10..2.19 obituaries

Rinehart & Sons


Franklin D. Burch

Screven—Franklin D. Burch, 77, died Sept. 27, 2019, at his coastal home under the care of Hospice of the Golden Isles, after a short illness and a full life.

He was a lifelong resident of Wayne County and graduated from Screven High School in 1961. He was a lifetime member of Ritch Missionary Baptist Church. Following a brief time with Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Service and Kaiser, he decided to pursue his passion for agriculture full-time and began F&M Burch Farms, which later became FMR Burch Farms.

He farmed for more than 50 years and succeeded in becoming one of the largest agricultural operations in Wayne County. His name is synonymous with excellence in agriculture locally and throughout the state, his family said.

He loved to work with young people, sharing the value and importance of hard work. He was a mentor in agriculture, and in life, to people of all walks of life. He was one of eight farmers who built the first farmer-owned cotton gin in the area in 1995.  He also helped expand Southeastern Gin into Southeastern Gin and Peanut Company in 2004.

He is a charter member, past president and current advisor of the Wayne County Young Farmers; a director of the Wayne County Farm Bureau; a participant in the Phillip Morris Agriculture Leadership Program; a past member of the University of Georgia’s College of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Services State Advisory Committee; a past Farm Service Agency committee member; a past member of the Wayne County Livestock Association; and a founding member and past president of the Southern Pullers Association.

He was predeceased in death by a son, Franklin Ron Burch; his parents, Willie and Mabel Burch; and a sister, Ann Boatright.

He is survived by his faithful wife of 57 years, Mary Ann Bennett Burch; daughters and sons-in-law, Angie and Clay Brewton and Joy and Steven Meeks; grandchildren, Tyler (Kaylie) Brewton, Jaicee Brewton, Logan Burch, Haley Burch and John William Meeks; and a brother and sister-in-law Billy Mack and Willie Burch; several extended family members including nieces and nephews along with a special sister-in-law, Gloria Ellis.

Funeral services were held Oct. 1 at Screven First Baptist Church with the Rev. Shon Cunningham, family and friends officiating.  Interment will be in the Bennett Cemetery on Odum Screven Road.

Active pallbearers were Larry Barnes, Jeff Bennett, Michael Burch, Mike Burch, Derek Ellis, Stephen Ellis, Deven Mixon and Danny Wingate. Honorary pallbearers were the employees of FMR Burch Farms, members and officers of the Southeastern Gin and Peanut Board of Directors, members of the Southern Pullers Association, members of the Class of 1961, Forrest Aspinwall, John and April Beasley, Wes Bennett, Emory and Debbie Clary, Mike and Michelle Hargrove, David Thornton, Kenneth Tyre, and Dr. Lance Hendrix.

Memorials may be made to Wayne County Future Farmers of America Scholarship Fund, 1 Jacket Drive, Jesup, GA 31545, Hospice of South Georgia, 1625 Sunset Blvd., Jesup, GA 31545 or Winship Emory Cancer Center, 1762 Clifton Road, Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30322.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.




Jerry W. Hollis Sr.

Jesup--Jerry W. Hollis Sr., 81, died Sunday evening, Sept. 29, 2019, under the care of Affinis Hospice in Jesup.

Born in Hope, Arkansas, he had lived in Wayne County since 1961. He retired as a lead operator from Rayonier with 33 1/2 years of service and was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War.

He was a member of Jesup Masonic Lodge No. 112 F.&A.M.; a Royal Arch Mason; a member of Alee Temple Shrine, the mobile unit and ROJ Chapter 134; and a Worthy Patron of Ben Gibbs Chapter O.E.S. in Jesup.

An outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting and fishing and was a member of Duck Pond Hunting Club. He was a member of Epworth United Methodist Church where he served in many capacities, including teaching senior high school Sunday school for many years.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Sylvia Waters Hollis of Jesup; sons and a daughter-in-law, Jerry W. (Kathy) Hollis II of Waycross and Jay Vincent Hollis of Jacksonville; sisters, Mavis Hamilton of Texarkana, Texas, Verna Bass of Hope, Brenda Vitar and Glenva Thompson of Lafayette, Louisiana; grandchildren, Dr. Kyle (Hannah) Hollis, Miles Hollis, Dr. Neal Hollis, Hunter V. Hollis and Halee Hollis; a goddaughter, Courtney Tyre, and “special grandson” Porter Tyre, of Jesup; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at Epworth United Methodist Church with the Rev. William David Blalock and the Rev. Garth Duke-Barton officiating. Masonic rites will be rendered at the church.

Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the church.

Private burial with military honors will be in the Georgia Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Glennville.

Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Duck Pond Hunting Club, Men’s Bible class of Epworth United Methodist Church, Cameron Mattingly, Travis Harrison, Brent Cole, David Geiger, George Breed, Steve Kicklighter, Tony Reddish, Spec Williamson, Wesley Williamson, Johnny Harris, Randy Cole, Wyman Dent, Billy Cowart, Harold Phelps, David Carter, Wayne Hayes, Walter Dart, Jay Beaver, Tommy Howard, Bruce Howard, Ferrell Smiley and Dr. Lance Hendrix.

Remembrances are suggested to Epworth U.M.C., 675 S. 3rd Street, Jesup, GA 31545.

Family and friends may sign the online register at www.howardfuneralga.com.

Arrangements are under the direction of Howard Funeral Home of Ludowici.




Geneva Leggett Culpepper

Jesup--Geneva Leggett Culpepper, 87, affectionately known by her family and friends as “Tiny” died suddenly on Sept. 30, 2019, at Memorial Health University in Savannah.

A lifelong resident of Wayne County, she was born on March 29, 1932, in Odum to the late Ellis and Clara Ogden Leggett. She was raised in the Piney Grove Community and worked as a waitress at the Del Mar in her younger years. There she met her late husband, Aubrey Charles Culpepper, a Tom’s Peanut salesman from Coolidge. The two were married in 1951 and relocated several times before settling in Jesup.

She was a longtime member of the Jesup Church of God, where she taught Sunday school for many years and had remained active until recently.

She had a strong desire to learn and returned to high school after her children got older, eventually graduating with the Jesup High School Class of 1967. She then attended cosmetology school and later owned and operated her own beauty shop for more than 20 years.

She loved life and devoted herself to her family. Among her favorite pastimes was spent playing cards--especially Mixed Gin and Hand and Foot--with the ones she loved. There was nothing that could stop her when she put her mind to something, her family said.

She enjoyed traveling and shopping as well, but her family was always  her top priority.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her grandson, Mike Culpepper Jr.; three sisters, Ouida Robinson, Nella Strickland and Melba Hayes; three brothers, Archie Chris Leggett, Ellis Harold “Junior” Leggett and Denviss Leggett; and her dear friend, Jane Moody.

Survivors include her children, Michael (Jackie) Culpepper of Jesup, Sandra (Jeff) Brinkley of Jesup, David (Shirley) Culpepper of Clute, Texas, and Lesa (Howard) Hutcheson of Jesup; sisters, Reba Smith of Clute, Betty Windsor of Jesup and Clarice Staal of Lansing, Illinois; eight grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and other extended-family members. 

Funeral services will be held Thursday at 1 p.m. at Jesup Church of God with the Rev. Leroy Spivey, the Rev. Hulet Smith and the Rev. Clayton Dowd officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the services at the church.

Interment will follow in Pinecrest Memorial Cemetery.

Active pallbearers will be her grandsons, Jeffrey Brinkley, Brent Brinkley, Stephen Culpepper, Cory Hutcheson, Coby Culpepper and Matthew Culpepper.  Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Senior Adult Sunday School Class, members of the Jesup High School Class of 1967 and Anna Jones Pittard and the staff of Cotton Grove Estates.

Family and friends may sign the guestbook online at www.jesupfuneralhome.com.

Howard & Jones Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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Mailing Address: 
252 W. Walnut St.
Jesup, Georgia 31545
Phone: 912-427-3757
Fax: 912-427-4092