Samuel Levi Adams Sr.
“Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can not heal, when this life is over we fly away and be at rest.”
It is with a sorrowful heart that the staff and management announces the passing of Samuel Levi Adams Sr., 93, of Waycross, who transitioned from this walk of life on Wednesday (April 17, 2019).
A pioneer among U.S. black journalist, he was honored nationally by many organizations for his contributions to journalism, and his efforts to advance minorities in the mass communications field. Choosing journalism over medicine, he earned several degrees, including a bachelor degree in English and Fine Arts from West Virginia State College where Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary McLeod Bethune spoke at his graduation, a bachelor degree in Journalism from Wayne State University and a masters degree in Journalism from the University of Minnesota.
During his 42-year career, he served as an award-winning journalist, an educator at five universities, a national political consultant, a civil rights activist and started the first black radio newscast on the nation’s first black-owned station, Atlanta’s WERD 860.
He was a friend of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, the two debated the role of the black press and the ministry in the civil rights movement. The list of people he interacted with included Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Civil Rights Activist Vernon Jordon, Civil Rights Activist Medgar Evers, Actor and Activist Ossie Davis, Comedian and Activist Dick Gregory and 1972 Presidential Candidate Hubert H. Humphry, just to name a few.
He had a knack for being where the action was. In 1963, he was the only black reporter from the major media covering the integration of the University of Alabama, standing only 10 feet from Governor George Wallace, who defiantly blocked the doorway to a classroom in Tuscaloosa.
He was there to cover the violence in Birmingham when peaceful demonstrators were thrashed with fire hoses.
He was there in Washington, D.C., when King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
He was at the Watergate building during the 1972 break-in, serving as the Deputy Director of the Minorities Division and the Assistant Director of Communications for the Democratic National Committee.
He worked as a reporter for the Atlanta Daily World, a copy editor for the Des Moines Register, and an investigative reporter for the St. Petersburg Times. He was an educator at the University of South Florida, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Kansas, Hampton Institute and the University of the Virgin Islands. He mentored many black students who had successful careers — three of them would win Pulitzer Prizes — one of his proudest achievements.
While at the University of Kansas, he founded the Ida B. Wells Award, given annually by the National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ) to honor people who have shown exemplary achievement advancing, hiring and promoting minorities in the news media. Ironically, the NABJ awarded Samuel this award in 2002, after his retirement, and earlier awarded him a “Lifetime Achievement” Award in 1997.
A short time after passage of legislation outlawing segregation in 1964, Samuel and his wife Elenora trekked 4,300 miles through 12 southern states to check compliance of the new laws. The title of the award winning movie, “The Green Book,” references conditions faced by blacks when traveling through the south. Adams and his wife’s journey was a real life Green Book. He received a Pulitzer Prize Nomination for this series of articles published in numerous newspapers nationwide. Less than a year later his investigative skills earned him another Pulitzer Prize nomination — uncovering the mishandling of federal funds by college officials at Gibbs Junior College, in St. Petersburg, Fla. He also received the prestigious Green Eyeshade Award for coverage on the Camp Happy Migrant Farm Workers which helped launch President Lyndon Johnson’s war on hunger and wage increases for migrant workers.
He served as director of the Southern Regional Council, based in Atlanta, in 1965 and 1966. He wrote a grant proposal and received a $1.5 million grant from the Ford Foundation to start the Voter Education Project. This project helped to elect hundreds of minority officials across the South.
His professional accomplishments, influence on race relations, politics and involvement in the civil rights struggle are legendary, but he truly shined as an adoring son, a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, a supportive brother to his siblings, and a doting uncle, friend and role model to his many students. He will be missed, but never forgotten.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe Nathan and Viola Adams, three brothers, James, Carlton and Curtis, and one sister, Ola.
He is survived by his wife, Elenora Adams; daughter, Carol (William) Adams-Smith, of Torrance, Calif.; sons, Bruce (Phyllis) Adams, of Willingboro, N.J., Samuel Adams Jr., of Los Angeles, Calif.; sister, Dorothy Adams-Peck, of West Palm Beach, Fla.; and a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.
A graveside service will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Hazzard Hill Cemetery.
Public viewing will be held on Friday from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. at the funeral home.
Final rites were entrusted to Harrington Family Funeral Services.
Mildred M. Brown
BLACKSHEAR — Mildred Mozelle Ryals Brown, 101, of Blackshear, passed away early Tuesday morning (April 23, 2019) at Harborview Health Systems.
Born in Ellerslie, Ga., Aug. 22, 1917, she lived in Midland for most of her life before moving to Pierce County in 2012. She was retired from the Municipal Court where she had been a chief clerk. She was a member of Blackshear First United Methodist Church and was a former member of Midland United Methodist Church where she had been very active in all capacities for more than 50 years. She was also an Emeritus member of the Columbus Chapter 261 of the Eastern Star.
Since living in Blackshear she had been very active with and enjoyed the activities at the Pierce County Senior Center until going into the nursing home.
She was a daughter of the late Johnny Chessley and Fannie Cook Ryals. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Archie Malcolm Brown Sr., a son-in-law, the Rev. Freddie Wheeler, and by all of her brothers and sisters.
Survivors include three daughters, Jo Ann Wheeler, of Blackshear, and Mary J. Brown and Kathryn Brown, both of Blackshear and Midland; a son, Mac Brown, of Midland; five grandchildren, Taska (Dr. Don) Zorn, Kara Turk, Dr. Hank (Anna) Wheeler and Nan (Dr. Alan) Warren; 14 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews and other relatives.
A memorial service will be held Saturday afternoon (May 18, 2019) at 2 o’clock at Blackshear First United Methodist Church.
The family will receive at the church one hour prior to the service.
Memorialization will be by cremation.
A private interment will be held at a later date.
Memorials may be made to the United Methodist Children’s Home, P.O. Box 2525, Macon, Ga. 31203, or to Magnolia Manor, 2001 South Lee St., Americus, Ga. 31709.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online register at www.pearsondial.com.
Pearson-Dial Funeral Home of Blackshear is in charge of arrangements.
James Ray ‘Bo’ Beverly
James Ray “Bo” Beverly passed from his earthly home to his heavenly home on Saturday (April 20, 2019) at home after an extended illness.
He was 83 years old. He had a long courageous battle with cancer.
He was proceeded in death by his wife of 57 years, Doris Wynell (Nell) Beverly, as well as his parents, George S. Harris and Maebelle Beverly Strickland, children, Betty Mae, Nancy Marie and Jamie Larone, one step-son, Johnny E. Williams, one brother, John Wayne Strickland, two sisters, Lavon Nora York, and Laverne Strickland, all of Waycross.
He is survived by his son, Audie Ray (Kim) Beverly, of Blackshear; two daughters, Tami Jean Price, of Blackshear, and Jennifer B. (Fred) Schwalenberg, of Waycross; three brothers, Charles Strickland, DeWayne (Linda) Strickland, Johnny (Caroline) Harris, all of Waycross; four sisters, Latrelle (Richard) Clements, of Richmond, Va., Bonnie (Chester) Chancey, of Waycross, Glenda (Tom) Williams, of Durham, N.C., and Linda Williams, of Waycross. He also has additional brothers and sisters of the Harris family of Waycross. He has seven grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren; and one aunt, Betty Cox, of Hillard, Fla.
He cherished his family. His wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, his brothers and sisters, his aunt and many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
He was a member of Hosanna Church in Waycross. He was retired when he moved back to Waycross from Savannah where he lived for 33 years. He was a salesman for Pepsi Cola for most of his life, retiring from Coastal Beverage in Savannah. He was the owner and operator of Reliable Lawn Care for 17 more years before retiring back to Waycross from Savannah.
He loved to fish and work in his yard and garden. He also loved racing cars, owning 10 cars throughout his racing enjoyment, racing at tracks all over the south east in his younger years. He also loved to write songs and sing songs. He loved his church family and had many friends most of which have passed on. He will be missed dearly. His body was donated to the State of Georgia College, for research and study. by the American Cancer Society, and the State of Georgia in Augusta.
The family would like to extend a very special thank you to Satilla Hospice of Waycross. His doctor, his nurses, his CNA’s, and all the support staff at Hospice Satilla Hospice House of Waycross, and a special thank you to the Southeast Cancer Unit for their help with our father.
Any monetary donations should be made to The Hospice House, 808 Evergreen Way, Waycross, Ga. 31501, or to The Southeast Cancer Unit. Thank you.
His memorial service is going to be held at Southside Baptist Church, 3439 Knight Ave., in Waycross, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 18.
Following the service, the family asks that everyone join them in the banquet room from 3 to 5 p.m. at Hog ’N Bones Restaurant on Memorial Drive, to share a meal and some memories.
Lois G. Zittrauer
Lois G. Zittrauer, 80, of Waycross died early Wednesday morning (April 24, 2019) at Baptist Village Retirement Communities after an extended illness.
She was born in Lanier County to the late Kyler Giddens and Maude Thompson Giddens and made Waycross her home for the majority of her life. She enjoyed every minute of her time as a resident of Baptist Village. She loved fellowshipping with the staff and residents, and participating in all of the activities Baptist Village had to offer.
More than anything she loved her family, especially her grandchildren, and any time she was able to spend with them. She attended Swamp Road Baptist Church. Along with her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Carl R. Zittrauer, two brothers, C.C. Giddens, Ernest Giddens, and a sister, Alva Lee Register.
She is survived by her son, Ronnie Zittrauer (wife, Tricia), of Waycross; four grandchildren, Sarah Ebersole (husband, Christopher), of Waycross, Samantha Zittrauer (fiancé, Darel Padgett), of Homerville, Shelby Zittrauer (fiancé, Mathew Henderson) of Dupont, Shannon Zittrauer, of Waycross; eight great-grandchildren, Caleb Ebersole, Mallorie Ebersole, Makenzie Ebersole, Rebekah Price, Jacob Price, Annalee Padgett, Tinleigh Henderson, Garrison Henderson and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.
A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Miles-Odum Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow in Kettle Creek Cemetery.
The family will receive friends Sunday at the funeral home beginning at 1 p.m.
Sympathy may be expressed at www.milesodumfuneralhome.com
Miles-Odum Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
James ‘Red’ Spencer Jr.
James William “Red” Spencer Jr., 67, of Manor, died suddenly Saturday (April 20, 2019).
He was born in Akron, Ohio, to the late James William Spencer Sr. and Mary Alice Black Spencer. He was also preceded in death by his wife, Patsy J. Spencer
He retired as an automobile and construction equipment mechanic from Baker Concrete Construction in Orlando, Fla. Following his retirement, he made his home in Manor, where he enjoyed his passion of hunting and the outdoors as an avid hunter.
Survivors include two children, Tracie Pagel (David), of Stevens Point, Wis., and James William Spencer III, of Manor; two grandchildren, Lisa Pagel (husband David) and David Pagel Jr., both of Stevens Point, Wis.; beloved dogs, Libby and Judy; special friend, Chris Church, of St. Cloud, Fla.; and numerous other family relatives.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday (June 29, 2019) at his residence at 7083 Carey James Road, Manor.
A funeral will be held at a later date in Cambridge, Ohio with burial at Center Baptist Cemetery.
Music Funeral Home in Waycross is assisting the family with arrangements.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at www.musicfuneralhome.com
Adolph Davis Jr.
Adolph Davis Jr., 87, died Wednesday (April 24, 2019) at his residence near Patterson following a brief illness.
He was a native of Ware County and lived in Ware County for most of his life. He made his home in Pierce County for the last 18 years. He was the son of the late W.J. Davis and Annie Jessie Herrin Davis. He was also preceded in death by a sister, Henrietta Jones, and a grandson, Chase Brauda.
He was a 1949 graduate of Wacona High School and served with the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He was the owner of Flanders Provisions from 1961 until 1992.
He was a member of Second Baptist Church, worked in the Sunday School Administration, and served as a church greeter for many years. He also cooked for the Upward Basketball events. He was a member of the National Rifle Association.
Survivors include his wife of 28 years, Sandra Dean Drury Brauda Davis, of Patterson; his children, Paige McNeal (husband, Cary) of Decatur, Carl Adolph Davis Jr., of Waycross, Joni Rowe (husband, Brian), of Hahira, Deana Wilson (husband, Donald), Les Brauda (wife, Andrea), and Chad Brauda (wife, Susan), all of Blackshear; grandchildren, Kalen Barber (husband, David), Sylvia Davenport (husband, Jamie), April Brauda, Morgan Brauda, Keaton McNeal, Ethan Rowe, Seth Beale, Matthew Turpin, Michael Turpin and Marissa Diem; great-grandchildren, Zoey Vaught, Gage Vaught and Wyatt Davenport; a brother, Terrell Davis (wife, Diane), of Blackshear; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be sent to Second Baptist Church, 301 Tomberlin Road, Waycross, Ga. 31503.
A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. Friday at Music Funeral Chapel.
Sympathy can be expressed by signing the online registry at www.musicfuneralhome.com
Music Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Claudia O. Stephenson
“If when this life of labor is ended, and the reward of the race you have run; Oh the sweet rest prepared for the faithful will be his blessed and final ‘Well Done’.”
It is with deepest sympathy and respect that the staff and management announces the passing of Claudia O. Stephenson, 64, of Waycross, who transitioned from this walk of life on Wednesday (April 17, 2019).
She left special family members to cherish her memories, a son, Joshua Stephenson; two sisters, Mary Cassaway (Dwain) and Patricia Stephenson, both of Waycross; two brothers, Herbert Stephenson (Deborah) and Leroy Colson (Lucille), both of Waycross; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A home hoing service will be held Saturday at 12 p.m. in the sanctuary of the Congregational First Born Church. Burial will follow immediately after at the Oakland Cemetery.
A public viewing will be held on Friday from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. at the funeral home. Final rites were entrusted to Harrington Family Funeral Services.
Raymond Lankford, 84, passed away at his residence Tuesday morning (April 23, 2019) following an extended illness.
He was a native of Coffee County, but lived in Ware County since 1963. He was the husband of the late Macy Crews Lankford. He was the youngest and the last surviving child of nine born to James Daniel Lankford and Iris Elizabeth Joyce Lankford.
He retired from the United States Army with the rank of 1st Sergeant in 1976 after 20 years of service. Among his medals he had been awarded the Vietnam Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Achievement Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal. After his military retirement he worked as truck driver with several different companies retiring again in 2000.
He was a member of Deenwood Baptist Church.
Survivors include four children Raymond Eddie Lankford (wife, Diane), of Welaka, Fla., Deborah Ann Henderson (husband, Edward), of Waycross, Gregory Lankford, of Waycross, and James Wiley Lankford, of Waycross; 13 grandchildren, 18 great- grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.
A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Music Funeral Home Chapel.
Burial with full military honors will be in the Telmore Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 12:30 until 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at www.musicfuneralhome.com
Music Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Joan Wilson Carter
A funeral for Joan Wilson Carter was held Wednesday afternoon at Bickley United Methodist Church with Dr. Felton Harden and the Rev. Joey Floyd officiating.
Burial followed in Oak Grove Cemetery.
Pallbearers were J.R. Bagley, Dylan Carter, Liston Carter, Ronnie Gay, Cliff Thomas and Chad Waldron.
Honorary pallbearers were Jody Gay, Carter Hanchey and Luke Waldron.
Music Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.