Rev. Thomas Smith Jr.
A celebration of life service for Pastor Thomas Smith Jr., 70, pastor of St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Patterson, on the Ridge,  will be held Saturday at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 864 Oak St., where the Rev. Paul Joseph Bailey Jr. is pastor. The Rev. Virgil L. Scott Sr., moderator of Greater Eastern Missionary Baptist Association, will preside and the Rev. Fer-Rell M. Malone Sr., pastor of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, will offer words of comfort.
He was born March 25, 1947 to the late Deacon Thomas Smith Sr. and Roberta Austin Smith. He received his formal education from the public school systems of Pierce County and Waycross. He graduated from Center High School, Waycross, in 1967.
At the tender age of eight years old, Pastor Thomas Smith Jr. joined St. James Missionary Baptist Church, on the Ridge in Patterson, where he was pastor for 12 years and served until his transition on Friday (July 14, 2017).
He served as an usher and on the deacon board at St. James. In 1978 he was ordained to preach the living word of the Lord and Savior. In 1980 he received his master of theology degree from Life Bible College.
He served as pastor of several churches including Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Kirkland, Macedonia Baptist Church in Patterson, St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Cogdell, St. Paul New Life Church in Homerville, Shiloh Baptist Church in Douglas, First African Baptist Church in Riceboro and St. James Missionary Baptist Church, Patterson, on the Ridge.
He also served as moderator of the Greater Eastern Baptist Association and the Progressive Missionary Association of Riceboro. He was active in the nursing home ministries in Waycross, Blackshear and Ludowici.
He was employed with Champion International Paper Inc. for 33 years before his retirement. Following his retirement from there, he worked with Domino’s Pizza as a delivery driver for three years.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Deacon Thomas Smith Sr. and Roberta Austin Smith, a daughter, Michelle Lynette Smith, of Waycross, and a sister, Dorothy Ann Blutcher
Those left to cherish his memory include his loving and devoted wife of 49 years, Christine Burgess Smith; five sons, Timothy T. Smith, Thomas A. Smith lll, James L. Smith (Brenda), Travis L. Smith (Arlinda), all of Waycross, Minster Benjamin Smith (Jennifer), of Bartow, Fla.; three daughters, Thomastine L. Smith (special friend, Greg Irving), Sheryltina L. Smith and Criceta Smith-Perry (Martin), all of Waycross; five brothers, Lewis Smith (Lynette), Kenneth Smith (Carastine), James Smith (Betty), Richard Smith and Calvin Smith, all of Waycross; three sisters, Wilta A, Givings (Eugene), Shirldon McElroy and Helen Staggers, all of Waycross; god-son, James McCormick; a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews including two special nephews, David Burgess, of Waycross, and Barron Pharmes, of Bartow, Fla.; and cousins and friends.
Friends are being received at the Smith residence, 908 Cedar St., and Friday evening from 6 to 8 at St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Patterson, on the Ridge.
The body will lie in repose Saturday at the church from 9 a.m. to the hour of service.
Interment will be in St. James Church Cemetery, on the Ridge.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to  Fluker Funeral Home.

Harris Boyd Jr.
Harris Boyd Jr., 73, of 1604 ABC Ave., passed Sunday morning (July 16, 2017) at Baptist Village Retirement Communities with several loved ones at his bedside.
Affectionately known to his family and friends as Harry or Bubba, he was born Oct. 13, 1943, in Waycross. He was the eldest child of the late Harris Boyd Sr. and Viola Barnes Boyd. He was joined in holy matrimony with the late Cynthia Dennis Boyd for 11 wonderful years. He was preceded in death by a son, Curtis Tyrone Boyd, mother of his son and daughter, the late Johnnie Mae Hill Clark, and a brother, Curtis Lee Boyd.
He received his formal education from the Waycross Public School System, graduating from Center High School in 1964. He became a member of Shiloh Baptist Church at an early age where he served as an usher and other capacities until his health declined.
He was employed at Laura Walker State Park for years before becoming employed with Waycross Housing Authority as a maintenance supervisor until retirement in 2005.
“Harry the ball caller” was a well-known official. He called high school and recreation league games — more than a thousand of them. High school state tournaments and playoffs utilize the top officials and he was called upon to officiate several of them.
He coached the McDonald Street Rattlers for a while and played semi-pro baseball. He was also an adult league recreation coach/mentor and a legendary basketball, baseball, softball and football referee and umpire.
In March of this year, he was awarded the Rev. F.J. Beverly Beacon of Light award. He was also inducted into the Waycross/Ware County Sports Hall of Fame.
His family will forever cherish his memories, including one son, Thaddeus Leon (Rosalind) Boyd, Hampton; two daughters, Sherryl Boyd Scott ( Elson) and Kena Boyd, Waycross; one sister, Rosemary Boyd; two brothers, Albert (Faye) Boyd and Jay (Ina) Boyd, all of Waycross;  seven step-daughters, Shalonda  Dennis, Savannah, Petrina Dennis, Brunswick, Erica (Derick) Jenkins, LaTashia McElroy, Kimberly McElroy, Jana McElroy and Roderica George, of Waycross; mother-in-law, Ms. Jerry Dennis; 27 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; four sisters-in-law; Taryl Lynn Dennis, Deborah (Patrick ) Combs, Shameka (Curt) Douglas and LaTonya Dennis, of Waycross; four brothers-in-law, Elvin Dennis, Donnie Dennis, Michael Dennis and Melvin Dennis, of Waycross; two aunts,  Bobby Jean Frazier and Patricia Young, of Jacksonville, Fla.; mother of his daughter, Julia Denise Walker; and numerous  nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
Visitation will be Friday from 5 until 7 p.m. in the chapel of Rainge Memorial Funeral Home.
The funeral will be Saturday at 3 p.m. at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church with the Rev. Alfred Stephens, pastor, Waycross, presiding, and Pastor Jimmy Boyd, of Christian Love Fellowship Church, Valdosta,  offering words of comfort.
Burial will follow in the Oakland Cemetery.
The body will lie in state at 2 p.m. The cortege will assemble at 1333 Mary St. at 2 p.m.
Rainge Memorial Chapel Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Sympathy may be expressed at

David ‘Bill’ Griffin
NAHUNTA — David William “Bill” Griffin, 84, of Nahunta, passed away Tuesday (July 18, 2017) at Bayview Nursing Home following an extended illness.
Born in Waresboro, he was the son of the late Avery C. Griffin and Edna Lee Griffin. He was also preceded in death by his wife, Emmie Hickox Howell Griffin, his stepdaughter, Yvonne Queen, granddaughter, Sandra Ann Westberry, great-grandson, T.J. Reeves, two sisters, Julia Crews and Jeanette Smith, and three brothers, A.C. Griffin, Wallace Griffin and Elmer Lee.
He was a member of Mt. Zion Christian Church. He worked many years in public works for the City of Nahunta and enjoyed watching TV, spending time with his family and taking his grandkids on vacation.
Survivors include his stepdaughter, who he loved as a daughter, and her husband, Evelyn Strickland (Buster), of Nahunta, three grandchildren and their spouses, Donald Ray Queen, Teresa Johns (Richard), Harvey Strickland (Sandra), three great-grandchildren, Renee Fowler (Dale), Dustin Johns, Thomas Johns (Jadison), and several nieces, nephews and other relatives.
A funeral will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at Frye Funeral Home with the Rev. Hilton Morgan officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service.
Burial will follow in High Bluff Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Harvey Strickland, Dustin Johns, Richard Johns, Dale Fowler, Tom Wirth, Gene Solano and Mike Mayatt.
Honorary pallbearers will be City of Nahunta employees.
Family and pallbearers are asked to meet at the funeral home Friday by 10:30 a.m.
The family will receive friends at the residence of Evelyn and Buster Strickland, 4503 Buffalo Creek Drive, Nahunta.
Arrangements are with Frye Funeral Home, Nahunta.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at

A.P. Henderson Jr.
Alvin P. “A.P.” Henderson Jr., 91, died Wednesday night (July 19, 2017) at his residence following a short illness.
Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Music Funeral Home.

Lamar Allen Tyre
Lamar Allen Tyre, 71, of Waycross, died Wednesday evening (July 19, 2017) at Memorial Satilla Health in Waycross after an extended illness.
Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Miles-Odum Funeral Home.

Alva ‘Laverne’ Lairsey
Alva “Laverne” Lairsey, 68, died Wednesday morning (July 19, 2017) at Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla. following a short illness.
She was born in Bacon County and lived there many years before moving to Waycross. She was a homemaker and business manager for Lairsey Plumbing of Waycross. She was also a faithful member of Olivet Baptist Church and loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend to so many others.
She was a daughter of the late Barry Alvin Rigdon and Grace Waters Rigdon. She was also preceded in death by a great-granddaughter, Gracie Smith, a sister, Nellie Hill, and three brothers, Luther Ricketson, Irvin Rigdon and Earl Ricketson.
She is survived by her husband of 31 years, Charles “Eddie” Lairsey Jr., of Waycross; two children, Stacy Williams, of Waycross, and Ginger Williams Oxford (husband, Matt), of Waycross; four grandchildren, Nicole Smith (husband, Kyle), Will Williams, Stetson Oxford and Kassidy Oxford, all of Waycross; one great-grandson, Waylon Smith, of Waycross; four sisters, Gertha Brubaker (husband, Bob), of Akron, Ohio, Martha Watson, of Gainesville, Latrelle Turner, of Jacksonville, Fla., and Shirley Davis (husband, Leon), of Blackshear; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at Olivet Baptist Church. Burial will follow in High Bluff Cemetery.
The family will receive friends Friday evening at Music Funeral Home from 6 until 8 o’clock.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at
Music Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Nevada Dixon
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The funeral for Nevada Dixon, 94, who passed away Monday (July 17, 2017) will be held Friday at 2 p.m. in the chapel of George H. Hewell and Son Funeral Home, 4747 Main St., Jacksonville, Fla. 32206,.
The Rev. Donnie Miles will officiate.
The family will receive friends one hour prior to service at the funeral home.
Interment will follow in Evergreen Cemetery.
She was born in Hoboken and was a longtime resident of Jacksonville, Fla. She was a member of Faith Baptist Church.
She had owned and operated a children’s day care for many years and touched many lives.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband of many years, John Folks Dixon, a daughter, Nina Arlene Thomas, and a brother, Donald Shuman.
Survivors include her daughter, Terri Jo Dixon, one brother, Alvin Shuman, two grandchildren, Nathan Thomas and Kari Davis, several cousins and other relatives and a host of friends.

Helen Murdock
A graveside service for Helen Royal Murdock was held Wednesday morning at Riverside Oakview Cemetery in Albany with the Rev. Terry Reece officiating.
Miles-Odum Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Rosella Capps Day
A funeral for Rosella Capps Day was held Wednesday morning at Miles-Odum Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Ben Smith officiating.
Burial followed in High Bluff Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Stevie Capps, Chase Capps, Morris Capps, Dale Wiley, Joe Bob Day and Dylan Capps.
Miles-Odum Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.