Community Obituaries


Evans Funeral Home announces the death of Mr. Allen Kyle Long, age 78 of Nicholson, Georgia who entered into rest Thursday, October 29, 2020.  Mr. Long was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, the son of the late James Orrin Long and the late Hazel Foster Long.  Mr. Long was a retired Electrical Engineer, a member of Victory Baptist Church, was a member of the “Born Again Bluegrass Group”, loved Bluegrass and Bluegrass Gospel, and performed for residents of area Nursing Homes for eighteen  years.  Mr. Long proudly served his country in the U.S. Army in Vietnam.  Mr. Long is survived by his wife Lynda W. Long of Nicholson.  Daughter, Lisa Compton and her husband Mike, three sons, Brad long and his wife Amy, Kevin Long, and Marc Long and his wife Jennifer.  Step-son, Lane Fuller.  Two sisters, Kay Cantrell and Sandy Chleboun.   Six grandchildren, Jordan, Kyle, Amberly, Ella, Addisyn and Emily also survive.
A private family graveside memorial service will be held with Reverend Danny Hill officiating.  A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Heart Association, 1720 Epps Bridge Parkway, Suite 108-383, Athens, Georgia. 30606. 
Evans Funeral Home, Inc., 1350 Winder Highway, Jefferson, Georgia. 706-367-5467
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Evans Funeral Home announces the death of Mrs. Hazel Christine Fowler, age 68, of Pendergrass, Georgia, who entered into rest on Saturday, October 24, 2020. Mrs. Fowler was born in Toccoa, Georgia to the late James G, Lovell and the late Frances Shirley Lovell and a member of Revival Baptist Church. Mrs. Fowler is proceeded in death by her brother, Michael Lovell.  Mrs. Fowler is survived by daughters Jennifer Fowler of Pendergrass, Kelli Eckard and her husband Eddie of Perdergrass, granddaughter, Alexus Eckard, grandson, Dathan Eckard, sister Judy Sharpton and her husband Willie of Pendergrass, brother, Randy Lovell of Maysville, niece Amanda Bagwell of Pendergrass, nephew Chris Sharpton and his wife Heather of Jefferson, nephew Michael Lovell and his wife Christina of Winder, niece Brandy Sharpton of Talmo, as well as other nieces and nephews also survive.
A Funeral Service will be held on 2:00 PM Wednesday, October 28, 2020, from Revival Baptist Church with Pastor Matt Day officiating with burial following in the Church Cemetery. Gentlemen honored as pallbearers are Jacob Hathcock, Jon Lovell, Reece Lovell, Lane Sharpton, George Rutledge, and Brad Green. The family will receive friends from 6:00 – 8:00 P.M on Tuesday, October 27,2020 at Evans Funeral Home.  Evans Funeral Home, 1350 Winder Highway Jefferson, GA 30549. 706-367-5467.  Online condolences at


Richard Wesley Whitener, Sr, age 77, of Nicholson, GA passed away on Friday, October 23, 2020. His life is being celebrated by the large family he left behind: His loving wife, Jeanie Whitener, his daughter Dena and her husband Greg Voyles, his daughter Keri and her husband Gray Etheredge, his son Wes Whitener and wife Erin, his brother Alan Whitener and wife Merrill, and his brother, Dail Melton and wife Paula. He was also beloved by many grandchildren, nieces and nephews, including grandchildren Gregory Voyles, Ariel and husband Tyler Beam, Charlie, John, and Caroline Etheredge, Robin, Lucy and Nati Whitener, niece Heather and husband Patrick Shue, nephews JD and wife Ayumi Whitener, Jeff and Becca Whitener, Adam and Brooke Melton, and John and Joy Melton.  Richard was born on July 15, 1943 in Rock Hill, SC, graduated from Rock Hill High School in 1961, and attended Clemson University. Richard was a loving husband to his high school sweetheart Jeanie for 57 years, never apart from her side. He was a responsible, caring and involved father, grandfather and uncle who will be dearly missed. His eyesight prevented him from serving in the Air Force, despite being honored with a nomination to attend the academy from US Senator Strom Thurmond. He was a devoted citizen and active member of the community, participating in Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Staghorn Plantation Homeowners Association. He also served as a Boy Scout Troop Leader, and was an avid Clemson fan. He retired from AT&T after 25 years, and again from Wachovia National Bank after 10 years. He served as a deacon, Sunday School Teacher, and Church Officer at Central Baptist Church in Lawrenceville, GA for over 20 years. 
The family would like to especially thank Tracey Clark at Home Instead Senior Care for her support and care during this time.  He is now rejoicing, reunited with the family that went before him: His parents John and Jo Whitener, his sister Sandy and his brother Don. He was an active member of First Baptist Church in Commerce, GA, where a service in his honor will be held Tuesday, October 27th at 2:00 pm, officiated by Senior Pastor Carlton Allen. The family will receive friends immediately after the service outside the church, weather permitting. 
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made in Richard’s memory to First Baptist Church in Commerce, GA at  Evans Funeral Home, Inc., 1350 Winder Highway, Jefferson, Georgia.  706-367-5467. 
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Evans Funeral Home announces the death of Mr. Kenneth Alvin “Duck” Reese, age 67 of Jefferson, Georgia who entered into rest Wednesday, October 14, 2020.  Mr. Reese was born in Greensboro, Georgia the son of the late Alvin and Sara Harrison Reese, was a retired Truck Driver for Fern Acres and was of the Baptist Faith.  In addition to his parents, Mr. Reese is preceded by a brother, Dewitt Spain.  Survivors include Mr. Reese’ wife of thirty-eight years, Joan Harrison Reese of Jefferson.  Two sons, Russ Strickland of Jefferson, Robert Strickland and his wife Glenda of Elberton.  Sister, Nancy Miller and her husband Steve of Union Point.  Grandchildren; Tommy Kines and his wife Rebecca, Kayla Strickland, Russ Jr. Strickland, Casey Strickland, Bethany Strickland, Alyssa Davis, Austin Strickland, Alexis Strickland and Aiden Strickland.
Funeral services will be held 2:00 P.M. Saturday, October 17, 2020 from the Chapel of Evans Funeral Home with Robert Strickland, Kayla Strickland and Manuel Bailey officiating.  Burial will follow in the Calvary Baptist Church Cemetery, Statham, Georgia.  Gentlemen honored as pallbearers are Leonard Harrison, Jeff Whelchel, Sandy Ferguson, Buck Wilson, Zack Wilson, Logan Wilson and Chris Round.  The family will receive friends 6:00 – 8:00 P.M. Friday, October 16, 2020 at the funeral home.  Evans Funeral Home, Inc., 1350 Winder Highway, Jefferson, Georgia. 706-367-5467
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Evans Funeral Home announces the death of Mr. Leon August Osterland, age 82, of Jefferson, Georgia who entered into rest on Sunday, October 11, 2020. Mr. Osterland was born in Monroe, Louisiana to the late James Simon Osterland and Juanita Killian Osterland. Mr. Osterland was a member of Hoschton United Methodist Church, retired from Northwest Airlines as a mechanic, and severed in the Air force, U.S. Army and was a Vietnam Veteran.  Mr. Osterland is survived by his Wife of 51 years, Virginia Gray Osterland. Children, James Dan Osterland, and his wife Angie of Jefferson. Sherry Osterland of Jefferson, John Walker Osterland, and his wife Julie of Kennesaw, James Byron Osterland, and his wife Pam of Marietta. Grandchildren, Noah, Eli, Jacob, Dahlia, Emma, Taylor and Stephanie. Great granddaughter Ansleigh also survive.
A Funeral Service will be held 11:00 AM Wednesday, October 14, 2020, From the Chapel of Evans Funeral Home with Pastor Marvin Mason officiating with burial at Evans Memory Gardens. The Family will be receiving friends on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at Evans Funeral Home From 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
Evans Funeral Home, 1350 Winder Highway Jefferson, GA 30549. 706-367-5467

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Evans Funeral Home announces the death of Mrs. Emmagene Fleeman Merk, age 86, of Jefferson, Georgia who entered into rest on Friday, October 2, 2020. Mrs. Merk was the daughter of the late Pansy Davis Alexander and Clifford Fleeman.  Mrs. Merk was a member of Jefferson First United Methodist Church, worked as a Fire Tower Lookout at Fort Yargo State Park, and then for many years at Pansy’s Daycare, the first licensed daycare in Jackson County.  In addition to her parents, Mrs. Merk is preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Howard Merk, her brothers Timothy Fleeman, Jimmy Fleeman, Charles Fleeman, Dickie Fleeman, Byron Alexander, and son-in-law Dennis Bullock.  Emmagene was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother.  Mrs. Merk is survived by her four daughters Yvonne Hudgins, Leigh Gholston and her husband Curtis, Jan Randall and her husband David, Curtis Jean Ousley and her husband Tom, and a brother John Alexander. Six grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews also survive. 
Graveside services will be held on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 2:30 PM in the Woodbine Cemetery with Chaplain Eric Buffington officiating. Gentlemen honored as pallbearers are David Randall, Curtis Gholston, Hopper Alexander, Jacob Randall, Drew Ledford, and Cole Ledford.  Honorary pallbearers are Dutch Alexander and Kim Ketchem.   Evans Funeral Home, 1350 Winder Highway Jefferson, GA 30549. 706-367-5467
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Lennie Patricia Penland, age 62 of Winder passed away Thursday, October 1, 2020.  Funeral service will be held 2:00 PM Sunday, October 4, 2020 at Lawson Funeral Home Chapel.  Officiating is Rev. Mike Freeman.  The family will receive friends 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Saturday, October 3, 2020 at the funeral home.  In lieu of flowers contributions maybe be made to the funeral home.  Arrangements by Lawson Funeral Home, 4532 Hwy 53, Hoschton, GA 30548,, 706-654-0966.


Evans Funeral Home announces the death of Mrs. Kay Baldwin Bucklew, age 62, of Commerce, Georgia, who passed away on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. Mrs. Bucklew was born in Miami, Florida, a daughter to the late Fred Robert Baldwin and the late Carolyn McNeal Baldwin. Mrs. Bucklew graduated from Jefferson High School and from Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College in Tifton, Georgia. Mrs. Bucklew was a member of the Galilee Christian Church and was a Court Clerk in Clarke County, Georgia.

Survivors include her son, Dustin Martin of Commerce; sister, Lisa Baldwin Duke and her husband Tim of Woodstock; brother, Bob Baldwin, Commerce; grandsons, Jaiden and Josiah Smith; nephew, Tyler Duke; nieces, Payton Duke and Lee Baldwin; great niece and nephew, Baily and Noah Baldwin; her many, many great friends whom she loved and adored and her cat Pete, also survives.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Monday, October 5, 2020 at 7:00 PM in the Chapel of Evans Funeral Home with Minister Nick Vipperman officiating.

The visitation will be held on Monday evening, October 5, 2020, from 6:00 PM until 7:00 PM, at Evans Funeral Home, prior to the service.

Evans Funeral Home, 1350 Winder Highway Jefferson, GA 30549. 706-367-5467

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Ruth Copeland Johnson, 95 entered her eternal rest at her home on September 30, 2020.  Ruth, or GG as she was affectionately called by her 7 great grandchildren was born to W. Dewey and Flora Copeland in Manchester, Ga on October 9, 1924. She was a graduate of Manchester High School, attended Georgia State College for Women in Milledgeville Ga and Draughon’s Business School in Atlanta, GA.  Growing up in Manchester with the nickname “Charlie”, she loved to fish, swim, garden, cook, camp, sew, and ride horses at the family farm, Camp Flora.  Often she would make the 5 mile trip with friends on horseback to the Farm to swim and fish.    She served as a lifeguard at Callaway Gardens loving anything to do with water.  Even in her 90s she was up for a boat ride.    As a young woman she enjoyed riding motorcycles on the winding roads around FDR state Park.   She could tell the best stories about FDR as he came through Manchester on his way to Warm Springs in the 1930s and 1940s.  Once she and her sister were accidentally caught up in the president’s motorcade and could not get out, much to the ire of the Secret Service.
 Ruth worked alongside her father at the family owned Georgia-Alabama Coca Cola Bottling Company, in Manchester until her marriage to the late James S. Johnson in 1948.  She moved to the Johnson Family Farm in Jefferson, Ga where she became active in Angus Cattle production, and Poultry farming.  She and Jimmy raised 4 children who were actively involved in sports, Band, Art, livestock exhibition, Galilee Christian Church, 4H and FFA.  Besides her regular farm duties alongside her husband she provided support for her children’s many activities whenever needed.  Ruth was involved with the Ga Farm Bureau, Oconee River Soil and Water Conservation District, Daughters of the American Revolution and was an active member of Galilee Christian Church.  At the recent 150 year Anniversary Celebration at Galilee she was recognized as the oldest living member.   Upon her “retirement,” Ruth enjoyed camping with her husband and family into her 91st year.  She and her sister Louise were avid genealogist and rock hounds traveling all over the southeast in the search for records and gems.
She was preceded in death by her parents Dewey and Flora Copeland, her husband J.S. “Jimmy” Johnson, daughters Shirley Ruth Johnson and Linda Underwood Banks, and sister Louise Herring.  Survivors include two sons, Dewey Johnson (Robyn), Randy Johnson (Jackie), of Jefferson.  Grand children Elijah Underwood (Amanda) England, Laura Underwood, Jefferson, JT Johnson (Nicki) Audrey Stell (John), Jefferson, Nathan Johnson (Brittany), Jefferson and seven great grandchildren.  Graveside services will be held 4:30 P.M. Thursday, October 1, 2020 from the Galilee Christian Church Cemetery with Minister Tom Plank and Minister Nick Vipperman officiating.  The family will receive friends at the graveside.  Those attending are asked to maintain the recommended safe social distancing of six feet and to please wear masks.  The family would like to express gratitude to Ruth’s numerous caregivers. 
In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Galilee Christian Church Building Fund, 2191 Galilee Church Road, Jefferson, Georgia.
Online condolences at
Evans Funeral Home, Inc., 1350 Winder Highway, Jefferson, Georgia.  706-367-5467.


Evans Funeral Home announces the death of Pastor Rafael Santos Jr., age 56, of Jefferson, Georgia, who went to his heavenly home on Saturday, September 26, 2020. Pastor Santos was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Rafael and Victoria Santos-Ortiz Sr. of Hoschton. Pastor Santos was a member of the Hope Crossing Church in Jefferson and was a proud veteran of the U.S Army. Pastor Santos was a missionary to Central and South America, was an active member of the Hispanic community, and was retired from Jackson Electric Membership Corporation.  In addition to his parents, Pastor Santos is survived by his wife of thirty-three years, Glenda  Santos-Cortreras of Jefferson; sons, Josh Santos and his wife Summer of Danielsville, Jonathan R. Diaz of Jefferson; daughters, Rebecca Santos-Diaz of Athens, Adrienne N. Diaz of Jefferson; grandchildren, Victoria Hampton, Hailey Hampton, Emmalee Hampton, A’mari Diaz, Tristian Hampton and Alexander Swiney also survive.
A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 PM, on Saturday, October 3, 2020 in the Hope Crossing Church with Pastor Chris Stephens officiating. The Family will receive friends from 1:30 PM to 2:00 PM, prior to the service in the church.  Evans Funeral Home, 1350 Winder Highway Jefferson, GA 30549. 706-367-5467
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