Written by Advertizer-Herald   

Little Miss Hope Brabham, 14 days, of Bamberg, died Friday, August 3, 2012, at the Medical University of South Carolina. Graveside services were held Monday, August 6, 2012, at Bethlehem Baptist Church Cemetery, Olar.

Mrs. Georgia Mae Baxter James, 67, of Orangeburg, died Saturday, July 28, 2012, at her residence following a brief illness. Funeral services were held Saturday, August 4, 2012, at Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Rowesville. Mrs. Georgia Mae Baxter, born December 26, 1944, in Orangeburg County (Rowesville), was the daughter of the late Dorothy Baxter Gilyard and was reared in the home of the late James and Luella Baxter McCormick. Georgia was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She had God-given talents and expressed her love for others through cooking. At an early age, Georgia Mae accepted Christ and was baptized and became a member of Hickory Grove Baptist Church. George Mae attended the local schools in Orangeburg County. She was employed by the late R. H. Jennings III for more than 25 years.

Jo-Ann Kearse Kennedy went home to be with the Lord early Thursday morning, August 2nd, 2012. A beautiful service was held Saturday, August 4th, at St. John’s United Methodist Church, Batesburg-Leesville. Jo-Ann loved her Lord and Savior, her husband, and her three boys. She was the epitome of a true southern lady and all the qualities that entails. She was fiercely loyal to all she loved, especially her family. Born July 21st, 1929, in Bamberg, SC, she grew up the daughter of the late Senator James Carlisle Kearse and Daisye Rizer Kearse. She was a member of “the big four”, consisting of four young Bamberg girls: Mary Risher Tatum, Genie Hutto Belamy, Marion Moye Smoak, and herself, all who remained close friends their entire lives. In addition to these four, Georgia Free Laney was like a little sister to her. Upon graduating Bamberg High School, Jo-Ann attended Columbia College, where she met the love of her life, WWII Veteran Ralph S. Kennedy at the Freshman Ball. They were married two years later in a large wedding in Bamberg, attended by hundreds and in which Governor & Mrs. Strom Thurmond were the greeters. Mrs. Kennedy was a lifelong member of the Methodist Church, both in Bamberg and later Batesburg, SC, where she taught Sunday school and was a Girl Scout leader. Mrs. Kennedy was also a member of many organizations, including the Study Club of Batesburg-Leesville, the Book Club, the Camellia Garden Club, the Tripoli Club, the Mae Holler Circle, the Afternoon, Morning, and Wednesday Night Bridge Clubs, the Daughters of American Revolution (DAR), but mostly, she was a loving wife, mother, and homemaker. She was a constant source of inspiration, encouragement, and love to all who knew her. Her family loved her dearly and she will be greatly missed.

The funeral for Emma Ruth Mays, 88, of Branchville, was held Wednesday, August 8, 2012, at New Covenant United Methodist Church, Bowman. Mrs. Mays was born July 9, 1924, to the late Walter Rivers and Edna Funchess Rivers. Born in Detroit, she moved to Branchville and attended Branchville public schools. She attended Zion AME Church in Branchville and later joined St. Michial United Methodist Church in Bowman. Emma was married to the late James Wesley Mays on Sept. 20, 1942.

Funeral services for Ms. Lula Sweat McFadden, 72, of Bamberg, were held Saturday, August 4, 2012, at Edisto Fork United Methodist Church in Orangeburg. Ms. Lula Sweat McFadden, daughter of the late Thomas Sweat and Diane Thompson Sweat, was born September 21, 1939, in Orangeburg County. She departed this life Friday, July 27, 2012, at the Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg. At an early age, she joined Pine Grove Baptist Church and recently became a member of Edisto Fork United Methodist Church. She attended the public schools in Orangeburg County and became a certified Licensed Practical Nurse in White Plains, N.Y. For many years, she was employed by Brandywine Nursing Home, where she lovingly cared for her patients.