Joe Sears
ALMA — Joe Sears, 79, of Alma, passed away Friday (March 16, 2018) at Ogeechee Area Hospice after a short illness.
He was born in Alma Oct. 19, 1938 to the late E.L. “Bill” Sears and Claudia Tanner Sears. He was retired from Bacon County High as a teacher and was a member of Alma United Methodist Church.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Sylvia Sweat Sears, of Alma, three daughters, Heather Cauley (Mark), of Spring City, Tenn., Shannon Mancil (Ken), of Lakeland, and Erin Ellis (Josh), of Alma, two sisters, Johnnie Faye Beckart, of Alma, and Jeannie Wade ( Ralph), of St. Simons Island, a brother, Bill Sears (Sue), of Newnan, 12 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Visitation will be Sunday at Alma United Methodist Church from 1 until 3 p.m.
The funeral will begin at 3 p.m. with the Rev. Craig Rikard and the Rev. Allen Hartsfield officiating.
Interment will follow in Lee’s Chapel Church Cemetery.
Active pallbearers will be Thomas Mancil, Jackson Cauley, Samuel Mancil, George Henry Cauley, Mason Ellis and Joe Thomas Cauley.
Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Bacon County class of 1957.
Crosby Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mary H. Champion
Mary Handley Champion, 81, a resident of Dothan, Ala., passed away Friday (March 16, 2018) at Southeast Alabama Medical Center, surrounded by her loving family.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at Ridgecrest Baptist Church, Dothan, Ala., with Pastor Ray Jones officiating.
The family will receive friends from 1 until 1:45 p.m. prior to the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Gideons International, P.O. Box 97251, Washington, D.C. 20090-7251.
She was born Dec. 23, 1936 in Waycross, to the late Charles B. and Emily Outlaw Handley. She was a graduate of Waycross High School and attended South Georgia College.
She married Van Champion and they raised their family in Statesboro and Talladega, Ala., before moving to Dothan in 2002. She was actively involved in her church and served as Vacation Bible School director, church secretary, WMU leader and was in the auxiliary of Gideons International. She was a faithful member of Ridgecrest Baptist Church.
She was preceded in death by her parents, a sister, Emily Riggs, and a brother, Charles Handley Jr.
Survivors include her husband of 61 years, Van Champion Sr., of Dothan, Ala., a daughter, Celeste Champion, of Montgomery, Ala., sons, Van Champion Jr. (Betsy), of Tallahassee, Fla., Bob Champion (Teresa), of Crestview, Fla., and Chris Champion (Jana), of Headland, grandchildren, Handley Mikec (Brad), Caroline Smith (Payson), Emily, Davis, Daniel, Grace, Devan and Carlan Champion, a brother, Stephen Handley (Patti Dinsmore), of Seattle, Wash., and special friends and neighbors of Wesley Place.

Peggy Wilcox Ray
A funeral for Peggy Wilcox Ray was held Friday at Hebardville United Methodist Church with the Rev. Dwayne Smith, the Rev. Tyrone Hutchinson and the Rev. Stan Taylor officiating.
Burial followed in Philadelphia Baptist Church Cemetery in Hazlehurst.
Pallbearers were Wendell Barnard, A.J. Lewis, Gerald Lewis, Kenneth Loper, Dewey Newman and Josh Ray.
Music Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.