Joe Ballentine Jr.
Local historian and collector Joseph Charles Ballentine Jr., 93, went to his heavenly reward Tuesday morning (Feb. 20, 2018) after a courageous battle against old age.
He never met a stranger and lived out the life portrayed in Dylan Thomas’s poem, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.” Ballentine took an active interest in local and area history until the end.
He was born in Newport News, Va., Dec. 26, 1924. He was predeceased by his father, Joseph Charles Ballentine Sr., and his mother, Frances Blades Crockett, along with a brother, John Thomas Ballentine.
A veteran of World War II, he was drafted in January 1943 and served in the Air Force as a Radio-Gunner on a B-24 Bomber. He was with the 15th Air Force and served in Italy with the 451st Bomb Group and the 715 Squadron, stationed in Foggia, Italy.
Ballentine was on the bombing raids on the Romania Polesti Oil Fields on Oct. 4, 1944 when he was wounded with a piece of metal from anti-aircraft guns, after which he was presented with the Purple Heart.
Upon returning to the United States, he was discharged in October 1946. He volunteered in 1947 to escort the bodies of dead warriors from Philadelphia to their homes for burial and did so for a year and a half. He re-enlisted just in time for the war in Korea. Ballentine served in Korea and later in Japan until his discharge in 1953.
He met his wife, Katie, and the couple were married July 11, 1953, in Newport News and later moved to Lakeland, Fla. He served in the reserves and was later discharged with the rank of master sergeant.
Ballentine was manager of the plant in the industrial park that produced orange juice when it opened in 1964 until 1972, at which time Katie and he opened a popular store in Waycross on Plant Avenue and moved it to the mall in Waycross in 1973. It was open until 1993 when they retired.
Always civic-minded, he was a member of the Okefenokee Lions club from 1964 until 1994, having served in every office in the club with perfect attendance for 27 years.
He was a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 61, Charles Ray King local post. He was also a life member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, USA, and a life member of Disabled American Veterans. He and Katie are members of Winona Park United Methodist Church of Waycross.
He attended high school in Eaton Rapids, Mich., under the auspices of the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Home from 1939 to 1943 when was drafted in January 1943.
He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Katie Sawyer Ballentine; a daughter, Mary Lou Hoover; a son, Terry Ballentine; and by grandsons, Jacob Charles Hoover (fiancée, Kensley), Jacksonville, Fla., Jeffrey Charles Ballentine, Jacksonville, Fla., Jessie Wyatt Ballentine (wife, Amy), Jacksonville, Fla.; granddaughter, Mindy Kay Owens (Mark), of California; six great-grandchildren, Ava Grace Hinton, Wyatt Thomas Ballentine, Josie Annalyn Ballentine, Joseph Weston Ballentine, Lillian Ray Owens and Lincoln Earl Owens; and a close friend, Julia Johnson, of Waycross.
After his retirement, he stayed active in civic affairs and discovered a keen interest in local and area history. This led to his teaming up with local writer Larry Purdom. The pair produced a pair of area histories, “It Happened in Waycross, Vol. I and II.”
A funeral will be held Friday morning at 11 o’clock at the Miles-Odum Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow in Oakland Cemetery.
The family will receive friends Friday morning beginning at 10 o’clock at the funeral home.
Sympathy may be expressed at www.milesodumfuneralhome.com
Miles-Odum Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Aquasha LaShae Brown
“A limb has fallen from the family tree. I keep hearing a voice that says, Grieve not for me. Remember the best times, the laughter, the song. The good life I lived while I was strong. Continue my heritage, I’m counting on you. Keep smiling and surely the sun will shine through. My mind is at ease, my soul is at rest. Remembering all, how I truly was blessed. Continue traditions, no matter how small. Go on with your life, don’t worry about falls, I miss you all dearly, so keep up your chin. Until the day comes we’re together again.” — Author unknown
Aquasha LaShae Brown, 23, passed Tuesday (Feb. 20, 2018) early in the morning from injuries sustained in a car accident. She was born March 29, 1994 to LaStre LaShon Lee and Alonza Brown in Waycross.
She attended schools in the Waycross-Ware County Public School System and was a 2012 graduate of Ware County High School. She loved talking on the telephone, taking selfie pictures, cooking, being with her friends but most of all she loved her kids. She was employed as a manager at Krystal’s Fast Food Restaurant.
She was preceded in death by her grandfathers, Richard Cobb and Alponso Bell.
She leaves to cherish her memories her children, JaNaya Munford, Jazln Brown, Jada Munford and Jesiah Brown, her parents, LaStre LaShone Lee and Alonza Brown, her siblings, her grandmothers, Essie Lee and Cynthia Brown Cooper, a host of uncles, aunts, cousins and friends.
Family and friends are being received at her mother’s home at 206 Clay St., Waycross.
Visitation will be held Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. at Rainge Memorial Chapel, 505 Ware St., Blackshear.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Emmanuel International Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, 600 Genoa St. Archbishop Michael-Angelo James, pastor, will offer words of comfort.
The cortege will assemble at 10 a.m. at 206 Clay St., Waycross.
Memorialization will be by cremation.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.raingememorialchapelinc.com
Arrangements are entrusted to Rainge Memorial Chapel, Inc.

Memphis E. George
A celebration of life for Deacon Memphis Elery George, 86, will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. at Church of Christ Written in Heaven, 617 Blackwell St., with the pastor, Bishop John Moss, offering words of comfort and Bishop Clarence Adamson presiding.
Interment will be in Greenlawn Cemetery with military honors.
The body will lie in repose Saturday from 11 a.m. to the hour of service.
Friends are being received at the home of his daughter, Linda George Boyd, 812 Eads S., and Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Church of Christ Written in Heaven.
He was born June 27, 1931 in Telmore to the late Elery George and Cleo Smith George. He received his formal education from the Ware County Public School System attending school in Telmore. He later joined the U.S. Army where he served in the Korean War and received an honorable discharge in January 1954.
He accepted Christ as his personal Savior at an early age and was the oldest member of Church of Christ Written in Heaven where he served on the deacon board.
He loved to fish and repair appliances and was known for his big bunches of greens. He had a great love for his family and other people, especially for the Telmore and Manor communities where he fished in everyone’s pond.
He was among the original employees of Pet Dairy Company in Waycross where he worked until his retirement. His kind and congenial character won a place in the hearts of those privileged to have known him.
He departed this life on Saturday evening (Feb. 17, 2018) surrounded by his family and loved ones. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by two sons, Gregory George and Jeffery George, two brothers, Leroy George and Willie George.
He leaves to cherish his memory a devoted wife of 63 years, Irma Moody George; his children, Elery George, of Waycross, Michael George (Sharon), of Laurel, Md., Linda George Boyd (Ricky), of Waycross, Alban George (Pamela), of Miami, Fla., and Barry George, of Fairburn; a brother, Talmadge George, of Templehill, Md.; sisters-in-law, Gwen George, of Miami, Fla., Dorothy Jean George, of Columbia, S.C., Earlene Moody and Jerlene Waites, both of Alma; a brother-in-law, Robert Works (Betty), of Alma; aunts, Catherine Smith and Leila Mae Baldwin, both of Waycross; a special cousin, Fred Smith (JoAnn), of Waycross; special nieces and nephews, Cleo Reynolds (Robert), Glen George (Marlene), both of Miami, Fla., Larry George (Patricia), of Augusta, Phil George (Prussia), of Columbia, S.C., Geri Scott, of Atlanta, Roslyn George and Andre George; 15 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; 10 great-great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Fluker Funeral Home.

John Berry Yeomans
MERSHON — John Berry Yeomans, 59, of Mershon, passed away Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 21, 2018) at his residence in Mershon.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Pearson-Dial Funeral Home.

Kristopher McCorvey
A funeral for Kristopher “Kodi” McCorvey was held Wednesday afternoon at Music Funeral Home Chapel with Brother Joey Chancey officiating.
Burial followed in Oakland Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Ed Haddock, Colt Hart, Matt McGill, Chris O’Berry, Lawton Sweat and David Wilson.
Music Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.