Olesby Earl Giddens
Following an extended illness, Olesby Earl “Obe” Giddens passed away, Saturday (Jan. 19, 2019) at Memorial Satilla Health, Waycross.
Born March 25, 1945 in Ware County, he was a lifelong resident of the community. He was a passionate naturalist, he immersed himself in the study, care and preservation of native flora and fauna.
An amateur geologist, he enjoyed collecting and studying samples of rocks, minerals and gems from across the globe and even obtained samples of meteorites. He was also an avid traveller and geography enthusiast. He spent his formative years traversing the 48 contiguous states and making excursions into Canada. His zeal for exploring never waned.
In 1966, with the help of a close friend, he went to work with the fledgling Waycross Cable Company, a career that he loved. He laid the first line of coaxial cable in the Waycross community. After 42 years of service with the company, he retired.
During his time as cable foreman, “Obie” developed deep friendships and fostered many acquaintances with people from all walks of life in Waycross and its surrounding communities. He remarked many times that he was blessed with a good family and a good life.
He was preceded in death by his parents, David Jeffords “Jeff” Giddens and Vada Mae Giddens, of Ware County, and his wife, Suzanne “Sue” Giddens, as well as, two brothers, Donald Jefferson Giddens and David Edward Giddens.
Survivors include his son David Jeffords “Jeff” Giddens (wife, Michele), of Statesboro; daughter, Marsha Marie Harding (husband, Robert), of Blackshear; sister, Merle Jordan (husband, Alfred), of Jacksonville, Fla.; two grandchildren, Jeffery Alan Harding, of Blackshear, and Ariana Giddens, of Statesboro; and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life memorial will be held Thursday at 3 p.m. in the Music Funeral Home Chapel, Waycross.
Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at 2 p.m.
The family asks that donations be made to Hospice Satilla (www.hospicesatilla.com) in lieu of flowers.
Memoriam will be by cremation.
Music Funeral Home is entrusted with arrangements for the family.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registration at Music Funeral (www.musicfuneralhome.com)

Freddie L. Thompson Jr.
Freddie Lealon Thompson Jr., 91, of Waycross, died Monday morning (Jan. 21, 2019) at the Hospice Satilla Hospice House after an extended illness.
He was born in Ware County to the late Freddie Lealon Thompson Sr. and Freida Kicklighter Thompson. He lived in Ware County all of his life and graduated from Wacona High School at the age of 16. He started working at Atlantic Coast Railroad at the age of 16 and worked there for 45 years and retired as a Mobile Agent.
He was a WWII veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
He was a member of Jamestown United Methodist Church. He was an avid golfer and worked as a marshal at The Lakes at Laura Walker Golf Course.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife, Cherie Lee Mobley Thompson, one son, Terry Lealon Thompson.
Survivors include his daughter, Nikki Crews (husband, Roy), of Waycross; one granddaughter, Kim Hart (husband, Robbie), of Waycross; one great-granddaughter, Hannah Grace Hart, of Waycross; daughter-in-law, Vickie Thompson, of Waycross; sister-in-law, Pug Thompson, of Conyers; numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.
A funeral will be held Thursday afternoon at 3 at the Miles-Odum Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow in Oakland Cemetery.
The family will receive friends beginning at 2 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.
Sympathy may be expressed at www.milesodumfuneralhome.com
Miles-Odum Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

John Jacob Gibbs Sr.
John Jacob “Johnny” Gibbs Sr., 60, of Waycross, passed away early Friday morning (Jan. 18 , 2019) after a short illness.
He was born and raised in Waycross to the late Curtis Howard Gibbs and Charlotte Pauline Gibbs.
Alongside his tremendous love and dedication to his family, he had a dedication and love for his work as an arborist. He was owner and operator of Arbor Vision Tree Services that specialized in the removal of trees and stumps along with many other services.
With more than 40 years of experience, he found joy daily in his profession and building relationships with his clients. As a true outdoorsman, his knowledge and love for trees and nature was astounding. He was a man of many talents and trades, a natural-born artist. He used his skills to create amazing, intricately crafted pieces, some of these skills included carving works of art with a chainsaw.
He was employed with CSX Railroad from 1976-1993. He shared many stories of times with his “railgang” brothers. Always with a huge smile, much color, and deep fondness, he felt richly blessed to have gained this lifelong brotherhood. He was known for his deep love and genuine care for his fellowman.
He never met a stranger. Evident, even as a child, he was truly gifted with love, strong faith and acceptance of people through his Lord Jesus Christ, that was remarkable to witness. He resonated Jesus’ own words to us from John 13:34, “Love one another just as I have loved you.”
He was preceded by both of his parents.
He is survived by his devoted wife, Andrea Lane Gibbs, of Waycross, of 11 years while being a friend and companion for many more; three children, John Jacob Gibbs Jr. (fiancee, Susan Drawdy), of Waycross, Jennifer Wingo (husband, Frank), of Riverview, Fla., Angela Field (husband, Jimmy), of St. Marys; 11 grandchildren, Mabrey Wingo, Matthew Wingo, Erica Field, Ian Field, Marlee Gibbs, Carter Wingo, Caylee Wingo, Holly Gibbs, Ellie Wingo, Malik Gibbs, Elena Wingo; two siblings, Harold Gibbs, of Waycross, Jenny Scurry (husband, Dwayne Scurry), of Richmond Hill; his former spouse, Cindy Hendrix, of Waycross of 15 years who he shared his three children with; and numerous other relatives.
A viewing will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Miles-Odum Funeral Home. The funeral will be the following day, Friday, at 1 p.m. at Miles-Odum Funeral Home Chapel. A graveside burial will follow the service at Oakland Cemetery.
Sympathy may be expressed at www.milesodumfuneralhome.com
Miles-Odum Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

John Leaphart
A celebration of life service for John Leaphart, 81, known to most as Johnny Lloyd, will be held Thursday at 1 p.m. at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 864 Oak St., with the church pastor, the Rev. Paul Bailey, offering words of comfort.
He was born Feb. 9, 1937 in Waycross to the late Tommy Leaphart Sr.and Mattie May Bell. He was raised in the home of the late Joe and Emma Lloyd from a toddler to adulthood. He received his formal education from the Waycross Public School System and graduated from Center High School in 1955.
He accepted Christ as his personal Savior and joined St. John Missionary Baptist Church at an early and received the Golden Member Award for 50 years of faithful service. He was a former employee of the Carver Theater, Ware Hotel and The Carter House restaurant downtown.
On Tuesday (Jan. 8, 2019), he transitioned from this life to eternal life after an illness. In addition to his parents and Joe and Emma Lloyd he was preceded in death by five brothers, Willie James Leaphart, Tommie Maehue Leaphart Jr., Wilbur Leaphart, Arthur E. Leaphart and Harold Leaphart, and a sister, Tommie Mae Leaphart Kennedy.
Those left to cherish his memory include a son, Alphonso Lamont Destin; a god-son, Earnell Collins Jr.; a loving niece, Minster Azuloy Burse; three sisters, Frances Leaphart, Patricia Johnson and Geraldine Labrew; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
Fluker Funeral Home is serving the Leaphart family.

Judith A. Van Druff
A mass of the resurrection to celebrate the life of Judith A. Van Druff was held Monday afternoon at St. Joseph Catholic Church with Father Thomas Healy officiating.
Pallbearers were William W. Newton IV., William W. Newton V., Richard Corp, Raymond Monroe, Peter Hofmann and Charles Van Druff.
Miles-Odum Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

‘Donnie’ G. James Sr.
A graveside memorial service for Donald G. “Donnie” James Sr., was held Monday afternoon at Oakland Cemetery with the Rev. Brian Powell officiating.
Miles-Odum Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.