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Gloria Sparkman funeral held Monday

Gloria Ann Sparkman, 60, of Macclenny, Florida passed away March 7, 2013 at her residence with family by her side. She was born in Jacksonville on April 18, 1952 to Yvonne Edna Wielenbeck Nobles and the late James Edward Beach, and lived in Macclenny since 1982 after moving from Jacksonville. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Macclenny and had a passion for baking, spending many years baking at Taylor’s Parties and Pastries and Sunrise Bakery. Gloria also worked for the elections office for several years. She loved flowers, puppies, ceramics, and collecting owls.

Gloria was preceded in death by her loving husband, Ralph Franklin Sparkman Jr.; her father and sister Diane Ryals.

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Ethel McCorkle, 87, dies March 6

Ethel Mae McCorkle, 87, of Macclenny died on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville following a sudden illness. She was born in Savannah and lived in Jacksonville before moving to Macclenny in 1987. She was a telephone operator for numerous retail companies for many years, a Baptist and a very proficient key-board player. She loved model trains and lighthouses, enjoyed football and NASCAR.

Mrs. McCorkle is survived by daughters Patricia Ann (Wayne) Hayes and DeVane F. Sheldon, both of Macclenny; brother Thomas B. Lamb of Butler, GA; five grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren and many loving nieces and nephews.

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Merdes Paige, 73, school bus driver

Merdes R. Paige, 73, of Sanderson died on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center after a brief illness. She was the daughter of the late Ora and Leona Ruise Sr., born October 23, 1939. She attended Richardson High School in Lake City and married Claude Paige Jr. on August 20, 1965. She drove for the Baker County schools for 21 years before retiring.

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Penny Thomas, 54, of Sanderson dies

Penny Denise Thomas, 54, of Sanderson died on March 8, 2013 at her residence with family by her side. She was born in Jacksonville on September 2, 1958 to Gayle Catherine Chancey Rhoden and the late Everett “Bud” O’Dell Rhoden. Penny was a lifelong resident of Baker County and a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Macclenny. She enjoyed reading Nicholas Sparks books, playing bingo, cooking and baking. She was also an avid Gator fan. She was preceded in death by her father.

Mrs. Thomas is survived by her loving husband Ronny Thomas of Sanderson; her mother of Sanderson; children Justin (Melissa) Thomas of Glen St. Mary and Desiree Griffis of Sanderson; brothers Claudell (Phyllis) Rhoden and Glenn (Cindy) Rhoden, both of Sanderson; grandchildren Rylan Griffis and Addyson Thomas.

The funeral service was held on Monday, March 11 at 2 pm at her church with Dr. Edsel M. Bone officiating. Interment followed at Oak Grove Cemetery. V. Todd Ferreira Funeral Services was in charge of arrangements.

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