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Funeral services for Deacon Frank Conley Jr., 73, of Denmark, were held Wednesday, January 16, 2013, at Sunshine Baptist Church, Blackville. Born June 6, 1939, to the late Frank and Annie Wallace Conley in Olar, he attended the public schools of Bamberg County and graduated from Boys High in Brooklyn, N.Y. Frank later received a B.S. degree in psychology from Voorhees College. At an early age, he joined and was baptized at Bethlehem Olar Baptist Church and upon relocating back to his home state of South Carolina, he joined Sunshine Baptist Church in Blackville; here he was appointed as a deacon. Frank worked various jobs while in New York and upon his return to South Carolina, he worked in the S.C. public school system.

Funeral services for William Samuel “Buck” Guess, Jr., 89, of Blackville, were held Thursday, January 24, 2013 at the Blackville United Methodist Church. Mr. Guess passed away Monday, January 21, 2013. Born in Barnwell County, SC August 8, 1923, he was a son of the late William Samuel Guess, Sr. and Annie Lou Collins Guess. After high school in Blackville, he completed courses in electric welding and auto mechanic. He was employed by Glenn L. Martin Airplane Factory in Baltimore, MD. He was inducted in the United States Army Air Force in 1943 and served until he received an honorable discharge in 1945. He was an engineer gunner on a B-24 bomber and flew 30 bombing missions over Germany and France. During this tour of duty, he was awarded four Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross. After returning home, he was engaged in farming for 35 years. On July 7, 1949, he married Arie Black Guess of Denmark, SC. He restored six model-A Fords and three Model-T Fords, for which he was awarded approximately 100 trophies. He was a member of two antique car clubs and the American Legion Post # 91 of Blackville. He was a faithful member of Blackville United Methodist Church having served in many capacities through the years.

A service of thanksgiving celebrating the life of Mr. Peter James Johnson Jr., 62, of Columbia, was held at 1 p.m. Friday, January 18, 2013, at Antioch Baptist Church in Bowman. Mr. Peter James Johnson, Jr., was born March 8, 1950, to the late Peter James Johnson and Wilhelmina Johnson. He departed this life on Monday, January 14, 2013 at Palmetto Health Richland, Columbia, following a brief illness. Peter began his education in Bowman. He completed his formal education in Denmark at Voorhees College. There he was a star athlete and a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Also, there he met and married the love of his life, Minnie Lloyd. To that union, two children were born, a son, Victor Johnson, and a daughter, Ebony Johnson. For many years, Peter was a diligent employee with the City of Columbia, Street Division, in Columbia. He dedicated his life to his family and friends. Peter possessed a quality that attracted people everywhere he went, allowing him to acquire many close friends who cared about him dearly. He was always joking and wouldn’t leave without giving you a laugh. Peter accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord of his life at an early age, joining Antioch Baptist Church as a child.

Milan Martinek, 68, of Bamberg passed away on January 2, 2013 at UPAC of Bamberg. Mr. Martinek was born January 4, 1944 in Czechoslovakia to Ladislava Kalinova. He was a painter and worked in construction, he enjoyed fishing and being with his grandchildren and family.

Taron Dwayne McClain, 24, of Denmark, died Saturday, January 19, 2013, as the result of an auto accident. Funeral plans will be announced at a later date.

Amanda S. Valentine, 51, of Branchville, the wife of Richard (Rick) Valentine, passed away on Wednesday, January 16, 2013, at the Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg after a long illness. Funeral services were conducted Saturday, January 19, 2013, at Branchville Christian Church. She was retired as a counselor at Lockett Elementary School in Branchville. She was a fabulous cook, loved shopping, animals, and spending time with her friends and family. Mrs. Valentine was born in Charleston, a daughter of the late Gerald Albert Saulisbury and Mrs. Dorothy Mae Saulisbury.

Mrs. Oretha Gordon Wright, 67, of Brooklyn, N.Y., died Thursday, January 10, 2013. Funeral services were held Thursday, January 17, 2013 in Bethel United Methodist Church, Bamberg. She was born November 27, 1945, in Bamberg, to the late Jake and Mary Lee Kizer Gordon. She attended the public schools of Bamberg County and was a member of the graduating class of 1963 from Richard Carroll High School. Oretha was married to the late Jervey Wright on July 20, 1966. She was employed by Royal Farms Supermarket in Brooklyn, N.Y., for 33 years.

Sara Vilma Grooms, 82, passed away on January 18th, 2013, at UniHealth Post-Acute Care of Bamberg. The memorial service was held on Thursday, January 24, 2013, at Word of Life Pentecostal Holiness Church. Mrs. Groom was the widow of the late J. F. Grooms. She was born on July 29, 1930 to W. J. Brabham and Emma Lee Bunch Brabham and was a member of Main Street United Methodist Church in Bamberg.

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