Obituaries — Oct. 7, 2021

Michael Adams

Michael Adams

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS Michael Gene Adams “Big Mike” passed away on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, at the young age of 62 in Orange Park.

Originally from Jacksonville, he moved to Keystone Heights as a child and remained in the Keystone Lake Region throughout his life as an accomplished, certified building contractor. In the year of 1985, Mike earned his bachelor’s degree in Mechanized Agriculture from the University of Florida, while he and his family of four lived at Indian Lake Ranch, where he grew timber and worked as a cattle rancher for quite some time. A few years later, he became a building contractor, working to improve and build hundreds of homes for families in much of North Florida. Mike later built his dream home, where he enjoyed his life on Melrose Lake.

After overcoming his battle with cancer and selling his home in Melrose, he settled down in Green Cove Springs.

Mike loved the outdoors. He would always talk about riding his dirt bike all over town during his younger years, camping, hiking, air-boating and getting lost on dirt roads in his Jeep.

Mike lived his life to the fullest. He was happy and successful, and his life was a true testament of courage and strength. He was truly a self-made man, who loved his work as much as he loved helping people. Mike always had a smile on his face and would greet you with a firm handshake or a hug. He was quick to crack a joke and had an unforgettable laugh.

Mike would, without hesitation, lend a hand to anyone in need. He treated everyone fairly and would go above and beyond as a businessman to take good care of his customers and employees. Mike was a patient and humble man, who enjoyed seeing others succeed and be happy.

He will most definitely be missed by his family and the KHHS Class of ‘77, as well as the many friends and acquaintances he had in the Melrose and Keystone Heights areas.

He was preceded in death by his father, Gene Delwin Adams; mother, Emmie Katherine Chason; and infant son, Mark Chason Adams.

Mike is survived by: his son, Michael B. (Lynn) Adams; and his daughter, Patricia Adams Eyster. He was a proud “Dopah” to his five grandchildren, Michael A. Adams, Chason Mckitrick, Jayden Griffis, Whitney Adams and Sayla Eyster. He is also survived by his brother, John (Patty) Adams; and his sisters, Janet (Dennis) Hall and Kathy (Mike) Fagan; as well as his precious dog, Wendy.

A celebration of life will be held for Mike on Saturday, Oct. 9, from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Keystone Heights Sportsmen’s Club, located at 7180 Airport Road in Starke. The family asks for your favorite photos and memories of Mike to share in lieu of flowers. This will be a true celebration — the way Mike would want it.

The family wishes to extend its gratitude to Aaron and Burney Bivens Funeral Home, 529 Kingsley Ave., Orange Park, 904-264-1233, for its services.


Emma Lou Bell

Emma Lou Bell

Emma Lou “Louvenia” Jenkins Bell was born April 3, 1933, the daughter of Joseph and Lillie Mae Jenkins in Lulu. The family moved to Lawtey shortly after her birth. She was the oldest daughter of their 11 children. She was always lovingly called “Sistuh.”

She accepted Christ at an early age and was a lifetime member of Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church of Lawtey, where she served as a Stewardess for over 50 years. She was a prayer warrior and was constantly praying for her family, friends, church members and this world. She had a heart for God and wanted everyone to know the Lord.

She was united in holy matrimony to Freddie Douglas Bell, and from this union, six children were born.

Emma Lou Bell departed this life on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, in her home, where she had lived for 70 years.

Many loved ones preceded Mother Bell, including her husband, Freddie Douglas; sons, Freddie Lorenzo, Tony Andrew and Dancy Daniel; grandson, Franklin Douglas Bell Jr. (Junior); and brothers and sisters, Carlton (Mattie), Melvin (Martha), Wilbert (Jessie), Paul (Marzie), Dorothy, Joseph and Naomi.

She leaves to cherish her memory: children, Franklin Douglas (Wanda) Bell, Vivian (Elder Byron) Bell Ramseur, and Lisa A. Young; daughters-in-law, Pamela Bell and Erma Bell; sister, Mary (Charlie) Brown, brothers, Silas Jenkins and Malachi Jenkins; sister-in-law, Charlie Mae Jenkins; brother-in-law, Truman Strong; grandchildren, Sekennia, Thea (Domonic), Javongia, Freddie Jr. (Latoyia), Yolanda, Patrice, Jycara, Emmali (Joshua), James, Calvin, LaClaire, Joshua, Sondra and Robert (Brandi); 23 great-grandchildren; special niece, Joan Burns; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and members of the Mt. Zion AME church family; and special lifetime friends, Harridelle Bright and Dorothy Moore.

Services for Mrs. Bell will be held at Madison Street Baptist Church on Saturday, Oct. 9, at 10 a.m.


Shana Bridges

Shana Bridges

HAMPTON Shana Marie Bridges, age 43, was called home on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, surrounded by her loving family.

Shana was born Feb. 20, 1978, in Gainesville to Albert and Marie (Farr) Morris. She will always be remembered for the fierce loyalty and deep love she shared with her family and friends, her 25 years serving as a volunteer firefighter for the Hampton Volunteer Fire Department and her love of never planning the next adventure.

Shana was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Tina Kershner.

She is survived by: her husband, David Bridges; daughters, Ashley Morris, Cheyenne (Braxton) Yowell, and Jaden Bridges; her sister, Lucinda (Kevin) Nichols; two granddaughters, MaKenna and Harlynn; and a large extended family.

A celebration of Shana’s life will be held at her home on Saturday, Oct. 9, beginning at 12 p.m.

To know Shana, was to be loved fully, “until the very end.”



Joseph Frith

ORANGE PARK Joseph Elijah Frith, 87, of Orange Park, died Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, at The Terrace of Jacksonville.

He was born on Dec. 20, 1933, in Blakely, Georgia, to Joseph E. Frith and Hettie Esther (Deal) Frith. He was a retired sergeant major in the United States Army, serving for 30 years.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sisters, Mildred, Annie Mae and Ruth.

Survivors are: his wife of 59 years, Josie J. (Maze) Frith; daughters, Diana Frith (Wayne) Lanier of Jacksonville, Sharon Lee Frith of Jacksonville, Laura Marie (Bryan) Burdetsky of Orange Park; brother, Tommie Frith of Starke; and eight grandchildren.

The family will receive friends at Hope Baptist Church on Saturday, Oct. 9, from 10:30 a.m. until 11 a.m., with funeral services beginning at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at Hope Baptist Church Cemetery, with Pastor Wayne Lanier officiating.

 Arrangements are by Jones-Gallagher Funeral Home.

Travis Griffis

Travis Griffis

LAKE CITY Travis Randall Griffis, 43, a resident of Lake City, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021.

Travis graduated from Union County High School in 1996. Upon graduation, he began his career in utilities. He started his 23-year career with Clay Electric as a construction laborer and in 2008 was promoted to a service worker.

Travis loved his family more than anything and had a true passion for the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. He was a kind soul who always helped those in need.

He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, John “Bobi” and Lily Griffis; and maternal grandparents, Richard and Catherine Touchstone.

Travis is survived by: his children, Gage (14), Adaline (12), and Kash (10) all of Lake City; his parents, Randy and Cathy Griffis of Lake Butler; his brother, Jason (Angie) Griffis; and niece and nephew, Ella and Writ, all of Lake Butler.

A service to honor Travis was held at Archer-Milton Funeral Home on Tuesday, Oct. 5. He was laid to rest at Elzey Chapel Cemetery immediately following the service.

Arrangements were under the care and direction of Archer-Milton Funeral Home, Lake Butler, 386-496-2008,




Martha Hodge

Martha Hodge

LAWTEY Ms. Martha Jeanne Hodge, age 61, of Lawtey, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021.

She was born in Jacksonville to Lonnie Amos and Virginia L. Starling Mizell. Jeanne spent her lifelong career in the aggregate supply industry and was currently a loyal and dedicated employee of Blue Water Industries’ Jacksonville office. When she wasn’t working, Jeanne enjoyed traveling to the mountains, spending time at the beach or just being outdoors.  She liked going out to dinner with friends and family.

Jeanne was a devoted mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

She is survived by: her son, Bruce Gregory Siemer Jr.; grandson, Trae Siemer; sister, Sharon (Terry) Smith; brother, Lonnie David (Tanya) Mizell; nephew, Cody Smith; nieces, Shannon Ash, Jennifer Lee and Kristen Newman; four great-nephews; and her significant other, Robby Cornett.

Funeral services were held Monday, Sept. 13, in the chapel of Warren Funeral Services of Baldwin. Interment followed at Sellers Cemetery (Halsema Road) in Jacksonville. Please leave condolences at

Warren Funeral Services of Baldwin is honored to serve Ms. Hodge’s family.



Jimmy Joyner

STARKE Jimmy Ray Joyner age, 74, of Starke died Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, at Haven Hospice Roberts Care Center in Palatka.

He was born in Alachua County on Aug. 2, 1947. He honorably served in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. Prior to retirement, he worked as an electrician and was a member of the local chapter #1205 of the IBEW.

Preceding him in death were his mother and stepfather, Mildred and Albert Davis; brother, Jeff Davis; and his maternal grandparents, Alver and Nancy Cassels.

Survivors are: his daughter, Julie Joyner of Gainesville; and siblings, Janet (Ken) Ehrisman of Starke, Vicki (Durwood) Dortch of Clermont, Rob (Latrelle) Davis of Gainesville and Kenny (Dorinda) Davis of Alachua.

A graveside memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9, at Fort Call Cemetery.

Arrangements are by Jones-Gallagher Funeral Home of Starke.


Jerry Lawson

Jerry Lawson

STARKE Jerry Paul Lawson, 84, of Starke died at his home on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. His family is blessed in knowing that he lived a full, independent life on his own terms, completing everything on his “bucket list” for this life before stepping into eternity.

Born in Pineville, Kentucky, situated in a valley surrounded by mountains just a short distance from the Cumberland Gap, Jerry was the fifth of six children born to Richard Lewis Lawson and Mable Edna Miller Lawson. He had nothing but respect for his father, a gentle-spirited career railroad man with incredible mountain wisdom. Jerry’s oldest brother, Richard, and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Watts Lawson, were like second parents to him. They treated him like the child they never had, and Jerry adored “Mary E.”

Only his youngest sibling, Lera Jane Lawson Kapitan, survives him. She still resides in Kentucky. Their middle brother, Alvis Donald Lawson, is missing in action in Korea. Jerry was extremely close to Alvis, and this early loss had a major impact on his life. Until he breathed his last, he never stopped doing all he could to ensure his brother made it home.

After completing grade school and part of high school in Pineville, Jerry and Lera moved with their parents to Starke, where the family opened a tourist home. Jerry, an avid sports lover his entire life, played basketball — actually, his favorite sport — at Bradford High School, but football is the sport that shaped much of his adult life and allowed him to earn a four-year scholarship to Tampa University. Jerry often fondly and respectfully credited Coach Lennard Register with making a huge impact on his life and for being largely responsible for assisting him in obtaining this life-changing opportunity to continue his education and to play football as a Tampa Bay Spartan at the collegiate level. (He was also a member of the Spartan crew team.)

Injuries sustained in a tragic automobile accident during Jerry’s junior and senior years at Tampa University ended his hopes of playing professional football, but he did enjoy playing semi-professionally for a time with a team called the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Upon completion of his bachelor’s degree, Jerry accepted a teaching position at his high school alma mater and began to coach football with Head Coach David Hurse. About five years later, as head coach himself at Pahokee High School, Jerry led the Blue Devils to two consecutive state conference championships.

Another personal milestone for Jerry was his completion of a master’s degree from Valdosta State University.

After graduation, Jerry spent the next 10 years teaching education courses to offenders with the Florida Department of Corrections. He then retired from the state of Florida with 30 years of service.

Jerry attended church from the time he was a young boy and accepted Christ as his personal Savior. He would sincerely want all of you to place your trust in Jesus Christ and to accept His free gift of salvation and eternal life. A church bus driver at one church and a deacon at another, Jerry’s final church home was Smyrna Baptist Church, where his memorial service was held Sept. 4, 2021.

We, Jerry’s children, wish to publicly thank Pastor and Mrs. Joshua Green and Smyrna Baptist Church for all of their help. We would also like to recognize Melvin Riggins, who was a huge help and great friend to our father in the final chapter of his life.

Jerry was preceded in death by an infant son; his parents; his eldest sister, Clara Alberta Lawson Combs, who recently passed at the age of 98; the two aforementioned brothers, Richard and Alvis; and their other brother, James Tyree Lawson.

He is survived by: his sister, Lera; daughters, Kimberly Lawson Box and Rebecca Lynn Lawson; his son, Jeremy Paul Lawson; three grandsons; one granddaughter; one great-grandson; and many nieces and nephews.


Lorraine Logan

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS Lorraine Miller Blount Logan, 97, of Keystone Heights died Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in the Bailey Center in St. Augustine.

She was born Sept. 4, 1924, in Hampton County, South Carolina, to Wilbur and Adeline (Woods).  She attended Winthrop College and was a homemaker. After moving to Keystone Heights many years ago, she became active with the Park of the Palms Church.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two husbands, Lt. Robert S. Blount Jr. and Edward Taylor Logan.

She is survived by: three sons, Robert S. (Andrea) Blount III of Keystone Heights, Donald F. (Vicky) Blount of Phoenix, Arizona, and Steven M. Blount of Sanford; and two grandsons. 

There will be no local services.  Interment will be at Harmony Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Crocketteville, South Carolina. 

Arrangements are by Jones-Gallagher Funeral Home of Keystone Heights.


Alexis Walker

Alexis Walker

LAKE BUTLER Alexis Rose Walker was an outgoing third-grade student at Lake Butler Elementary School. Born Nov. 27, 2011, she was her mom’s pride and joy and daddy’s baby girl. Alexis loved to help with her brothers and her nana. Like most 9-year-olds, Alexis loved swimming, playing with her cousins and making TikToks.

Alexis’ life was tragically cut short following a vehicle accident on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. Her vibrant personality will be greatly missed by her family, friends and all who had the pleasure of meeting her.

Alexis was preceded in death by her Nana, Fawn Colleen Walker; and great-grandfather, Kenneth Cane.

Alexis leaves behind to cherish her memories: her parents, Joseph and Katlyn Walker; her brothers, Matthew Dewayne Elliott and Jayden Paul Walker; her grandfather, Murray Dewayne “Wayne” Walker; grandmother (nana), Connie Cane; grandfather (papa), James Elliott (Tracy Wicks); aunt, Danielle (Josh) Ward; cousins, Kenneth Elliott, Chloe Elliott, and Layla Ward; and numerous extended family members.

A dual service for Alexis and her nana, Fawn, will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 8, at First Christian Church of Lake Butler. The family will receive friends for a visitation on Thursday, Oct. 7, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Archer-Milton Funeral Home of Lake Butler. Alexis and Fawn will be laid to rest in Dedan Cemetery in Brooker.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of Archer-Milton Funeral Home of Lake Butler, 386-496-2008.





Fawn Walker

Fawn Walker

LAKE BUTLER Mrs. Fawn Colleen Walker, age 54, of Lake Butler, passed away after a motor vehicle accident on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021.

Fawn was born July 8, 1967, in Starke to Freddie and Virginia Douglas Rogers. She worked for many years as a meat wrapper for Crawford’s Meat Market in Lake Butler. “Tater,” as her brother affectionately called her, was a feisty firecracker with a big heart. She enjoyed fishing, gardening and spending time with her family, and she was most comfortable barefoot with a Diet Coke.

Fawn was preceded in death by her father, Freddie Rogers; and granddaughter, Alexis Rose Walker.

Fawn leaves behind to cherish her memories: her husband, Murray Dewayne “Wayne” Walker; her children, Joseph Dewayne (Katlyn) Walker and Cheyenne Walker all of Lake Butler; her mother, Virginia Rogers of Quincy; brother, Johnny Lee (Cathy) Rogers of Lake Butler; sisters, Mary (Roddy) Mickel of Quincy and Lisa Colomb of Crawfordville; grandsons, Matthew Dewayne Elliott and Jayden Paul Walker both of Lake Butler; nieces and nephews, Monica Cadenaz, Rebecca Hood, Brandon Rogers, Robert Rogers, Richard Hicks, Austin Colomb, Savannah Colomb, and Meranda Reeves; and a host of extended family members.

A dual service for Fawn and her granddaughter, Alexis, will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 8, at First Christian Church of Lake Butler. The family will receive friends for a visitation on Thursday, Oct. 7, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Archer-Milton Funeral Home of Lake Butler. Fawn and Alexis will be laid to rest in Dedan Cemetery in Brooker.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of Archer-Milton Funeral Home of Lake Butler, 386-496-2008.