Willene Lavender Shirah

Hopeful—Two months after saying goodbye to her husband of 72 years, Willene Lavender Shirah, 93, went to Heaven to join him on July 13, 2020.  It was hard to imagine her without Lamar.  Now they are together again.

She was born in Fort Valley on March 14, 1927, to Charlie and Mettie Lavender. On a Sunday-afternoon drive in her hometown, she met a Mitchell County farmer and fell in love with the World War II veteran. They were married on Nov. 23, 1947, and moved to Hopeful, where they created a home and an oasis which became known as Shirahland.

Her early career days were spent as a bookkeeper for Blue Bird Body Company in Fort Valley. The skills she honed there served her well as she continued her bookkeeping for more than 50 years for Shirahland. From the ledger books to QuickBooks, she was always up for learning to be more efficient.

She was a faithful member of Hopeful Baptist Church (HBC) and supported her community through various roles. From 24 years of volunteering at her children’s schools to starting the Wednesday-night suppers at HBC to hosting many open houses after HBC cantatas to revving up The Hopefuls, she was always willing to share her gift of hospitality and Southern graces with others.  She was all about creating fun and memorable events.

When her husband and sons decided to launch Shirahland Plantation, an Orivis-endorsed quail-hunting preserve, she planned and prepared the Southern meals for the guests. She was a master entertainer and hostess. Whether with family or friends, fellowshipping around the table was an integral part of the Shirah lifestyle.

Long before “let’s be adventurers, darling” became a motto of many, Willene and Lamar defined the phrase. Their lives were enriched by many travels around America and the world. Her family had the opportunity to share many of her adventures with them.  Lamar and Willene were affectionately known as “MaMa and PaPa.” They knew no strangers, making friends wherever they traveled.

Her zest for life brought many smiles and much laughter to others, particularly with some of her pranks. She engaged with every member of the family, including her nine great-grandchildren. Her family and friends have a lifetime of cherished memories that will always keep her close by.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brothers Marvin and Milton Lavender; husband, Lamar; and son Raymond Lamar Shirah.

She will be dearly missed by her brother Morris Lavender (Teen) of Fort Valley; daughters, Pam S. NeSmith (Dink) of Smithonia; Krista S. Boerrigter (Robert) of Danville, Virginia; son, Tim Shirah (Ann) of Cordele; and daughter-in-law, Angie Shirah (Ray) of Hopeful; 11 grandchildren, Alan NeSmith (Heather), Emily N. Wilson (Tom), Eric NeSmith (Connell), Jason Shirah (Stephanie), Lance Shirah, Benjie Shirah (Kristen), Jamie 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.

As a result of the current pandemic, a private burial, with the Rev. Clay Cloud and the Rev. Doug Hall officiating, will be in the Hopeful Baptist Church Cemetery.  Parker-Bramblett Funeral Home of Camilla is in charge of the arrangements. The family will host a public memorial in the future.

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


Babe McGregor

Jesup—Babe McGregor, 95, died in her home on July 13, 2020, under the care of Hospice of South Georgia.

She was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Henry and Charlotte Heckman. She married her lifelong love, Don, in 1945. They had four children, Carol (Billy) Nessmith, Steven McGregor, Mark (Gail) McGregor and Kathy McGregor.

She was a beloved granny to her grandchildren, Ben (Allyson) Nessmith, Matt (Jennifer) Nessmith, Susan (Jim) Hatfield, Jennifer M. Linton, Kylie McGregor and Brian (Sally) McGregor. She continued being the best loving granny to her nine great-grandchildren. She loved being at home raising her four children and then watching over her grandchildren. She enjoyed decorating her special Christmas cookies, entertaining family and friends, working on her many felt and plastic crafts, and assisting Don for years in shopping and working at the Good Samaritan Center.

She enjoyed her church family and Joy Class members at First United Methodist Church.

She was preceded in death by her parents, five sisters, and one brother.

Graveside services for the immediate family will be held on Friday, July 17, in Pinecrest Memorial Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice of South Georgia, 1625 Sunset Boulevard, Jesup, GA, 31545.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Irene “Lucy” Curry-Roberts

Jesup—Irene “Lucy” Curry-Roberts, 82, of Jesup died July 10, 2020, at her home surrounded by her loving family.

“Lucy,” as she was affectionately known, was born on June 12, 1938, to the late, Taylor and Alberta Brown-Curry in Doctortown. She was educated in the Wayne County Training School. She was a member of Marcus Chapel Church and also attended Jesup Presbyterian Church before her health would no longer allow her to attend.

Her work history included that of being a cook at what was then Ted Hires Truck Stop, a custodian at the Wayne County Board of Education and a housekeeper at Holiday Inn. Her hobbies included praising God, watching the Atlanta Braves baseball team, fishing, Keno and spending time with her family.

She was the last living child of her parents. She was preceded in death by her parents, Taylor and Alberta Brown-Curry; her husband, James Roberts; her granddaughter, Althea Jordan; and six brothers and three sisters.

Those left to cherish her fond memories include her loving children, Patricia, Aline (Carnel Doomes) and Ricky (Alvera) Roberts, all of Jesup, and Willie (Kyong) Roberts of Killeen, Texas; her grandchildren, Phillip (Kristian) Roberts of Plano, Texas, Irene Roberts of Killeen, Aaliyah Roberts of Jesup and Ty Roberts of Houston, Texas; one great-grandchild, Edison Roberts of Plano, Texas; her close friends, Elizabeth Wilson and Ethel Mae Wilson; the Hargrett family of Jesup; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

A viewing will be held on Friday,  July 17, from noon until 5 p.m. at Royal Funeral Home Chapel.

A graveside service will be held on Saturday, July 18, at 10 a.m. at Jesup City Cemetery.

Royal Funeral Home is  in charge of arrangements.


 Eddie V. Edge

Jesup—Eddie V. Edge, 75, died July 13, 2020, at home under the care of his family, friends and the staff of GHC Hospice.

A native and lifelong resident of Wayne County, he was born Feb. 28, 1945, to the late Walter Thomas and Eva Pearl Edge. He retired from Hendrix Hauling as a foreman after many years of service and was an avid outdoorsman who loved fishing and riding his grandbabies on his golf cart.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Velma Edge; a son, Tony Edge; son-in-law, Carl Hillyard; brothers, Bill Edge, Floyd Edge, Elijah Edge and Elisha Edge; sisters, Gladys Brantley, Hilda Mae Ward and Sue Chavis; and a brother-in-law, Festus Carter.

Survivors include his daughters, June Hillyard and fiancé Chris Strickland of Jesup and Stacey Britton of Aiken, South Carolina; grandchildren, Bryan (Kelley) Hillyard, Timothy (Magan) Hillyard, Ryleigh Hillyard, Kristin (Jerald) Grantham, Walter (Christina) Edge, Anthony (Heather) Bolin, Tayler (Jeremy) Faulkner, Savannah Faulkner and Eli Britton; a sister, Walteen Carter of Odum;  brother, Walter Thomas (Mary Ann) Edge of Kibbee; half-brothers, Johnny Ward, Joel Ward, Harris Ward; a half-sister, Jan Frost; 17 great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and extended-family members.

Owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, family services and visitation will be held privately at Howard & Jones Funeral Home in Jesup with the Rev. Kenny Edge officiating.

Interment will be in Pinecrest Memorial Cemetery.

Active pallbearers will be Bryan Hillyard, Timothy Hillyard, Walter Edge, Kenny Holland, Clayton Grantham and Chris Needham.

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

Howard & Jones Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.



Otis Doomes

Jesup—Otis Doomes, died July 5, 2020, at Harborview Health System.

Community Chapel Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.