Brandi C. Merday
Brandi Charmaine Calandra Merday, 28, of Offerman, slipped away Monday (May 7, 2018) from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
She was born Dec. 16, 1989 in Tacoma, Wash. She was the eldest child of Roderick Merday Sr. and Rosemary Hardy Merday. She was bound for big city dreams even as a child. At the tender age of 6 years old, her family moved back to Blackshear.
She received the Lord in her life at an early age and was a dedicated member of both St. James A.M.E. Church in Blackshear and attended Evergreen Church in Bristol.
She attended the Pierce County School System until the eighth grade before transferring to the Ware County School System where she was a graduate of the class of 2008. She was a very proud and active member of the Pierce and Ware County cheerleading squads. While at Ware County High School, she was a member of the competition cheerleading team, the Ware County Marching Band Flag Corps, honor society, drama team, FBLA and Sounds of Harmony.
Her interest was in the fashion and entertainment industry. She was also an entrepreneur by opening her own online business, “Be Exotic Hair Extensions.” She was employed with T-Rock Wireless Company inside Walmart.
She loved and lived life to the fullest and always wore a smile that would brighten everyone’s day that she came in contact with daily.
She loved her family and friends unconditionally and always enjoyed gatherings of all sorts.
She was preceded in death by her maternal great-grandparents, Lenora Hardy, Prince Graham and Rosa Graham, and grandfather, Sgt. Major Cleo Hardy. She was also preceded by her paternal grandmother, Laura B Merday, and her paternal grandfather, Lester Ricks.
She leaves to cherish her love, smile and uniqueness with her son, Ahmad Merday; daughter, Zoe Merday; her parents, Roderick (Angel) Merday Sr., Blackshear, and Rosemary Merday (William Fullwood), Waycross; two brothers, Roderick Merday Jr. (Skylar Graham), Jacksonville, Fla., and Jordan Merday, Waycross; maternal grandmother, Mary Louise Hardy, Offerman; and paternal grandmother, Gwen (Bill) Burwell, Dublin; uncles, John (Nita) Hardy, Colorado Springs, Colo., Bobby Hardy, Offerman; two nephews, Ashton Merday and Tristan Merday, both of Jacksonville, Fla.; a special cousin, Brittany Hardy, along with other cousins, John Hardy Jr. and Troy (Maria) Watson, all of Colorado Springs, Colo., Asheka Hardy, Florida, and Bobby Hardy Jr., Patterson, Constance (Joe) Drew, Statesboro, and Zena James, Waycross; a special friend, Matt Washington, Patterson; and a host of other relatives and friends.
The family is receiving friends at the home of her mother, Rosemary Merday, 1922 Elaine Ave., Waycross.
Friends and family are also being received at the home of her grandmother, Mary Louise Hardy, where Brandi lived, at 3038 Armor Road, Patterson.
Visitation will be held from 5 until 7 p.m. Friday at the funeral home, 505 Ware St., Blackshear.
A celebration of life will be held at noon Saturday at Offerman Baptist Church, 7225 U.S. Highway 84, Offerman, where the Rev. James Lightsey is the pastor.
Words of comfort will be delivered by Bishop Albert Bussey, pastor of Victory Temple Bible Believers Fellowship, Waycross.
Interment will follow in Union Chapel Church Cemetery in Mershon.
The body will lie in state at the church from 11 a.m. until the hour of service.
The cortege will assemble at 3038 Armor Road, at 11:15 a.m. Saturday.
Condolences may be expressed online at
Rainge Memorial Chapel Funeral Home of Blackshear is in charge of arrangements.

Janice La Verne George
The homegoing service for Janice La Verne George will be held Friday at 10 a.m. at Evangel Community Church, 3857 Centerville Rosebud Road, Snellville.
Visitation will be held Friday from 9 until 10 a.m. at Evangel Community Church.
Arrangements are entrusted to Gregory B. Levett & Sons Funeral Home, Gwinnett Chapel.

Verlie K. Long
Verlie K. Long, 100, died Sunday night (May 13, 2018) at St. Vincent’s Southside under the care of Northeast Florida Community Hospice.
She was a native of Belews Creek, N.C., who lived the past 20 years in Jacksonville, Fla. She was formerly employed by King Edward Cigar Factory as a machine operator.
She was a member of Winona Park United Methodist Church in Waycross and Garden City United Methodist Church in Jacksonville, Fla. Her hobbies and interests included reading, working crossword puzzles, playing computer games, sewing, fishing, decorating the church, cooking, family and helping others.
She loved to wear the color purple, and she only stopped painting at the age of 88. She enjoyed writing poetry and designing a program for family reunions that included genealogy.
The last of 11 children, she was preceded in death by her parents, A.L. Branson and Cora Pegram Branson, her husband, N.A. Long, and her son, Bill Long.
Survivors include her daughter-in-law, Mary Long, of Fernandina Beach, Fla., three granddaughters, Kathryn Bolles (fiancé, Howard Waltzman), of Chevy Chase, Md., Chris Waters (husband, Charlie), of Jacksonville, Fla., and Jennifer Carter (husband, Paul), of Fernandina Beach, Fla., six great-grandchildren, Hannah, Cole, Blake, Maezie, Ann Stuart, Thomas and Taylor, and numerous nieces and nephews including Wanda James, of Waycross.
A funeral will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at Garden City U.M.C., 3057 Dunn Ave., Jacksonville, Fla.
The family will receive friends 10 until 11 a.m. Saturday at the church. A graveside service will be held 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Greenlawn Cemetery in Waycross.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Save The Children,, or Garden City United Methodist Church.
Music Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at

Morris E. Dixon Sr.
Morris Elliot “Roadrunner” Dixon Sr., 70, of Waycross, died Wednesday morning (May 16, 2018) at Memorial Satilla Health after an extended illness.
He was born in Waycross to the late Gene Dixon and Ruth Chancey Cannon. He lived here all of his life and was retired as a truck driver. He was of the Baptist faith. He always enjoyed fishing, C.B. radios, ham radios and playing with his dog, Sissy.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a son, Morris E. Dixon Jr., and a step-son, Ricky Sheffield.
Survivors include his wife, Delores Dixon, of Waycross; daughter, Elaine Dixon, of Waycross; daughter-in-law, Brenda Dixon, of Waycross; grandchildren, John David Day Jr. (wife, Tabatha), of Waycross, Tyler Simmons, of Waycross; brother, Ray Cribb (wife, Lisa), of Waycross; two step-daughters, Tammy Dickson (husband, Larry), of Waycross, and Mandy Dempsey (husband, Brent), of Jacksonville, Ark.; two step-sons, Michael Jones, of Blackshear, Brad Jones, of Blackshear; special step-granddaughter, Brooke Dickson; nieces, nephews and other relatives.
A funeral will be held Friday morning at 11 o’clock at the Miles-Odum Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow in Piney Grove Cemetery.
The family will receive friends Friday morning beginning at 10 o’clock at the funeral home.
Sympathy may be expressed online at
Miles-Odum Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

James B. ‘Jimmy’ Shaw
James B. “Jimmy” Shaw, 58, died Wednesday morning (May 16, 2018) at his residence following a brief illness.
He was a native of Callahan, Fla., who lived most of his life in Ware County. He was the son of the late William Bernard Shaw and was also preceded in death by a brother, David Shaw.
He was an avid hunter and fisherman and will be remembered as a loving husband, son, father, grandfather and friend. He was a 1978 graduate of Ware County High School and a member of Haywood Baptist Church. He was employed with Serta-Simmons Mattress Company for the past 12 years as a coiler operator.
Survivors include his wife, Lisa Musgrove Shaw, of Waycross; three daughters, Keri Shaw Phan (husband, Eric), Lauren A. Shaw and Casey Waldschlager (husband, Ethan), all of Waycross; two sons, James A. “Drew” Shaw and Jesse Musgrove (wife, Kylie), both of Waycross; eight grandchildren, Tessa Turner, Layton and Jacob Phan, Seth, Kylie and Emma Jayne Waldschlager, Reese and Ava Musgrove; his mother, Betty Jo Beverly Gibbs, of Waycross; a sister, Brenda Tyre (husband, the late Hugh), of Brunswick, formerly of Blackshear; and numerous other relatives.
A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at Music Funeral Home.
Memorial donations may be made to Hospice Satilla, 808 Evergreen Way, Waycross, Ga. 31501 or to the Southeast Cancer Unit, 401 Pendleton St., Wayacross, Ga. 31501.
Sympathy can be expressed by signing the online registry at

Travis Bennett
Travis Bennett, 86, of Offerman, died Tuesday evening (May 15, 2018) at the Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville, N.C. following an extended illness.
Born July 22, 1931 in Mershon, he was a son of the late Rudolph and Martha Dixon Bennett. He graduated from Patterson High School and enlisted in the United States Army in 1949. His first assignment was with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., where he served as an airborne infantryman. Much of his career was spent stationed at Fort Bragg and he completed two combat tours of duty in Vietnam.
His first tour was 1966 through 1967 as he served with the Special Forces and his second tour was 1968 through 1969, serving with the 101st Airborne. Master Sergeant Bennett’s last assignment was with the 82nd Airborne Division. He retired from the Army in 1973 with 20 years of service. After retiring from the Army, he worked at Kelly Springfield and as an instructor on Fort Bragg. He also entered into the rental property business.
He was a life member of the 82nd Airborne Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, National Rifle Association and he was a third degree Master Mason.
He was a member of Offerman Baptist Church where he was active in the Men’s Adult Sunday School Class and a part of the Dependables Senior Citizen Ministry.
A kind, loving man, he was very generous, constantly donating to the Shriners, Masons and the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. He was a great example to his family, and will be sorely missed.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Bronze Bennett.
Survivors include his wife, Edith Ann Bennett, of Offerman, son, Travis Rudolph Bennett, of Fayetteville, N.C., a daughter, Travis Ann Babb, of Fayetteville, N.C., eight grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and several other relatives.
A funeral will take place on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Offerman Baptist Church. Burial will follow in the Offerman Cemetery.
The family will receive friends Sunday at the church one hour prior to the service.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing online at
Hart Funeral Home in Blackshear is in charge of arrangements.

James O. Echols Sr.
PATTERSON — James Osborne “Buddy” Echols Sr., 90, of Patterson, passed away Tuesday (May 15, 2018) at his home in Patterson.
Born in Patterson Feb. 12, 1928, he lived there all of his life. He was a 1945 graduate of Patterson High school and went on to attend South Georgia College. He was an avid golfer and outdoorsman who enjoyed fishing and hunting.
“Buddy” was very active in baseball in high school and then later as an adult was active in the community softball leagues. In the late ’50s, he opened the first brick plant in Pierce County located in Patterson. He opened the first fast food restaurant in Patterson in the mid ’60s, Burger Creme.
He was part of the U.S. State Department sponsored “People to People” trip to Russia in the ’60s representing the forestry industry, to help thaw the cold war. He was also part owner of the Julie Hat Company.
Never one to sit idle, he opened the Echols Insurance Agency in the early ’70s where he was awarded the Time Insurance Company “Ring of Honor.” He was one of seven out of 20,000-plus insurance agents honored. He received numerous other insurance awards before his retirement in the late ’90s. He was a licensed pilot for small prop planes such as Cessnas.
Through the years, he was very active in his community and state. He was a former Patterson City Councilman, a member of the Elks Lodge, a charter member of the Patterson Lions Club and former chairman and longtime member of the Southeast Georgia Area Planning and Development Commission.
He created his barbecue sauce and rub which became known as “Ol’ Bud’s,” and he was known throughout the community for his culinary skills which he loved to show off to his family and friends at special events.
He was a son of the late Ivey Lecount and Janie Mae Waters Echols. He was also preceded in death by his wife, Helen Walker Echols, his sister, Evelyn Tyre, his brother, Earl Echols, and his daughter-in-law, Kathy Echols.
Survivors include his daughter and son-in-law, June (Jereal) Bennett, of Patterson, a son, Jim Echols of Patterson, four grandchildren, Brett Bennett, Victoria (Lott) Conner, Jenni (Jamie) Deloach and Joe Echols, two great-grandchildren, Gavin Deloach and Max Deloach, and several nieces, nephews and other relatives.
The funeral will be held Friday afternoon at 2 o’clock at Patterson Baptist Church.
Memorialization is by cremation.
Visitation will be held Friday afternoon, one hour prior to the service.
Memorials may be made to Patterson Baptist Church, 5770 E. Main St., Patterson, Ga. 31557, or to Comfort Chapel, 1600 Cherokee Circle, Waycross, Ga. 31501.
The family will receive friends at the home of his grandson, at 5577 W. Main St., Patterson.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online register at
Pearson-Dial Funeral Home, Inc., of Blackshear is in charge of the arrangements.

Edna Lester Boykin
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — After gracing this earth and countless number of lives as a professor of English and library sciences at both Florida State University and Florida A.M. University, Edna Lester Boykin transitioned into eternal life on Tuesday (May 8, 2018) at her niece’s residence in Jacksonville, Fla.
Family visitation is from 6 until 7 p.m. Friday at Abbey Funeral Home.
The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Mrs. Boykin will be laid to rest at Tallahassee Memory Gardens, immediately following the service.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at
Abbey Funeral Home and Tallahassee Memory Gardens, 4037 North Monroe St., Tallahassee, Fla., is serving the family.

Sharia Mae Paige
A celebration of life service for Sharia Mae Paige, of Douglasville, will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Crossroad For Life Ministry, 6976 Broad St., Douglasville.
A graveside service will be held Monday at 2 p.m. in Hazzard Hill Cemetery, Waycross.
She is survived by her loving parents, Elijah Paige Jr. and Charlie Mae Hill Paige, of Douglasville, two brothers and other relatives and friends.
Arrangements are entrusted to Smith, Dennis-Smith Funeral Home, 3047 Campbellton Road S.W., Atlanta, and assisted locally by Fluker Funeral Home