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Mrs. Higginbotham, 88, of Bryceville dies

Mrs. Higginbotham,
88, of Bryceville dies

Virginia “Nanny” Higginbotham, 88, of Bryceville died Saturday, July 23, 2011 at Baptist Medical Center. She was born in Jacksonville on March 7, 1923 to Charles Barr Suits and Audell Jones-Suits. Virginia was a lifelong resident of Bryceville, and a  member since 1937 of Brandy Branch Baptist Church, where she taught Bible school, Sunday school and played the piano.

Virginia enjoyed sewing and craft work, flower gardening, and reading. She also worked for the Nassau County School District, where she drove a school bus for over 25 years. Virginia was preceded in death by husband of 62 years, Freddy Leroy Higginbotham; daughter Nath­­alee Hargrove; son Thomas Hig­­­­ginbotham; two sisters; and four brothers.

Survivors include daughter Linda (Peewee) Knight of Bryce­­ville; brother Jim Suits; sisters Donna Fouraker and Rosemary Jarrod; 13 grandchildren; and 25 ­great-grandchildren.

The funeral service was held July 26 at 11:00 am at her church with Pastor Rusty Ryan officiating. Interment will follow at Brandy Branch Cemetery. V. Todd Ferreira Funeral Services was in charge of arrangements.

Rebecca Cobb, 38, enjoyed the beach

‘Becky’ Cobb, 38, enjoyed the beach

Rebecca L. “Becky” Cobb, 38, died unexpectedly on Tuesday, July 19, 2011. She had been a resident of Starke before moving to Olustee and living there for the past 10 years. Mrs. Cobb worked as an in-home health care giver for the elderly. She enjoyed spending time with her children, going to the beach, water parks, and loved refinishing and restoring old furniture. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Olustee.

Survivors include husband Wilton Cobb; sons Joseph Chambers and Jacob Chambers, both of Olustee; daughter Rachel Chambers of Olustee; mother Martha Woodard of Rogersville, Tennessee; brothers James Watkins and Aubrey Watkins, both of Alabama; and sister Michelle Bellamy of Rogersville, Tennessee.

The funeral service was held July 26 at the First Baptist Church of Olustee. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to account #7112 at any Peoples State Bank Location in Lake City or locally at Country Federal Credit Union. Dees-Parrish Family Funeral Home of Lake City was in charge of arrangements.

Linda Bates, 62, collected angels

Linda Bates, 62, collected angels

Linda Marie Bates, 62, of Sanderson died July 15, 2011 at her residence. She was born in Jacksonville on February 3, 1949 to the late Walter Lee Waters and Velma Lee Anderson Waters. She had been a resident of Baker County for eight years after moving from Jacksonville. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Cuyler. Linda enjoyed fishing, collecting angels, coloring, working on puzzles and spending time with her family.

Survivors include children Brian Keith Herndon of Sanderson and Tammy Marie Herndon of Jacksonville; brothers Kenny Davis of Baxter and Billy (Donna) Worthington of Glen St. Mary; step-brothers David and Kenny Steedley; sisters Mary Joyce (John) Thompson and Cindy (Adrian) Gay, both of Jacksonville, and Juanita (James) Fletcher of Middleburg; and step-sister Pat Steedley.

The family will receive friends and family July 28 from 1:30 to 2:30 pm at V. Todd Ferreira Funeral Services. Graveside services will follow at 3:00 pm at Macedonia cemetery with Pastor Billy Worthington officiating.

Miranda Wilkerson ruling: Not about ‘good guys or bad guys’

As displayed by this week’s letters to the editor section, emotions are running high regarding last week’s story on the Miranda Wilkerson custody case, and that’s understandable considering the involvement of Donald Coleman, a registered sex offender now responsible for the 4-year-old girl’s well-being.

Let me take this opportunity, however, to respond to some of the criticisms and questions posed in the letters published this week.

Our goal was certainly not to portray Rita Manning, Miranda’s paternal grandmother, as “the good guy” or “the bad guy,” or to defend or assail Circuit Judge Phyllis Rosier’s decision to award custody to Mr. Coleman.

Rather, with extensive coverage of the case by First Coast News for nearly a week before last week’s edition was published, we hoped to offer readers information that might help to answer the question on everyone’s mind: Why did the judge rule the way she did?

In most cases, a judge will explain his or her decisions in writing and those records are open to review by the media and everyone else. In this case, however, the court files were not open to public inspection, the judge had not spoken publicly about the case and reporters were barred from entering the courtroom during a hearing that followed the custody decision. Thus, we had to rely on other court records and comments from those present at the protest July 18, all of which were reflected in last week’s edition.

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