2.10.21 obituaries


Gailya Rentz Raines

Monroe—Gailya Rentz Raines, 86, of Monroe died Feb. 2, 2021.

She was born on Feb. 16, 1934, in Pasco County, Florida, to Harry Hughes and Juanita Ione Rentz. Upon graduating from Pasco County High, she moved to Georgia and attended Tift College, where she obtained a degree in education. From 1954 to 1988, she taught students throughout Georgia, including Jesup. She was recognized as Teacher of the Year in 1979, 1984 and 1988 before retiring from Trickum Middle School in Lilburn.

She remained busy during her retirement years, volunteering in her community and serving her beloved Harmony Grove United Methodist Church, where she taught the Harmony Sunday School class for more than 30 years, founded an adult literacy program, held several positions in the J.O.Y Club and served on numerous other committees. She was proud to represent Georgia as Mother of the Year in 2005 through the American Mothers Association. 

Survivors include her loving husband of 68 years, William Thomas Raines; daughters, Sheryl (Jimmy) McHugh of Monroe and Sandra (Chuck) Martino of Virginia; a son, Tom (Ronda) Raines Jr. of Dacula; 10 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; her sister, Wanda (Danny) Palmer of Maryland; her brother, Kine (Lana) Rentz of Louisiana; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and family.

The family said it is grateful for the care received from wonderful caregivers and for the many friends who showered her with cards and calls during her lengthy illness.

While her accolades were many and she left a special imprint on all she encountered, we are most grateful for her willingness to serve her husband, children and grandchildren. Her legacy is one to be cherished,” her family said.

Flowers may be sent to Bill Head Funeral Home in Tucker or donations may be made in her honor to Harmony Grove United Methodist Church.

Online condolences may be left at www.billheadfuneralhome.com.

Bill Head Funeral Homes and Crematory was in charge of arrangements.


Donnie L. Thomas

Jesup—Donnie L. Thomas, 69, of Jesup died Jan. 29, 2021, at Wayne Memorial Hospital in Jesup.

He owned D&M Tire Shop in Jesup.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Lee Thomas and Lillie (Raymond) Collins; his siblings, Mary Ann Thomas and Billy Tootle; and his children, Timothy Thomas and Antonio Atkins.

Survivors include his children Gregory (Sharon) Moundine, Shantel Williams, Cloie Elam and Lencola Thomas; siblings: Apostle Johnny (Ida) Thomas, Deacon Earl (Emma) Thomas, Danny Scott, Bessie Thomas Harvey, Evangelist Dorothy (James) Davis, Rudene Collins, Gayletha (George) Everett, Deloise (Harry) Lane, Joyce Thomas, Pearl (Bobby) Lanier, Kizzie (Earnest) Spearman, Della (Travis) Costen; daughter-in-law, Cheryl Thomas; a special friend and helper, Carolyn Thomas; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, grandchildren and friends.

Funeral services were held Feb. 6 at Glennville Memorial Gardens Veteran Highway.

King and Sons Funeral Home and Cremation of Glennville was in charge of arrangements.



Rev. Chris Ognilla

Jesup—The Rev. Chris Ognilla, 82, of Jesup died Feb. 3, 2021.

He was born in Leyte, Philippines; joined the U.S. Navy in 1958; and served honorably until he retired in 1978. After retirement, he worked in civil service out of Fort Stewart for 23 years. He was a devoted father, grandfather and pastor.

As a founding member of Old River Road Apostolic House of Prayer, he was well-known as a highly respected, godly man. He enjoyed playing the guitar, coaching baseball and softball, vacationing with his family and returning to his home in the Philippines. Most of all, his worship of God was the focus of his life.

His wife of 53 years, Evelyn M. Ognilla, preceded him in death, along with his parents, Isaac and Satara Ognilla; three brothers; and three sisters.

Survivors include daughters, Lisa Ognilla and Patty McNeal, both of Jesup; sons, Carlo (Dawn) Ognilla, Marko Ognilla, all of Jesup; grandchildren, Crystal Boyd, Taylor (Zack) Dubberly, Delton (Heather) Ognilla, Zach (Kelsey) Mainor, Gabriel Ognilla and Braille Ognilla; six great-grandchildren, Donavin Boyd, Aja’Lee Kinchen, Zaschyn Ellis, Zander Dubberly, Kashton Mainor and Emberly Ognilla; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Graveside funeral services were held Feb. 7 in the Old River Road House of Prayer Cemetery with the Rev. Ricky Mobley and Delton Ognilla officiating. Active pallbearers were Brad Daniels, Brent Daniels, Chad Mobley, Johnny Daniels, Toby Davidson, Allen Foskey, Mike Rafferty and Zack Dubberly. Honorary pallbearers was the Cage Tomlinson 14-U Softball Team.

The family received friends at the cemetery.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Peggy Luree Thompson

Fernandina Beach, Florida—Peggy Luree Thompson, of Fernandina Beach, Florida, and Jesup and formerly of Odum died Feb. 8, 2021.

The Wayne County native and U.S. Army veteran served in Desert Storm. She was a certified registered nurse anesthetist for numerous hospitals. The workaholic and animal lover enjoyed in her spare time golfing, traveling and spending time with her grandson and daughter.

She was preceded in death by her husband, James Rintoul; parents, Rusian and Dovie Luree Thompson; and brothers Bob, Burton and Ray.

Survivors include a daughter, Sherry Luree Tsepas of Atlanta; a grandson, Keaton Tsepas and his father, David Bucciero; a sister, Pat (Ronnie) Boatright of Soperton; a brother, Richard Thompson of Rochester, New York; a sister-in-law, Leona Thompson of Odum; several nieces and nephews; and her beloved cat, “Gray.”

Graveside funeral services will be held Thursday, Feb. 11, at 2 p.m. in Old Bethel Cemetery with the Rev. Wayne Williamson officiating.

Visitation will be held 30 minutes prior to the services at the cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to ARF, P.O. Box 432, Jesup, GA 31598 or Nassau Humane Society, 639 Airport Road, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.


Donald Wilton Ray Sr.

Chunchula, Alabama—Donald Wilton Ray Sr., 80, died Jan. 29.

He was born June 21, 1940, and was raised in Screven. He graduated from Screven High School in 1959, moving to the Mobile, Alabama, area in 1980. He was a lifelong butcher and a meat market supervisor at Manning’s Piggly Wiggly for the last 40 years.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Wendy Boardman Ray; his son, Herbert Eschol Ray; his mother, Ocie Ray McCollum; his father, Lonnie Eschol Ray; and his sisters, Lucile Ray Rooks, Linda Ray Ellis and Sandra Ray Fulghum.

Survivors include a daughter, Heidi (Jeffery) Williams; a son, Donald Wilton Ray Jr.; an adopted daughter, Cindy Clarke (Josh) Byrd; four grandchildren, Pebbles (Darrell) Bargeron, Victoria (David) Wittsack, Abigail Williams and Jeffery Williams Jr; four great-grandchildren, Darren and Dustin Bargeron and Lily and Grady Byrd; and two brothers and sisters-in-law, David (Lynda) Ray and Larry (Delores) Ray.

Funeral services were held at Georgetown Baptist Church, Chunchula, Alabama, on Feb. 2, followed by interment at the nearby Valhalla Memorial Gardens Cemetery.