Rev. Derrel Walker
PATTERSON — The Rev. Everett Derrel Walker, 77, of Patterson, passed away early Thursday morning (Oct. 26, 2017) at his residence surrounded by his family.
Born in Screven, April 5, 1940, he lived in Pierce County most of his life. He was a 1958 graduate of Patterson High School. He was a Gulf Life Insurance agent for many years as well as a farmer prior to enrolling in Luther Rice University and Seminary.
While a seminary student, he also sold insurance, farmed and raised his family. It wasn’t easy but by following the path the Lord stretched out before him he was able to graduate in 1985 and was called to his first appointment, Antioch Baptist Church in Bacon County.
He would go on to pastor Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Patterson until ill health forced his retirement. During his ministry at Pleasant Hill, six men were called into the ministry and were ordained by the Rev. Walker.
A true man of God, he was steadfast in faith. He was also passionate about fishing, playing golf and reading westerns.  He was a member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church where he was in the Senior Adult Sunday school Class.
He was a son of the late John Everett and Ruby Wanell Thomas Walker. He was also preceded in death by his first wife, Brenda Miller Walker, and by an infant brother, Richard Walker.
Survivors include his wife, Laura Thomas Walker, of Patterson; his daughter and son-in-law, Gaye and Buddy Roberson, of Screven; two sons and daughters-in-law, John and Cindy Walker, of Wrightsville, and Mark and Lisa Walker, of Blackshear; three step-daughters, Teresa and Howard Horne and Jamie and Dewayne Crisp, all of Patterson, and Karen and Shane Thornton, of Bristol; his sister and brother-in-law, Ray and Glenda Gill, of Blackshear; his brother and sister-in-law, Mitchel and Diann Walker, of Patterson; sisters-in-law, Delene (Lindy) James, of Folkston, Marie (Bill) Sigman, of Buford, Janie Aspinwall, of Blythe Island, Susie (Sam) Cason, of Offerman, and Lillian Taylor, of Offerman; brothers-in-law, William Miller, of Screven, John Thomas and Daniel (Doris) Thomas, all of Offerman, Pete Thomas, of Waycross, and Bill Thomas, of Blackshear; his two granddaughters, Hannah Walker and Marli Walker; and several nieces, nephews and other relatives.
The funeral will be held Saturday morning at 11 o’clock at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.
Interment will be in the New Home Cemetery.
Visitation will be held this evening from 5 until 8 at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to Hospice Satilla, 808 Evergreen Way, Waycross, Ga. 31501.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online register at
Pearson-Dial Funeral Home, Inc. of Blackshear is in charge of the arrangements.

David Harrison
A  celebration of life service for David Harrison, 40, will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at River of Life Church, 1439 Brunel St., with the church pastor, the Rev. Raymond Burke, offering words of comfort.
He was born Aug. 5, 1977, in Rockford, Ill., to Cleveland and Thelma C. Harrison. He received most of his formal education in the Ware County Public School System and graduated from Ware County High School in 1995.
He was an employee of Clayton Homes for many years and was a devoted and hard worker before his health failed.  He was a very compassionate person and was blessed with a loving heart. He was genuine, loving and caring.
On Monday (Oct. 16, 2017), in Memorial Health in Savannah after an illness, God called him to his heavenly home.
Those left to cherish his memory include four children, David Semaj Harrison, Davion Isaiah Green, Nalin Allyntre Harrison and Joshua Edward Harrison; his father, Cleveland Harrison (Ethel), of Summerville, S.C.; his  mother, Thelma Campbell, of Waycross; his fiancée’ Contrivia Bacon; four sisters, Lisa Simmons, of Chesapeake, Va., Delaana Poole (Marvin), of Waycross, Regina Harrison Smith (Keith) and Tyese Ellis, both of Summerville, S.C.; brothers, Terrence Harrison (Te’Kela), Richard Harrison (Clarice), both of Waycross, and Dea’Shawn Harrison, of Summerville, S.C.; maternal grandmother, Minnie Mae Campbell, of Hazlehurst; special friend, Dennis Burton; aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
Friends are being received at the Harrison residence, 502 Gibb St.
Public visitation will be today from 6:30 until 8 p.m. at Fluker Funeral Home, 985 Ossie Davis Parkway.
The body will lie in repose at the church Saturday from 9 a.m. to the hour of service.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Fluker Funeral Home.

Martha Leaphart
Martha Leaphart, 93, died Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 24, 2017) at the Baptist Village Retirement Communities following an extended illness.
She was born Aug. 31, 1924, in Albany, to the late Mattie and Eddie Butler. At an early age, the family moved to Waycross where she was reared in a Christian home and received her formal education at Center High School.
In 1942, she was joined in holy matrimony to the late Marion Leaphart and they were the parents of two children, Sandra and Lawrence, and also raised her younger brother, Jerry Butler.
She was an active member of Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church where she served as an usher, senior choir member, Progressive Club president, supervisor of the Junior Choir, and Ladies Day Leader, among other church activities.
She was employed by King Edward Cigar Co. but found time for civic activities. She was president of the Helping Hand Community Club for more than 50 years until her health began to decline.
She was a loving wife and mother who leaves to cherish her memory, one son, Marion Lawrence Leaphart, of Waycross; one daughter, Sandra Leaphart, of Irwington, N.J.; one granddaughter, Danielle Davis, of Irwington, N.J.; two great-grandchildren, Keon and Khair Garnes, of Irwington, N.J.; nine nieces, Sheila Williams, of Jacksonville, Fla., Diane Farmer, of Waycross, Angela Knight, of Jacksonville, Fla., Mattie Butler, of Newark, N.J., Beverly Pitts, of Hinesville, Agerie Richardson, of Stratford, Conn., Jackie Butler, of Keansburg, N.J., Ellen Butler, of Newark, N.J., and Najah Butler, of Newark, N.J.; five nephews, Billy Leaphart (Martha), of Waycross, Ray Leaphart (Barbara), of Atlanta, Gregory Leaphart (Suzette), of Atlanta, Harry Leaphart (Arie), of Monroe, Conn., and William Leaphart, of Stratford, Conn.; and four sisters-in-law, Ruby Leaphart, of Waycross, Barbara Byrd, of Waycross, Shirley Leaphart (Wilbur), of Atlanta, and Audrey Butler, of Newark, N.J.
A funeral will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church.
Burial will follow in Hazzard Hill Cemetery.
The body will be available for viewing on Saturday at the church from 10 until 11 o’clock.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at
Music Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

William ‘Slack’ Golden
HAMPTON, Va. — William “Slack” Golden, 69, departed  this life Wednesday (Oct. 18, 2017).
He was surrounded by his family and devoted wife, Joyce Maddox-Golden; children,  Lamar Maddox, Michele Hogan and Shanta Hogan, all of Hampton; sister, Diane Parker; and grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Linda Faye Maddox, Ocie Clark, Gwendolyn Diane Moody-Mills, Elise Evon Moody-Savage; brothers-in-law, Freddie Maddox Sr. and Ricky Moody Sr.
A celebration of his life will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at Cornerstone Worship Center, 55 Tidemill Lane, Hampton.
Viewing will be today from 2 to 6 p.m. at the funeral home.
Services of comfort are entrusted to Smith Brothers Funeral Home, 545 E. Mercury Blvd., Hampton, Va.

Irene W. Gant
Irene Williams Gant, 70, formerly of Waycross, transitioned from her earthly home to her heavenly home on Saturday (Oct. 21, 2017) in St. Petersburg, Fla.
She was born Dec. 27, 1946 to the late Ernest Williams Sr. and Irene W. Williams. She received her formal education from the Waycross Public School System and attended Center High School.
She moved to St. Petersburg, Fla., many years ago where accepted Christ as her personal Savior and became a member of 20th Street Church of Christ.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a daughter, Irene Johnson.
Those left to cherish her memory include three sons, Arthur Lee Gant III (Cecthious), of Waycross, Robert Gant (Julie), of Jacksonville, Fla., and Leo Williams, of St. Petersburg, Fla.; four daughters, Ruby Gant, of Jacksonville, Fla., Marguerite Gant, of Waycross, Jackie Williams and Betsy Boone (Donald), both of St. Petersburg, Fla.; two brothers, Ernest Williams Jr., of Garden City, Ga., and Leon Williams (Gloria), of Waycross; four sisters, Lenora Brown, of McRae, Jo Ann Smith (Fred), Cora Porter (Johnny), and Eva Burse (Leonard Jr.), all of Waycross; 15 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Fluker Funeral Home.

Nancy Tatum Wright
Nancy Tatum Wright, 71, died Thursday (Oct. 26, 2017) at Senior Care Center St. Marys following an extended illness.
Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Music Funeral Home.

Hugh W. Langford
Hugh Willis Langford, 90, died Thursday (Oct. 26, 2017) at Hospice of the Golden Isles.
Brunswick Memorial Park Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

John S. Trogdon
John Samuel “Sam” Trogdon, 77, of Valdosta, passed away Tuesday (Oct. 24, 2017).
A memorial service will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at Carson McLane Funeral Home, Valdosta.
Condolences may be conveyed online at

Gene D. Johns Sr.
NAHUNTA — Gene Demarus Johns Sr., 82, of Nahunta, passed away Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 25, 2017) at Bayview Nursing Home after an extended illness.
Born in Folkston, he was the son of Oliver and Mallie Prescott Johns. He was also preceded in death by his wife, Virginia Ann Johns, two brothers, Cy Johns and Owen Johns, a granddaughter, Melissa Johns Hickox, and a niece, Bedell Johns.
He served in the United States Navy and was self employed as an escort driver. He was of the Christian faith and a very sociable guy. He also loved his family, riding the roads and was a chef at heart.
Survivors include his three sons and daughters-in-law, Demarus Johns Jr. (Judy), Dale Johns (Patti) and Desmond Johns (Tammy), all of Nahunta; a daughter and son-in-law, Deon Cloves (Matt), of Lulaton; nine grandchildren, D.J. Johns, Jok Johns, Mikey Crews, Ashley Carter, Shane Johns, Lyndsey Johns, April Newman, Dylan Johns and Mattox Cloves; 17 great-grandchildren; a brother and sister-in-law, B.S. Johns (Cathy); and several nieces, nephews, other relatives and a host of friends.
Visitation will be held this evening starting at 6 o’clock at Frye Funeral Home, Nahunta.
A funeral will be held Saturday morning at 11 o’clock at Bachlott Community Church with the Rev. Chuck Allen, the Rev. Otis Johns and the Rev. Ion Johns officiating. Burial will follow in Bachlott Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be grandsons, D.J. Johns, Jok Johns, Dylan Johns, Shane Johns, Mikey Crews, Kenneth Coleman and John Walker. They are asked to meet at the church by 10:30 a.m.
Arrangements are with Frye Funeral Home, Nahunta.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at

Connie Marie Strickland
Connie Marie Strickland was born Feb. 28, 1953 in Waycross to Herbert and Thelma Strickland, little sister to Karon and future big sister to Donna.
She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., where she graduated from Terry Parker High School in 1971. After graduation, she got married and received her cosmetology license. She had three children during her marriage, Angie, Del and Derek Smith.
She eventually moved to Bryceville, Fla., where she passed away Sunday (Oct. 22, 2017). For those who knew her, she was the epitome of a true southern woman. She loved to cook, decorate, travel, shop, do arts and crafts and Christmas.
She loved to open her windows on a beautiful day, and sit on her front porch with a big glass of sweet tea. She absolutely loved her immediate and extended family and any time spent with them was a  special and treasured  time for her.
Anyone who knew her knew her hugs were long and tight and her smile would light up the room. She had the ability to make you feel special, loved and right at home.
She is survived by her children, Angela (Jim  Wells), Del Smith and Derek Smith; grandchildren, Austin, Jay and Ansley Wells, Wyatt Smith; and great-grandson, Raylan Wells.
She is now with her parents, Herbert and Thelma, and sister, Donna, in Heaven and will be missed more than she could have ever imagined. She will forever be our Angel.
A funeral will be held 2 p.m. Saturday at the Music Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow in High Bluff Cemetery.
The family will receive friends 12:30 until 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at