6.3.20 obituaries


James W. Stephens, Jr.,

Jesup/Baxley—James W. Stephens, Jr., 91 of Baxley died Friday, May 29, 2020.  The Wayne County native, living in Appling County the past 28 years was a member of Piney Grove Freewill Baptist Church.  He retired from Rayonier after 25 years of service. He was a member of Okefenokee Riding Club and Country Boy Plow Club. He was predeceased by his parents, Jack and Mildred Stephens, brothers, Joseph and Merle Stephens; Zelda Stephens, mother of his children.

Survivors are his wife of 28 years, Nadean Westberry Stephens of the Piney Grove Community; two daughters, Sandra (Tommy) Batten of Rincon and Genelda (Darrell) Denison of Odum; a son, Danny(Glenda) Stephens of Odum; two step-daughters, Deborah Lightsey of Baxley, Donna (Daniel) Douglas of Madison, Fla.; 5 grandchildren, Bronze (Sara) Denison, Nancy Hutcheson, Douglas (Michelle) Stephens, Thomas Batten and Pamela Newman; 5 step grandchildren, Brandon (Kimberly) Lightsey, Brooks Lightsey, Charlie (Tenesa) Lightsey, Shana (Jake) Tompkins and Drew(Erin) Douglas; 8 great grandchildren and 8 step great grandchildren; two brothers, Donald (Melba) Stephens and George Stephens, both of Odum.

Due to COVID-19 state mandate, graveside funeral services will be 11 AM Monday, June 1, 2020 at Piney Grove Freewill Baptist Cemetery in Appling County with Rev. Tim Horne and Rev. Calvin Anderson officiating. Active pallbearers will be grandsons.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to services at the cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to Piney Grove Freewill Baptist Church Building Fund, 1944 Piney Grove Church Road, Bristol, Ga. 31518.

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


Lou N. Wolfe

Jesup—Lou N. Wolfe, 84, died May 30, 2020, at Wayne Memorial Hospital after a brief illness.

She was born Feb. 16, 1936, to the late Carol Hartridge Smith and Daisy Bland Smith. She grew up in the Rye Patch Community and was a 1954 graduate of Long County High School, where she was actively involved with her classmates, playing basketball for the Blue Tide and being voted “Wittiest Girl” by her classmates in the Senior Superlatives.

She was married shortly after high school to the late Fred G. Browning. As the military lifestyle often requires, she and her family moved quite frequently as the call of duty was answered by her husband. Later, she lived for short periods in Vidalia; Jacksonville, Florida; and Starke, Florida, before making her way to Jesup more than 50 years ago.

She was a homemaker who was blessed with an artistic eye for home interior and floral design.  In fact, she had even participated in career day on several occasions for students interested in the art of making a house a home.  This art was her passion.  She devoted herself to her family and was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who cherished the time spent with the ones she loved the most.

In her spare time, she enjoyed sewing and playing canasta, and she always loved adventure, travel and adding to her beautiful collection of décor, clothes and jewelry.

Her love didn’t stop with her family.  Her love of community was evident in the way she lived her life. She was a longtime member of Jesup First Baptist Church and for the past 25 years, the First United Methodist Church of Jesup, where she was very active in the Joy Sunday School Class.  She was a member of the Lady Bugs, and the Garden Club and had also served on the Board of Directors for Fair Haven for many years.

The family said, “more than anything, she will be fondly remembered for her ability to make things beautiful and for the way she loved and showed kindness to everyone she knew. She truly was the sunshine of our lives; her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren all loved and adored her and will cherish the memory of her in our hearts forever.”

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. John Wesley Wolfe Sr.; first husband, Fred G. Browning; and two sisters, Carolyn Lewis and Becky Thompson.

Survivors include her sons and daughters-in-law, Gary and Cathy Browning of Jesup and Kurt and Paige Browning of Brunswick; a daughter and son-in-law, Heidi and Adam Davis of Statesboro; two sisters, Charlotte (Larry) Cornell of Enterprise, Alabama, and Cilinda De Le Garza Bogk of Corpus Christi, Texas; grandchildren, Roni (Ray) Moore, Jered (Jennifer) Browning, James Kurt (Tarna) Browning, Barret (Meah) Browning, Alexander Gavin Davis, Beau Browning and Daisy Abigale Davis; and great-grandchildren, Andrew Browning, Cole Moore, Beckham Browning, River Moore, Boone Browning, Connor Browning, Palmer Browning and Tate Browning.  Also surviving are her beloved stepdaughters, Gena (Hershcel) Daniel of Jesup and Kathy (Larry) Dent of Gainesville and Nora Wolfe of Kennesaw; stepsons, Dr. John Wesley (Rhonda) Wolfe Jr. of Jesup and Downie Wolfe of Tallahassee, Florida; and a host of grandchildren and great-grandchildren on the Wolfe side of the family with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family members.  

Owing to the health concerns associated with COVID-19, a private family gathering will be held with a public celebration of life to follow later in the summer. 

Interment will follow the memorial services in Rye Patch Cemetery in Long County.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made to Fair Haven Battered Women’s Shelter, P.O. Box  1153, Jesup, GA 31598 or First United Methodist Church, Jesup, GA, 205 E. Cherry St. Jesup, GA 31546.

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

Howard & Jones Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Patricia Ann Dent

Jesup—Ann McCollum Dent, 79, of Jesup, died May 28, 2020, under the care Íof Hospice of South Georgia.

She was born Sept. 8, 1940, in Wayne County to the late Troy and Lettus Griffin McCollum. She was an active member of Altamaha Baptist Church for more than 60 years and served in various positions throughout the years.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her father and mother-in-law, Lester and Eula Durden Dent; grandparents, C.W. and Witsell Bennett Griffin and Burt and Josie Willis McCollum; a niece, Jessica Nan McCollum; brothers-in-law, W.L. Salter Jr., Eschol, Homer, Elton, Herbert, Theron, Bobby and Junnie Dent; and sisters-in-law, Eileen and Ouida Dent, Leila Martin and Alice Raggatt.

Survivors include her husband of 60 years, Tommie James Dent  of Jesup; three daughters and sons-in-law,  Debbie and Tony Griffis of Odum, Patti and Don Hayes of Jesup and Tammy and John O’Donnell of Powder Springs; a son and daughter-in-law, Travis and Michelle Dent of Odum; a sister, Betty Salter of Vidalia; a brother and sister-in-law, Edward and Patty McCollum of Robbinsville, North Carolina; 11 grandchildren and their spouses, Steven and Candace Hayes, Stacey and Brian Bass, Anthony and Sheree Griffis, Andrew and Angie Griffis, April Dent, Rebecca and Levi Gold, Haleigh and Ashleigh Dent, and Kathleen, Shannon and Jack O’Donnell; and 10 great-grandchildren, Corbitt, Aubree, Ava, Emma, Bailey, Drew, Wesley, Stetson, Ramzee and Kynzee.

Other survivors include sisters-in-law and their husbands, Nellie and Howard Newberry of Whigham and Annette and Allen Weldon of Tallahassee, Florida; brothers-in-law and their wives, Lavern and Martha Dent, Wyman and Mildred Dent and Donald and Virginia Dent of Jesup; sisters-in-law, Delia, Lavonne, Fay and Carolyn Dent, all of Odum; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and extended-family members.

Funeral services with social distancing and special COVID-19 precautionary measures were held May 30 at Altamaha Baptist Church with Pastor Jack Lee and the Rev. Stanley Todd officiating. Kind thoughts and prayers are appreciated from anyone with health concerns who is unable to attend. 

Private interment services were held at Pinecrest Memorial Cemetery.

Active pallbearers were Jeff McCollum, Eric, Charlton and Roger Salter, Terry Martin and Patrick Dent.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Altamaha Baptist Church, 6622 Oglethorpe Road, Jesup, GA 31545 or Hospice of South Georgia, 1625 Sunset Blvd., Jesup, GA 31545

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

Howard & Jones Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Gail Riner Hatch

Jesup—Gail Riner Hatch, 71, of Jesup died May 28, 2020, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Savannah after an extended illness.

Born in Lyons, she was preceded in death by her parents Thomas Matthew Riner and Bessie Nobles Riner; and brothers and sisters, Wade Riner, Kenneth Riner, Franklin Riner, Allie Jack Nesmith, Robbie Nell Jeffcoat and Wanda Riner Mills.

She was a small-business owner, a homemaker, a wife and a mother. She was a member of Jesup Presbyterian Church and loved spending time with her family and friends.

She is survived by her husband, Gary Hatch; two sisters, Johnnie Will Moon and Peggy (Donald) Smith; a son, Matthew Bullard; three children by marriage, Susan (Edmond) Nobles, Richard (Karen) Hatch and Cathy (Randall) Bullard; and grandchildren, Madison Bullard and Vance Bullard, as well as five grandchildren by marriage. Survivors also include six great-grandchildren, with one on the way, as well as many nieces, nephews and other relatives.

There will be a private service at Howard and Jones Funeral Home in Jesup before she is laid to rest at Pinecrest Memorial Cemetery.

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

Howard & Jones Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.              


Joan Westberry Fenn

Jesup—Joan Westberry Fenn, 89, of Jesup died May 28, 2020.

The Wayne County native was a member of Jesup Church of Christ and a registered nurse.

She was the widow of James Frank-lin “Pete” Fenn Sr. and also predeceased by a grandson, James Fenn.

Survivors include a daughter, Debra F. Myers of Jesup; two sons, Jeff (Debra) Fenn of Odum and Mike Finn of Jesup; five grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

Owing to COVID-19 state mandates, a graveside funeral service was held May 31 at Pinecrest Memorial Cemetery with Mark J. Ward and Hugh Hodge officiating.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Billie Phillips Hammock

Jesup—Billie Phillips Hammock, 82, of Jesup died May 27, 2020.

She was a Baptist and very devoted to her pets, Happy and Hammie.  Her husband, John Ellis Hammock, preceded her in death.

Survivors include several nieces and nephews.

Honoring the COVID-19 Georgia state mandate, a graveside funeral service was held May 30 at Pinecrest Memorial Cemetery.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Donald Anthony “Tony” Lewis

Jesup—Donald Anthony “Tony” Lewis, 64, of Jesup died May 27, 2020.

The Wayne County native was an employee with VB Hook Company.

He was predeceased by his wife, Linda Lewis; father, Lamar Lewis; brother, Morris Glenn Lewis; and sister, Shelia Lewis Harvey.

Survivors include a daughter, Virginia (Kalen) Russell of Corpus Christi, Texas; grandchildren, Skylar, Linda and Paisley; his mother, Juanita Brooker Lewis of Jesup; and other extended relatives.

Graveside funeral services were held May 30 at Bethesda Cemetery with the Rev. Tim Brantley officiating.

A special thanks to Davita Dialysis and Okefenokee Emergency Transport Company for their care and support.

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