9.23.20 obituaries


Iona Hilton Anderson

Jesup—Iona Hilton Anderson, 96, of Jesup died Sept. 19, 2020.

The Wayne County native was a member of O’Quinn Baptist Church and enjoyed sewing, gardening and cooking.

She was predeceased by her husband, Thurston James Anderson, and siblings, Jessie Mae Beaver, Louise Harris, Eureta Finn and June Rogers.

Survivors include daughters, Marie (Joe Cleveland) Waters of Evans and Iona Mae (Windell) Lightsey of Marietta; son, Howard Anderson of Jesup; a sister, Sidney Walker of Blackshear; brothers, Bob Hilton of Screven and Leroy “Putt” (Carol) Hilton of Huntsville, Texas; three grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Graveside funeral services were held Sept. 21 at O’Quinn Cemetery with Pastor Gerald Greenlee officiating.

The family received friends at the cemetery.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Lavern Dent

Jesup—Lavern Eugene Dent, 89, died Sept. 21, 2020, at home under the care of GHC Hospice. and surrounded by his loved ones.

He was born in Wayne County on July 21, 1931, as one of 16 children born to Joseph Lester Dent and Eula Durden Dent.

He worked at several jobs during his lifetime, including a stint in the U.S. Army. He retired from Rayonier as a master welder in 1994 in order to become “papaw/nanny” to his youngest granddaughter, diapers and all, and it was a job that he truly loved. He enjoyed working with most of the people he worked with, and he would reminisce with any of them at the drop of a hat.

There were many activities that kept him busy after he retired, especially the times he spent at Rocky Lake with family members. His favorite times were spent with his children and grandchildren, but his most favorite times in the last two years were with his three great-granddaughters, whom he dearly adored.

He was a 25-year-plus member of Jesup Masonic Lodge No. 112 F&AM, the local chapter of AARP, Wayne County Historical Society and Altamaha Baptist Church, where he served in many jobs, including running the sound system until approximately two years ago.

He was preceded in death by a beloved grandson, Nathaniel Ray Bilbrey; a beloved son-in-law, Raymond H. Bilbrey; his parents; three sisters; and eight brothers.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Martha Mansfield Dent of Jesup; his daughter, Brenda D. Bilbrey of Jesup; his son, Daniel L. Dent of Jesup;  two granddaughters, Rachel B. (Josh) Clary and Alyssa D. (Michael) Jones; three great-granddaughters, Annsley Dallas Clary, Emalyn Hope Jones and Kyla Brynn Jones; two sisters, Nellie (Howard) Newberry and Annette (Alan) Weldon; three brothers, Tommie Dent, Wyman (Mildred) Dent and Donald (Virginia) Dent; a special sister-in-law, Carolyn T. Dent.

Funeral services will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at Altamaha Baptist Church with the Rev. Ryan Wilson officiating. Burial will follow at Gardi Cemetery.

Active pallbearers will be Patrick Dent, Travis Dent, Terry Martin, Al Dent, Elmer Dent, and Paul Williams. In lieu of flowers, send memorials to, GHC Hospice, 141 S. Macon St., Jesup, GA 31545 or Altamaha Baptist Church, 6622 Oglethorpe Road Jesup, GA 31545.   

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

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Evelyn Kirk Richardson

Jesup—Evelyn Kirk Richardson, 90, of Jesup, died Sept. 21, 2020.

The Arkansas native had lived in Wayne County most of her adult life and was a member of Memorial Baptist Church. She was a homemaker who enjoyed cooking and gardening.

She was the widow of William “Bill” Raymond Richardson.

Survivors include her daughter, Linda Richardson Oden of Brunswick; two sons, Carroll (Glenda) Richardson of Jesup and Jerry Richardson of Jesup; three grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Graveside funeral services will be held today (Wednesday) at 11 a.m. from Pinecrest Memorial Cemetery with Pastor Wayne Manning Jr. and Pastor Elliott Aspinwall officiating.

Family will receive friends at the cemetery prior to services.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Sharon Sheffield

Screven—Sharon Sheffield of Screven died Sept. 17, 2020.

“The Lord is my light and salvation-whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27:1

This passage is certainly one she lived by and leaves behind to her family to sustain them after her recent loss of life here on this earth. 

She was born Feb. 29, 1948. The Jeff Davis native had lived in Wayne County most of her life, was a member of Jesup Church of God and a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She took great pride in selflessly giving and doing for her family and friends. She cared deeply for others and was a master at staying in touch with relatives and friends.

She began her working career as a clerk in the maintenance department at Plant Hatch Nuclear Facility in Baxley and then was led to take over the care of her son after her mother passed away. During this time, she also owned a fabric shop in downtown Jesup. Later on, her education continued at Altamaha Technical College, where she earned her license in cosmetology and served as a beautician for several years. She wrapped up her career by retiring from the Wayne County school system after working in the nutrition department at Oak Vista Elementary School.

She was predeceased by her parents, Lester and Evelyn Warnock Dixon.

Survivors include her husband, Billy Ralph Sheffield of Screven; son, Brad (Ashley) Sheffield of Statesboro; beloved grandchildren Dixon and Branan; sister, Wanda Dixon (Tommy) Elton of Cleveland, Tennessee; and brother, Mike Dixon of Jesup. Her family said her legacy lives on through these strong Christ followers who will hold fast to the comfort of the cross and carry memories forever as they remember her steadfast love.

Private graveside funeral services will be held in the Screven City Cemetery with Pastor Clayton Dowd officiating.

Owing to her husband’s illness, a public graveside service will be held at a later date.

Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. 


Patty Ann Martin

Jesup—Patty Ann Martin, 83, of Jesup died Sept. 21, 2020.

She was born Patty Ann Jones to Lois Butler Jones and Lavorsia “Casey” Jones.

She married Henry J. “Hank” Martin after graduating Glynn Academy in Brunswick and embarked on both literal and life journeys—traveling to and living in many places inside and outside of the United State. She was a loving wife and fellow bread- winner, the best mom a child could ask for, a friend to many, and a leader and advocate in several areas—most notably with Georgia Federation of Women’s Clubs and the Wayne County Arts Council.

She was a passionate supporter of the arts in all forms and loved her role as a crucial member of Wayne County Productions. 

She was preceded in death by Dr. Hank Martin and her sister, Diane Bronk.

Survivors include her children, DeaAnne Martin of Decatur, Henry J. Martin Jr. of Jesup, Kathleen Martin of Valdosta and Kelly Murray of Jesup; her grandson, Cooper Martin Murray of Jesup; her remaining siblings, Ronald (James R.) Jones, Penny Clark and T’lene Harris; much- beloved siblings-in-law; many nieces and nephew; and a cherished large family of friends.

Owing to coronavirus concerns, a formal function is not planned at this time; rather, the family is considering options for an intimate, informal remembrance at a later time.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Wayne County Arts Council, P.O. Box 158, Jesup, GA  31598.

Rinehart and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


William “Bill” Adams

Cleveland, Tennessee—William “Bill” Adams, 83, a resident of Cleveland Tennessee, died Sept. 16, 2020 at the family residence.

He was the son of the late Clary and Ovieda Adams and was also preceded in death by his wife, Carolyn Lewis Adams, and his brother, Brian Adams.

He was a longtime employee in the pulp and paper industry, working as production manager at Stone Container Corporation in Savannah. He was a member of McCormick United Methodist Church in McCormick South Carolina.  Bill was an avid golfer and football fan.

He loved to watch any sports team affiliated with Georgia play from the Falcons to Georgia Tech.  But his main passion in life was spending time with his family.

He is survived by his son, Michael (Dorna) Adams; his daughters, Donna (Bill) Baker and Nicole Beasley; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

There are no formal services to be scheduled.

Jim Rush Funeral and Cremation Services North Ocoee St. Chapel, Cleveland Tennessee, has charge of the arrangements.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made in his memory to St. Judes Childrens Hospital, www.stjude.org.


Robert “Bob” Lee Rathel

Waycross—Robert “Bob” Lee Rathel, 80, died Sept. 13, 2020.

He was born on Feb. 28, 1940, in Sanford, Florida to the late Robert J. Rathel and Dorothy (Davis) Rathel Otto.

Throughout his lifetime, he migrated across the country to many states, including Colorado, Arkansas and Florida, and ultimately settled near family in south Georgia.

In his early years he worked as an arborist, and he later switched from cutting trees to cutting hair. It was during his career as a barber that he honed his skills as a storyteller. He was known to weave a wild tale, some fact, mostly fiction. A few of his more memorable tales were of his hunting and fishing trips, his infamous brush with fame eating breakfast with Elvis Presley, being abducted by aliens while camping, and discussing business ventures with Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, while living in Arkansas.

He had a bigger-than-life personality and an even bigger appetite for his wife’s cooking. He was an avid NASCAR fan. He also enjoyed watching Westerns, war films or anything including a locomotive and strived to own the world’s largest VHS collection but probably fell short.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by the love of his life, Mary Lois (Spivey) Rathel, and siblings, Shirley A. Rathel and Linda (Rathel) Beck.

Survivors include his daughter, Esther Lynn (James) Rigsby of Waycross; beloved grandchildren, Ashlee (Kerby) Similien of Orlando, Florida, and Joshua Spivey of Denver, Colorado; beloved great-grandchildren, Ariana, AJ, Lyric and Aspen Sky Similien; sister, Barbra (Norman) Sparks, brother Clifford (Liz) Rathel; and many nieces and nephews. Additionally, he is survived by many honorary family members from his final years residing at Harborview Satilla in Waycross.

A memorial service will be planned for a future date.


Charles Edward Tyson

Waycross—Charles Edward Tyson, 86, of Waycross died Sept. 17, 2020 at his residence following an extended illness.

Born Oct. 31, 1933, in St. Augustine, Florida, he was a son of the late William Wiley and Susie Belle Brown Tyson. He lived most of his life in Jesup, Blackshear and Waycross and attended schools in Willacoochee, Florida, and St. Augustine, Florida, and was a 1951 graduate of Blackshear High School. 

He served in the United States Air Force as a senior air operations specialist from January 1952 to December 1954. He was stationed in the state of Washington and in the countries of Iceland, Germany and France. His overseas duty afforded him the opportunity to tour many of the great cities of Europe.

In February 1956 he accepted a job with Waynline Inc., an upholstery furniture manufacturing company in Jesup. In 1973 he and five other employees purchased the company and properties from the Berkline Corporation of Morristown, Tennessee. He served as president and part owner of the new company, Waynline Inc. of Georgia, until the summer of 1993, when the company was purchased by Stanton Industries, of Tualatin, Oregon. He retired in October 1993.

Waynline Inc. of Georgia manufactured and sold upholstered living room furniture primarily along the East Coast and was a major shipper of furniture through the Savannah port to the Mideastern countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and others. The company maintained showrooms in High Point, North Carolina and Atlanta. 

In September 1993 he joined the Huxford Genealogical Society in Homerville. He became an avid researcher and was elected to the board of directors in 1999. While serving as a director, he volunteered for a phenomenal job--the renumbering of the vast collection of books and periodicals housed in the Huxford Library. Using a shelf-numbering system he developed specifically for the genealogical research library, he devoted two years of his time to complete the renumbering job. He maintained the numbering system for many years thereafter. 

In November 2008 the board of directors of the Huxford Society dedicated Pioneers of the Wiregrass, Volume I, a new series, to him in grateful recognition of his contributions to the Huxford Library and Society.

He was a member of the local George Wayland Hiers Post, VFW 4382, and Fraternal Order of Eagles 4502.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers and a sister-in-law, William Wiley Tyson II and David “Wimpy” and Fran Tyson; two sisters and brothers-in-law, Dorothy and Tommie Williamson and Florence and Earnest C. Pittman; a nephew, Foye “Buddy” Strickland Jr.; and a niece, Carol Pittman (Franklin) Kennision.

Survivors include his three daughters, Lynne (Johnny) Hayman of St. Augustine and Robin Dorsett and Niki Tyson, both of Blackshear; five grandchildren, Staci Cason (Dan) Kelly of St. Augustine, Markel Dorsett (Jacob) Smith of Brunswick, Kaili Dorsett (David) Waters of Jacksonville, Florida, Jena Hayman of St. Augustine, and Hannah Cloud of Blackshear; six great-grandchildren, Taylor Shearer and Collin Kelly of St. Augustine, Jayden and Kylan Smith of Brunswick, Hadaley Waters of Jacksonville, and William “Liam” Perry Barber IV of Blackshear; a sister, Lois Harris of Brunswick; a sister-in-law, Carol Batten Tyson of Hinesville; and many nieces, nephews and other relatives.

A celebration of life took place Sept. 19 in the chapel of Hart Funeral Home. Burial followed in the Blackshear City Cemetery. 

Sympathy may be expressed by signing online at www.hartfh.com.

Hart Funeral Home of Blackshear was in charge of arrangements.