1.13.21 obituaries


Charles A. Brannen

Screven—Charles A. Brannen, 71, died Jan. 8, 2021, at Memorial Hospital in Savannah.

He was born March 5, 1949, and was a lifelong resident of Wayne County, graduating from Wayne County High School. He graduated from Brewton Parker College with a degree in criminal justice.

He was the devoted husband to Elaine and loving father to Leigh and Paul. He worked for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, Revco/CVS, and was owner of Eulonia Dry Cleaners.

His favorite hobby was enjoying life with his family. He had a special place in his heart for his nephews, Tripp, Kort and Kane.

He was a member of the Jesup First United Methodist Church and the Joy Sunday School Class.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Rufus and Alcene Brannen. 

Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Elaine Brannen of Screven; daughter, Leigh Brannen of Screven; son, Paul (Synthia) Brannen of Jesup; three grandchildren, Taylor, Graysen and Morgan of Jesup; brothers, Larry Brannen of Jesup and Neal Brannen of Dalton; sisters-in law, Merrie (Don) Kennedy, Betty S. Nichols, Alice White all of Jesup; mother-in-love, Betty Murphy of Jesup.

Graveside funeral services were held January 10 in Pinecrest Memorial Cemetery with the Rev. Rebecca Duke-Barton and the Rev. Fred McIver officiating. Active pallbearers were Tripp Kennedy, Kort Kennedy, Kane Kennedy, Grant Lewis, Herschell Hires, Chuck Moseley, John Carter, Doug Lewis and Brenley Hagan.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Jesup First United Methodist Church, 205 E. Cherry St, Jesup, GA 31546.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Howard Edward Westberry Sr.

Jesup—Howard Edward Westberry Sr., 92, of Jesup died Jan. 8, 2021, at  home and under the care of Georgia Hospice Care and CNA Darlene Herrera.

The Pierce County native lived in Wayne County most of his adult life and was a member of Jesup First Baptist Church. The U.S. Army veteran was a 36-year ITT Rayonier retiree and served as a Wayne Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Volunteer.

He enjoyed gardening, fishing and hunting.

He was predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Mary Nell Hayes Westberry; grandson, David M. Bargeron Jr.; and several siblings.  

Survivors include daughter, Janice W. Bargeron of Jesup; son, Howard E. (Kim Crosby) Westberry Jr. of Jesup; six grandchildren, Brad (Kelley) Westberry, Josh (Laura) Westberry, Katie (John) Dunham, Darrell (Pebbles) Bargeron, Rebecca (Sidney Jr.) Steverson, Dennis (Kaley) Bargeron; great-grandchildren, Baylee Bargeron, Darren and Dustin Bargeron, Davie Kate and Demri Bargeron, Brody and Blakely Steverson, Braxton, Aniston, Aubrie, Hudson and Colton Westberry, Jaymie and Charlie Westberry, Jase, Julia and Jeb Dunham.

Funeral services were held Jan. 12 at Rinehart and Sons Chapel with the Rev. Stanley Todd and the Rev. Vann Dempsey officiating. Interment followed in Screven City Cemetery.  Active pallbearers were Brad Westberry, Josh Westberry, Darrell Bargeron, Dennis Bargeron, James Tuten and Bob Brantley.  Honorary pallbearers was the staff of Georgia Hospice Care.

Memorials may be made to Wayne Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, 865 S. First Street, Jesup, GA 31545.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Donnie Louise Buffkin

Jesup—Donnie “Gran Gran” Louise Walker Buffkin, 85, of Jesup died Jan. 7, 2021, under the care of Hospice of South Georgia.

The Wayne County native and 1954 Jesup High School graduate married James D. Buffkin on June 5, 1957, at Spring Grove Baptist Church. She was an active member of Jesup Church of God until her health began to fail. She loved to study the Bible and share God’s word.

Assisting her husband in jail ministry, she also was a part of the Ladies Prayer Group. After her husband’s death, she served on the Board of Fair Haven for a term and conducted Bible study at Free Hart for several years. In addition to her strong devotion to her Lord and Savior, her passion for flowers, vegetable gardening and birds was one thing that inspired her each day.

Along with her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, Gilford and Ivie Woods Walker; and a brother, David Walker.

Survivors include two daughters, Tina (Jimmy) Pate and Jimmie Kaye (John) Messer, both of Jesup; a son, Brett (Cindy) Buffkin of Grapevine, Texas; three grandchildren, Kelly (Steven) Griffis of K’Ville, Michael (Ashley) Pate of Charleston, South Carolina, and Rachel (Grayson) Griffis of Blackshear; two great-grandchildren, Grainger and Fields Griffis of Blackshear; a sister, Billie Dixon Ray of Jesup; and several nieces and nephews.

Graveside funeral services were held Jan. 10 in the McCall Family Cemetery with caregiver, longtime family friend and the Rev. Ellen Dorminey officiating. Active pallbearers were Michael Pate, Steven Griffis, Grayson Griffis, Matt Denison, Victor Drawdy and Carl Mackey.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Shannon Denmark Davis

Jesup—Shannon Denmark Davis, 62, of Jesup died on Dec. 23, 2020.

She lived in Wayne County the past 24 years and was a former graphic artist with Barber & Company.

Survivors include her husband of 34 years Thomas “Hamp” Davis of Jesup; and a brother, Daniel Denmark of Richmond Virginia.

Graveside memorial services will be held Saturday, Jan. 16, at 11 a.m. in Pinecrest Memorial Cemetery with the Rev. Stanley Todd officiating.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Laverne Knight Hall

Townsend—Laverne Knight Hall, 86, of Town-send died Jan. 4, 2021 at Hospice House of the Golden Isles in Bruns-wick.

Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, she moved to Georgia with her family at age 5. She spent the remainder of her life in Georgia and married Warren Hall on Jan. 2, 1951. She lived briefly in Ludowici and then Jesup until she and her husband retired and moved to Townsend in 1983.

While in Jesup, she owned and operated Hall’s Florist where she was known as a leading floral designer and was active in the community and at Calvary Baptist Church. She had a flair for life greater than most and loved time with family and friends while cooking, sewing and caring for others. She was always planning for the next big family get together.

In retirement, she was an active member of Shellman Bluff Baptist Church and enjoyed providing flowers for the church as long as she was able.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Warren Sheppard Hall; her parents, Robert and Lola Knight; three sisters, Jeanette Knight, Jessie Lee Willoughby, and Lora Grace Knight; and two brothers, William Knight and Virgil Knight.

Survivors include two daughters, Patti Hall Barber (Ray) of Tifton, and Vicki Lynn Hall of Townsend; two sisters, Marie Tippins of Claxton, and Patsy Maltos of Savannah; one brother James Robert (Linda) Knight of Townsend. She was “Mamaw” to her three grandchildren, Austin (Cara) Barber of Biloxi, Mississippi, Natalie (Walker) Keadle of Athens and Lawson (Connor) Nagle of Lawrenceville and her six great-grandchildren, Brooks, Bryson, Shep, Brentlee, Brogen and Mace.

Memorial services will be held by the family at a later date.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Jimmy D. Kennedy

Jesup—Jimmy D. Kennedy, 81, of Jesup died Jan. 5, 2021.

The Tattnall County native lived in Wayne County the last 55 years and was a member of Crossroads Church of God. He was a retired Rayonier employee and enjoyed anything automotive.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Judy Williams Kennedy of Jesup; and extended relatives.

Graveside funeral services were held Jan. 7 at Pinecrest Memorial Cemetery with the Rev. Tim Brantley officiating.

Family received friends at the cemetery.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Shirley Beecher Mammen

Screven—Shirley Beecher Mammen, 77, of Screven died Jan. 4, 2021.

The Jacksonville, Florida, native was a member of Screven United Methodist Church and owner and operator of the Screven Chill and Grill. She loved to cook, crochet, garden but her heart was given to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her husband, George R. Mammen; and a son, Danny “Petie” Blackwell.

Survivors include a daughter, Sherry (Donnie) Mullis of Screven; three sons, Jerry (Amy) Beecher of Screven, Gene Blackwell of Hobart, Indiana and Larry (Dawn) Blackwell of Screven; several grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Graveside funeral services were held Jan. 7 in Screven City Cemetery with the Rev. Donnie Mullis officiating. Active pallbearers were her grandsons.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Roger D. Simmons

Jesup—Roger D. Simmons, 65, of Jesup died Jan. 9, 2021 at Augusta University Medical Center in Augusta.

He was born on Nov. 24, 1955, in Greenfield, Ohio, and graduated from Unioto High School in 1974 and served 20 years and one day in the U.S. Army. He retired in 1995 with the rank of sergeant first class.

He met Susan Roland Simmons, a local Wayne County girl, while in the Army at Fort Stewart and decided to stay in Georgia after his retirement.  They married in February of 1997, and he became a resident of Georgia at that time. After retirement, he worked at Hertz Corp. as a mechanic and at Maersk Corp. as a logistics coordinator.

He was an active VFW lifetime member of Leon Parrish Post No. 4583 in Jesup where he has held several offices including commander, district quartermaster and post quartermaster for several years.

His hobbies included NASCAR, especially following Bill and Chase Elliott. He also loved watching the University of Georgia Bulldogs and gardening.

He was preceded in death by his son, Roger D. “D.J.” Simmons Jr.; parents, Roger and Faith Simmons; and brothers, Thomas and John Simmons.

Survivors include his wife of 23 years, Susan Roland Simmons of Jesup; daughter, Carrie Casey of Allenhurst; son, Jason (Gertina) Simmons of Lake Charles, Louisiana; son, Joe Simmons and, his fiancé, Brandi Bower,   of Jesup; stepson, Mike (Katie) Barnes of Jesup; five grandsons and five granddaughters; a great-granddaughter; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held today (Wednesday) at 1 p.m. at Rinehart and Sons Chapel with Chaplain James Gary officiating along with the VFW Leon Parrish Post No. 4583 and VFW Auxiliary’s presentation of the U.S. flag. The service will be streamed on Facebook live for the VFW Leon Parrish Post No. 4583 Hall if you would rather attend there. Burial will follow in the Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Glennville.                 

Visitation will be held one hour prior to the services at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the VFW Building Fund, 436 Project St., Jesup, GA 31545.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.



David Max Cleveland

Alma—David Max Cleveland, 64, died Jan. 9, 2021, at Bacon County Hospital.

A resident of Alma for the past 45 years, he was born on July 31, 1956, in Hartwell to the late Max and Edna Nixon Cleveland.

He spent his early years in Hartwell and was recipient of a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. After graduation, he began a career with Milliken and Company from which he would eventually retire with more than 35 years of service. Upon retirement, he began a second career working as a school bus driver for the Bacon County school system.

He was a longtime member of First Baptist Church of Alma and in his spare time loved watching his grandchildren compete in sports activities and working in his yard, which was always meticulously maintained. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Sherry Howard Cleveland; and his daughter, Elizabeth Kate “Katie” Cleveland.

Survivors include his daughter and son-in-law, Meg and Bubba Thompson of Alma; sister and brother-in-law, Vicki and Roy Morgan of Hartwell; granddaughters, Asher and Avery of Alma; and a host of extended family members.

Private family graveside services will be held in Baggs Cemetery in Ludowici.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in memory of Katie Cleveland, www.stjude.org or 501 St. Jude Place,  Memphis, TN 38105

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

Howard & Jones Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Claude Harrison Howard

Jesup—Claude Harrison Howard, 90, died Jan. 11, 2021, at Cotton Grove Estates surrounded by his loving family.

A resident of Jesup for the past 50 years, he was born on March 3, 1930, in Ludowici to the late Dennis Leroy and Katie Simmons Howard. He served his country in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict as a communications repair specialist eventually attaining the rank of sergeant and receiving the Bronze Star. He was discharged from duty on July 4, 1952, one year from the day he was married.

After returning home, he worked for Rayonier for a short time before taking a position with Interstate Paper in the late 1960s from which he would retire with nearly 30 years of service.

He was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Jesup where he was actively involved in the Golden Ruler’s Sunday School Class. He was also a member of the Altamaha Lodge No. 227 F&AM, the Jesup Kiwanis Club, the Flatwoods Hunting Club and the Wayne County Hospital Authority.

He loved the outdoors and spent countless hours on the river and in the woods hunting, fishing and cooking fish for the ones he loved.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia Wade Howard; and his siblings, Dennis Howard, Jean Lovell, Robert “Bobby” Howard, Austin Howard and Nancy Fuller.

Survivors include his daughters and sons-in-law, Lynne and George Stafford and Carmen and Carey Jones all of Jesup; one brother and sister-in-law, Wayne and Gwen Howard of Hazlehurst; grandchildren, Dr. Leslie (Rob) Gordon of Athens, Josh (Elise) Stafford of Athens, Virginia “Ginny” Jones of Los Angeles, Anna Lynne (Matt) Pittard of Jesup and Carlie (Jacob) Poppell of Jesup; five great-grandchildren, Kalynne Hires, Gracie Stafford, Lily Gordon, Will Gordon, Jep Poppell and Lucy Kate Jones; one great-great-grandchild, Rowen Hiers; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family members.

Graveside funeral services will be held today (Wednesday) at 2 p.m. at Baggs Cemetery in Ludowici with the Rev. Dr. Michael VonMoss and the Rev. Josh Stafford officiating.

Honorary pallbearers will be the members of the Golden Ruler’s Sunday School Class and staff of Cotton Grove Estate.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to First Baptist Church of Jesup, P.O. Box 1115, Jesup, GA 31598.

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

Howard & Jones Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.



Jeanine Carter Reddish

Swainsboro—Jeanine Carter Reddish, 91, of Swainsboro died on Jan. 5, 2021, at her home.

She was born Jan. 25, 1929, to the late Augustus and Mary Ina Jordan Carter in Jesup. She was employed by the Swainsboro High School library and the East Georgia College library as an assistant librarian for many years. She was an avid gardener and loved to read.

She was a member of the Swainsboro First Baptist Church and the Swainsboro Country Club. She enjoyed playing golf and the Saturday night dances.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 72 years, Cecil H. Reddish.

Survivors include daughters, Cecilia R. (Phil) Thompson and Deborah Burrows, her special caregiver, all of Swainsboro; sons, Richard M. (Phyllis) Reddish and Robert S. Reddish all of Swainsboro; brother, Chris (Becky) Carter of Statesboro; four grandchildren, Jennifer R. (Jeremy) Coulter, Michael (Rebekah) Reddish, Seth Schrader and Stephanie Reddish; four great-grandchildren, Peyton Coulter, Claire Coulter, Gavin Reddish and Conner Reddish; caretaker, Lawanda Williams, of Pruitt Hospice; and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.

The family received friends on Jan. 9.

Memorial contributions may be made in her memory to Swainsboro First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 828, Swainsboro, GA 30401, Pruitt Health Hospice, 667 S. Main Street, Swainsboro, GA 30401 or the Alzheimer’s Association, 106 SRP Dr, Evans, GA 30809.

Condolences may be submitted on-line at www.durden-hudsonfuneraldirectors.com.

Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors was in charge of the arrangements.