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Gail Murphy, 72, of Jacksonville

Gail Frances Murphy, 72, of Jacksonville died Saturday, March 24, 2012 at Acosta-Rua Community Hospice Center of Jacksonville. She was born May 24, 1939 in Matewan, WV to  the late Jesse and Stella Mae Dillon. She was a beloved mother and grandmother. She was also preceded in death by her sisters Bobbie Harris and Polly Dotson, and brother Edward Dillon.

Survivors include children Ginger Cleveland (Terry) Perdue of Jacksonville; Janice Counts (Andy) Snyder of Middleburg and James (Dawn) Murphy of Sanderson; nine grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

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Cheryl Vance, 64, of Macclenny

Cheryl Eileen Vance, 64, of Macclenny died Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at Acosta-Rua Center for Caring in Jacksonville. She was born in Jacksonville and resided in Macclenny for the past eleven years. She was a homemaker and member of the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville and of the Hidden Hills Country Club, where she enjoyed playing tennis.

Survivors include husband James “Jim” Vance Sr. of Macclenny; daughters Jennifer (Chris) Courson of Macclenny and Leslie (Rob) Dykes of Ponte Vedra Beach; sister Kelly (Chuck) Satterwhite of Starke; brother Phil (Judy) Crews of Ft. Meyers; seven grand children and one great-grandchild.

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Clarence Williams, 82, of Macclenny

Clarence R. Williams Sr., 82, died Tuesday, March 27, 2012. He was born on February 1, 1930, in Macclenny to the late Arthur and Edna Marie Williams. He was educated in Baker County and retired from Owen Steel in Whitehouse. He loved the outdoors especially gardening, fishing and crabbing. He was a gentle, humble, kind, patient, generous person and a wonderful husband and father.

Survivors include wife of 60 years Rosa Lee Williams; children Rosa Annette Williams, Joyce Williams, Eunice (Gerald) Williams, Linda (Stafford) Hampton, Bishop Clarence (Wanda) Williams Jr., Verna (LuAnne) Williams and Videll (Marva) Williams; siblings Bobbie Lee Paige, Doris Jean Cooley, Lois Williams and Curtis Williams Sr.; a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

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Graduation redux: Class of 1987 will try it again

The congratulatory notice published in the newspaper after graduation was rained out in 1987.Patricia Hughes Harris of Sanderson and other Baker County High School graduates from the Class of 1987 missed one of the seminal moments in young adulthood.

Due to a bad storm, their graduation ceremony was cut short and they never walked across the stage at Memorial Stadium to receive their high school diplomas as friends and family cheered and congratulated them for the accomplishment.

“We lived nearby in Macclenny, so we walked to graduation,” recalled Ms. Harris, 43, who was joined by her mother and father that day. “But when it came time to walk, it started flooding. Severe flooding. We had to swim home.”

The most disappointing part, she said, was that her mother, who had been so adamant  about Ms. Harris finishing school, never got to the witness the experience. For months afterward, Ms. Harris’ mom lobbied school officials, to no avail, to reschedule the ceremony.

“Nobody cared for years that the Class of 87 never had their graduation,” she said.

Now, 25 years later, it’s happening.

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