Mary Lessie Gulley
A celebration of life service for Mary Lessie Gulley will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 1110 Pittman St., with the church pastor, the Rev. Johnny Arnold, offering words of comfort.
Interment will be in Oakland Cemetery.
The body will lie in repose Saturday from 9 a.m. to the hour of service.
Visitation will be Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. at Fluker Funeral Home, 985 Ossie Davis Parkway.
She was the daughter of the late Grady Shaw Sr. and Sallie Robinson Shaw, born April 3, 1944, in Waverly (Lee County), Ala. She was the youngest of eight children. Two brothers, Grady Shaw Jr. and Bobby Allen Shaw, and five sisters, Lorene Middleton, Lena Lou Macon, Gracie Moody, Louise Davis and Georgia Ann Whitfield, preceded her in death. She was also preceded in death by her husband of 37 years, Linwood Gulley Sr. Their union was blessed with six children.
She accepted Christ as her personal Savior and joined greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church. She was a joy to be around and always brought smiles and laughter wherever she went.
She departed this life Sunday morning (Dec. 20, 2015) after an illness. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, friend and will be deeply missed.
Those left to cherish her memory include her children, Carolyn Dodson (Lorenzo), of Valdosta, Linwood Gulley Jr. (Brenda), of Warner Robins, Belinda Bates (James), of Conyers, Anna Gulley, of Land o’ Lakes, Fla., Leslie Gulley, of Temple Terrace, Fla., and Larry Gulley, of New Milford, Conn.; her grandchildren, Jeanette Causer, of Waycross, and 13 other loving grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
Friends are being received at her granddaughter’s residence, Jeanette Causer, 1303 James St.
Arrangements are entrusted to Fluker Funeral Home.

Johnny Higginbotham
Johnny Jasper Higginbotham, 72, died Tuesday night (Dec. 22, 2015) at his residence in Pierce County following an extended illness.
He was a native of Ware County but lived the past 30-plus years in Pierce County. He was the husband of the late Gladys Fay Johnson Higginbotham and son of the late James Harold Higginbotham Sr. and Rosa Lee Howell Higginbotham. He was also preceded in death by a son, Johnny J. Higginbotham Jr, and a brother, James Harold Higginbotham Jr.
He was formerly employed with King Edward Cigar Co. as a machinist and with Allied Timber Co. as a heavy equipment operator for many years. He was a member of Youmans Chapel Baptist Church and a former member of Bennett Bay Hunting Club for many years.
Survivors include four daughters, Carol King (husband, Mike), of Waycross, Pam Studstill (husband, Charles), of Blackshear, Sandra Thrift (husband, Tony), of Blackshear, and Sherry Martin (husband, Chris), of Sargent, Texas; a son, John Walker Higginbotham, of Blackshear; 13 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; a sister, Virginia Mishoe, of Nahunta; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.
A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Youmans Chapel Baptist Church. Burial will be in the Waters Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 6 until 8 p.m. Saturday at Music Funeral Home.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at
Music Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Brenda Sue Sims
Brenda Sue Sims, 55, passed away Tuesday evening (Dec. 22, 2015) at her residence surrounded by the love of her family.
She was a native of Jacksonville, Fla., where she graduated from Andrew Jackson High School. A resident of Waycross for 37 years, she was a former manager of Fuji’s Japanese Steakhouse in Baxley and Waycross.
She was a member of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church.
Survivors include her husband of 36 years, Steve Sims “Cavagnaro,” of Waycross; her parents, Alton and Eva Pearson Carlisle, of Jacksonville, Fla.; three brothers; her mother-in-law, Nelda Towson, of Waycross; three brothers-in-law, Ralph Cavagnaro, Tim Cavagnaro (wife, Tammy) and John Edge, all of Waycross; one sister-in-law, Cindy McCook, of Waycross; and numerous nieces and nephews whom she considered her children.
A family celebration of her life will be held a later date.
Memorialization is by cremation.
Music Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at

Marlene M. Strickland
BLACKSHEAR — Marlene Manning Strickland, 73, of Blackshear, passed away Sunday afternoon (Dec. 20, 2015) at her residence following a lengthy illness.
Born in Blackshear, March 27, 1942, she lived in Pierce County most of her life. She was a retired certified nursing assistant (CNA) having worked for Pierce County Home Health. She was of the Baptist faith and enjoyed cooking and gardening and loved her cats and dogs.
She was a daughter of the late Thomas Olin and Mary Smith Manning. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Franklin Lynell Strickland, a step-son, Danny Strickland, and both of her brothers, Arnold Virgil Manning and Thomas Daniel “Danny” Manning.
Survivors include three daughters, Jennifer Manning, of Blackshear, Debbie Manning, of Nahunta, and Donna Adams, of Blackshear; a son and daughter-in-law, Thomas “Tommy” and Susan Manning, of Blackshear; two step-daughters, Linette Mater and Mandy Herrin, both of Waycross; eight grandchildren, T.J. Manning (Ruby Havis), Lisa Manning, Keith Altman (Shelby), Sadie Altman (Seth Johnson), James Griner (Sarah Thornton), Lee Manning, LeeAnn Adams and Jack Manning; seven great-grandchildren, Tyler, Manning, Katelynn Manning, Ansley Manning, Jayden Altman, Remington Altman, Matthew Moon, Nickali Altman; one great-grandchild on the way, Jax; 6-plus step-grandchildren; 7-plus step-great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews and other relatives.
The funeral was held at 2 o’clock Wednesday afternoon at the Pearson-Dial Chapel.
Officiating was the Rev. Buddy Griner.
Interment was in Smyrna Cemetery in Brantley County.
Active pallbearers were T.J. Manning, James Griner, Lisa Manning, Keith Altman, Lee Manning and Seth Johnson.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at
Pearson-Dial Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Ronald D. Westberry
Ronald Darrell Westberry, 67, died Tuesday (Dec. 22, 2015) at his residence following an extended illness.
He attended Waycross public schools and graduated from Waycross High School in 1966. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1966 and served as Hospital Corpsman in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was decorated by Secretary of the Navy with the Navy Achievement Medal and authorized to wear the Combat “V” for Valor of Service during Vietnam.
Following an honorable discharge from the Navy, he attended Memorial Hospital School of Radiologic Technology and received his associate degree in business administration from Waycross Junior College. He also received his associate degree in nursing from Waycross/South Georgia College.
He worked as chief radiologic technologist with Hospital Corporation of America and managing Radiology, Ultrasound and Nuclear Medicine Departments at two locations.
He was employed for 23 years with Memorial Hospital/Satilla Regional Medical Center as a radiologic technologist and registered nurse in various positions. He was also instrumental in bringing the first Cardiac Catheterization Lab to Waycross and was named “Nurse of the Year” finalist in 2004 for the 8th District of Georgia.
He was a lifetime member of First Christian Church of Waycross where he served as an elder and chancel choir member. Other affiliations include a 32nd Degree Mason with F&AM Lodge 305 of Waycross, Scottish Rite, Valley of Albany, Orient of Georgia, former member of Kiwanis Club of Waycross, former member of Local Chapter of the American Heart Association, Lt. Col. with Southeast Disaster Relief Services of the United States Support Command under Homeland Security, and served on the board of the Okefenokee Heritage Center.
He loved arts and painted in oils and watercolor. He also loved and enjoyed the outdoors, nature, camping, fishing, traveling and photography.
He was a son of the late Charles M. Westberry Sr. and Lois Delk Westberry.
He is survived by his wife, Patty Finn Westberry, of Waycross; two sons, Shannon Patrick Westberry, of Waycross, and Eric Lee Westberry (Amy), of Waycross; a brother, Charles M. Westberry Jr., of Wheaton, Ill.; and two grandsons, Jesse Kegan Westberry, of Waycross, and Darrell Lee Westberry, of Screven.
A memorial service will be held 10 a.m. Monday at First Christian Church.
The family will receive friends Sunday afternoon at Music Funeral Home from 4 until 6 o’clock.
The family requests memorials to be sent to Hospice Satilla, 808 Evergreen Way, Waycross, Ga. 31501 or First Christian Church, 412 McDonald St., Waycross, Ga. 31501.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at

Effie Mae Bennett
Effie Mae Davis Bennett, 95, died Wednesday afternoon (Dec. 23, 2015) at Baptist Village Retirement Communities following an extended illness.
She was a native and lifelong resident of Ware County and retired as a nurse from the Ware County Hospital. She was a member of Zion Hill Freewill Baptist Church and the Shrine Auxiliary. She was also a member of Order of the Eastern Star and the Ware County Home Demonstration Club.
She was a daughter of the late Lewis Stafford Davis and Florence Catherine Hurtle Davis. She was married to the late James Calvin Bennett.
She is survived by her son, James Russell “Rusty” Bennett, of Haywood; a grandson, Justin Brack Bennett (Jessica), of Haywood; three great-grandchildren, Hunter Bennett, Alexys Bennett and Sarah Bennett; two sisters, Mattie Godwin and Monette D. Evans, both of Waycross; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral will be held 3 p.m. Sunday at the Music Funeral Home Chapel.
Burial will be in Jordan Cemetery in Dixie Union.
The family will receive friends Saturday evening at Music Funeral Home from 6 until 8 o’clock.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at