4.15.20 obituaries



James Lonnie “J.L.” Boyette

Screven--James Lonnie “J.L.” Boyette, 83, died peacefully on April 7, 2020, following an extended illness.

Born in Patterson in 1936 to Randle and Ola Boyette, he was a lifelong resident of Screven. After graduating from Screven High School, he soon embarked on a lifetime of civic service, including proudly serving the nation in the United States Army.  A longtime member of Screven First Baptist Church, he held numerous leadership positions within the church. Steadfast in his faith and motivated by humility and kindness, he devoted his life to his Savior, his family and his community.

He proudly served his hometown in several capacities, including chief of police, deputy sheriff, justice of the peace, honorary Georgia State Trooper and volunteer firefighter.

Along with his civic interests, he was instrumental in the development of local industry, including a tenure as chairman of the Wayne County Industrial Authority. For more than 40 years, he owned and operated Boyette Camper Sales. His role in the RV industry was recognized by numerous trade awards.

He was an avid gardener, fisherman and pilot. But his greatest passion and source of joy was his family. No man loved a woman more than he adored his wife of 60 years, Joan Whitted Boyette, his famiy said.

He was preceded in death by parents, Randle and Ola Boyette; brother, Donald Boyette; sister, Judy Deal; and son, Greg Boyette.

Along with his devoted wife, survivors include his daughter, Sandy Boyette Strickland of Screven; a son, Randy Boyette of Orlando, Florida; a daughter-in-law, Dottie Boyette of Florida; a sister,  Joann Kicklighter of Screven; a sister-in-law, Gaynell Boyette of Screven; and a brother-in-law, Adrian Deal of Screven; a brother-in-law, Eddie (Brenda) Whitted; grandchildren, Heather (Wes) Padgett of Savannah, Danielle (Jesse) Riggins of Screven, Steven Boyette (Lindsay Ammons) of Jesup, Brian Boyette of Orlando, Casey Boyette of Clarksville, Tennessee; his great-grandchildren, Hudson Padgett, Jimma Riggins, Sara Jaye Boyette, Layla Jarrell, Braelyn Boyette, Ava Boyette, Destiny New, Aaliyah Williams, Adriana Wyanendt; and his beloved little grand-pup, Molly. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, private family viewing will be held at the funeral home and private burial will follow at Screven City Cemetery. A celebration of his life will be held later at Screven First Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Screven First Baptist Church, 302 School Street, Screven, GA 31560.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.



Ronald Jerome “Ronnie” Graham

Jesup--Ronald Jerome “Ronnie” Graham, 74, died April 11, 2020, at Memorial Health in Savannah.

Born in K’ville, he had lived in Jesup most of his life. He was retired from civil service at Fort Stewart, where he worked in the commissary for 35 years. He was a U.S. Army veteran and enjoyed the outdoors, especially working in his yard.

He was preceded in death by his sister, Joann Friel, and brothers, Roger Graham, Covin Graham and Corky Graham.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Linda Graham of Jesup; sons, Kevin Graham and Brian Graham of Jesup; sister and brother-in-law, Marilyn Ann (Gale) Heckwine, all of Jesup; and several nieces and nephews.

Private graveside services will be held in Liberty Lighthouse Church Cemetery.

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

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


Ann DeGraffenried Pearce Tyre

Sylvania--Ann DeGraffenried Pearce Tyre, 94, of Sylvania, died March 28, 2020, at the Syl-View Health and Rehabilitation Center in Sylvania.

She was born Oct. 30, 1925, in Jesup to the late Donald F. and Julia Bell DeGraffenried Pearce. She and her family, who included “susta” Marward and brother Ben, lived in Jesup until they moved to Odum in 1939 to start the family business, known as “Pearce’s Store.”

She graduated from Odum High School in 1943 and took business courses at Georgia Teachers College (now Georgia Southern University) in Statesboro before going to work at Fort Stewart in the finance department during World War II.

In 1946 she married the love of her life, Billy Tyre. After their first son, Don, was born they moved to Statesboro, where Billy entered Georgia Teachers College. Their second son, Craig, was born while they lived in Richmond Hill.

Eventually, she went back to work at Fort Stewart in the same finance office until the family moved to Sylvania in 1959. She worked as the secretary at Screven County High School for several years. Then she fulfilled a lifelong dream to start her own business, “The Village Hut” dress shop in Sylvania.  After many successful years she went home to enjoy retirement.

She would recall “how times were and how her Mama did things” growing up in a loving home during the ’20s, the ’30s and World War II in Jesup and Odum. She learned from her mother how to be an excellent cook and learned, working in her father’s store, about the business world.

Raised a Methodist, she became a Baptist when she married and was a member of First Baptist Church of Sylvania. She and her husband enjoyed the fellowship of the Bible Witness Sunday School Class. Earlier, she participated in garden and card clubs and the Eastern Star. She always enjoyed the visits of her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Her later years were made more pleasant by the loving care of Miss Ida Ponder and the Syl-View Health and Rehabilitation Center. A special thanks from the family to the nurses at Ogeechee Area Hospice and the Syl-view Health and Rehab Center.

Because of the current coronavirus health concern, a private graveside service will be held at the Odum City Cemetery.

A memorial service will be held for her at a later time.

A devoted wife, she was married to Bill 67 years, until his death in September, 2013. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, William Jennings (Bill) Tyre; a son, Craig Tyre; a sister and brother-in-law, Marward and Doug Daniel; and a brother and sister-in-law, Ben and Velma Pearce.

Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Don and Chris Tyre of Fayetteville; a daughter-in-law, Lyle Tyre of Douglas; grandchildren, Jenny Barthel, Ginger and Tim Ford, Jessica Tyre, Emily Carver and Sissy Watson; great-grandchildren, Grace Carver, Mako and Saylor McDaniel, Walker, Jenna, Ellie and Gwendolyn Watson, George and Kate Barthel, Isabella Tyre, and Asa Ford; and several nieces and nephews.

The family requests that memorial contributions be made to the First Baptist Church of Sylvania, P.O. Box 318, Sylvania, GA 30467.

Thompson-Strickland-Waters Funeral Home of Sylvania is in charge of all arrangements.