Obituaries
June 23, 2011 Issue

Mr. Dwellie Hudson Benefield Jr.
Mr. Dwellie Hudson Benefield Jr. of Austell entered into rest on June 5, 2011

Mr. Benefield was born on Aug. 16, 1919, in Avera to the late Dwellie Hudson Benefield Sr. and the late Rosella Harvey. He attended school at Tenders Grove Elementary School in Avera, where he received his early education. He received his Christian training at Stone Springfield AME Church, Stapleton. At 21, he left home when he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He served for four years in four different countries and received an Honorable Discharge as a Staff Sergeant. He then enrolled in welding school in New York and became a welder for 13 years. He married his wife, Helen Kelley, on March 11, 1944. Two days later he was called back to the Army. Two years later he returned from WWII. In 1951, he joined Bridge Street AWME Church in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he served on the Usher Board, as class leader for Class No. 5, Booster Club, Roscoe C. Henderson Choir, Georgia Club, Senior Steward Board and chairman of the Trustee Board. In 1987, he retired from the New York City Transit Authority as a motorman. He began to volunteer at church full-time until his health failed. In 2008, he and his wife moved into the Austell Unihealth Nursing Home, where she passed on March 30, 2011.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, June 11, 2011, at Stone Springfield AME Church, Stapleton, with Pastor Rev. Michael G. Ephraim officiating.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Helen Kelley Benefield; parents; three brothers, Albert, Paul and Peter; and one sister, Mary Benefield.

Survivors include daughter, Gwendolyn; brothers, Jerry Benefield of Saint Albans, N.Y.; sisters, Louise Ray and Ora (Jimmy) Gentry, both of Thomson; cousin, Glennis Barnes of Brooklyn, N.Y.; two godsons, District Elder Derrick Farmer and Jeffrey Benefield, both of Jamaica, N.Y.; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Burnett Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Mr. Charles H. Cofer Jr.
Mr. Charles H. Cofer Jr., 80, of Louisville entered into rest on Saturday, June 18, 2011, at his residence.

A native of Louisville, Mr. Cofer was a son of the late Charles H. Cofer, Sr. and Loris Dudley Cofer. Mr. Cofer attended Auburn University and Augusta State and graduated with a bachelor degree in physics. He worked many years at the Savannah River plant as a health physicist. He was also instrumental in starting the Emergency Preparedness Program for Aiken County, and following retirement did consulting work at Rocky Flats Nuclear Facility in Colorado. Mr. Cofer and his wife, Juanita, started the Louisville Food Pantry, after, in a dream, he was told to start one. They continued to run the food pantry until his health prevented it. He was a member of the Rotary Club, the Health Physics Society, and was a lay leader in the Methodist church holding several offices during his ministry. He was a member of Louisville United Methodist Church and a former member of Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church for many years. He also sang in his church choirs. He recently received the 2011 Jefferson County Father of the Year award.

Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, at Louisville United Methodist Church, with Rev. David Boggs, Rev. Jerry Cofer and Rev. David Hibberts officiating. Burial followed in the Louisville City Cemetery.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, Wayne Cofer.

Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Juanita Davis Cofer of Louisville; sons, Charles John Cofer (Judith) and Jerry Wayne Cofer; daughters, Diane Barnes (David), Julie Sargent (Billy), all of Louisville; sisters, Eugenia Gordy, Marianne Miller, Lettie Ruth Mohammad, all of Louisville; six grandchildren, Tanya and Dory Rudifer, Kari Johnson, Jennifer Young, Sunny Brock, Bonnie Kaye Sargent and William Charles Cofer Sargent; six great-grandchildren, Eli Rudifer, Abbegail Hadley, Taylor Young, Trent Young, Alexis Young and A.J. Peavey; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Pallbearers were James Davis, Brian Rabun, Neal Miller, Eric Miller, Dory Rudifer and Patrick Gordy.

Honorary pallbearers were members of the Joe Gay Sunday School class of Louisville United Methodist Church and Mike Cofer.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests, those desiring, please make memorial contributions to the Louisville United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 269, Louisville, GA 30434, or to the American Cancer Society, 2607 Commons Blvd, Augusta, GA 30909.

Taylor Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Mrs. Pearl Walker Cunningham
Mrs. Pearl Walker Cunningham, 61, of Louisville entered into rest on Sunday, June 12, 2011, at an Augusta hospital.

Mrs. Cunningham was a native of Burke County, the daughter of the late Moses Walker and Fannie Mae Atwell Walker. She was a member of the St. Clair Baptist Church, and a retired seamstress at Riverside Corp, Wadley.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, June 18, 2011, at St. Clair Baptist Church, Keysville, with Pastor Rev. Tommie L. Walker Jr. officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery.

Survivors include her husband, Robert Cunningham of Louisville; children, Gail (Mario) Harrison of Louisville, and Antonyo Cunningham of Augusta; sisters and brothers, Lula Mae Walker of Augusta, Lizzie (Edward) Pinkston of Louisville, Susie Mae Hannah, Allie Van Walker, Sarah (Eddie) Waltower, John Willie Walker and Elnora Walker, all of Gough, Vera Mae Ryals of Alamo, and Otis Walker of Augusta; stepdaughter, Sandy Hill of Wadley; mother-in-law, Katie Mae Cunningham of Louisville; grandchildren, Qiana V. Jones, Diate D. Walker, Mariana M. Harrison, Reshika S. Harrison and Markila Harrison; four great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Willie Mae (Arcephus) King, Lisa Cunningham of Wadley, Gail (Marcus) White of Charlotte, N.C., Diane C. Hall, Eddie (Carolyn) Cunningham, Eugene (Linda) Cunningham, Ronnie Cunningham, all of Louisville, Tommie Lee Cunningham and Bill Cunningham, both of Augusta, and Jeffery (Myra) Clark of Texas; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Davis Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Mr. Tommie Lee Butts Jr.
Funeral services for Mr. Tommie Lee Butts Jr. of Wadley were held at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 20, 2011, at Sand Valley AME Church, Louisville.

Garrer Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Mr. Henry Terry Garrett
Mr. Henry Terry Garrett, 65, of Bartow entered into rest on Thursday, June 16, 2011, after a hard fought battle with cancer at his residence.

Mr. Garrett was born in Jefferson County and a resident all of his life. He was the son of the late L.A. Garrett and Lucy Mae Merritt Garrett. He was a 1960 graduate of Louisville Academy, and Greenleaf Business School in Atlanta in 1964. He served in the Air Force for four years, one in Thailand. He was awarded the Air Force commendation medal for meritorious service. He later joined his father in farming for 30 years and retired in 1999. He worked for 10 years at Ingles in Louisville and had to retire due to his health in August 2010. Mr. Garrett was a member of Davisboro Baptist Church for 40 years, Woodmen of the World and was a life member of the National Rifle Association.

Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 18, 2011, at Friendship Baptist Church, Bartow, with Pastor Steve Kenner, Rev. Mike Jones and Rev. Rusty Manning officiating. Burial followed in the family lot in Davisboro City Cemetery.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and a son, Patrick Pat Garrett.

Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Marynel Kitchens Garrett of Bartow; daughter, Tiffany Dawn Garrett of Bartow; one brother, L.A. Garrett Jr. of Lawrenceburg, Tenn.; and several nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers were Bill Black, Jimmy Andrews, Robert Huff, Mike McCoy, Angeli Brooks and Kelvin Cobb.

Honorary Pallbearers were Robert Harrell, Robert Nortington, Herman Tanner, J.W. Cobb, Roger Moats, Robert Cobb, Bob Poole, Jim Pool and Dewey Holton.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to United Hospice, 6675 Main Street, Swainsboro, GA 30401, or to the donor’s favorite charity.

Taylor Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Mrs. Jennie Hardin
Mrs. Jennie Hardin, 77, of Evans entered into rest on Saturday, June 18, 2011, at her residence.

Mrs. Hardin was a native of Jefferson County and lived in Augusta most of her adult life. She was co-owner of Greenway’s Curb Market for 25 years. She was a member of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Avera.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, at 11 a.m. at Thomas Poteet and Son, with Rev. Pat Williams and Rev. Tim Pendrey officiating. Interment followed at Hillcrest Memorial Park.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Limuel T. Hardin; son, Byrnie Limuel Hardin Sr.; and grandson, James Earl Weeks.

Survivors include her daughter, Gina Hardin Weeks (Larry); daughter-in-law, Deborah Hardin; grandchildren, Byrnie Hardin Jr. (Rachel), Randy Hardin, Brian Hardin, Megan Weeks and Larry E. Weeks (Carolyn); great-grandsons, Austin, Aiden and Bryson; brother, Buddy Beasley; sister, Thelma Coheley (Kenneth); brother-in-law, John Hardin (Jo); niece, Diane Brittian (Mike); great-nephew, Blake Brittian; step-grandchildren, Joseph and Teresa French.

Pallbearers were Byrnie Hardin Jr., Randy Hardin, Larry Weeks, Steve Shepard, Chuck Shepard and Jonathon Combs.

Memorial contributions may be made to The GHSU Cancer (Research) Center, 1410 Laney Walker Blvd., Augusta, GA 30912, or to The Lydia Project, 2501 McDowell Street, Augusta, GA 30904.

Thomas Poteet and Son Funeral Directors were in charge of arrangements.


Mrs. Mae “Marie” Rose Mack
Mrs. Mae “Marie” Rose Mack of Detroit, Mich., entered into rest on May 21, 2011.

Mrs. Mack was born on Nov. 27, 1933, to the late Josiah and Susie Ponder of Louisville. She was baptized at an early age at Pine Hill Baptist Church. She was a graduate of Jefferson County Training School. Mrs. Mack relocated to Detroit, Mich., where she attended the Lewis Business College of Detroit. At her retirement, she was employed by Chase J.P. Morgan Bank for many years. She was a member of Linwood Church of Christ for several years and served on the Usher Board and Baptist Committee.

Funeral services were held on Friday, May 27, 2011, at 11 a.m. at Linwood Church of Christ, Detroit, Mich., with Evangelist Donale Stewart officiating. Internment was in Detroit Memorial Gardens.

Survivors include her husband, John L. Mack; son, Rodney; grandson, Deonico; sisters, Clyde (Victor) Correa, Betty Gilliard; nieces, Robyn (Craig) Campbell of Brooklyn, N.Y., Renee (Ryan) Chelsea of Aurora, Colo.; four sisters-in-law, Etta Jean Colston of Quincy, Fla., Lila Cooper of Denver, Colo., Lizzie (Homer) Ford of Miami, Fla., and Marilynn Harris of Tallahassee, Fla.; three stepdaughters, Detra, Audra and Charlotte; two stepsons, Dorman and Lawrence; and a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, relatives and friends.

Pallbearers were Decondi Mack, Delzon Mack, Lamale Mack, Zatorff Zirker Jr., Glen Zirker and Deonico Mack.

Honorary pallbearers were Jettie Wilcher and Ivan Wilcher.

James H. Cole Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


Rev. Bettye J. Stephens
Celebration of life services for Rev. Bettye J. Stephens, 74, of Wrens were held on Saturday, June 18, 2011, at 11 a.m. at Stone Springfield AME Church, Stapleton, with Bishop William DeVeaux as eulogist, and Pastor Rev. Michael G. Ephraim Sr. and Rev. Carlos T. Young presiding. Interment was in Wrens Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Wrens.

Survivors include three daughters, Jerlyn Diane Smith and Hattie Marie Davis, both of Wrens, and Cynthia (Robert Bob) Neal, Louisville; five grandchildren, Krystal Stephens, Joy (Justin) Staten, John Cooper III, all of Wrens, Bridget Neal, Atlanta, and Deitrick Neal, Louisville; six great-grandchildren, Jamiria, Alysia, Jakhia, Cameron, all of Wrens, Zorian Neal, Augusta, and Ja’Paris, Baton Rouge, La.; two sisters, Alveda Lewis, Harlem, and Margaret Virginia Davis, Louisville; one brother, Tom Wesley (Mary) Farmer Jr.; four sisters-in-law; godchildren, Willie Ruth Fullard, Martha Jordan, Janice Beasley, Le’Ande Avery, Maurice Oliphant and Brandyionna Lazenby; friends, Presiding Elder Ella Mae Samuels, Helen McBride and Shawn Stapleton; several nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.

Thomson Funeral System was in charge of arrangements.


Mr. Jeffrey “Duff” Franklin Watkins
Mr. Jeffrey “Duff” Franklin Watkins, 48, of Fairfax, S.C., entered into rest on Tuesday, June 14, 2011.

Mr. Watkins was a graduate of Midland Technical College of Columbia in machine tool technology and was employed at Collum’s Lumber Mill.

Funeral Services were held at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 17, 2011, at Fairfax First Baptist Church, with Dr. Larry Sizemore officiating. Interment followed in Fairfax Cemetery.

He was preceded in death by his father, Murtice Franklin Watkins.

Survivors include friend, Carla Thomas-Davis, and her children, Jo Ellen and Mason of Allendale; mother and stepfather, Agnes Gray and Thomas Bud Hadden of Avera; two sisters, Chrystal Lynn Watkins of Avera, and Laura Frances Watkins of Aiken, S.C.; stepmother, Janet Haynes Watkins of Aiken, S.C.; and many other family members and friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to Fairfax First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 827, Fairfax, SC 29827.


Mrs. Mary Frances Sanders Woodward
Mrs. Mary Frances Sanders Woodward, 89, of Keysville entered into rest on Monday, June 13, 2011, at Burke Medical Center.

Mrs. Woodward was born to the late Annie Mae Jenkins Sanders and the late Algernon O. Sanders Sr. of Ulmer, S.C. She worked briefly for the late S.C. Senator J. Edgar Brown of Barnwell, S.C., attended business school in Augusta, and worked for C&S National Bank. After marrying in 1948, she moved to Keysville where she and her husband co-owned and operated Woodward’s Grocery for many years. Upon her move to Keysville, she joined the Keysville United Methodist Church where she served as a children’s Sunday school teacher, church treasurer, and member of the cemetery committee.

Graveside services were held on Thursday, June 16, 2011, at 11 a.m. at Keysville United Methodist Church Cemetery, with Rev. Ed Chance officiating.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, Harry O. Woodward Jr.; two brothers, A.O. Sanders Jr. and Clifton Sanders.

Survivors include her three children, Wade Woodward of Atlanta, Elliott Woodward (Donna) of Augusta and Charlotte, N.C., and Dianne W. Stewart (Bobby); three grandchildren, Kyle Stewart of Tuscaloosa, Ala., Elizabeth W. Finch (Doug) of Augusta, and Ashley W. Moulds (Steven) of Atlanta; and one great-granddaughter, Fraser Sydney Finch.

Memorial contributions may be made to Keysville UMC Cemetery Fund, c/o Truman Smith, 201 Peachtree St, Wrens, GA 30833.

James Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

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