Johnny Hickox
Johnny Hickox, 94, of Waycross, died early Friday morning (Feb. 15, 2019) at Memorial Satilla Health after a brief illness.
He was born in Waycross to the late John Leon Hickox and Mamie Altman Hickox. From the age of 4, he was raised by Noah and Maggie Strickland. He served in the United States Army during World War II in the European Theatre. Other than the time he spent overseas during the war, he spent his entire life in the Okefenokee.
He worked for the Okefenokee Swamp Park for more than 30 years, serving as chief guide and as superintendent of maintenance. He was often called upon to fulfill other responsibilities, including roles in several motion pictures filmed in the park, such as “Tender Warrior.”
He was best known to the public as a swamp chef. Often you would find him making gator tail filets, bear steaks, rattlesnake burgers, wild pig barbecue, swamp mull, fried fish and hushpuppies. He even made his tea and coffee with swamp water.
When visitors would make reservations for all-day trips into the Okefenokee, they would ask for “Johnny.” Years ago, he took a writer from National Geographic into the swamp, and what became of that excursion was a book entitled “Explore a Spooky Swamp,” which featured Hickox throughout.
He was a skilled carpenter, painter, electrician, plumber, mason and mechanic. He was a former member of the Way of Holiness and was presently a member of Hosanna Church. He was a devoted husband, father and papa who cherished any time he was able to spend with his family. He was a great friend to anyone who knew him.
Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Janie Albritton Hickox, four sisters, Thelma Sweat, Rosamae Allen, Goldie Boatright and Mary Lovell, one brother, Billy Hickox, and his son-in-law, Keith Holland.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Lee Hatfield Hickox, of Waycross; his son, Andy Hickox (wife, Rose), of Waycross; his daughter, Mamie Holland, of Waycross; a step-son, Fred Douglas, of Waresboro; two step-daughters, Sybil Moore (husband, Stacey), of Waycross, Mary Lee (husband, Jesse) of Waycross; four grandchildren, Brian Hickox (wife, Megan), of Waycross, Michelle Davis (husband, Stokes), of Fernandina Beach, Fla., Donald Holland (wife, Brandy), of Waycross, Rachel Long (husband, Mike), of Waycross; seven step-grandchildren, Sarah O’Berry, Mary Katherine Moore, Emily Moore, Sean Lee, Holly Lee, Cole Lee, Hannah Lee; six great-grandchildren, Emmeline, Cutler, Johnathan, Jimmie, Carli, Lilli; one sister, Dollie Gray, of Waycross; one sister-in-law, Mamie Sellers, of Waycross; numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.
A funeral will be held at 2 p.m., Monday at Hosanna Church.
Burial will follow in High Bluff Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery.
The family will receive friends Sunday evening from 6 until 8 o’clock at the Miles-Odum Funeral Home.
All past and present employees of the Okefenokee Swamp Park have been asked to serve as honorary pallbearers and should gather at the church by 1:45 p.m. Monday.
Sympathy may be expressed at www.milesodumfuneralhome.com
Miles-Odum Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Charles Thrift
Charles Thrift, 82, of Waycross, died early Friday (Feb. 15, 2019) at Memorial Satilla Health after an extended illness.
He was born in Waycross to the late Orbie Thomas Thrift and Queenie Viola Sloan Thrift and made Waycross his home for his entire life. He was a retired boilermaker who worked for Ace Pole Company and Wood-Hopkins, Inc. He was instrumental in the construction of numerous buildings in Waycross, including Waycross Middle School, Waycross College, the United States Post Office and the United States Federal Court Building.
He also worked for Plant Hatch for a period of time as one of the first certified nuclear boilermakers. He was a member of Bible Heritage Church, the Joy Makers, and the Waycross Masonic Lodge No. 305 F&AM.
He was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and brother. He cherished any time he was able to spend with his family.
Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Dian T. Thrift, and one son, Bryan Scott Thrift.
He is survived by his wife, Terry Thrift, of Waycross; four children, Charles A. Thrift (wife, Paula), of Waycross, Julie T. Peacock, of Waycross, Thomas I. Thrift (wife, Kari), of Jamestown, N.D., Jesse T. Thrift (wife, Alicia), of Waycross; two step-children, Mary Patterson, of Waycross, Art Patterson (wife, Dana), of Alma; two sisters, Betty Murray, of Blackshear, Margie Griffin (husband, Joe), of Fernandina Beach, Fla.; one brother, Albert Thrift, of Waycross; two special friends, Brant Thrift, (wife, Lynn), of Waycross, Billy Pittman, of Blackshear; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends.
A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Monday in the Miles-Odum Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow in Greenlawn Cemetery.
The family will receive friends Sunday evening at the funeral home from 6 until 8 o’clock.
The family will be gathering at the home of his son, Jesse, in Waresboro.
Sympathy may be expressed at www.milesodumfuneralhome.com
Miles-Odum Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Mary L. Walker Baxter
Mary Louise Walker Baxter, 95, died Friday morning (Feb.15, 2019) at her residence at Baptist Village Retirement Communities.
A native of Waycross, she resided in Florida for 20 years before moving back to Waycross nine years ago. She was a homemaker and member of Jamestown Baptist Church. She loved spending her time with her family.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Ephriam Thomas Walker and Cina Griffin Walker, her husband, Thomas J. Baxter Jr., and her son, Ronald S. Baxter.
Survivors include one son, Thomas G. Baxter (Cindy), of Newport News, Va.; two daughters, Marsha McCandles (John), of Albuquerque, N.M., and Cynthia Louise Scanlan (John), of Fredericksburg, Va.; daughter-in-law, Terry Baxter; eight grandchildren, Steve and Jason Baxter, Brenna, Sean and Alex McCandles, Jackie Williams, Allen Edwars and Blair Baxter; nine great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; two sisters, Janice Bryant (the Rev. Loren) and Patsy Bunch (Jack); three brothers, Bobby Walker (Yolanda), Jackie Walker (Donna Faye) and Billy Walker (Denise); numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral will be held 11 a.m. Monday at the Music Funeral Home Chapel.
Burial will follow in Kettle Creek Cemetery.
The family will receive friends beginning at 10 a.m. Monday at the funeral home.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at www.musicfuneralhome.com

Monette Davis Evans
Monette Davis Evans, 83, died Thursday night (Feb. 14, 2019) at Memorial Satilla Health after an extended illness.
She was a native and lifelong resident of Ware County. She graduated from Waresboro School and was a member of Zion Hill Baptist Church. She was a homemaker who was formerly employed by Jake and Ed’s Clothing Store years ago.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Lewis Stafford Davis and Florence Catherine Hurtle Davis, her husband, Benjamin Turner “Bennie” Evans, and her daughter, Martha Kaye Murray.
Survivors include her son-in-law, Al Murray, of Baxley; three grandchildren, Josh Murray, Alli Murray Allen (husband, Noah), and Zack Murray; two great-grandchildren, Ava Allen and Fynn Murray; one sister, Mattie Godwin, of Waycross; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral will be held 5 p.m. Sunday at the Music Funeral Home Chapel.
Burial will follow in Greenlawn Cemetery.
The family will receive friends beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at www.musicfuneralhome.com

Ronald E. Benek Sr.
Ronald Eugene Benek Sr., 58, died Friday morning (Feb. 15, 2019) at his residence.
He was born in Pomano, Calif., but he was a native of Wadsworth, Ohio before moving to Waycross in 1978.
He formerly attended Jamestown Baptist Church and was employed by American General as an insurance salesman.
He was preceded in death by his father, John Cunningham Benek, and one brother, John Benek.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Hannah Benek, of Waycross; one daughter, Taylor Bennett (Brandon), of Waycross; two sons, Ronald Eugene Benek Jr., of Waycross, and Jonathan Maurice Benek, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; one granddaughter, Isla Bennett; his mother, Phyllis Hostettler Benek, of Wadsworth, Ohio; two sisters, Patti Ellzey, of Valdosta, and Connie Benek, of Wadsworth, Ohio; one brother, Thom Benek, of Wadsworth, Ohio; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held 7 p.m. Sunday at the Music Funeral Home Chapel. The family will receive friends beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Hospice Satilla, 808 Evergreen Way, Waycross, Ga. 31501.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at www.musicfuneralhome.com

Dorothy Ann Jones
Dorothy Ann Jones, 81, died peacefully Thursday (Feb. 14, 2019) at Hospice House Satilla.
She was a native of Ware County and lived most of her life in Waycross. She was a homemaker and attended Bethel Church.
She was the daughter of the late Talmadge Hall and Annie Strickland Hall. She was also preceded in death by eight siblings.
Survivors include her husband of 62 years, Joseph Jones, of Waycross; a son, James Jones (wife, Patricia), of Waycross; a daughter, Veda Burke (husband, Bo), of Waycross; two grandchildren, Jack and Bruce Burke, of Waycross; two great-grandchildren, Destiny and Dalton Franzen; a sister-in-law, Betty Hall (husband, the late James Hall); three siblings, Laverne Taylor, of Waycross, Tommy Hall, of Waycross, and Geronda Highsmith (husband, Jim), of Waycross; special cousins, T.J. and Cathy Hall; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.
A funeral will be held Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock in the Music Funeral Home Chapel.
Burial will follow in Greenlawn Cemetery.
The family will begin receiving friends at 1 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorial contributions be made to Hospice Satilla, 808 Evergreen Way, Waycross, Ga. 31501.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at www.musicfuneralhome.com
Music Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Doris Anne S. Tyson
BLACKSHEAR — Doris Anne Spivey Tyson, 87, of Blackshear, passed away Thursday evening (Feb. 14, 2019) at Harborview — Pierce County Nursing Home.
Born in Valdosta, Feb. 11, 1932, she lived in Dublin, Ga., for most of her life before moving to Jacksonville, Fla., then settling in Pierce County almost 30 years ago. She was a homemaker but had also worked as a Licensed Practical Nurse many years ago.
She was a member of East Dublin Baptist Church where she was a former pianist and until moving to Pierce County had been very active. She loved playing the piano and the guitar and was an excellent singer as well as an excellent seamstress.
She was a daughter of the late James Leonard and Leada “Ada” Carver Spivey. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Charles Curtis “Chuck” Tyson, her former husband and father of her children, Elbert Livingston, all four of her sisters, Aline Spivey Meeks, Lela Spivey Vining Holton, Lola Spivey Bowen and Lounell Spivey Parrish, and all three of her brothers, Harley Spivey, C.L. Spivey and Cleo Spivey.
Survivors include her daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Hayes Williams, of Bessemer, Ala.; her son and daughter-in-law, Kevin and Ann Livingston, of Dublin; three grandchildren, Allison Williams, John (Hannah) Livingston and Meghan (Aaron) Lee; four great-grandchildren, Lydia Livingston, Laurel Livingston, Vivienne Livingston and Madelene Lee; and several nieces, nephews and other relatives.
A graveside service will be held Monday afternoon at 1 o’clock at Carver Baptist Church Cemetery in Douglas.
There will be no visitation but the family will visit with guests at the graveside.
The family kindly requests that memorials be made to the Harborview – Pierce County Nursing Home Auxiliary, 221 E. Carter Ave., Blackshear, Ga. 31516.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online register at www.pearsondial.com
Pearson-Dial Funeral Home of Blackshear is in charge of arrangements.