9.2.20 obituaries


Hubert Howard

Jesup—Hubert Howard, 94, of Jesup died Aug. 30, 2020, of natural causes at his residence.

The Long County native had lived in Wayne County all of his adult life. He was a U.S. veteran and an active member, Sunday school teacher, deacon and trustee for more than 50 years at Jesup First Baptist Church.

Beginning his private law practice in 1952, he held many leadership positions and was especially proud of his city and county to create a countywide recreations program. He was the past president of the State Court Judge and Solicitors Association of Georgia and Georgia Defense Lawyers Association.

His community involvement included helping organize the Jesup Jaycees, which produced the wonderful Jaycee Stadium, the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce and the Jesup Lions Club, of which he was a past president. In 2010 he received the Lions Club “Melvin Jones Award,” the highest award for humanitarian ideals. At the awards banquet, keynote speaker Dink NeSmith said, “If it was good for his family, church, community or profession, you could count on Hubert Howard to be out front helping to get it done.”

Loving the outdoors, he embraced every pine tree grown and was a loyal steward of the land.

Survivors include his wife of 67 years, Alta Lee Howard of Jesup; three sons, Lawton (Michelle) Howard of St. Simons Island, Hubert H. Howard Jr. and Thomas Lee Howard, both of Jesup; grandchildren, Hamilton Howard and Lauren Johnson; and great-grandchildren, Alexander Howard, Makayla Johnson and Austin Johnson.

Funeral services were held Sept. 1 at Jesup First Baptist Church with Dr. Felix Haynes, Dr. Mike VonMoss and the Rev. Brad Parks officiating. Private interment followed in the Jesup City Cemetery. Active pallbearers were Alexander Howard, Hamilton Howard, Bill Parker, Stephen Parker, Roy Howard, Jim Wheeler, Kent Fountain and Alan Jones.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Jesup First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 1115, Jesup, GA 31598.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Wanda Faye Hardie Blanton

Jesup—Wanda Faye Hardie Blanton, 63, of Jesup died Aug. 25, 2020, of an apparent heart attack.

The Wayne County native was a homemaker and enjoyed country music.

Survivors include a son, Eric Blanton of Baxley; a mother, Dewanna Smith Hardie of Jesup; sisters, Charlotte Cason of Jesup and Gerene Dixon of Bolling Green, Kentucky; and several nieces and nephews.

Graveside memorial services were held Aug. 28 in Spring Grove Cemetery with the Rev. Stanley Todd officiating.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Carobeth Highsmith

Jesup—Carobeth Highsmith, 97, of Jesup died Aug. 31, 2020, peacefully surrounded by her loving family.

On Dec. 4, 1922, Oglethorpe Community residents Terrel and Bessie Surrency welcomed their first child, Caroline Elizabeth. Her life was destined to span almost a century and to touch an incredible number of lives. She was educated in Wayne County beginning at Oglethorpe School, moving into Jesup Junior High and then Jesup High School.

She and her two sisters answered the country’s call to aid in the World War II effort by working at J.A. Jones Construction Company building Liberty ships. She married the love of her life, Troy Highsmith, on Aug. 24, 1946, and welcomed a daughter in 1947 and a son in 1948.

Her working career included jobs at Sullivan’s, Mooney’s and Moody Mobile Homes, but her real love was being a waitress. Patrons of The Pig Restaurant, Bon Air, Sybil’s and the Kiwi looked forward to her radiant smile and her pleasant personality.  They were greeted with style and grace every time.

She served in several churches in Wayne County, the most recent being Altamaha Baptist.  Community service included the Business and Professional Women’s Club and the American Cancer Society.

She was predeceased by her husband, Troy Highsmith; a son, Bill Highsmith; parents, Terrel and Bessie Surrency; a son-in-law, Larry Lewis; brothers, Frank and Griffin Surrency; and a sister, Nanelle Surrency Bacon.

Survivors include her daughter, Gale Highsmith Lewis; a sister, Lauree Surrency Hires; a brother, Tyler Surrency; granddaughters, Jenny Lewis (Mark) Stoner of Waxhaw, North Carolina, and Rhonda Lewis (John) Martin of Brunswick; grandsons, Josh Highsmith of Orlando, Florida, and Bo (Jeanne Anne) Lewis of Waxhaw, North Carolina; five great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at Altamaha Baptist Church with Pastor Jack Lee and the Rev. Will Bacon officiating. Interment will follow in Pinecrest Memorial Cemetery.  Active pallbearers will be Josh Highsmith, Mark Stoner, Nathan Stoner, John Martin, Keith Martin, Brad Lang and Brian Surrency. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Business and Professional Women’s Club.

Visitation will be held one hour prior to services at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Bessie G. Surrency Medical Scholarship, c/o Susan Sutton, P.O. Box 834, Jesup, GA  31598 or Georgia Hospice Care, 141 S. Macon Street, Jesup, GA  31545.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


James “Freddie” Mason

Jesup—James “Freddie” Mason, 68, of Jesup died Aug. 30, 2020 of cancer.

The Wayne County native was a member of New Bethel Baptist Church and a retired flooring installer. He was a U.S. Marine veteran and was predeceased by his step-daughter, Vicki Lynn Smith.

Survivors include his wife, Linda Stephens Mason of Jesup; a daughter, Nuvia (John) Mobley of Jesup; sons, John (Kathy) Mason and Steven Smith, all of Jesup, Phillip (Regina) Smith of Brunswick; his mother, Margaret “Peggy” Davis Kirkland of Jesup; sisters, Kathy (Eddie) Powell and Rene Ussery, all of Jesup; a brother, Anthony Mason of Jesup; and 10 grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held by the family.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


J.E. Blanton

Surrency—J.E. Blanton, 85, of Surrency died Aug. 24, 2020, at Appling Healthcare System.

He was born Aug. 16, 1935, in Surrency to the late Stephen M. “Steve” Blanton and the late Elizabeth Herndon Blanton.

He trusted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior on Aug. 16, 1952. He later married his high school sweetheart, Jean C. Knight, on June 26, 1953, and together, they went on to serve in the ministry for 66 years. His love for people and his love for Jesus motivated him to strive to be a dedicated and passionate soul-winner and pastor. He pastored Oakland Free Will Baptist Church in Whites Creek, Tennessee, while attending Free Will Baptist College in Nashville, Tennessee. After graduating from college, he returned to Southeast Georgia, where he started four churches, including Jesup First Free Will Baptist Church. In 1968 he moved to Atlanta, where he started Decatur Free Will Baptist Church and Snellville Free Will Baptist Church.

In 1996 he returned home to Surrency to retire. After he filled in at various churches, his retirement was cut short when God called him to reenter the pastorate ministry and to serve Riverside Baptist Church and later Zoar Baptist Church, both in Appling County. In May 2019, he retired from preaching the gospel, but he continued to minister and encourage everyone he saw and everyone he could talk to on the phone.

Survivors include his wife of 67 years, Jean Knight Blanton of Surrency; daughter, Deborah Blanton of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; son and daughter-in-law, Steve and Shannon Blanton of Spartanburg, South Carolina; sisters, Kathleen Overstreet of Surrency and Naomi McQuaig of Alma; brother and sister-in-law, Jerry and Linda Blanton of Surrency; and grandchildren, Daniel Miltenberger of Jacksonville, Florida, Chloe Miltenberger of Tampa, Florida, and Colt Blanton of Spartanburg, South Carolina; and nieces and nephews.

A private family funeral service was held Aug. 28 at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church with the Rev. Justin McLellan, the Rev. Darrell Quinn and the Rev. Rick Brown officiating and eulogies by Steve Blanton and Daniel Miltenberger. Interment was in Memorial Free Will Baptist Church Cemetery.

Active pallbearers were Daniel Miltenberger, Colt Blanton, Douglas Snead, David Snead, Jim McQuaig, Donnie Head and Thomas Dubberly.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to a church or charity that’s doing God’s work.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Swain Funeral Home.