In Memoriam – Fall 2018


Marian Nelson Kleeman (’39) died Feb. 7, 2018, in Savannah. She was a successful real estate agent.

Frank Barragan Jr. (’38), a Savannah native, died March 14, 2018, at age 99. He served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, then returned to Savannah where he had a long career at Savannah Gas Company. He later served as president and CEO of the North Carolina Natural Gas Corporation. He was a former president of the Armstrong Alumni Association and a member of the Armstrong Foundation Board of Trustees.

Emily Gould Leigh (’38) was surrounded by family when she passed away July, 10, 2018, in St. Augustine, Florida. She was a payroll account manager and excelled at playing bridge. She died four months shy of her 100th birthday.


Shirley Jones Marks (’49) passed away Feb. 14, 2018, in hospice care in Savannah. She had a career as an executive secretary.

Frances Geiger Hayes (’49), a former resident of Byron, Georgia, died Feb. 22, 2018, at age 92 in Wilmington, North Carolina. She raised four children and was a kindergarten teacher for many years.

Helen “Boots” Andrews Bryant (’49) of Savannah was surrounded by family when she died March 28, 2018. She was a longtime community volunteer.

Alma Smith Mitcham (’47) died April 13, 2018, in Ludowici, Georgia, at age 91. She was a retired Long County educator.

Jack Douglas (’49) died April 13, 2018, in Waycross, Georgia, at age 90. The Korean War veteran was a retired high school educator in Ware County.

Andy Ernst (’42) of Savannah died April 25, 2018, at age 94. The World War II veteran was a descendant of the Salzburgers who settled in Ebenezer near Savannah in 1734. He managed and later owned the family business, the Stamp and Stencil Company.

Alma Cato (’44) of Rincon, Georgia, died Aug. 9, 2018, at age 93. She retired from International Paper.


William Thaggard (’59) of Augusta, Georgia, died Nov. 5, 2016. The educator in Savannah was passionate about competing in weightlifting tournaments and composing philosophical articles.

Willis Hughes (’59) of Blairsville, Georgia, died Jan. 4, 2018. The U.S. Navy veteran worked for the Army Corps of Engineers, the Savannah River site lock and dam and the Fort Stewart power plant.

Mary Jane Barnhardt Denny (’50) of Tucker, Georgia, died Jan. 9, 2018, surrounded by family. She was employed by Dekalb County and city of Decatur school systems.

Melvin Johnson (’59) died Feb. 17, 2018, at Augusta University Medical Center. He was a teacher, athletics coach and the associate superintendent of Jefferson County Schools in Louisville, Georgia. He served 21 years in the Georgia National Guard and the U. S. Army.

Jerry Manley (’56) of Girard, Georgia, died March 6, 2018, at age 86. He grew up in Waynesboro, Georgia, and was a teacher in Florida, and in Burke and Richmond counties in Georgia.

J. Fred Pierce (’54) of Savannah died in hospice care April 13, 2018. The retired executive vice president of WJCL was instrumental in the television exposure Eagle football teams received when the sport returned to Georgia Southern. He is a member of the Georgia Southern University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Arnold Sims (’57) died April 23, 2018, at his home in Pooler, Georgia. He retired from Frances Meyer, Inc.

Rev. Griffin Thompson (’56) of Wrens, Georgia, died May 4, 2018, at age 91, at his home following a long illness. The longtime educator served as a minister in the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Frances Cherry Bishop (’56) of Albany, Georgia, died May 13, 2018, following a battle with kidney disease. In her second career, the former teacher worked as a dental hygienist until age 83.

Gay Kimbrough Dull (’51) of Stone Mountain, Georgia, died May 26, 2018, at age 88. The educator was an avid supporter of Georgia Southern and served on the University Foundation Board. She was the first trustee to become an emeritus. She was also an honorary alumna of Georgia Tech, where her late husband served as dean of students for 34 years.

Jeanine English Webb (’55) of Fort Valley, Georgia, passed away June 9, 2018. She taught in Peach County schools for more than 30 years.

Marjorie Noble Lloyd (’53) of Pawley’s Island, South Carolina, passed away July 13, 2018. She was a retired educator.

Trellie Woodard Shepherd (’53) of McDonough, Georgia, died July 31, 2018, at age 97. She was a retired elementary school teacher in the Dodge County School System.

Edgar Edwards (’50) of Hinesville, Georgia, died Aug. 1, 2018, at age 92. The World War II Navy veteran was a teacher, principal, coach and the superintendent of Liberty County public schools. He was a past recipient of the Georgia Superintendent of the Year award.

Ralph Parsons (’52) died Aug. 10, 2018, at his home in Vidalia, Georgia. He played baseball and basketball at Georgia Southern and was inducted into the Georgia Southern University Athletic Hall of Fame. The Korean War veteran had a 43- year career as a teacher, coach and administrator at Vidalia High School.

Talmadge Rushing (’54) of Tallahassee, Florida, died at home Sept. 1, 2018. He retired from the U.S. Army after 30 years of service, and had a 33-year career with the Florida Department of Education.


Robert Cassidy (’68) died Jan. 11, 2018, at his home in Savannah. He had a long career in the banking industry, including positions as a bank president.

Donald Toole (’69) of Sylvania, Georgia, died March 11, 2018. He was a teacher, coach and administrator in Screven County Schools for 38 years.

Clifton Baxter, Ed.D., (’62) of Tifton, Georgia, died March 20, 2018, in assisted living care. The professor emeritus had an extensive career in higher education.

James Crews (’66) of Folkston, Georgia, died March 21, 2018, in hospice care. During a 30-year naval career, he served deployments on the USS Intrepid, USS Essex and several other aircraft carriers. The U.S. Navy Reserve veteran also retired from a 31-year career as a caseworker and director with the Charlton County Department of Children and Family Services.

Dolores Davis Walden (’69, ’81), of Soperton, Georgia, died March 27, 2018. She was a retired educator.

Sammy Powell (’63) of Chamblee, Georgia, died April 16, 2018. During the four years he served in the U.S. Air Force, he was a member of the Air Police who guarded the U.S. atomic weapon storage depot at Bossier Base in Louisiana. An industrial arts teacher, he was the Georgia statewide coordinator for industrial arts and vocational education.

Fleta Hardie Phillips (’67) of Gordon, Georgia, passed away at her home June 3, 2018. She was employed by Kraft Foods.

Edward Haymans (’61) of Hinesville, Georgia, died unexpectedly June 22, 2018, in Jacksonville, Florida. He retired as the administrative vice president and controller of Coastal Utilities. Haymans was proud to be instrumental in promoting Georgia Southern Athletics.

Stephen Colson Sr. (’68) of Birmingham, Alabama, died July 3, 2018. He served in the U.S. Army from 1968- 74, and earned two Bronze Star medals. In his professional career, he operated and owned movie theaters.

Albert (“Ab”) Roesel Jr. (’67, ’92) of Conyers, Georgia, died July 11, 2018, after a truck struck his bicycle. During the Vietnam War, he served as a medevac helicopter pilot earning a Bronze Star and the rank of captain. He was a mathematics educator and a social justice and environmental activist.

Elder Wayne Gibbs (’66) died Aug. 7, 2018, in hospice care in Statesboro. He served in the ministry at Primitive Baptist churches in Middleground, Metter and Savannah, Georgia.

Julia Price Bragan (’62) died in Statesboro Aug. 31, 2018, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. She had a passion for teaching and was an elementary school teacher in Cincinnati.

Peter “Pete” Walker Hendry (‘65) passed away Sept. 8, 2018, on Tybee Island under the care of Bethany Hospice, and his family. He played basketball at Armstrong State. Hendry owned and operated the Shipwreck Club on Hilton Head Island and worked for National and PanAm airlines.


Michael “Doc” Lewis Holiday (’74) died in hospice care Dec. 21, 2017, after a long illness. He was first a coach and teacher and then an insurance agent for three decades.

Lillian Richardson Washington (’78) died at her home in Savannah Jan. 2, 2018. During her career, she was a program director overseeing multiple childcare facilities.

Jill Hutchins Greene (’77) of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, died in hospice care Jan. 21, 2018, on her 75th birthday. She had a 30-year career in the travel industry that spanned Savannah, Atlanta and Cleveland.

David Buchanan (’78) of Gainesville, Georgia, died Feb. 11, 2018. He was an attorney.

Kenneth Califf (’73) of Gray, Georgia, died March 5, 2018. He was a 30-year employee of Brown and Williamson cigarette plant.

Georgeann Vick Schanke (’71) of Dawsonville, Georgia, died March 6, 2018, following a brief illness. She was a former elementary school teacher and teacher of the year.

John Barry Mock (’70) of Columbia, South Carolina, died unexpectedly on March 14, 2018. He was a psychiatric social worker in the U.S. Army, and had a 31-year career with the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

Carol Harrison White (’71) passed away March 17, 2018, at her home in Brunswick, Georgia. She was a retiree of the Wayne County Board of Education.

Ronald “Ron” King (’77) of Lawrenceville, Georgia, died April 6, 2018, from car accident injuries. He was a utility company executive.

Rev. John Brewer (’72) of Ailey, Georgia, died April 7, 2018, after a long illness. He was a pastor and an English and literature professor for 39 years at Brewton- Parker College.

Oscar “Buddy” Davis III (’70) of Bainbridge, Georgia, died April 15, 2018. The retired U.S. Postal Service employee served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War era and the Georgia National Guard.

Emily Weatherly (’76) of Florence, South Carolina, died in hospice care April 25, 2018. She was a teacher and an art gallery owner.

Mary Mixon Bailey (’74) died May 6, 2018, in Savannah. She was a critical care nurse at Memorial Hospital for almost 30 years.

Crystal Hunter Flathman (’73) of Savannah, was surrounded by family when she passed on May 8, 2018. During her career in education, she was a teacher and principal at schools in the Savannah area.

Charles “Skip” Hankins (’79) formerly of Savannah, died May 26, 2018, in Mulvane, Kansas. He had a 30-year career in information technology.

June Miller Hammonds (’71) of Eatonton, Georgia, died May 31, 2018. She was a popular retired home economics teacher, transforming many student’s lives with her teaching.

James “Spider” Sikes Jr. (’76) passed away June 4, 2018, in Savannah at age 62.

Bettina “Tina” Boney Beecher (’71) of Savannah, died June 16, 2018, at Candler Hospital. She was a high school teacher, legal secretary and part owner of Red Maple Farm in Effingham County.

Earl “Pete” Rowe (’72) of Savannah died July 1, 2018. Early in his career, he was a freight truck driver but soon opened Rowe Supply Company, an independent roofing distributor.

William Bainbridge (’74) of Aiken, South Carolina, died July 4, 2018, at his home. He was employed by the Southern Company and several large construction companies. Bainbridge was a U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War.

Rev. Dale Thornton (’76) died unexpectedly July 6, 2018, at home in Hinesville, Georgia. He was an accomplished musician and an elder in the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. During his years as a pastor, he served churches in Macon, Albany, Waycross, St. Mary’s and Hinesville.

David Spillman (’72) of Statesboro, died July 24, 2018 at Memorial Health University Medical Center. The retired banker and business manager at Georgia Southern was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal.

Horace Shewmaker (’76) of Cobbtown, Georgia, died at age 90, Aug. 5, 2018, of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. The U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel and pilot flew combat in the Korean War and Vietnam conflict. In a later career, he served as a property assessor in Tattnall County.

William (Bill) Allen Jr. (’70) of Brunswick, Georgia, died in hospice care at his home Aug. 8, 2018. The decorated Vietnam veteran served as an officer in the U.S. Army from 1965-70. In his career with the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, he led ten different support divisions. Allen also taught at College of Coastal Georgia.

James Gilliamsen Jr. (’74) of Savannah died Aug. 11, 2018, at Memorial University Medical Center. The U.S. Air Force veteran was a former captain with the Savannah Fire Department and retired as the parking services coordinator for the City of Savannah. He also was a former area sales manager for a brewing company.

Joseph Strickland Jr. (’73) of Sautee, Georgia, died Aug. 12, 2018. The U.S. Army veteran served in Vietnam and had leading roles in the banking industry, including as the president of several banks.

William “Bill” Brannen (’79) of Statesboro died Aug. 19, 2018, following a brief illness. He was a land developer and the owner/operator of Southside Beverage and Gas Station in Statesboro for many years.


Thomas F. Chalker III (’86) of Decatur, Georgia, passed away Jan. 27, 2018.

Mark Tillman (’85) of Savannah, died Feb. 7, 2018. He was a former pitcher for Armstrong and was an environmental health and safety manager for a chemical company.

Albert Roughen Jr. (’81) died March 8, 2018, in hospice care in Bluffton, South Carolina. He began his career as a high school teacher and later owned a construction company in Eatonton, Georgia.

Derek Proctor (‘86) of Stilson, Georgia, died suddenly March 16, 2018. He had a diverse career exercising his engineering and problem-solving gifts with various companies in Statesboro.

James Philip Lee (’85) passed away March 18, 2018, at his home in Eatonton, Georgia. He had a career in engineering and construction, including the design and building of 911 cell towers.

Debbie Wyndham Helmly (’87) of Claxton, Georgia, died March 27, 2018, at her home. She worked as a nurse in Savannah hospitals and owned a hospice care facility.

Thaddeus James (T.J.) Morris III (’84) of Statesboro died at his home July 23, 2018. He was a playwright and worked in the travel industry in Seattle and Hilton Head.

Professor Frank Clancy Jr. of Richmond Hill, Georgia, died at home July 21, 2018. Known to generations of students as “The Professor,” he taught English literature, specializing in Irish literature at Armstrong State University. He organized the annual Sebastian Dangerfield St. Patrick’s Week Irish Literature Celebration and initiated his “Bloomsday” lectures to celebrate the Life of Irish writer James Joyce. He ran in more than 20 marathons, including the Boston Marathon.

Albert Franklin Coleman III (’85) died July 23, 2018, at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta. The native of Portal, Georgia, was a gifted singer and worked as a tour guide for student groups.

Alan Patterson (’82) of Midway, Georgia, died in hospice care July 27, 2018, after a long illness. The Eagle Scout and retired Master Sergeant served in the Air Force National Guard for nearly 20 years. Proud of his Irish heritage, he served for over 20 years as a member of the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.

Denise Sutton Klesick (’81, ’87, ’98) of Pooler, Georgia, died at her home Aug. 16, 2018. She was a teacher of students with intellectual disabilities and helped all students with disabilities make the transition from high school.

Daniel Durham (’87, ’92) of Hamilton, Georgia, died Aug. 16, 2018. The former high school football coach and athletics director played football for the Georgia Southern Eagles from 1982-86 and was a starting linebacker on the 1985 and 1986 national championship teams. He was a defensive line coach for the Eagles from 1990-91.

Michalle Aldridge Quarles (‘87) of Savannah, passed away on Sept. 4, 2018, at Memorial Hospital surrounded by her husband, family and friends. An educator and cheerleading and dance team coach at Armstrong State College, her passions were family, grandchildren and her students.


Barbara Burton Hanzalik (’92) of St. Simons Island, Georgia, died March 21, 2018. She served as the publicist for First Baptist Church of St. Simons.

Eve Wright Wheeler (’92) of Gainesville, Florida, died April 28, 2018. She was a nurse for nearly 20 years and started a second career as an artist.

Raymond Smith III (’90) died unexpectedly on June 30, 2018, while hiking in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. He was a 26-year employee of the National Rifle Association in Fairfax, Virginia.

Wendy Jones Nunnemaker (’99) of Gray, Georgia, died Aug. 5, 2018. She was a kindergarten teacher at Mattie Wells Elementary School.

Dorothy Porter McNerney (’90) of Savannah died Aug. 22, 2018. She enjoyed traveling and playing bridge.


Heidi Kirby Akins (’10) died Feb. 21, 2018, at her home in the Atlanta area. After raising her four children, she had a career as a hospitality manager.

Marilyn Capps Canady (’06, ’09) of St. Simons Island, Georgia, passed away Feb. 25, 2018. She worked in special education in the Glynn County School System.

Joseph Lupus (’15) of Savannah died May 22, 2018. He was a member of the Savannah Metropolitan Police Department.

Katherine Horton Doyle (’06) of Richmond Hill, Georgia, died June 18, 2018, at St. Joseph’s Hospital. She worked in dental sales, winning numerous awards.

Aric Warsaw (’07) of Rincon, Georgia, died peacefully at home June 28, 2018. He had a two year battle with synovial cell sarcoma. He was a network engineer at Gulfstream Aerospace.

Eddie “Coach” Mock (’00) of Metter, Georgia, died July 3, 2018, from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. He served in the U.S. Air Force for 10 years and was a teacher and coach at several south Georgia high schools.

Theodore “Ted” Gallop (’11) of Statesboro died in hospice care July 24, 2018. He was the manager of Galactic Comics and Games. Ted was a Statesboro icon, who influenced several generations to become better readers through comic books.

Eagle Nation

Professor Emeritus Thomas “Tommy” Singletary (’59) died in hospice care at his Statesboro home April 19, 2018. He joined the Georgia Southern industrial arts department in 1961 and retired after 31 years of teaching electronics. The onetime department head was also a gifted musician, woodworking artisan and an authority on antique radio cabinetry and circuitry.

Coach Jack Stallings died in Tallahassee June 20, 2018, at age 87. He was the head coach of the Eagle baseball team from 1976-99, and remains the winningest coach in Eagle baseball history. He led the team to a College World Series appearance in 1990, five NCAA postseason appearances and three Southern Conference titles. He was also a professor in the health and kinesiology department. The University retired his No. 1 jersey in his honor and he was inducted into the Georgia Southern Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004.

Vice President Emeritus Richard Armstrong passed away May 27, 2018, at Ogeechee Area Hospice in Statesboro. He was the vice president for business and finance at Georgia Southern from 1985-97. Armstrong was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, and retired from the Army Reserves as a colonel after 30 years of service.

Jack Miller, a former dean of the Georgia Southern College of Education, died April 2, 2018. He endowed the College’s Jack Miller Faculty Awards and later in his career served as president of Central Connecticut State University.

Professor Emeritus Stephen Kwasi Agyekum of Savannah, died June 1, 2018. The early childhood professor received the Award for Distinguished Faculty Service to the Community and retired after 28 years of service on the Armstrong Campus.

Professor Edward Strauser of Rincon, Georgia, died suddenly June 8, 2018, in Sonora, California. He was a retired professor of education.

Sean Eastman, a mathematics professor, passed away June 12, 2018, after a battle with cancer. He joined the Armstrong Campus faculty in 2005, and maintained an active research program, including publications with undergraduate students and frequent presentations at national conferences. In 2016, he was awarded the Lorrie and Kevin Hoffman Mathematics Faculty Research Award.

Professor Emerita Bobbie ElLaissi of Statesboro died June 24, 2018, at Ogeechee Area Hospice. She was a professor in Georgia Southern’s College of Education. During her tenure, she served on numerous University committees and professional organizations.

Professor Emeritus Robert Barrow died June 30, 2018, in Hampton, Virginia. The associate professor of history served in the U.S. Coast Guard and was a member of Delta Chi and Phi Alpha Theta fraternities.

Mary Thornton, Ph.D., of Statesboro died at her home July 22, 2018. She retired after 16 years as director of the RN-to-BSN program in the Georgia Southern University School of Nursing.

Professor Emeritus James Oliver Jr. (’52) died July 18, 2018, in Statesboro. An international expert in tick-borne disease research, the Callaway Professor of Biology served as the director of the Institute of Arthropodology and Parasitology at Georgia Southern University. He was instrumental in bringing the U.S. National Tick Collection to Georgia Southern from the Smithsonian Institute in 1990. He served as president of such organizations as the Entomological Society of America, the Acarological Society of America and the Southeastern Society of Parasitologists.

Muriel Bryant of Statesboro died in hospice care Aug. 1, 2018. She was a nurse in the Georgia Southern infirmary and retired after 30 years of service.

Professor Emeritus Joseph Olson Jr. of Statesboro, died Aug. 15, 2018, at age 92. He was an art professor at Georgia Southern for more than 30 years. His work has displayed in exhibitions all over the world. He played an important role in the formation of the Averitt Center for the Arts. His artwork was used in the official seal for the City of Statesboro, the Bulloch County seal, the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair logo and the Statesboro Bicentennial logo.