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The funeral service for Mrs. Carrie Robinson Ayers, 85, of Orangeburg was held Friday, November 23, 2012, in St. Paul Baptist Church, Rowesville Road, Orangeburg. Carrie Robinson Ayers, granddaughter of Sam and Ada Robinson and the daughter of Julia Bell Robinson Felder and Johnnie Malinder, was born on May 6, 1927 in Orangeburg County. At an early age, she joined Warren Chapel Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Blanchshaw. She held the position of secretary of the Sunday school. Later she joined St. Paul Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Duncan. She served as a member of the Senior Choir, Mothers Club and Prayer Band. Her educational background included Dunton Elementary School, Wilkinson High School and Denmark Technical College. She was a child of the King (God), and was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and the YMCA.

Deacon Francis “Frank” Banks, 87, of Bamberg, died Saturday, November 17, 2012, at the Regional Medical Center, Orangeburg. Funeral services were held Wednesday, November 21, 2012, in St. John Baptist Church in Bamberg. Deacon Francis “Frank” Banks, son of the late Wesley and Florence Banks, was born June 25, 1925, in Bamberg. In 1943, he married the late Catherine Banks and to this union, seven children were born; two preceded him in death, Gary and Jack. At an early age, he joined St. John Baptist Church and for more than 30 years, he served his church in many capacities including chairman of the deacon board, Sunday school Superintendent, Vice Moderator of the Mount Calvary Union and on the executive board of the Mount Calvary Association. Frank also served his country and was discharged with honors from the U.S. Navy.

Otis Bryant, 81, of Bamberg, died Saturday, November 24, 2012, at UniHealth Post-Acute Care of Bamberg. Services will be announced at a later date.

Mrs. Ethel Jaudon Calhoun, 87, of Concord, N.C., formerly of Denmark, died Saturday, November 24, 2012, at Carolinas Medical Center - North East. Funeral services will be announced at a later date.

Mr. Benjamin A. Haynes, 78, of Columbia, died Thursday, November 22, 2012, in Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia. Funeral arrangements will be available at a later date.

Funeral services for Mrs. Bannah Dora Griffin McDaniels, 75, of Elmont, N.Y., formerly of Denmark, were held Wednesday, November 28, 2012, at Sweet Rest Baptist Church in Olar. Mrs. McDaniels died Thursday, November 22, 2012, at North Shore Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. Bannah Dora Griffin McDaniels was born November 28, 1937, in Olar to the late Hugo and Lumisher B. Griffin. At an early age, she joined Sweet Rest Baptist Church. Ray, as she was affectionately called, was reared in the Olar community, attended Olar Grammar School and graduated from Richard Carroll High School. Ray moved to New York and married the late Byford McDaniels and to this union, two children were born. Ray was a cosmetologist, had a long career as a licensed practical nurse and retired as nursing administrator of New Manor Nursing Home in Queens, N.Y. After retirement, she and her late husband relocated to Orangeburg.

Funeral services for Jessie Mae Rhodes, 84, of Denmark, were held Tuesday, November 20, 2012, at St. Matthew’s Church of Deliverance in Denmark. Jessie Mae Rhodes was born June 22, 1928, in Barnwell County to the late Elijah Chisolm and the late Della Williams Chisolm. She was preceded in death by two sisters. Jessie was a custodial worker for the state of New York for 49 years. After retirement, she relocated to Denmark. Upon her return, she affiliated herself with Springfield Baptist Church of Denmark.

Mr. Larry Sanders Jr. of Denmark died Sunday, November 18, 2012, in the Regional Medical Center, Orangeburg, following a brief illness. Funeral services were held Saturday, November 24, 2012.

Leon Jimmie Shepherd, 89, of Ehrhardt, died Wednesday, November 21, 2012, at the Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg. Services were held Sunday, November 25, 2012, at Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Olar. He was the older of two children born to the late Jimmie and Bertha Walker Shepherd in Bamberg County. He was married to the late Helen Breland Shepherd for more than 50 years. He was raised in the home of his late grandparents, Jack and Anna Walker. At an early age, he joined Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church and served faithfully as chairman of the Trustee Board, church caretaker and in various other capacities. Mr. Shepherd was educated in the Bamberg County school system, but his real education came from being employed by DuPont (aka “the bomb plant” or the Savannah River Plant). From there he retired after many years of faithful service. Mr. Shepherd was an avid farmer who took pride in growing produce on his own farm with his own two hands. One of his favorite sayings was, “I found out when you take care of the soil, the soil will take care of you.” He served on the board of directors for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (FSA) in Bamberg County.

Pastor Donald “Don” Hydrick Smoak Sr., 62, of Neeses, died Thursday, November 22, 2012, at his residence. Funeral services were held Sunday, November 25, 2012, at Bethany Baptist Church, Orangeburg. He was born October 12, 1950, in Orangeburg County, the son of A. H. “Pete” Smoak and the late Rena Kinsey Smoak. He was former owner and operator of Don’s Auto Electric for 34 years. He also served as pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in North. He was preceded in death by his mother, Rena Kinsey Smoak; an aunt and uncle, Sarah and J. C. Davis; a sister, Carol Smoak Rast; and an uncle, Howell Smoak.

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