4.8.2020 obituaries



Phillip “Brandon” Aspinwall

Jesup--Phillip “Brandon” Aspinwall, 36, of Jesup died April 5, 2020.

The Wayne County native received a bachelor’s degree in sociology/criminology in 2010 from Kennesaw State University. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoyed spending any spare time outdoors.

He was preceded in death by his grandmother, Mildred Aspinwall, and grandfather, John Williams. 

Survivors include his mother and stepfather, Donna (Edward) Macdonald of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida; father and stepmother, Phil P. (Sharon) Aspinwall of Odum; paternal grandfather, Donald Aspinwall of Odum; maternal grandmother, Patricia Williams of Screven; stepbrother, David Macdonald of Los Angeles, California; stepbrother, Christopher McReady of Kennesaw; and many extended relatives.

Owing to the COVID-19 health crisis, the family will hold a private memorial at a later date.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.        


Joe “Outlaw” Hardee

Screven--Joe “Outlaw” Hardee, 60, of Screven died April 4, 2020, under the care of Hospice of South Georgia.

The Wayne County native was a member of Ritch Baptist Church and a construction worker. He loved spending time with his family and his music.

He was predeceased by his brother, Devone Hardee.

Survivors include a daughter, Kelli Hardee of Screven; a son, Joey Hardee of Screven; five grandchildren, Tiernee, A.J., Brianna, Jayden and Kelsea; his parents, W.D. and Lois Ledbetter Hardee of Screven; a sister, Diane (Tim) Conner of Hilliard, Florida; three brothers, Dennis (Mattie) Hardee of Angier, North Carolina, Chris (Tracy) Hardee of Screven and James Hardee of Colorado; and several nieces and nephews.

Owing to the present pandemic, memorial services will be held at a later date.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Tommie DeWitt Bennett Kappler

Arlington, Virginia--Tommie DeWitt Bennett Kappler, 91, died peacefully in Arlington, Virginia, on April 4, 2020.

She was born in Atlanta on March 24, 1929, to parents Lawrence Robert Bennett and Elsie White Bennett. Her father’s career leading Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps camps and teaching in the Army infantry brought her to many places as a child, including South Florida, Edisto Island, South Carolina, Fort Benning and the Panama Canal Zone, but she grew up largely in Jesup.

She attended Georgia State College for Women in Milledgeville and received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Emory University in 1951.

She met the man she would marry, Dr. John Frederick Kappler, then a young enlisted Army soldier and Korean War veteran, at a U.S.O. dance at Fort Stewart in Hinesville. While her husband attended college and medical school, she continued to work for several years in various supervisory capacities in psychiatric and pediatric nursing in Atlanta, Charleston and Winston-Salem.

The Kapplers relocated to Southern California in 1963, living first in Corona del Mar and later in Los Angeles (Sherman Oaks). She worked as a school nurse until the age of 72 at Campbell Hall School in North Hollywood, California.

Fondly known as “T.K.,” she was regarded as a compassionate caregiver, tending to both the physical and emotional needs of students.

In 2001 she relocated to the coastal town of Darien, where she resided until May, 2019. She quickly integrated into civic and religious life there.  She was an active member of St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church, where she served for many years on the Vestry.  She volunteered at the local free clinic and for Altamaha Riverkeeper. As a retiree, she rediscovered her interest in journalism and creative writing. She penned numerous articles for local papers in McIntosh County and was a member of the Woodbine Writers Workshop. She was a near-lifelong and truly gifted bridge player and played regularly.

Deeply affected by the injustices she witnessed as a child in the segregated South, she was a lifelong advocate for racial equality and justice. After she moved to Darien, one of her first priorities was to join the local chapter of the NAACP, and she was honored to be named the grand marshal of the chapter’s parade in 2009.

She was predeceased by her beloved husband; three brothers, Lawrence R. Bennett Jr., Charlton Eugene Bennett and Daniel Henry Bennett; and a child, Tommie Henry Kappler.

Survivors include her brother, David Richard (Brigitte) Bennett  of Jesup; five children, Dana Ann Kappler (Brooke Stallsmith) of Arlington, Kathryn Page Kappler of Darien, Elsie Bennett Kappler (Steven Bloom) of McLean, Virginia, Caroline Kappler Cornell (George) of San Bernardino, California, and John (“Jack”) Frederick Kappler III of Arlington; and eight grandchildren, Jesse Stallsmith, David Calderon, Quinn, Hunter and Tommie Cornell and Meredith, Benjamin and Helen Bloom.

Arrangements for a service in her memory will be announced later.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you honor her by contributing to St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church (designating the Elizabeth Noble Stewart Scholarship Fund), P.O. Box 929, Darien, GA  31305, and the Equal Justice Initiative (eji.org), 122 Commerce Street, Montgomery, AL  36104.