5.13.20 Obituaries


Bayard Lamar Shirah

Hopeful—Bayard Lamar Shirah, 94, on May 10, 2020, left the house he built—with his own hands—71 years ago on his farm in the Hopeful community to go to his eternal home in heaven.

A lifelong resident of Mitchell County, he was born Nov. 19, 1925, to parents George Washington and Katie Mercer Shirah. After graduating from Hopeful School, he joined the U.S. Army and served in the Philippines.  Among his military decorations were the Philippine Liberation Ribbon and Asiatic Pacific Service Medal with a Bronze Star.

Following World War II, he resumed farming, this time with a small tractor and no mules. On a trip to Athens to see Georgia Bulldog sensation Charlie Trippi play in 1946, he made a God-appointed acquaintance with Willene Lavender in Fort Valley. A romance followed and then a marriage that was filled with much happiness together for 73 years. On Shirahland Farm, they reared their four children: Pam, Ray, Tim and Krista.

He was featured in The Atlanta Constitution in 1954 as the first Southwest Georgia farmer to install deep-well irrigation, following a horrific drought the previous year. By the time his sons—Ray and Tim—joined the farming operations, they had more than one dozen center-pivot irrigation systems in Mitchell and several surrounding counties.

A man of initiative and many talents, at age 57 Shirah retired from day-to-day farming and became publisher of The Camilla Enterprise and The Pelham Journal, owned by his son-in-law Dink NeSmith.

In the early 1990s, the Shirah family opened an Orvis-endorsed quail-hunting business, Shirahland Plantation. Shirah was actively engaged from building the lodge to managing it with his wife, Willene, and sons, Ray and Tim. In 2000 they sold the business which operates today as Rio Piedra Plantation.

Besides being an accomplished farmer, carpenter and businessman, he was active in church and civic leadership roles. Some of those included being chairman of the Hopeful Baptist Church’s board of deacons; chairman of the Mitchell County Tax Accessors board for 20 years; chairman of the Pinnacle Port Homeowners’ Association, Panama City, Florida; and a former member of Mitchell County’s DFACS board. As a member of the Camilla Rotary Club, he was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow and a Will Watt Fellow. He was a former member of the Lions Club and American Legion. In 1975 he was named Man of the Year by the Flint River Water Conservation district.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sisters Helen Shirah Guggio and her husband, Joe; Lucy Shirah Hasell and her husband, Sam; and son, Raymond Lamar Shirah.

He is survived by a family that he loved dearly and that loved him dearly, including his wife, Willene L. Shirah; daughters, Pam S. NeSmith (Dink) of Athens and Krista S. Boerrigter (Robert) of Danville, Virginia; son, Tim Shirah (Ann) of Cordele and daughter-in-law, Angie Shirah of Hopeful; 11 grandchildren, Alan NeSmith (Heather), Emily N. Wilson (Tom), Eric NeSmith (Connell), Jason Shirah (Steph-anie), Lance Shirah, Benjie Shirah (Kristen), Jamey Shirah, Katie Shirah, Steven Boerrigter (Suzanne), Ashley Boerrigter and Linsey Boerrigter; and nine great-grandchildren, William and Fenn NeSmith; Wyatt, Hayes, Henry, and Smith Wilson; Bayard and Stella NeSmith; and Lydia Boerrigter.

Owing to the current pandemic, a private burial with the Rev. Mike Carter officiating will be at the Hopeful Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will host a public memorial at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests those wishing to make contributions should earmark the funds for the Hopeful Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, 2740 River Road, Camilla, GA 31730 or Kindred Hospice of Bainbridge, GA, 430 E. Shotwell St., Bainbridge, GA 39819.

Parker-Bramblett Funeral Home of Camilla is in charge of arrangements.


Cecil Herbert Reddish

Swainsboro—Cecil Herbert Reddish, 92, of Swainsboro died May 5, 2020, at Emanuel Medical Center Nursing Home.

Affectionately known by most as “Coach,” he was born April 1, 1928, in Ludowici to the late William Lester and Blanche Schuler Reddish.

He graduated from Jesup High School where he excelled in many athletic events. In 1943, as the starting quarterback, he led the team to victory over Valdosta High School, which was a high point of his high school football career. In 1944 he and fellow team member, Jack Davis, won the state high school doubles tennis championship.

He was recruited as a junior in high school to Auburn University for two years, before returning home to marry his high school sweetheart, Jeanine Carter Reddish, in 1948. He transferred to Livingston State University, where he played quarterback and safety for the football team. In 1950 he was named team captain, president of the junior class, Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, and All-Conference in the Alabama Intercollegiate Athletic Association. He also led all small colleges with 14 interceptions as a safety and graduated from Livingston in 1951 with a bachelor’s degree in science. He also holds a master’s degree from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in administration and two six-year specialist’s degrees from Georgia Southern University. From 1962 through 1970, he was just that, the coach for the Swainsboro High School Tigers football team, and he was assistant principal until his retirement in 1984.

He was an avid golfer and shot a hole-in-one on April 22, 1998, on the No. 5 hole of the Swainsboro Golf and Country Club. He was inducted into the Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame on April 27, 2002.

In his retirement, he also enjoyed wood working and fishing.  He was a member of the Swainsboro First Baptist Church.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Irma Blanton, and brothers, Robert “Buddy” Reddish and Roby Reddish.

Survivors include his wife of 72 years, Jeanine Carter Reddish of Swainsboro; daughters, Cecilia (Phil) Thompson of Swainsboro and Deborah Burrows of Swainsboro; sons, Richard “Bird” M. (Phyllis) Reddish and Robert S. Reddish (Kimberly Long), all of Swainsboro; brother, James Harold “Sonny” Reddish of Jesup; grandchildren, Jennifer Reddish (Jeremy) Coulter, Richard Michael (Rebekah) Reddish Jr., Stephanie Faye Reddish and Joseph Seth Schrader; great-grandchildren, Olivia Peyton Coulter, Carson Claire Coulter and Gavin Michael Reddish; and nieces, nephews and extended family.

Private memorial services will be conducted at a later date.

Condolences may be submitted online at www.durden-hudsonfuneraldirectors.com.

Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.


Mary Jones

Screven—Mary Jones, 92, of Screven died May 10, 2020, under the care of Hospice of South Georgia.

The Pennsylvania native had lived in Wayne County the past 16 years and was owner of IHOP in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She was a cross-stitch queen and was an avid Marlins and Miami Hurricanes baseball fan.

She was predeceased by her husband of 60 years, John R. Jones, and her son, Roger Jones.

Survivors include a daughter, Valerie Griffith of Screven; two sons, Brad (Kathy) Jones of Fort Lauderdale and Roger Jones of Fort Lauderdale; five grandchildren, William Greenwald, Matthew Greenwald, Sean Jones, Savannah Griffith and Kaitlin Jones; two great-grandchildren, Liam and Jude Greenwald; and several siblings.

Private family services will be held at a later date.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Richard Mallard Sr.

Jesup--Richard Mallard Sr., 83, of Jesup died May 8, 2020, after a short illness.

The Wayne County native was a business owner of several businesses, including Dairy Land Acres Mobile Home Park.

He was predeceased by his parents, Horace and Kitty Mallard; and a brother.

Survivors include two sons, Richard (Mariam) Mallard Jr. of Idaho and Timothy Mallard of Jesup; three grandchildren, Richard Mallard III, Christa Mallard and Jessica Jacobs; several great-grandchildren; and several other extended family members.

Graveside funeral services will be held today (Wednesday) at New Hope Cemetery with the Rev. Clayton Dowd officiating.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Udeen Tyre Bearden

Stone Mountain--Udeen Tyre Bearden, 87, of Stone Mountain died May 10, 2020.

The Wayne County native was a 1950 graduate and valedictorian of Jesup High School.

She attended business school in Jacksonville, Florida, and worked in her family’s business. She was known for her sense of humor, growing tomatoes, fishing and painting.

She was predeceased by her husband, Johnny H. Bearden, and parents, Ernest and Penny Tyre.

Survivors include two sisters, Ernestine Reddish of Hardeeville, South Carolina and Zeda Tyre of Odum; a brother, James (Virginia) Tyre of Odum; three nieces, Amanda Farmery, Anne Tyre and Penny Raymond; three great-nieces; and a nephew.

Following current regulations, graveside funeral services will be held today (Wednesday) at Red Hill Cemetery with Dr. Derrell Rentz officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to be sent to Red Hill Cemetery, 91 Red Hill Road, Jesup, GA 31545.

The family would like to express its appreciation for the wonderful care and love that was given to her while she was in an assisted living facility in Marietta.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.