Rev. Virlon Griner
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Rev. Virlon Hamilton Griner, 85, of Blackshear, passed away Saturday evening (Sept. 2, 2017) at St. Vincent’s Medical Center.
Born in Adel Jan. 28, 1932, he lived in Blackshear for the past 33 years. He was educated in the public schools of Adel. He then continued his education at South Georgia College in Douglas, followed by Valdosta State University in Valdosta where he received his A.B. degree. He received his bachelor of divinity and master of divinity degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary at Wake Forest, N.C., and received his Intentional Interim Ministry Certificate at Winston-Salem, N.C.
He taught in the Coffee County School System (Broxton and West Green), the Wake Forest Public School System (Wake Forest Public High School) and night school classes in Commerce, Douglas, Waycross and Hawkinsville.
Heeding the call to preach at age 19, he ministered to numerous congregations over the years in Georgia and North Carolina, including Kennebec Baptist Church in Willow Springs, N.C., Waverly Hall Baptist Church in Waverly Hall, Ga., Emmanuel Baptist Church in Blackshear, First Baptist Church in Jefferson, First Baptist Church in Cochran, and Carver Baptist Church in Douglas.
He also served as interim minister at churches in Baxley, Waycross, Mershon, Blackshear, Dublin, Screven, Darien, Patterson, Bristol, Hoboken, Waynesville and Jesup.
He served as the Southeast Area administrator for the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home in Baxley from 1983-1993 and as the director of Family Ministries for the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes in Atlanta from 1993-94.
He was very active in the Georgia Baptist Convention, serving as the moderator for the Pulaski-Bleckley Baptist Association and as a trustee for the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes in 1978-1983 and 2010-2014.
In his spare time he enjoyed spending time with his family, gardening, woodworking and reading.
He was a son of the late Ewell Herbert and Ruby Roundtree Griner. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Jo Ann Williams Griner, and by a brother, Ewell Julian Griner.
Survivors include his wife of 33 years, Mary Burkhalter Riggins Griner, of Blackshear, his children, Ann G. Bonds, of Marietta, Kip and Michelle Griner, of Humble, Texas, Larry and Gwen Riggins, of Fitzgerald, Kathy and Fred Howard, of Valdosta, and Karen and Tip Lee, of Alma, nine grandchildren, A.J. Bonds, Andrew Bonds, Kali Griner, and Mia Griner, Matthew and Michelle Riggins, Leeann and Cason Kelley, Mandy and J.C. Jacobs, Misty and Paul Watkins, Dustin and Lindsey Howard, 11 great-grandchildren, and several nieces, nephews and other relatives.
The funeral will be held Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Blackshear.
Interment will be in the Blackshear Cemetery.
Visitation will be held at the church two hours prior to the service, beginning at 1 p.m.
Memorials may be made to the Hospice Satilla Hospice House, 811 Beacon St., 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.

Nancy Elain Fullard
Nancy Elain Fullard, 66, died Monday (Sept. 4, 2017) at Memorial Satilla Health following an extended illness.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Music Funeral Home.

Clyde Gordon Jr.
Clyde Gordon Jr., 70, died Wednesday (Aug. 30, 2017) at Memorial Satilla Health in Waycross.
He was a native and lifelong resident of Waycross. He was formerly employed by Carter’s Moving Company, and was active at the Nelson Greene Senior Citizen Center.
He was the son of the late Clyde Gordon Sr. and Alice Ree McElhaney Gordon.
Survivors include his former wife, Sandra Clark, of Waycross, one son, Eric Gordon, of Waycross, one step-daughter, Kim Taylor, of Waycross, three grandchildren, Shanice Graham, Eshaun and Roger Kite, one brother, Tommy McElhaney, of Virginia, one sister, Georgia Malone, of North Charleston, S.C., and a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday (Sept. 8) at the Music Funeral Home Chapel.  The family will receive friends 1 until 2 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at

James E. Barber Jr.
James Everette Barber Jr., 73, died Friday afternoon (Sept. 1, 2017) at his residence after an extended illness.
He was a native of Blackshear, but he lived most of his life in Waycross. A United States Army veteran, he served in 8th Artillery Battalion during the Vietnam War.
He was employed by Douglas Electric and Plumbing as a heavy construction worker for 32 years, and was a member of Potter’s House of Prayer.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James Everette Barber Sr. and Sarah Bell Dixon Barber, and one sister, Annette Barber.
Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Martha Hiott Barber, of Waycross; five children, Tammy Wolfe (Roy), of Blackshear, Penny Norton (Philip), of Waycross, Tim Barber (Brandi), of Bristol, Brittney Barber, of Waycross, and Austin Barber, of Waycross; three grandchildren, Christian Norton, Chloe Barber and Brooklynn Barber; five brothers, Billy Barber (Gwen), of Blackshear, Wayne Barber (Cindy), of Blackshear, George Barber (Libby), of North Carolina, Jerry Barber, of Blackshear, and Johnny Barber (Judy), of Blackshear; one sister, Ginger Strickland (Michael), of Alma; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. today at the Music Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow in High Bluff Cemetery.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at

Vera H. Strickland
NAHUNTA — Vera Higginbotham Strickland, 88, of Nahunta, passed away Thursday night (Aug. 31, 2017) at Hospice of the Golden Isles of Brunswick after an extended illness.
Born in Nahunta, she was the daughter of Earnest Tillman Higginbotham and Gladys Jacobs Higginbotham. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Marshall Brugler Strickland, daughter, Edith Carole Sheffield, and a brother, Omer E. Higginbotham Sr.
She was a retired Brantley County school teacher and a member of Southside Baptist Church. For many years, she and her husband served in the ministry and she was an active member of the Georgia Retired Educators Association. She loved her family, music, reading and had a host of friends.
Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Barry Marshall Strickland (Lou), of Whigham; four grandchildren and their spouses, the Rev. Christopher L. Sheffield (Courtney), of Douglas, Leigh Anne Strickland, of Nashville, Tenn., Lauren Carole Martone (J.J.), of Springfield, Tenn., and Joseph Barry Strickland, of New York City, N.Y.; three great-grandchildren, Everly Grace Sheffield, Isla Faith Sheffield, Willa Florence Sheffield, and one on the way, Rowan Edith Sheffield; a sister and brother-in-law, Carolyn Thomas Crews (Leonard), of Nahunta; two sisters-in-law, Jeanette H. Higginbotham, of Brunswick, and Lois S. Saye, of Baton Rouge, La.; devoted caregiver, Brandi Garcia, of Nahunta; and several nieces, nephews, other relatives and a host of friends.
Visitation was held Sunday afternoon from 2:30 until 4 o’clock at Southside Baptist Church.
A funeral was held Sunday afternoon at 4 o’clock at Southside Baptist Church with the Rev. Christopher Sheffield and the Rev. Jerry Johns officiating. Burial followed in New Hope Cemetery.
Honorary pallbearers were members of The Joy Sunday School Class.
The family welcomes friends at her home, 218 Satilla Ave., Nahunta.
Arrangements were with Frye Funeral Home, Nahunta.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at

Richard Allen Groover
A graveside service for Richard Allen Groover was held Saturday afternoon at Mars Hill Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery with the Rev. James Guy and the Rev. Johnny Guy officiating.
Miles-Odum Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Robert A. Griffin
BLACKSHEAR — The funeral for Robert Alvin “Bobby” Griffin, 80, was held Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock in the Pearson-Dial Chapel.
Officiating was the Rev. Billy Atkins.
Interment was in Oakland Cemetery.
Honorary pallbearers were members of the Faithful Followers Sunday school class at Jamestown Baptist Church.
Pearson-Dial Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.