Evelyn Weniger playing the organ. The Harvest Trio sang “Going Home”. Interment followed in the Franklin Church Cemetery. Active pallbearers included Ben Spivey, Gary Solomon, Ezra Burke, Kevin Elrod, Wayne Johnson and Mathew Burke. Honorary pallbearers included The Adult Sunday School Class at Reedy Branch Baptist Church, Cleveland White, Melvin Lewis Davis, Jon Lott, Jim Tudor, Van Streat, Senator Tommy Williams, W.L. Pridgen, Clark Tanner and Buck Morris. The family encourages memorials to be given to the American Cancer Society or The American Heart Association. Sims Funeral Home of Douglas was in charge of all arrangements.

Cecil Willie Mims
Mr. Cecil Willie Mims, age 73, of Douglas, passed away Saturday, January 12, 2003 at St. Luke's Hospital in Jacksonville, FL following an extended illness. A native of Atkinson County, he was the son of the late Harvey and Laura Moore Mims. Mr. Mims was a member of West Ward Street Church Of God. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Lee Batten Mims; a brother, Harvey Mims, Jr., and a sister, Lorie Mims Rigdon. Survivors include a brother, Billy Ray Mims of Alma. Funeral services were held at Wednesday, January 15 at the West Ward Street Church Of God with the Rev. Jesse Ogden and Rev. Andy Day officiating. The West Ward Street Church Of God Choir sang "Beulah land" with Tonya Burns at the piano. Interment followed in the Salem Holiness Baptist Church Cemetery. Active pallbearers included Ricky Taylor, Russell Batten, Cody Owen, Chester Mims, Donnie Rigdon, Mark Batten and Edward Batten. Honorary pallbearers included the West Ward Street Church of God Hope Sunday School Class. Sims Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Johnny Kyle Cason
Johnny Kyle Cason, age 26, of Alma died suddenly Tuesday morning, January 14, 2003 at his residence. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, Roy Music and his paternal grandfather, Buford Cason. Survivors include his parents, Johnny Cason and Sybil Music Cason of Alma; maternal grandmother, Ruth Taylor Music of Alma; paternal grandmother, Pearlene Sweat Cason of Alma; one brother, Kip William Cason of Alma; two uncles and one aunt, Keith Cason and Ricky and Lynn Music, all of Alma. Funeral services were held Friday afternoon, January 17 at Lee’s Chapel Baptist Church with Rev. Lowell Lee, Rev. Earl Musgrove and Rev. Curtis Music officiating. Interment followed in the church cemetery. Active pallbearers included Brian and David Cason, Terry Sweat, Johnathan Coleman, Rodney Sears and Danny Harrell. All those in attendance were considered honorary escorts. Crosby Funeral Home was in charge of all arrangements.

Willard Allen (Scrap) Carter
Willard Allen (Scrap) Carter, age 73, of Mershon died Monday night, January 13, 2003 at the Bacon County Hospital after a short illness. A native of Pierce County, he had lived in Bacon County most of his life. He was the son of the late Jacob A. Carter and Evelyn McCarthy Carter. Mr. Carter was a member of Corinth Free Will Baptist Church and was in the Army in the Korean Conflict. He was a retired electrician and plumber. Scrap was preceded in death by three brothers, Prentis, Junior and Sonny Carter; two sisters, Audrey Cothern and Jurell Weathers Rewis. Survivors include his wife, Gloria Boatright Carter of Mershon; one daughter, Christy Carter of Mershon; four step-sons, Ronnie Register of Mershon, Donnie, J.T. and Jubal Register, all of Lake Whales; a sister, Latayne Hodges of Alma; a special niece, Shadenna Penor of El Paso, TX; and a special nephew, Charles Cothern of Midland, OH. Eight step-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews also survive. Funeral services were held Thursday afternoon, January 16 at Crosby Funeral Home with Rev. Lowell Lee and Rev. Dale Yarborough officiating. Interment followed in Ten Mile Church Cemetery. Active pallbearers included J.R. Miles, Wayne and Eddie Carter, Denny Lee, Bobby Wayne Hart and Ben Boatright. Honorary pallbearers included Kennon Tyre, staff of Home Health Care, Lane and JoAnne Batton, Dr. and Mrs. Rama, Dale Morris, Corman and Sue Jordan, Marcus Gaskins, Jerry Harris, Edward and Elva Jean White, Lyman Adams, Dr. Streat, Pam Lee, Lamar and Ondra Lingenfelter, Larry Genethal Deen, Billy and Ellen Tapley, Lisa Kelley, Edsel and Carol Mile, Bo Moore, Larry Barber, Ned Cothern, Floyd Collins, Joyce Rimes, Eddie Crapps, Richard Foskey, Preston Rewis, Dr. and Mrs. George Williams, Ervin and Joyce Cason and Pete Googe. Crosby Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Charles Lamar Taylor
Charles Lamar Taylor, age 46, of Alma died late Sunday afternoon, January 5, 2003 at his daughter’s residence in Brunswick after a lengthy illness. He was a native Bacon County and the son of the late Clifford Taylor. Survivors included his mother, Rachel Mixon Taylor McRee of Alma; wife, Roshella Wimberly Taylor of Alma; one son, Steven Allen Hart of Baxley; three daughters, Tina Taylor and Louise Mitchell, both of Brunswick and Rachel Sifles; four brothers, Clifford Taylor of Hoboken, Billy Taylor of Hazlehurst, Terry Jo Taylor of Alma, and Wayne Taylor of Mt. Vernon; two sisters, Latrelle Moseley of Hazlehurst, and Minnie Boyd of Waycross. Eight grandchildren also survive. Graveside services were held Thursday morning, January 9 at Campground Cemetery with Rev. Curtis Music officiating. Crosby Funeral Home was in charge of all arrangements.

Margaret Greenway Pierce
Margaret Greenway Pierce, age 88, of Alma, died Saturday morning, April 5, 2003 at the Jeff Davis County Hospital after an extended illness. A native of Treutlen County, she had lived in Bacon County most of her life. She was the daughter of the late William Rodus Greenway, Sr. and Laura P. Smith Greenway, wife of the late Gary L. Pierce. Mrs. Pierce was a member of Alma United Methodist Church, and had worked as a nurse for the Bacon County Hospital, Dr. W.W. Sharpe and Dr. O.R. Wilson until retirement. She later came out of retirement to work a short time for Dr. Edminston. She was preceded in death by four brothers, Pierce, Billy, Hershel and Russell Greenway; three sisters, Ester Greenway, Grace Wilcher and Nina Anderson; and one grandson, Harvard Pierce. Survivors include a daughter, Gail Pierce of Alma; a son, Guy Pierce; three grandchildren, Scotland Lanier, Louie Alonza and Damon Smith Pierce, all of Alma; two great-grandchildren, Ashlie and Reece Pierce, of Alma. Several nieces and nephews also survive. Funeral services were held Monday afternoon, April 7 at the Alma United Methodist Church with Rev. Ronnie Howell officiating. Interment followed in Pine Lawn Cemetery. Active pallbearers included Stephen Greenway, Damon Pierce, Marshall Anderson, A.J. Davis, Richard Foskey, and David Dudley. All those in attendance were considered as honorary escorts.

Vassie Lee Waters
Vassie Lee Waters, age 78, of Alma died early Tuesday morning, April 1, 2003 at the Bacon County Hospital after an extended illness. A native of Bacon County, she was the daughter of the late Tom Thomas and Nora Thomas and was preceded in death by her husband Willard Waters. Survivors include four sons, Kirby T. Waters and wife Becky of Statesboro, Tommy Waters of Collins, Jimmy Waters and wife Debbie and Larry Waters and wife Joyce, all of Alma; two daughters, Linda Mikell and husband Joe, and Gloria Waters, all of Alma; one brother, Jake Story of Atlanta; a sister, Vonnie Mathis of Jennings, FL. Eighteen grandchildren, a special granddaughter, Misty Douglas of Alma, and several great-grandchildren also survive. Funeral services were held Friday morning, April 4 at Alma Church of Christ with Minister Danny Turner officiating. Interment followed in Rose Hill Cemetery. Active pallbearers included Scott Mikell, Brent Mikell, Kelly Waters, Rodney Waters, Jimmy Waters, and Justin Waters. All those in attendance were considered honorary escorts.

Rhonda Westberry Dixon
Rhonda Westberry Dixon, age 46, of Clewiston, FL died early Friday morning, March 21, 2003 at her residence after a short illness. A native of Bacon County, she had lived in Clewiston for the past fourteen years. Rhonda was the daughter of the late Kenneth Westberry. Survivors include her mother, Irene Taylor Sutton of Clewiston, FL; her husband, Junior William Dixon of Clewiston, FL; two sons, Dusty Reed Andrews of Clewiston, FL and Daniel Benjamin (Benji) Lott of Alma; three brothers, Mitchell Westberry and wife Judy of Purvis, MS, Kenneth Westberry and wife Lila of Dryden, NY, and Tim Davis of West Palm Beach, FL; two sisters, Brenda Humphrey and husband Richard of Loganville, and Cathy Reid and husband Eddie of Clewiston, FL; two grandchildren, Ashleigh Brook Andrews of Clewiston and Benjamin Lott III of Alma, and future grandson, Dustyn William Andrews. Several nieces, nephews and special friends also survive. Funeral services were held Monday morning, March 24 at Alma Church of God with Rev. Pet Hayes and Rev. Hulet Smith officiating. Interment followed in Rose Hill Cemetery. Active pallbearers included Timmy and Tommy Hutchenson, Heath Westberry, David H. Lee, David H. Lee, Jr. and Jayson Crews. All those in attendance were considered honorary escorts.

Robert Curtis Sellers
Robert Curtis Sellers, age 44, of Nicholls, died late Monday afternoon, March 24, 2003 in the Bacon County Hospital after an extended illness. A native of Bacon County, he was the son of the late Albert Curtis Sellers. He was preceded in death by his father and mother-in-law, Rev. Henry and Agnes Johnson; grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Nettles; and a brother, Jerry Curtis Sellers. Survivors include his mother, Willene Nettles of Alma; his wife, Linda Gail Sellers of Nicholls; one son, Robert Curtis Sellers, Jr. of Alma; one daughter, Monica Richardson and husband Ronnie of Alma; four brothers, Lamar (Judo) Sellers, Johnny Sellers, Tommy Sellers and Donnie Sellers, all of Alma; one sister, Sandy Edwards of Alma. Two grandchildren, JoAnna and Will, also survive. Funeral services were held Wednesday morning, March 26 from the chapel of Crosby Funeral Home with Rev. Warnie Nettles and Rev. T.F. Yawn officiating. Interment followed in Wolf Pit Cemetery. Active pallbearers included Johnny, Tommy, Donnie, Lamar (Judo) and Albert Sellers, Johnny Johnson, Daniel and Sandy Edwards. Honorary pallbearers included Dr. Barinwhal, Windell Streat, Cary Streat, Jimmy Nobles, Richard, Roy, Henry, Joe and Mike Medders, Sonny Helms, Michael Anderson, Terry Sweat, Randy Meeks, Goody Crosby and Kenny Medders. Crosby Funeral Home was in charge of all arrangements.

Fred L. Foskey
Fred L. Foskey, age 57, of Hilliard, FL died suddenly Tuesday, March 25, 2003 at Shands of Jacksonville, FL. He was a native of Wrightsville, but had lived in Jacksonville, FL for 36 years and Hilliard, FL for the past 11 months. He was the son of the late Fluker Foskey. Mr. Foskey was a fireman with the Jacksonville Fire Department for 31 years, was in the Vietnam conflict serving in the U.S. Army, and was Shriner and 3rd Degree Mason in Masonic Lodge #67. Survivors include his wife, Joan Foskey of Hilliard, FL; his mother, Dot Dykes of Alma; a son, Damon Foskey and wife Linda of Jacksonville, FL; two brothers, Tommy Foskey of Jacksonville, FL and Bill Dykes of Baxley; two sisters, Gwen Noe of Brunswick and Holly Jackson of St. Simmons. Funeral services were held Friday, March 28 from the chapel of Crosby Funeral Home with Larry Osbourne giving the eulogy. Interment followed in Martha Memorial Cemetery in Pierce County. In lieu of flowers the family ask that donations be made to the Shriners Children Hospital. Active pallbearers included Bruce Strickland, Dan Ayscue, Gary Keys, Mark Keys, Milton Chapman and Howard Salter. The Jacksonville Fire Department Honor Guard and member of Masonic Lodge #67 served as honorary escorts. Crosby Funeral Home was in charge of all arrangements.

Nellie Gray Altman
Nellie Gray Altman, age 75, died Friday morning, March 28, 2003, in the Bacon County Hospital after a lengthy illness. She was a native of Washington County, Alabama, the daughter of the late Leslie Odom and Ada Smith Odom and was a member of the New Vision Congregational Methodist Church. Survivors include: two sons, James H. Altman and Leslie Altman, and wife Leslie, all of Alma; one daughter, Ann Altman, of Alma; one brother, Leslie Odom, Jr.; one sister, Arlene Holyfield, of Laurel, Mississippi; one granddaughter, Heather Altman and two great-grandchildren, Emma Grayce Altman and Quinton Lee Altman, all of Alma. Funeral services were held Monday, March 31, at the New Vision Congregational Methodist Church with Reverend Pet Hayes officiating. Interment followed in the New Vision Cemetery. Active pallbearers were: Randy, Stevie, Ricky, Ronnie and Donnie Altman and Jose Garcia. Health Department Home Care employees served as honorary escort. Crosby Funeral Home was in charge of all arrangements.

Ella Mae Murphy Hutchinson
Ella Mae Murphy Hutchinson, age 85, of Alma, died in Baxley, Georgia, Friday, March 28, 2003 after an extended illness. She was a native of Bacon County, the daughter of the late Henry Murphy and Nancy Peacock Murphy. She was preceded in death by: two sisters, Ethel Mercer and Lou Vicy Jarrard; three brothers, Dave, John and George Murphy. Ella Mae was a beautician for many years, a member of Big Creek Baptist Church and a member of The Adult One Sunday School class. Survivors include: a sister, Lomie Jarrard, of Alma; two brothers, Norman Murphy, of Alma and Winton Murphy, of Augusta, Georgia. Several nieces and nephews also survive. Funeral services were held Sunday, March 30, at Big Creek Baptist Church with Reverends Bill Stone and James Wilcox officiating. Interment followed in the church cemetery. Active pallbearers were Bill, Johnny B. and Neal Murphy, Houston and Clinton Jarrard and D.W. Mercer. The Adult One Sunday School class was honorary escort. Crosby Funeral Home was in charge of all arrangements.

Rena M. Bratcher
Rena M. Bratcher, age 63, of Alma died Sunday morning, March 30, 2003 in Twin Oaks Nursing Home after an extended illness. A native of Bacon County, she was the daughter of the late Silas Simmons and Avadell Johnson Simmons. She is preceded in death by three brothers, Milton, Marlow and Melvin Simmons, and two sisters, Myrtle Elrod and Mildred Peacock. Survivors include two sons, Jerry Bratcher and wife Jan of Clover, SC and Joey Bratcher and wife Danaca of Albany; one daughter, Melissa Taylor and husband Buddy of Baxley; one sister, Margie Rigby of Alma. Six grandchildren also survive. Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon, April1 from the chapel of Crosby Funeral Home with Rev. David Deen officiating. Interment followed in the Johnson Farm Cemetery. Active pallbearers included Larry Rigby, Donnie Rigby, Roger Rigby, Jeremy Bratcher, Jordan Bratcher and Jonathan Bratcher. Honorary pallbearers and Christopher Ehrob and Scott Ehrob. Crosby Funeral Home was in charge of all arrangements.

Lavonia Rewis Strickland
Mrs. Lavonia Rewis Strickland, age 76, passed away Friday morning, March 28, 2003, at the Baptist Village Nursing Home. A native of Bacon County, she had lived in Pierce and Ware Counties all of her life. Mrs. Strickland had worked at the Green Frog Restaurant as a manager for many years and was a member of the North Waycross Church of God. She was a daughter of the late Earnest & Lily Rewis and was also preceded in death by her husband, James Gillious Strickland, and by four grandchildren. Survivors include five daughters, Linda (Sam) Peak and Joann Johnson, both of Jacksonville, FL, Maxine (Les) Walker of St. Simons Island, Melba Hayes of Waycross and Frances (Ezra) Williams of Blackshear; three sons, Richard (Brenda) Strickland of Waynesville, Arnold (Barbra) Williams of Waycross and James Terrell (Audrey) Strickland of Goochland, VA; a sister, Mrs. Allafaye Williams of Palatka, FL. Twenty-one grandchildren, fifty-one great grandchildren, one great, great grandchild, several nieces, nephews and other relatives also survive. Funeral services were held Monday morning, March 31 from the Pearson-Treadwell Chapel with Rev. Carlton Ring officiating. Interment followed in Meeks Cemetery. Pearson-Treadwell Funeral Home is in charge.

Samuel Joseph Padgett, Jr.
Samuel Joseph Padgett, Jr., of South Daytona, FL, age 47, died Friday, March 14, 2003 at Hospice Care Center in Port Orange, FL. A veteran of the Vietnam War, he was an airborne ranger who received many medals and ribbons. He retired as an Army Captain with 20 years of service. Mr. Padgett was a member of Cascade Baptist Church in Columbus, sons of the American Revolution, Big Brothers and the American Red Cross. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland in 1981 and his master’s degree in administration from Central Michigan University in 1985. Survivors include four sons, S. Joshua and David, both of College Station, TX, and William and Joseph, both of Morrow; his parents, Sam and Serafina Padgett of South Daytona, FL; five sisters, Mary Dedrick of Tyrone, Rosie Padgett of VA; Susan Nomikos and Debra Guiliano, both of NJ, and Daisy Talavera of Puerto Rico; and an aunt, Margurite Boatright of Alma. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Volusia/Flagler, 3800 Woodbriar Trail, Port Orange, FL 32129. Volusia Memorial in Port Orange, FL was in charge of the arrangements.

Preston Taylor
Preston Taylor, age 72, of Alma died late Monday afternoon, March 17, 2003 at Twin Oaks Nursing Home after an extended illness. A native of Bacon County, he was the son of John Henry Taylor and Annie Bell Taylor. Mr. Taylor was preceded in death by four brothers, J.B., Jake, Buddy and Estelle Taylor and two sisters, Irene Cameron and Iva Lee Rewis. Survivors include one brother, Eugene (Tink) Taylor of Jacksonville, FL. Several nieces and nephews also survive. Graveside services were held Wednesday morning, March 19 at Wesley Chapel Church Cemetery on 203 with Rev. Hulet Smith officiating. Crosby Funeral Home was in charge of all arrangements.

Dale Augustus Thorn
Dale Augustus Thorn, age 54, of Nicholls died Monday night, March 17, 2003 in the V.A. Hospital in Augusta after a short illness. A native of Valdosta, he had lived in Nicholls for the past 14 years. He was the son of the late Dick Corbett and was preceded in death by a brother, Willie Paul Thorn. Mr. Thorn served in the US Army in the Vietnam Conflict, receiving medals and several honors for bravery. He was a commercial truck driver. Survivors include his wife, Pasty Walsh Thorn of Nicholls; his mother, Jewel Sharpe Corbitt of Valdosta; two sons, Dale Thorn, Jr. and wife Crystal of Perry, Paul Thorn of Americus; a step-son, David Rewis and wife Melanie of Hazlehurst; one daughter, DeDe Thorn of Macon; three step-daughters, Dana Sellers and husband Greg of Nahunta, Renay Ashcroft of Kethleeen, and Tina Norsworthy and husband Joel of Gordon; two sisters, Mary Ann Davis of Athens and Gloria Ann Coffee of Valdosta. One grand child and thirteen step-grandchildren also survive. Funeral services were held on Thursday afternoon, March 20 from the Chapel of Crosby Funeral Home with Rev. Fred Morgan officiating. Interment followed at Dry Creek Cemetery in Nicholls. Active pallbearers included John and Jeffery Stewart, Emmett, Dewayne and Grady Walsh, Jr., Greg Sellers and Chris Harper. All those in attendance were considered as honorary escorts. Crosby Funeral Home was in charge of all arrangements.

Olin Lester Hill
Olin Lester Hill, age 96, of Auburn, AL passed away on Friday, March 14, 2003 at Morning Side Retirement Center in Auburn, AL. He operated a men’s clothing store in Auburn for 70 years. Mr. Hill was a member of Lakeview Baptist Church in Auburn, AL. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ethel Mae Ledbetter Hill and by his daughter, Mary Victoria “Vicki” McCall. Survivors include two sons, Clif Hill of Auburn, and Carl Hill and wife Carolyn of Alma; one daughter, Olene Hill Stoker and husband Mack of Auburn; eight grandchildren, Joe McCall of Auburn, AL, Sherrie McCall of Santa Rosa, FL, Tom McCall of Galena, OH, Clay Hill of Auburn, AL, Jim Hill of Alma, Charles Bains of Plano, TX, Georgia Welchel and Marty Bains, both of Auburn. Sixteen great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren and a special friend, Mrs. Margaret Tidwell, also survive. Funeral services were held Sunday, March 16 at Lakeview Baptist Church with Dr. Al Jackson and Dr. George Mathison officiating. Interment followed in the Liberty City Methodist Church Cemetery. Frederick’s Funeral Home was in charge of all arrangements.

Jerry Hall, Sr.
Jerry Hall, Sr., age 70, son of the late Mrs. Gertrude Smith Hall, and the late Mr. Leroy Hall, suddenly passed away on March 16, 2003. A native of Atkinson County, he grew up on Peggy Hill. Mr. Hall was employed for many years with the Georgia-Florida Railroad, and with Amoco 6.Fabrics (Nashville Mills). He was the first African American to be employed with Amoco Fabrics. He later became self-employed in the timber products. At the time of his demise, he was employed with Wal-Mart in Douglas, in the maintenance department. He was a member of The House of God Church where he served on the deacon staff, trustee board, and building committee of the present structure. He also formed one of the first “gospel quartet” groups in the area. Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Mrs. Celia Mae Lott Hall; nine children, Jeraldine Hall, Synthia (Willie) Scott, Sherman (Elaine Montgomery) Hall, Jerry (Tracy) Hall, Jr., Myrtice (Glenn) Bailey, Billy (Oretha) Hall, Terry (Deborah) Hall, Gerry (Jennifer) Hall, and Felecia Hall; and grandchildren, Tammy (Clarence) Gaskin, Shawn (Tanisha Hatcher) Scott, Montray (Eddie) Ashley, Clarice (DeShawn) Shaw, Kelvin Hall, Shelton Hall, Brandon Hall, LaQinton Perkins, Xaveon Hall, Sergio Hall, Niquisheila Hall, Nicole Hall, Jasmin Hall, Alexus Hall, Chaymond Gaskin, and Jordan Perkins; two brothers, Elder G. Bobby (Marie) Hall and John (Patricia) Hall; seven sisters, Willie Mae (Otis) Wilson, Rev. Nancy Ford, Minnie Lee (Willie) Johnson, Deaconess Alberta Pullings, Lillie Fields, Laura McGlon, Lynda (Harry) Armstrong; other family members includes sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, Shaver Lott, Frances Hall, General Elder Gerald (Odessa) Lott, Lem Lott, George (Velmer) Lott, Lorene Clark, Beadie Lott, Lonnie (Lucious) Myers; aunts, Eurika Hall, Carrie Bell Hall, Jewel Lawrence, and Dorothy Jones. Many nephews, nieces, other relatives, devoted friends, and acquaintances also survive. Funeral services were held on Saturday, March 22 at The House of God Church, Keith Dominion in Willacoochee with the General Elder Viola B. Jackson officiating. Burial followed in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Pearson. Active pallbearers included Tim Jones, Ron Johnson, Gerry Knox, Shawn Wilkerson, James Hall Jr., Archie Myers, Michael Miller and Clarence Wilkerson. Honorary pallbearers included deacons of the church, and Wal-Mart associates. McLean-Litman Funeral Service of Douglas was in charge of all arrangements.


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