Irene Freeman Briggs
Irene Freeman Briggs began her earthly journey on May 17, 1949, the second child of Nathaniel Freeman and Maxine Ashley Freeman. She was born in Sanford, Fla.
She graduated from Lee Street High School, Blackshear, class of 1967. After high school, she enrolled in the Job Corps thus sending her back on her journey to Detroit, Mich.
On Oct. 10, 1971, she married Israel Briggs and to this union a son was born, Randy Dion Briggs.
She joined the City of Detroit Police Department in 1977. She served on the police force for 30 years and retired July 7, 2007.
Again, she made her way back home to Patterson and began another employment with the Ware State Prison as a corrections officer in Waycross. She was known within and throughout the prison walls as “Sergeant Briggs and Gangster Granny.”
She was a person that gave respect to all, but, she demanded respect also. She was a person that went strictly by the books, no matter who you were. If anything was on your person that shouldn’t be, you were detained at the entrance. During her career, she received many awards. She decided to retire from the prison but stayed on in order to train others.
In 2008, she reconnected with St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Patterson. where she served on the Usher Ministry, Trustee Board, vice president of the Senior Mission Ministry and vice president of the Usher Ministry.
Her passion was talking to young people, helping them to realize that there are always consequences to one’s actions.
She encouraged them to dress appropriately, watch their friendship association, stay in school and have great work ethics. She loved the children, but she took Al Ashley under her wings, calling him “Her Boo,” always admonishing him to do what’s right whether alone or under supervision.
Deacon Robert Ashley’s home was the place for Sunday dinner. She would prepare a feast, enough food to feed the community. The house was full of love. Prayer always came before the meal, and everyone enjoyed watching football, laughter and plenty of talking. Then it was time to go home and watch Columbo.
Her earthly journey ended Wednesday (July 3, 2019) at Memorial Satilla Health Waycross.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Nathaniel Briggs and Maxine Ashley Freeman, husband, Israel Briggs, two brothers, Kelvin and Mark Freeman, and one sister, Joan Freeman.
Those left to cherish her memories are her son, Randy Dion Briggs, of Texas; four brothers, Robert L. Freeman, of Jacksonville, Fla., James H. Freeman, of Atlanta, Albert (Pam) Freeman, of Detroit, Mich., Bennie E. Freeman, of Oklahoma; four sisters, Patricia Dobson, of Waycross, Villira Bates (Jeffrey) Jones, Joyce Freeman and Vivian Freeman, of Detroit, Mich.; one aunt, Catherine (Lindsay) Vail, of Waycross; two close childhood, renewed friends, Patricia Wilson and Estella Ashley, of Patterson; numerous loving nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
The funeral will be held today at 11 a.m. at St. James Missionary Baptist Church, Patterson, Ridge, with Bishop A. Wilmont Williams, pastor, offering words of comfort to the family.
Interment will be at Gethsemane Cemetery in Patterson.
The cortege will assemble at 10:15 a.m. at 3295 Tyre Bridge Road, Patterson.
Arrangements are entrusted to Rainge Memorial Chapel Funeral Home in Blackshear.

Dorothy Deese
Dorothy “Dottie” Deese, 77, passed away Thursday night (July 11, 2019) at her residence in Fernandina Beach, Fla., following an extended illness.
She was born in Bacon County but resided in Nassau County, Fla. most of her life. She was employed with Shoney’s of Fernandina Beach, Fla., for 16 years as a waitress and attended Lighthouse Tabernacle of Jesus Christ.
She was a daughter of the late Mitchell Fullard and Inez Taylor Fullard. She was preceded in death by a son, Allen Harris.
She is survived by her husband of 35 years, Dock Deese, of Fernandina Beach, Fla.; four daughters, Bonita “Bonnie” Carter (Richard), of Kingsland, Tina Miller, of Kingsland, Tonya Diaz, of Kingsland, and Stacy Dilliard (Jimmy), of Danbury, N.C.; two sons, Ernest Paul Miller Jr., of Kingsland, and Damon Deese, of Atlanta; 13 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; a sister, Hazel Combs (Roy), of Millwood; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.
A funeral will be held 11 a.m. Thursday at the Music Funeral Home Chapel. A graveside service will be held 2 p.m. Thursday at Evergreen Cemetery in Fitzgerald.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at
Music Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Sharon Ann King
Sharon Ann King, 57, of Waycross, passed away Tuesday afternoon (July 9, 2019) at her residence after a brief illness.
Born in Augusta, she was the daughter of Mercer King and Susan Reeves Robertson.
She was a homemaker and a loving mother, nana and sister, who enjoyed cooking.
Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Kevin and Bonnie King, of Lyons; three daughters, Kristina King, of Lyons, Kathleen King, of Waycross, and Kerrie Reese, of Townsend; 11 grandchildren, Christian Daniels, Justin Daniels, Harley Daniels, Ethan Daniels, Mia King, Layla Tisdale, Logan Bolton, Jeremy Reese, Raeya Gonzalez, Kaylie King and Collin King; a brother and sister-in-law, Mark and Ericka King, of Waycross; four sisters and brothers-in-law, Kelly Word (Ricky), of Oklahoma, Linda and Jerry Dement, of Universal City, Texas, Carol Harvey, of Cedar Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Lisa and Chris Pope, of Kentucky; several nieces, nephews and other relatives.
A memorial service will be held Monday afternoon at 3 o’clock at Frye Funeral Home.
Visitation will be held 30 minutes before the service starting at 2:30 p.m.
Arrangements are with Frye Funeral Home, Nahunta.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at

George D. Taylor Sr.
George Daniel Taylor Sr., 40, passed away Thursday (July 11, 2019) at Memorial Satilla Health Waycross following a short illness.
He was born in Bacon County but resided in Ware County most of his adult life. He was a construction worker for many years.
He was preceded in death by his father, Preston “Bo” Taylor, a son, John Paul Taylor, a brother, Lonnie Dewayne Hutcheson, his paternal grandparents, George and Linnie Taylor, and his maternal grandparents, Lonnie and Rachel Hutcheson.
He is survived by his mother, Jean Hutcheson Delacruz, of Nicholls; his companion of 22 years, Ashly Dyal, of Waycross; two sons, Preston Taylor and George Taylor Jr., both of Waycross; two brothers, John William Caldwell, of Waycross, and Scott Taylor, of Douglas; his step-father, Wendell Barnard, of Waycross; and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held 3 p.m. today at Southside Church of God in Alma. The family will receive friends this afternoon beginning at 2 o’clock.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at
Music Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Sandra Gail McDuffie
A funeral for Sandra Gail McDuffie was held Friday morning at Music Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Lynn Harris officiating.
Burial followed in Oakland Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Joe Boatright, Evan Dixon, Skylar Dixon, A.J. Harris, Derek Howell and Brock Peacock.
Serving as honorary pallbearers were members of the Eve Parcell Sunday School Class.
Music Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.