7.1.20 obituaries



Lezeter Terry Parker

Jesup—Lezeter Terry Parker, 93, died June 26, 2020, under the care of Cheryl Carter and Georgia Hospice Care.

She was born Oct. 20, 1926 in Jasper, Texas, to Joe and Lacey Terry. Her mother died at an early age, and she was raised by her maternal grandparents, Philip and Angeline Shackleford. She moved at the age of 5 to Wayne County, where she remained a pillar of the community for nine decades.

She was a longtime member of First AB Missionary Baptist Church in Screven and Bennett Union Missionary Baptist Church in Jesup, serving loyally in numerous capacities as a faithful servant of the Lord.

During her historic 44-year teaching career in Wayne County, she received numerous awards, including the First African-American Freedom Choice Award for her courageous efforts integrating the public school system. She passionately taught English and language arts to generations of Wayne County school- children, including all three of her children and two grandchildren. She could often be found writing beautiful poetry with impeccable penmanship.

Once retired, she devoted her time volunteering with the Wayne Memorial Hospital Auxiliary group. She was a lifetime member of the Order of the Eastern Stars, Rosa Wiggs Chapter No. 24.

Her family was her first priority, and she never hesitated to make her “famous” chocolate cake when requested by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 55 years, J.C. Parker; and sons, Joe and Philip Parker.

She is survived by daughters, Versie (Gene) Reeves of Jesup and Deborah Bailey of San Francisco, California; grandchildren, Anthony (Kelle) Reeves of Stafford, Virginia, Patrick (Rosalind) Reeves of Overland Park, Kansas, Reginald (Courtney) Reeves of Hampton, Michael Bailey of Lithonia, Jessica Bailey of Oakland, California, and Lauren Parker of Jesup; 13 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; special friends, Rosa Carter and Isabel Moses; three goddaughters, Sheila Wilson, Diana Fuller and Shirlene Armstrong; and a devoted caregiver of eight years, Cheryl Carter.

A public viewing will be held today (Wednesday) at Royal Funeral Home Chapel from noon until 5 p.m. Anyone wishing to view the remains are asked to do so during those hours, as that will be the only time the public will get to do so.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Georgia Hospice Care, 141 S. Macon Street, Jesup Georgia 31545.

A private graveside service will be held for the immediate family on Thursday, July 2, at 10 a.m. at Jesup City Cemetery.

Owing to the COVID-19 virus, there will not be a repast, and in efforts to curtail the spread, the family will not be accepting visitors at the present time.

Royal Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.



Dewey Edward Murphy Jr.

Odum—Dewey Edward Murphy Jr., 86, of Odum died June 26, 2020.

The Florida native and U.S. Army veteran who served in the Korean Conflict had lived in his beloved city of Odum most of his life.  He was a retired Georgia Department of Transportation traffic and safety engineer. He had previously worked at Southern Railroad as a telegraph operator and Rayonier in the power house.

The 58-year former member of Odum Baptist Church used his God-given talents by serving in many ways, including lay speaking. He joined Altamaha Baptist Church on his 50th wedding anniversary and was also a member of the Love Thy Neighbor Sunday School Class for the past 14 years.

Not only did he serve as Past Master and charter member of the Odum Mason Lodge No. 508, but he also was involved in the Jesup Masonic Lodge, including the Red and Blue Lodges.

Serving on the Odum City Council, he was instrumental in helping build the Odum Train Depot and was named Odum Family of the Year. His artistic abilities could be seen in his drawings, stained-glass works, landscapes and buildings. In his later years, he really enjoyed sharing his adult coloring books that highlighted scripture. He was asked to draw plans for three church social halls and even some parking lots.

The workhorse loved to slow down and spend time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, either fishing or teaching them some of his skills.

His parents, Dewey Edward Sr. and Thelma Crews Murphy, preceded him in death, along with his brother, Alvin Murphy.

Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Ann Davis Murphy of Odum; a daughter, Stephanie (Randy) Teston of Odum; two grandchildren, Sally (Brian) McGregor of Odum and Clay Teston of Odum; two great-grandchildren, Ally Grace and Abby McGregor; a sister, Joyce Sharpe of Odum; a sister-in-law, Ellen Townsend of Jesup; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Private family graveside services were held in the Odum City Cemetery with the Rev. Jack Lee officiating along with American Legion Post No. 311’s presentation of the U.S. flag.

The family would like to express its heartfelt gratitude to his caregivers, Debbie, Pauline, Danette, Brenda and Rose, along with Dr. Lance Hendrix and his staff, Altamaha Home Health, including his nurses, Shellie and Kelly.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Altamaha Baptist Church Building Fund, 6622 Oglethorpe Road, Jesup, GA 31545 or the Masonic Children’s Home, 1417 Nottingham Drive, Macon, GA 31211.

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


Geraldine “Geri” Wright Gest

Jesup—Geraldine “Geri” Wright Gest, 94, of Jesup died June 26, 2020.

The Michigan native had lived in Wayne County in the McKinnon Community the past 50 years and was a member of Memorial Baptist Church.

She worked for many years with Wayne Service Center and the Pine Forest Country Club Restaurant and was a member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary and American Legion Auxiliary. She enjoyed crocheting and cooking for her family.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth Gest; a daughter, Cheryl Loundenslager; and a son, Charles Walters.

Survivors include a daughter, Christine (Ronnie) Poole of Hortense; a son, K.C. (Melba) Gest of Jesup; and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Graveside funeral services were held June 30 at the Screven City Cemetery with the Rev. Wayne “Rooster” Manning Jr. officiating.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Sarah Jane Hodges

Jesup—Sarah Jane Hodges, 68, died June 27, 2020 at home under the care of Spanish Oaks Hospice.

A resident of Wayne County for most of her life, she was born on June 9, 1952, in Tuskegee, Alabama, to the late John S. and Sadie McEachin Hodges. She worked in the clothing department at Kmart for many years before taking a position as a sales associate for Walmart. She loved to sew, and she shared her talents with her family by making blankets for all the babies in the family and cross-stitching beautiful scenes that she shared with others.

She was a longtime member of the Gardi Church of God, now known as Victory Tabernacle Church of God.

 In addition to her parents, her brother, Johnny Hodges, preceded her in death.

Survivors include her two children, Teresa (Matthew) Wilson of Jesup and Mike (Emmy) Westberry of Jesup; three brothers, Dennis (Carol) Hodges of Hoboken, James (Doretha) Hodges of Jesup and David Hodges of Ludowici; grandchildren, Mark (Lanie) Wilson, Lori (Brett) Herrin, Kyle (Krysten) Westberry and Luke Wilson; great-grandchildren, Kyler, Gracie, Heath, Jovi, Liam, Konway, Bodhi and two on the way.; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family members.

Funeral services will be held today (Wednesday) at 11 a.m. at Howard & Jones Funeral Home in Jesup with the Rev. Keith Lairsey officiating. COVID-19 social distancing guidelines will be in effect, and masks and personal protective equipment will be available.  The family will receive friends one hour prior to the services at the funeral home.

Interment services will be held privately at Bethlehem Cemetery.

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

Howard & Jones Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Ronald Thomas Gay

Ludowici—Ronald Thomas Gay, 67, died June 26, 2020, at his home under the care of his family and Hospice of South Georgia.

Born in Augusta, he was raised in Swainsboro before living in Wayne County several years and in Long County the past 10 years. He was a graduate of Georgia Southern University with a bachelor of science degree in business.  He retired from the city of Jesup and was later a sales representative for Liberty National Life Insurance Company.  Having a green thumb, he enjoyed working in his yard and was very mechanically inclined.

He was a member and deacon of First Baptist Church of Jesup and was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Edna Gay.

Survivors include his wife, Lora Gay of Ludowici; brother and sister-in-law, Terry (Fran) Gay of Swainsboro; and nephews, Adam (Chastity) Gay, Jonathan Gay and Daniel Gay.

Funeral services were held June 29 at First Baptist Church of Jesup with Dr. Mike VonMoss officiating. Burial was held in the Swainsboro City Cemetery.

Remembrances are suggested to First Baptist Jesup Capital Campaign, 185 S. Brunswick Street, Jesup, GA 31546.

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

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