James L. Pittman Sr.
James Lavelle Pittman Sr., 90, passed away peacefully Friday (March 1, 2019) at home.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Eva Dell Pittman, and his parents, James Harvey and Agnes Pittman.
He is survived by his four children, Ann Fosburgh, of Bloomingdale, James Pittman, of Statesboro, Connie (Tom) Black, of Macon, and Ronnie (Lisa) Pittman, of Statesboro; eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren; his brother, William Lamar Pittman; and sister, Jeanette Clark, both of Waycross.
He grew up in Waycross, and began working for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad when he was just 16. He began his career as an apprentice, and made railroad mechanic by the time he was 17. Throughout his 45 year career, he held many other positions including car inspector. He was employed by ACL, Seaboard Coastline, Savannah Atlanta Railroads and CSX.
He and his family spent many years in Savannah and Waycross, with a brief stint in Augusta, before making his last move to Savannah with CSX Railroad in the late 1960s. In 1975, Lavelle and Eva Dell bought a home in Ellabell.
In August 2017, as his health began to decline, he moved to Macon with his daughter Connie and her husband Tom. He enjoyed being in church with their congregation, going out to lunch and an occasional shopping trip with Connie and some of the grands and great-grands. He loved to sing hymns while Connie and his grandson Greg played the piano.
During the final weeks of his life, he refused to be sad or worried about his future. Instead, he sang the hymns that he loved so much, prayed for his family and faced each day with joy.
He was known to his railroad coworkers as “the preacher man.” He always believed in the importance of doing things right. By being the honorable man he was, he was able to share his faith by the kind of life that he lived. He passed that strong work ethic down to his children by being their example. He delighted his children and grandchildren with his railroad stories and by mimicking the sound of a train whistle.
After he retired from CSX in 1991, he continued to work. He helped many of the elderly in Pembroke and surrounding areas by cutting their grass and doing small handyman jobs for folks who couldn’t afford a professional. He and his wife, Eva Dell, also helped many people get to their doctor’s appointments and hospital visits even as far as Augusta.
Lavelle loved Eva Dell faithfully and unconditionally for 65 years. No one ever heard him say a cross word to her. She often said what she thought, and he just smiled. She didn’t pull any punches, but he never let it bother him too much. He would just laugh and tease her. They seemed to be the perfect balance, and the Lord continued to bless their love and commitment to each other. His life forever changed when he lost her in 2012, but he remained confident that he would see her again one day.
His four children never outgrew calling him “Daddy.” With God’s help, their Daddy always found a way to provide for their family. When his car broke down once, he rode a bicycle into town to get the parts to fix it so he would be able to go to work the next day. He taught them how to love the Lord and the meaning of faith. In their eyes, there would never be another man quite like their Daddy.
To his fellow church members and friends, he was known as Brother Pittman. He was a longtime member and deacon of the Savannah Church God of Prophecy. His love for the Lord was clear, and he was always willing to lend a hand to work at his church.
He was instrumental in getting a new church built for the Savannah congregation. The journey was a long one, but he said that God tested them to build their faith throughout the process. His pastor, the Rev. Mark Minter, said Brother Pittman was his biggest supporter and encouraged him to continue the building program when it seemed impossible. The new church, Bloomingdale Fellowship Church of God of Prophecy, was completed in 2001. His mark and contribution will never be forgotten.
By the time his first grandchild was born, he became known as Papa. He was everything you would think a Papa should be. He was the Papa who hooked his trailer up to his lawn mower to take them for a ride, and the Papa who let them drink coffee right out of his cup. He never lavished them with expensive toys, but he let them run through his garden sprinklers until their skin stung. He gave them free reign of his yard to ride bikes and play games, and he took them swimming in Black Creek. He taught them how to pick, wash, peel, shuck and shell everything he grew in his garden. He’s the one who taught them how to chew sugar cane, eat cane syrup with their biscuit, and how much salt was needed on a slice of watermelon. He taught them how to enjoy the simple things, and now that they are older, they realize those small simple things really were the big things. He was truly one of the finest men they have ever known.
To say this place will never be the same without him here would be an understatement. His family and friends will miss his smile, laughter and humor. They will miss his gentleness and his advice. They will even miss the sound of him shaking the ice in his tea glass and how he enjoyed a good cup of coffee. They will certainly miss his prayers and his hugs. But even through their grief, they are comforted. Their lives have been enriched with so much joy for so many years thanks to him. They are all better people for having known him and loved him. His coffee cup may be empty now, but he left their hearts full.
Visitation will be held from 10 until 12 p.m. Monday at Bloomingdale Fellowship Church of God of Prophecy.
The funeral will be held at 12 p..m in the church sanctuary with Pastor Mark Minter and Pastor Tom Black officiating.
Burial will follow at Hillcrest Abbey West.
To sign the online register, visit www.flandersmorrisonfuneralhome.com
Flanders Morrison Funeral Home and Crematory of Pembroke is in charge of arrangements.
Steven L. Waters
Steven L. Waters, 49, died Tuesday (Feb. 26, 2019) at his residence in Blackshear.
He was a native of Bacon County, but had been living in Blackshear. He worked as a carpenter and worked in concrete.
He was the son of Dwayne E. Waters Sr. and the late Sylvia Elizabeth McLaughlin Waters.
Survivors include two daughters, Stephanie Henderson (husband, Victor), of Waycross, and Sierra Waters, of Waycross; two grandchildren, Gracianna Rayne Henderson and Susie Waters; his father, Dwayne E. Waters Sr., of Nicholls; three brothers, Dwayne E. Waters Jr., of Waycross, David Allen Waters, of Waycross, and Tommy Dwayne Waters (wife, Katelynd), of Nicholls; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.
A funeral will be held Sunday afternoon at 2 in the Music Funeral Home Chapel. The family will begin receiving friends at 1 p.m. at the funeral home. Memorialization will be by cremation.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at www.musicfuneralhome.com
Music Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Walter L. Easton Jr.
Walter L. Easton Jr., 74, died Friday morning (March 1, 2019) at Waycross Health & Rehabilitation Center after an illness.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Fluker Funeral Home.
Larmar Aaron Bell
Larmar Aaron Bell, 82, of Waycross, passed away early Wednesday morning (Feb. 27, 2019) at Memorial Satilla Health Center following a sudden illness.
Born in Ocala, Fla., May 29, 1926, he lived in Blackshear prior to moving to Carrollton, Ga., where he lived for many years before moving to Waycross four years ago. He was the owner/operator of Southwood Corporation and was the former co-owner/operator of SeaMar Realty where he had offices in Blackshear, Waycross and Douglas.
His hobby was his work – walking tracts of land to determine future development. His greatest joy was spending time with his grandchildren including going on family trips with them. He dearly loved them and was so very proud of them. He was a former member of the Blackshear Presbyterian Church but was currently attending Destination Church.
He was a son of the late Lester Aaron and Ella Edweina Johnson Bell. He was also preceded in death by a son-in-law, Leonard Parrish, his sister, Sibyl Carroll, and by a sister-in-law, Carol Markett.
Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Esther DeVore Bell, of Waycross; three daughters and sons-in-law, Sharon and Neil Foster and Laura and Lewis McKinley, all of Brunswick, and Cindy and Jeff Stacey, of Carrollton; his son, Lester “Bert” and Tina Bell, of Carrollton; 14 grandchildren, Stacie (Steve) Waters, Anna Foster, Madeline Jackson, Sara Foster, Lauren Bell, Samuel Stacey, Jonathan Foster, Elizabeth Bell, Grace (Justin) Furness, Rachel Stacey, Jessica Bell, Richard Foster, Jessie Foster and Jacob Bell; three great-grandchildren, Katie Waters, Bennett Waters, and Mary Claire Waters; two brothers, Seaborn (Frances) Bell, of Waverly, and Lester Bell Jr., of Albany; a sister-in-law, Margaret Hull, of Orlando, Fla.; two brothers-in-law, Billy (Kay) DeVore, of Newberry, Fla., and Henry (Oafke) DeVore of The Netherlands; and several nieces, nephews and other relatives.
A memorial service will be held today at 2:30 p.m. at Destination — Church on Ware Street Ext. in Blackshear.
The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the service.
Memorials may be made to the Sharing the Hope program at Destination Church, www.destination-church.org
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online register at www.pearsondial.com
Pearson-Dial Funeral Home of Blackshear is in charge of arrangements.
Aaron ‘Ricky’ Hill
Aaron “Ricky” Hill, 65, of Middletown, Ohio, passed away Tuesday (Feb. 26, 2019) at his residence after an extended illness.
He was born in Waycross to the late Sarah “Micky” Guess Williams.
Raised in Waycross, he joined the United States Army at the age of 17. After serving four years in the Army, he continued to travel which led him to Oklahoma where he met his wife of 40 years, Sandra.
They traveled to many cities in the state of Ohio for his job. They then landed back in Oklahoma for 20 years, then to Waycross for three years, and most recently back to Ohio within the last year.
Even after traveling the Midwest most of his adult life he still had ties and roots to the Southeast Georgia town of Waycross, where most of his family resides.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Sarah “Micky” Guess Williams, his step-father, he referred to as his dad, Rosco Williams, and a son, Steven Terrell.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Sandra Hill, of Middletown, Ohio; his son, Aaron Hill (wife, Julie), of Broken Arrow, Ohio; his daughter, Misty Henderson (husband, Anthony), of Brantley County; four grandsons, Austin, Noah and Payton Henderson, and Justin Hendrix, of Broken Arrow, Okla.; one sister, Linda Music (husband, Leo), of Waycross; one brother, Sammy “Tiger” Williams (wife, Lakeeta), of Waycross; four nieces, Jessica Russell (husband, Patrick), of Waycross, Lynn Music, of Waycross, Gracianna Gaskins (husband, Seth), of Waycross, Amber Dell (husband, Joe), of Waycross; a nephew, Ross Williams; and numerous great-nieces and nephews.
The body will be cremated in Ohio and his ashes brought back to Waycross at a later date to fulfill his final wishes.
The family will be gathering at the home of his daughter, Misty, on Saturday, to celebrate his life.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Hospice Satilla Hospice House, 808 Evergreen Way, Waycross, Ga. 31501 in his honor.
Sympathy may be expressed at www.milesodumfuneralhome.com
Miles-Odum Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
A funeral for William Clinton “Bud” McCleskey was held Thursday afternoon at Miles-Odum Funeral Home Chapel with Dr. Porky Haynes officiating.
Burial followed in Oakland Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Michael Gratiano, Michael LaHood, Drew Story, Ray Wolford, David Pesterfield and Perry Havener.
Miles-Odum Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.