11.18.20 obituaries


Donald Ray Gurschke

Jesup—Donald Ray Gurschke, 81, died Nov. 14, 2020, in the Harborview Health Systems in Jesup.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Charlotte and Theodore, as well as his younger brother, Gerald.

He grew up in Southern California. He enlisted in the Navy at age 18 and experienced pre-Vietnam conflict. He married Barbara Pearce in 1963, and they had one daughter. He was a premier skin diver for much of his life and dove all over the world. He was a licensed ship’s captain and was truly a “man of the sea.” He was also an artist who, at one time, owned his own gallery. Other professions included camera and television repair as well as journeyman electrician. His hobbies were metal detecting and tennis. He was proud to have used his metal detector in 48 states.

His first love, though, was for Jehovah God, and he spent 50 years teaching others the Bible, bringing comfort and hope into their lives. He will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved him, his family says.

He is survived by his daughter, Leah Dodd; his son-in-law, Patrick Dodd; and his grandsons, Logan and Jared.

Memorial services are being held by the family.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


James R. Houg

Jesup—James R. Houg, 82, of Jesup died May 25, 2020, at his home surrounded by his loving family.

Born in Stuart, Florida, he served in the United States Air Force and United States Navy during the Congo Crisis. He assisted in the craftsmanship of the Apollo 13 and spent his free time with his Masonic brothers and Shriners.

Survivors are his wife of 58 years, Edith K. Houg of Jesup; a daughter, Teresa; and a granddaughter, Kim, and fiancé, Seth; six great-grandchildren, Orion, Ronan, Nathaniel, Jeremiah, Daymen and Cassidy; and a brother, George Houg.

A memorial service will be held Friday, Nov. 20, at 1 p.m. at Rinehart and Sons Chapel with full masonic honors. Interment will be in the Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Glennville.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.



Mary Batten Henry

Jesup—Mary Batten Henry, 84, of Jesup, died peacefully in her sleep Nov. 14, 2020, at her residence, surrounded by her family.

She was born July 8, 1936, in Blackshear to the late Daniel Everett Batten Sr. and Ella “Louise” Dubberly Batten.

She attended Blackshear High School, where she was a fierce basketball player for the Blackshear Tigers. In her early years, she moved to Waycross to raise her family. She enjoyed traveling the North Georgia mountains as well as vacationing on the beach of St. Augustine, Florida.

She was a sports fan and loved attending sporting events, including the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta; the Kentucky Derby; college basketball Final Four in New Orleans; the Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida, and she was even able to witness her favorite team, The Atlanta Braves, play in the World Series. She was also an avid NASCAR fan and was able to attend many races over the last 30 years, with her favorites being the Daytona 500 and the races in Bristol, Tennessee.

In the early 1980s, she moved to Jesup, where she owned and operated The Homestyle Laundry. She made many dear friends during this time.

She loved to entertain; however, she cherished cooking holiday meals and spending time with family during the holiday season.

In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by her six siblings, Hugh Batten, Walter Clifton Batten, Ruth Batten, Peggy Batten, Clyde Batten and James Colton (Jimmy) Batten, and one son, Marvin Hudson (Butch) Rigsby III.

Survivors include her two sons and daughters-in-law, William Michael (Patricia) Daniell and James Heath (Esther Lynn) Rigsby; two grandchildren, Terren King and Jonathan Fender; three great-grandchildren that she adored, Hunter King, Piper Martin and Addison Fender; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held Nov. 17 at St. Johns Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made in her honor to Heartland Hospice, 664 Scranton Road, Brunswick, GA 31520.

Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online register at www.pearsondial.com.

Pearson-Dial Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.



Dr. Samuel Edward “Sam” Worthington IV

Waycross—Dr. Samuel Edward “Sam” Worthington IV, 48, died Nov. 13, 2020, at UF Health Shands Hospital in Gaines-ville, Florida, following a brief illness.

He was born in Tallahassee, Florida, to the late Samuel Edward Worthington III and Janice King Worthington. He graduated from Valdosta State University and attended the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, where he received his DMD. He owned and operated Worthington Family Dentistry in Valdosta for many years before moving back to Waycross in 2018. Upon moving to Waycross, he was working with Dr. Kim Hood in Blackshear. He had most recently opened Worthington Family Dentistry in Jesup.

He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Waycross.

Survivors include his wife, Amy Worthington of Waycross; two children, Emma Worthington and Avery Worthington, both of Waycross; a sister, Tanya (Aaron) Richards of Medford, New Jersey; and two brothers, Daniel E. (Heather) Worthington of Fayetteville and David E. (Brandi) Worthington of Clinton, Utah.

A funeral service will be held Friday, Nov. 20, at 11 a.m. at Music Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow in Oakland Cemetery. The family will be receiving friends Thursday evening at the funeral home from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Owing to COVID-19, all attendees are requested to wear face masks and practice social distancing.

Music Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.