In Memoriam – Winter 2020


Joanne Dewberry Mackey (’54) of Savannah passed away Aug. 20, 2018. She retired from a successful sales career with an advertising and publishing company.

Elizabeth Hartley Watkins (’53) passed away at home in Griffin, Georgia, Nov. 18, 2019. The retired educator of 37 years was involved in many civic groups in Griffin and was inducted into the Griffin-Spalding Educator Hall of Fame in 2014.

Kermit Hutcheson, Ph.D., (’53), a University of Georgia professor emeritus, passed away Feb. 2, 2020, in Jefferson, Georgia. The U.S. Army veteran served a tour of duty in Occupied Japan and was recalled to active duty during the Korean Conflict. He was a professor in the statistics department at UGA.

Mary Alice Taff Greene (‘59) of Marietta, Georgia, died at home May 6, 2020. She was a retired teacher in Georgia’s Paulding County school system.

Frank “Sonny” Clements (’52), the patriarch of Columbus State University athletics, died at home June 9, 2020. Clements was the institution’s first head men’s basketball coach and served 24 years as the athletics director from 1959-1983. Clements was a two-sport standout at Georgia Southern in baseball and basketball. A member of the 1,000-point club, Clements was inducted into the Georgia Southern Hall of Fame in 1959.

Francis Smith Jr. (’55) of Thomson, Georgia, passed away at home June 15, 2020. The U.S. Air Force veteran retired from BellSouth as an engineer. The alumnus was very active in the reunions for the 1950s/1960s group and homecoming events.

Gene Roberts Jr. (’54) of Hoschton, Georgia, passed away June 16, 2020, after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He served five years in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War era. He moved to Atlanta and retired from a job with the federal government after 40 years of service.

Mildred Ryals Nowell (’55) of College Park, Florida, passed away July 13, 2020. She taught school for 18 years in Orlando and was active in the PTA.

Syble Coley Denney (’59) formerly of Cochran, Georgia, passed away at home in Bonaire, Georgia, July 15, 2020. She was a retired educator.

June Watts Glenn (’58) of Athens, Georgia, passed away July 16, 2020, in hospice care in Asheville, North Carolina. She is remembered for her many years of church service including heading up several church missions.

James (Jim) Fulford (‘56,’62) of LaGrange, Georgia, passed away July 21, 2020, in hospice care. He served in the U.S. Army, and was employed as a teacher and assistant principal in LaGrange schools for 32 years.

Lora Beth Bartles (’52) of Evans, Georgia, passed away Aug. 4, 2020. She retired as a teacher from Evans High School. She was a member of the Columbia County Retired Teachers Association and Fidelis Theta Sorority.

Martha LeGrand Kabler Stewart (’53) of Augusta, Georgia, passed away Aug. 14, 2020. An English and literature teacher, she retired from the Richmond County School System after 36 years of service. She was the first woman to serve as president of the Augusta Choral Society and she was a charter member of the Augusta Opera Association.

Rose Marie Haley DeAngelis (‘59) of Athens, Georgia, died Sept. 11, 2020. She was a retired elementary school teacher.

Charles Taylor (‘50) of Gotha, Florida, passed away Oct. 8, 2020, at age 89. Woodlawn Memorial Park and Funeral handled his funeral arrangements.

Leila Marchman Smith Fulford (‘56) of LaGrange, Georgia, passed away at home Oct. 13, 2020, a few months after the death of her husband, Jim. She was one of the first female business instructors at Troup County Technical College before working for The Callaway Foundation, where she retired after 32 years of service.


Maynard Lloyd Reid Jr. (’66,’69) died Feb. 21, 2020, at Emanuel Medical Center in Swainsboro, Georgia. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and later joined the faculty of the education department at LaGrange College, where he retired as chair after more than 20 years of service.

James Carlisle (’69) of Aiken, South Carolina, died April 2, 2020, after a brave battle with Parkinson’s disease. The U.S. Army veteran served in Vietnam. He retired after 33 years from the state of South Carolina as area supervisor of Vocational Rehabilitation, Aiken.

Allen Steve May Jr. (’64) of Stone Mountain, Georgia, died July 22, 2020. During his professional life he worked for several companies in Atlanta and retired as a senior financial aid consultant with the Georgia Student Finance Commission.

Joe Brannen Sr. (’61) of Statesboro died June 2, 2020, at a hospital in Savannah. He had a career in consumer finance. He opened the Statesboro Commercial Credit branch office in 1966 and served as branch manager until his retirement in 2006. He served the City of Statesboro as a three-term city council member and was elected mayor in 2010. He was a charter member of the Bulloch Lions Club, a member of the Statesboro Rotary Club and a supporter of Georgia Southern University’s “A Day for Southern” fundraiser.

Jerry Garrard (’69) passed away June 12, 2020, at his home in Jacksonville, Florida. He had suffered with PLS, a rare neuromuscular disease, for several months. He was a pastor for over 40 years.

James Willey (’69) of Lakeland, Florida, passed away of cardiovascular disease June 15, 2020. He worked for more than 25 years in the commercial and residential building industry, primarily with Joyner Lumber.

Charles George Horel Jr. (’69) 82, passed away June 29, 2020, at Community Hospice in Vidalia, Georgia. He taught elementary school in Savannah and Port Wentworth, Georgia, for several years and retired from the Chatham County Health Department as the community epidemiologist.

Robert Woodrow Wilson Sr. (’62) of Richmond Hill, Georgia, passed away July 7, 2020. He retired from Georgia Regional Hospital and had a second career in new home sales.

Stacy Wells Jr. (’61) of Easley, South Carolina, was surrounded by family when he died July 11, 2020. He taught English and French for several decades before retiring from Forest Park Senior High School near Atlanta.

Laura Bell Lohr (’61) of Buckhead, Georgia, died July 13, 2020, from injuries suffered in a car accident in Colorado. She and her husband grew dryland wheat on their Colorado farm before buying her parents’ farm in Buckhead where they raised beef cattle and broiler chickens.

Lynn Anderson Mertins (’68) of Augusta, Georgia, passed away July 21, 2020. The dedicated educator retired as a library media specialist at Lakeside High.

Dianne Fallen Avret (‘68) died Aug. 2, 2020, at her home in Lyons, Georgia. She was a retired elementary school teacher.

Dennis Alan Folker (’69,’84,’89) of Guyton, Georgia, passed away Aug. 6, 2020, at his residence. He was a retired high school science teacher.

George Watson (’66) of Pleasureville, Kentucky, was surrounded by family when he passed away Aug. 6, 2020. A dedicated fan of high school basketball, he began his career in the trucking industry and later retired from the Oldham County Road Department.

Robert Davis (’66), a lifelong resident of Appling County, Georgia, died Aug. 15, 2020, at the hospital in Metter, Georgia. His career in education included stints as a teacher, guidance counselor, Title 1 coordinator, assistant principal and principal before retiring in 2004.

Robert Lott (’64) of Macon, Georgia, died Aug. 20, 2020, at age 91. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and had a career in education as a teacher, coach, counselor, principal and director of counseling for Bibb County Schools. After retiring, he worked for 14 years in the Bibb County Sheriff’s office. In 1955, he became pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Washington County, where he remained as a bivocational pastor for 36 years.

Mariben Mikell Thompson (’62) of Guyton, Georgia, passed away Sept. 3, 2020, at The Gardens at Southern Manor in Statesboro. She was the third Mikell sister to graduate from Georgia Southern. She retired as an educator in the Effingham County School System, then managed a pay telephone enterprise, and served as a local bank director.

Vivian Mercer Brown (‘66) of Metter, Georgia, passed away Oct. 8, in a Savannah hospital. She spent the majority of her 35-year career teaching second and third grades in Metter where she was recognized as Teacher of the Year.

George R. Akins Jr. (‘66) died at his home in Boca Raton, Florida, Oct. 14, 2020, at age 80. He had a 50-plus year career in the furniture industry and a passion for sports, motorcycles and fast cars.


Mary Margaret Allgood Parker (’74) of Augusta, Georgia, died Oct. 4, 2019. She held teaching positions for several years in different school districts before retiring to focus on her family.

Patricia Cook Bullard (’70) of Albany, Georgia, passed away Jan. 4, 2020. She was a second-grade teacher in the Dougherty County Public School System for 30 years.

Carol Godbee Crosby (’79,’85), a lifelong resident of Bulloch County Georgia, died in hospice care May 2, 2020. She taught for 25 years in the Bulloch County School System at Nevils and Brooklet Elementary schools. She was a longtime supporter of the Georgia Southern football and basketball teams.

Stanley Terrell (’77) of Colbert, Georgia, passed away May 5, 2020. He served four years in the U.S. Navy, was a licensed pilot and had a career in the paper mill industry.

Patricia “Patti” Page Newman (’75,’77,’84) of Ellabell, Georgia, died at home May 8, 2020. She was employed by the Bryan County Board of Education for 39 years and served as the principal at Lanier Primary School for many years.

William “Big Bill” Williams (’74) of Metter, Georgia, passed away May 11, 2020, at Candler County Hospital. He retired as a deputy for the Candler County Sheriff’s Department following 35 years in law enforcement.

James Thompson (’74) of Spartanburg, South Carolina, passed away May 26, 2020, following a brief illness. During his career, he worked for the Emory Police Department at Emory University, the campus security team at Spartanburg Methodist College and worked as a hospital transport driver for Spartanburg Regional Hospital.

James “Jimmy” Aldred (’70) of Brooklet, Georgia, died June 18, 2020, at his home under hospice care. He served in the U.S. National Guard and worked for many years with Hallmark Cards.

Ronald Thomas Gay (’75) of Ludowici, Georgia, died June 26, 2020, at his home under hospice care. He retired from the City of Jesup and was later a sales representative for a life insurance company.

Isolde Lohnert Smeak (’79) of Augusta, Georgia, passed away July 13, 2020. She was a licensed professional counselor and special education behavioral consultant.

Royce Sizemore (’73,’76) died July 14, 2020 at age 83 in Valdosta, Georgia. He served four years in the U.S. Navy as an aviation electronics technician and enjoyed a 25-year career at Georgia Natural Gas as a salesman and manager.

Carol Wrye Canady (’74) of Macon, Georgia, died July 15, 2020, after a battle with breast cancer. She was a teacher for 30 years in the Bibb County public school system.

Susan Beck-Milton (’71) of Tifton, Georgia, passed away at home July 25, 2020. During her teaching career, she served as choral director at the high school and middle school levels in Tift County before retiring from teaching at Crisp County High. Her choirs performed at four Georgia Music Educators Association State Conventions, the American Choral Directors Association Georgia State Convention, and many choral festivals where her choirs received numerous trophies and awards.

Stanley Floyd Faison (‘71) died July 30, 2020, at his home near Moultrie, Georgia. He was 82.

Richard E. Salerno (’77) of Pinehurst, North Carolina, passed away Aug. 1, 2020, at age 68. He worked as a hospital administrator in several cities including Augusta, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; Austin, Texas; and Nashville.

James Williams (’71) of Snellville, Georgia, passed away Aug. 2, 2020. He graduated with a degree in accounting and soon earned his CPA. In retirement, he and his wife enjoyed traveling.

Martha Henry Butts (’72,’74) of Beech Island, South Carolina, died peacefully Aug. 9, 2020, after battling several health conditions. She taught school for 37 years, most of those years at North Augusta High School.

Mary Caren Tisdel Buck (’70) of Savannah, passed away at home Aug.10, 2020, after a long fight with breast cancer. She had a long teaching career and was an active participant in the Savannah Sport Fishing Club.

P. F. “Pete” Stutsman (’75) of Charleston, South Carolina, was surrounded by family when he died Aug. 10, 2020. He had a lifelong career at Anson Construction Company. He always swore that he would never retire, and he kept that promise.

Rudolph Thomas (’71), formerly of Pierce County, Georgia, passed away Aug. 14, 2020, in Waycross, Georgia. He served two years in the U.S. Army and had a long career in the railroad industry.

Rosiland (Nan) Busby (’71) of Charleston, South Carolina, died Aug. 24, 2020. She had a career in education as a counselor and loved traveling in the U.S. and abroad.

Stanly (Stan) Cochran (‘76) died unexpectedly Sept. 5. 2020, at his home in Macon, Georgia. He retired from GEICO in 2018 after a long career.

William Bradberry Jr. (’72) of Sweetwater, Tennessee, passed away Sept. 10, 2020. He served in the U.S. Air Force and had a 41-year career at Vestal Manufacturing as a traffic manager, sales manager, general manager of sales and purchasing manager.

Barbara Bacon Creaser (‘72,’75) was surrounded by family when she passed away Sept. 17, 2020. The National Board Certified Teacher taught for 40 years in Chatham County public schools.

Charles Spann Jr. (‘74) of Savannah passed away Sept. 19, 2020. He had a career in education as a teacher, assistant principal and headmaster of Memorial Day School, Pinewood Christian Academy and as principal of Richmond Hill High.

Malcolm “Mal” White (‘75) of Metter, Georgia, passed away Sept. 21, 2020. The educator served at Savannah Country Day for more than 30 years, as math department chair, dean of students and Upper School assistant principal. He served 20 years as the varsity girls basketball coach and more than 30 years as the varsity golf coach.

Derrell Bargainnier (‘71) of Brunswick, Georgia, died at home Sept. 27, 2020. He moved to south Georgia from the Atlanta area where he had a career in the insurance industry as a claim consultant and in risk management.

Jack McKinley (‘72) of Atlanta died peacefully Oct. 4, 2020. He was the great nephew of William McKinley, the 25th president of the United States. He also served in the U.S. Army and was a high school history teacher for 35 years.

Emma Hendrix Grimes (‘75,’98) of Statesboro died at home Oct. 9, 2020. She was a former educator with the Bulloch County Board of Education and was a caseworker with the Open Door Adoption Agency.

Janis “Widget” Bennett Richards (‘76) of Marietta, Georgia, passed away Oct. 17, 2020. An adapted physical education teacher, she was an advocate for people with disabilities and she lobbied for expanded Medicaid funding for residential opportunities outside of state institutions.


Dale Robinson (’80) passed away May 31, 2020, at a hospital in Savannah. He retired from his career as an insurance adjuster in the Atlanta area.

Tina Wright Mitchell (’80) of Walterboro, South Carolina, passed away in hospice care June 25, 2020. She operated a daycare center until her retirement.

Lee Daniel Hill (’87) of Statesboro passed away Aug. 1, 2020. He served as the Statesboro boys basketball coach at Statesboro High for more than four decades and was the winningest active high school basketball coach in the state of Georgia.

Patricia Moody Mann (’83) of Alpharetta, Georgia, passed away Aug. 20, 2020. She was a high school history teacher for almost 30 years. The first in her family to go to college, she acquired three degrees, visited six continents and dozens of countries, and positively impacted the lives of thousands of students and friends.

Margaret Hendrix (’87), formerly of Colonels Island, Georgia, passed away Aug. 24, 2020, following an intense battle with COVID-19. A musician and writer, she wrote human interest stories for several coastal newspapers for many years.

Roger Michael McKinney (‘85) of East Point, Georgia, was surrounded by family when he passed away Sept. 13, 2020. He was an educator, loving brother and friend.

Stan Stipe (‘88) passed away Sept. 27, 2020, at his home in Jacksonville, Florida, at age 54. The Eagle long snapper who wore jersey #56 was often described as the smallest Division I lineman in the country. He contributed to two back-to-back football national championships in 1985 and 1986. He used his degree in building construction technology to open his own company building commercial buildings.

Patricia Konetzko Thompson (‘80) of Brunswick, Georgia, passed away Oct. 1, 2020. She retired after teaching first grade for 30 years.


Heather Lyall (’91) of Statesboro passed away May 6, 2020. A talented artist, she was a volunteer for a local arts center and worked behind the scenes as a stage manager and on stage in several productions.

Evelyn Gamble-Hilton (’92,’03,’08,’12) of Statesboro died May 20, 2020, at a hospital in Savannah. Her career in the educational field included positions as a middle grade teacher, assistant principal and principal in Bulloch County schools.

Kathleen Bolger VonHerbulis (’94,’00) passed away June 8, 2020, at home in Mt. Dora, Florida. A natural and gifted teacher, she taught in the Diocese of Savannah school system for many years and spent the final years of her career as a guidance counselor in underserved schools in Savannah.

Donna Conner Bradley (’94) of Brooklet, Georgia, passed away June 20, 2020. She was a teacher at Pinewood Christian Academy in Bellville, Georgia, and worked for BB&T Bank for several years.

Rachel Elaine Clark Glenn (’92,’98) of Savannah died June 24, 2020, while under hospital care. After fighting a long battle against cancer, Elaine officially retired from teaching in 2017.

Earl “Teddy” Theodore Wilson (’96) of Brunswick, Georgia, died at home July 25, 2020. He worked at Georgia Pacific as an assistant operator III.

Betty Cassiday (’91) of Savannah lost her fight with cancer July 28, 2020. She spent 34 of her 35-year career teaching elementary and primary grades in Richmond Hill. She also started the gifted education program for Bryan County in the early 1980s, and was honored with multiple teaching awards, including Bryan County Teacher of the Year in 1985 and 2006.

Jennifer Lynn Csicsila (‘95) of Grayslake, Illinois, passed away July 30, 2020, at a hospital near her Chicago home. Her career in public service as a U.S. Customs federal agent allowed her to travel abroad and in the U.S., a passion she dearly loved.

Joseph “Joe” Savary II (’90) of Sarasota, Florida, passed away unexpectedly of heart failure Aug. 3, 2020. During his career, he worked in the hotel industry and for a software and services provider.

Roger Hewitt Finch (‘93) passed away May 2, 2020, at his home in Evans, Georgia. The former aircraft mechanic created extraordinary sculpture that can be seen across the country in both public and private collections. As a student, he donated the 8-foot by 8-foot steel piece he created for his Master of Fine Arts exhibit to the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art. “Square One” was installed on the north concourse of Allen E. Paulson Stadium in 2012. The two-ton sculpture consists of hundreds of pieces of welded steel, painted dark blue, with a negative space that forms the numeral “1.” He died at age 79.


Katlyn Vaughn (’16) passed away May 21, 2020, in Savannah. Kate was a case specialist with Broughton Partners.

Jessica Lynne Johnson (’06) of Augusta, Georgia, passed away July 7, 2020. She worked as a social worker with patients at American Renal Associates.

Kyle Gregory (’19) passed away July 19, 2020, following a rapid battle with COVID-19 at a hospital in Warner Robins, Georgia. The former Eagle offensive lineman and electrical engineering major had recently been hired by Alion Science and Technology in Warner Robins. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and COVID and spent a week fighting both infections before dying from complications. He was just 24.

Fred “Tim” Bland (‘00) of Brooklet, Georgia, died Sept. 18, 2020, at Augusta University Hospital. He was a Georgia registered forester and had recently earned his Georgia Appraisal License.

Shannon Formby Fillmore Gassen (‘00) of Savannah, died unexpectedly Oct. 1, 2020. She had a career as a research and development petroleum chemist.

Patrick Welch (‘02,’05) of Richmond Hill, Georgia, died Oct. 7, 2020, at St. Joseph’s Hospital. He loved to learn about education and seeking answers was always important to him. Certified to teach all subjects, he taught special education and coached football, wrestling and lacrosse at Richmond Hill Middle School.


Assistant Professor Emerita Susan Jones Darrell (’60,’62) of Statesboro died May 23, 2020, after a sudden illness. She was a professor of home economics at Georgia Southern University and retired after 27 years of service.

Professor Emeritus V. Edward Brown (‘59,’66) of Statesboro passed away at home June 18, 2020, after a short illness. The Double Eagle was a professor of adult and vocational education. He retired in 1995. He was also a member of the Air National Guard from 1960 to 1968.

Timothy Pearson, a professor of accounting, passed away July 28, 2020, due to complications of COVID-19. At the time of his death, Pearson was director of the School of Accountancy. He was an expert in forensic accounting and served as editor for multiple academic journals, published numerous peer-reviewed articles and secured millions in grant funding. He also was dedicated to mentoring and advising young professionals as they began their careers.

Lorie Jean Roth, Ph.D., a former professor in the language and literature department on the Armstrong Campus passed away Aug. 18, 2020. She was a resident of Ohio at the time of her passing.

George Dale Lynch, Ph.D., former assistant dean of students, died at home in Statesboro Sept. 3, 2020. He retired from Georgia Southern in 2001 after serving 33 years. He was influential in the development of the recreational programs for student services at Georgia Southern, most notably in the completion of the first phase of the Recreational Activity Center. He spent 27 years involved in recreational and high school sports, serving both as a high school coach and referee/official. He served at the Statesboro Recreation Department for 10 years as coach of senior league baseball.

Professor Emerita Sara Neville Bennett (’64,’67) of Statesboro died Sept. 10, 2020, due to COVID-19. The sixth generation resident of Bulloch County was employed as an instructor of biology at Georgia Southern in 1966, and was promoted to assistant professor in 1971, to associate professor in 1977, to professor in 1985 and she retired in 2004. She was an outstanding researcher and teacher but her forté was mentoring graduate students. She was the major professor for many graduate students, and she excelled at directing the coursework of pre-medical and pre-dental students, successfully guiding them into the schools of their choice.

Professor Emeritus Nathaniel Creighton Alexander (‘59,’66) of Brooklet, Georgia, succumbed to a heart attack on Sept. 20, 2020. Many of his students called him “Doc” and may remember how the College of Education professor advocated at both the state and national levels the importance of technology and engineering instruction. The avid runner was a member of the Statesboro Kiwanis Club and worked in the Pancake House during the fair mixing the pancake batter.

Sandra Akins Ellwood of Statesboro died in the hospital on Oct. 13, 2020. The Bulloch County native was the executive administrator of the math/computer science department at Georgia Southern University. She retired after 27 years of service. She was a recipient of the “Excellence of Merit” Award, one of the University’s highest honors for faculty and staff.

Professor Craig Henry Roell, Ph.D., of Statesboro died suddenly Nov. 11, 2020, after a brief illness. He was a dedicated member of the Georgia Southern University Department of History faculty for 31 years. He was named the Wells/Warren University Professor of the Year in 2002 and 2013, and he was awarded the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Ruffin Cup in 2012. As a professor, he was known for his warmth and kindness to all, his love of his home state of Texas and his collection of cowboy boots.

Professor Howard “Les” Furr Jr., Ph.D., of Statesboro died Nov. 20, 2020, at East Georgia Regional Medical Center. He worked at three different universities throughout his career teaching hospitality, accounting and finance, hotel operations, marketing and sales and restaurant management. He finished his career at Georgia Southern, retiring in 2018.

Professor Jeanette Rice Jenkins of north Georgia passed away Dec. 3, 2020. She was an associate professor of chemistry from 1995-2005. Her intellect earned accolades in academics and her knowledge of chemistry kept her one step ahead of her doctors and nurses. In a career-changing move, Jenkins and her husband, David, moved to the North Georgia mountains where they ran a luxury cabin rental business from 2005 to 2020.

Professor Andrew Berger suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and unexpected complications that claimed his life Dec. 7, 2020. The writing and linguistics lecturer is remembered for his love of his family, his home state of Kentucky, all things musical, and his passion for teaching college writing. He is survived by his wife and two-year-old son.