J. Alvin Leaphart Jr.
Joseph Alvin Leaphart Jr., of Jesup and Shellman Bluff, died Monday (Jan. 22, 2018) at Southeast Georgia Health System in Brunswick, after a lengthy illness.
He lived most of his adult life in Jesup. He was a communicant of Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Jesup. While he was in high school, he worked in his father’s hospital as an orderly as well as a lab and x-ray assistant.
He graduated from Georgia Military Academy and attended Oglethorpe University, Florida State University and Atlanta Art Institute. He served his country in the United States Coast Guard for two years off the coast of New England on a search and rescue cutter and a cable laying vessel.
Following his Coast Guard service, he earned his law degree from Atlanta Law School and was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1962. Starting his legal career in Atlanta, he returned to practice law in Jesup with his uncle, Warner Gibbs. He practiced law in Jesup and throughout southeast Georgia for 55 years.
He served as a leader among his peers in the Georgia legal community, having the distinction of being the longest serving member of the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia for 40 years. Throughout his tenure on the Board of Governors, he provided a strong voice for the interests of his fellow bar members, especially his fellow “county lawyer” colleagues in Georgia’s small towns and rural areas.
During his legal career, he served as attorney for the following entities: City of Jesup, City of Odum, Wayne County, Wayne County Board of Education and McIntosh County Board of Education.
He was the author of several novels, many of which were set in his beloved coastal Georgia. However, he was the proudest of his law manual published in December 2016, “How to Practice Law in a Small Town and Make Money Doing It.”
He was a talented artist, avid reader, history student and had traveled extensively throughout the world. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, sailing and boat building having built a 65-foot steel hull sailboat in his backyard which was seaworthy despite the skepticism of family and friends. He held a master’s license issued by the United States Coast Guard.
He was active in politics beginning at an early age. One of his fondest memories was playing in the halls of Congress while his grandfather, Ben Gibbs, served as a United States Congressman and when his grandmother, Florence Gibbs, was elected Georgia’s first Congresswoman to complete her husband’s unexpired term.
He was a longtime member of the Wayne County Democrat Party serving in numerous offices including chairman. He also served on the state committee of the Georgia Democratic Party. He was active in the campaigns of many local, state and presidential candidates.
He and his wife, Beverly, attended both of President Bill Clinton’s inaugurations and were both delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
He was a longtime member of the Jesup Elks Lodge No. 2133 B.P.O.E., the Jesup Lodge No. 112 F&AM, the Alee Temple and Shrine Club, the Jesup Royal Arch Masons No. 70 R.A.M. and was a member and past president of the Jesup Rotary Club.
He was born and raised in Jesup, son of the late Dr. Joseph Alvin Leaphart Sr. and Betty Gibbs Leaphart. In addition to his parents, his infant son, Joseph Alvin Leaphart III, and his sister, Florence Leaphart Stanford preceded him in death.
Survivors include his wife of 30 years, Beverly Westberry Leaphart, his daughter, Dr. Lynn Leaphart and her partner, Terry Adkins, of Savannah and Saint Marys, his son, Joseph Alvin Leaphart IV (wife, Erica), of Los Alamos, N.M., and his granddaughter, Amelia Leaphart, of Decatur, one sister, Patricia Leaphart Garbutt (husband, “Sonny”) of Jesup, one brother, Ben Leaphart (wife, Millie), of Greenville, S.C., and many nephews and nieces.
Visitation will be from 3 until 5 p.m. and 6 until 8 p.m. on Friday at Howard and Jones Funeral Home in Jesup.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Jesup with the Rev. Dee Shaffer, the Rev. Steve Larson and Deacon Marty Meuschke officiating. A reception will follow the service immediately in the church parish hall.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, 745 South Palm St., Jesup.
A guestbook is available online at www.jesupfuneralhome.com
Howard & Jones Funeral Home of Jesup is serving the family.

Leatha Mae Carnegie
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; Henceforth there is laid up for a crown of righteousness, which the lord, the righteous judge shall give me at that day.” II Timothy 7:8
Leatha Mae Robertson Carnegie, 82, of 160 Reagan Circle, Waycross, passed away Friday (Jan. 19, 2018) at the Hospice Satilla Hospice House in Waycross.
She lived life to the fullest through simple pleasures — spending time with her family, cooking and going to church.
She had an uncanny ability to reach people in a humorous way.  She possessed a contagious smile and an entertaining sense of humor. Throughout her life she maintained a sweet and simple demeanor that won the trust and hearts of many.  Many lives were changed by her nurturing love and faith. Her signature gift of joy, shown through her constant smiling, laughter and joking around, will never be forgotten.
She was born in Quitman to the late Deacon Willie Robertson Sr. and the late Julia Mae Robertson. She was the oldest of seven children.
She was preceded in death by a brother and sister, Willie Robertson Jr. and Estelle Robertson Stanford. She received her formal education at Brooks and Ware County public schools.
Mother Carnegie accepted the Lord at an early age and received the baptism of the Holy Ghost under the leadership of Elder Rhoden at First Born Church of the Living God No. 2 (Hebardville).
She was joined in holy matrimony to her childhood sweetheart, Deacon Leroy Bennett Sr., and to this union seven children were born. She was preceded in death by her oldest daughter, Frankie Lois Preston.
She worked at Baptist Village and the Paradise Café. She served as faithful choir president in the First Born Church No. 2 Senior Choir. In this choir she was known for singing “Christ is All.”
Later she and her family moved to Bainbridge where she was employed with ITT Thompson and Amoco, Inc. After retiring, she relocated back to Waycross and joined True House of Deliverance Holiness Church under the leadership of her daughter, Pastor Juliette Howard, where she served as the church mother. She departed this life Friday after an extended illness “to be absent from the body and present with the Lord.”
A life complete, A life well spent, A lasting legacy:
She leaves to cherish her wonderful memories, her children, Pastor Linda Faye Swift (Lester), James Lester Bennett (Ophelia), Juliette Bennett Howard (Aaron) and Leroy Bennett Jr. (Mary), all of Waycross, Tammy Shree Denton and Milliedean Ann Gadson (Bruce), of Bainbridge; a special granddaughter and caregiver, Araine LeFaye Howard (Joel), of Patterson; 12 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, eight great-great-great grandchildren; one loving sister, Annie Lois Jones; and three brothers, Nathaniel Robertson Sr. (Maxine), Freddie Lee Robertson Sr. (Jeannette) and Jackie Robertson, all of Waycross; two special friends, Patricia Ann Austile and Marguerite Gant; a special son-in-law, Freddie Preston Sr.; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and countless friends.
Visitation for family only will be Friday at 1 p.m. Public viewing begins at 2:30 p.m.
The funeral will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Church of Christ Written in Heaven, 617 Blackwell St.
Bishop John Moss is pastor, and her daughter, Pastor Juliet Howard, of True House of Deliverance, Waycross, will deliver words of comfort.
The body will lie in state from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.
The family is receiving friends at the home of her son and daughter-in-law, James and Ophelia Bennett, 2128 Screven Ave., Waycross.
The cortege will assemble at 10 a.m. Saturday, also at the home of her son and daughter-in-law.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.raingememorialchapelinc.com
Rainge Memorial Chapel Funeral Home of Blackshear is in charge of arrangements.

Aline Virginia Drawdy Robinson
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Aline Virginia Drawdy Robinson, 82, of Williamsburg, Va., passed away Monday morning (Jan. 15, 2018).
Born in Pierce County on Nov. 23, 1935, she lived in Falls Church, Va., where she raised her family before later moving to Williamsburg.
She was initially a homemaker but as her children became school-aged, she transitioned into a career as a seamstress. Initially, doing alterations and making curtains. She progressed into making bridal gowns and wedding planning and became quite accomplished and well known in doing so.
She was the daughter of the late Burris D. and Nola Lee Drawdy. She was also preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Richard F. Robinson, a son, Ronald Austin Drawdy, and two brothers, Jo Allen Drawdy and Edward Drawdy.
Survivors include her two daughters, Elizabeth Susan Robinson, of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Audrey Lynn Kostelecky, of Columbia, Md.; two sons and a daughter-in-law, William Scott Robinson, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Michael Kevin (Louise) Robinson, of Vienna, Va.; five sisters, Nola Mae (Roger) Carter and Glenda (Larry) Lee, both of Blackshear, Joan (Jimmy) Lee, of Hoboken, Ellie (Bill) Loudermilk, of Perry, and Linda (Lee) Hayden, of Griffin; two brothers, Daniel (Gloria) Drawdy and Joseph (Karen) Drawdy, both of Blackshear; a sister-in-law, Lois Drawdy, of Patterson; four grandchildren, Katie Robinson, Lauren Robinson, Sean Robinson and Sam Robinson; numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.
The funeral will be held Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock at Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church.
Interment will be at the Shiloh Cemetery.
Visitation will be held Friday evening from 6 until 8 o’clock at the funeral home.
Pearson-Dial Funeral Home of Blackshear is in charge of the arrangements.

Frances White Stokes
BLACKSHEAR — The funeral for Frances White Stokes, 81, was held Wednesday morning at 11 o’clock in the Pearson-Dial Chapel.
Officiating were the Rev. Jessie Deems and Lyn Day.
Interment was in the White Family Cemetery in Axson.
Active pallbearers were Kiser Stokes Jr., Austin Stokes, Jimmy Stokes Jr., Jasper Stokes, Franklin Stokes, Ashley Stokes and Bryan Stokes.
Honorary pallbearers were her sons, George, Kiser, James and Jimmy Lee, as well as nurses and staff of Waycross Health and Rehabilitation Center.
Pearson-Dial Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Rev. Ross E. Phillips
A funeral for the Rev. Ross Edgar Phillips was held Wednesday afternoon at Music Funeral Home Chapel with Dr. Freddie Smith officiating.
Burial will follow Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at Georgia National Cemetery in Canton.
Serving as pallbearers and conducting military rites will be a contingent of the United States Air Force.
Music Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

James L. Edwards
A funeral for James Lewis Edwards was held Wednesday afternoon at Music Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Steve Meguiar officiating.
Burial followed in Oakland Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Jimmy Allen, Andy Campbell, Ronnie Campbell, Carlos Crosby, Aaron Edwards and Jimmy Johnson.
Music Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.