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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.

Sylvester Sellers, roofing contractor

Sylvester Ernest Sellers, 87, of Whitehouse died on March 12, 2013 at his residence with family by his side. He was born in Jacksonville on June 29, 1925 to the late Mack Sellers and Ida Lou Thompson Sellers. Sylvester has been a resident of Whitehouse for the past 11 years after moving from High Springs, FL. He was a longtime member of Otis Road Church of God where he played lead guitar.

Mr. Sellers was a successful, accomplished entrepreneur who founded Seller’s Roofing where he fulfilled a passion for construction and roofing. He enjoyed playing the guitar, singing gospel music and fishing. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 28 years, Shirley Sellers; sisters Lessie Thomas, Myrtle Johnson and Estelle Williams;  nephews Clyde Johnson and Monroe Bryant; niece Betty Kinnard.

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Debra Odom, 52, funeral on March 9

Debra Lynn Odom, 52, of Macclenny died on March 7, 2013 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center with family by her side. She was born in Valdosta, Georgia on August 26, 1960 to Eugene Long and Ina Faye Dopson Long. Debbie was a resident of Macclenny since 1983 after moving from Valdosta where she was raised. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Macclenny and she spent many years helping others as a sleep technician.

Debbie was an avid Gator fan who enjoyed fishing, arts and crafts and making flower arrangements. She was a wonderful mother, loving wife, daughter, sister and a friend. She was preceded in death by her sister Michelle Wilson and her father-in-law Eskel Odom Sr.

Debbie is survived by her loving husband of 25 years, Eskel Odom Jr. of Macclenny; her parents of Nashville, GA; sons Justin Matthew Odom, Brandon Kyle Odom, and Jeremy Ryan Odom, all of Macclenny; brothers David (Lisa) Long of Lake Park, GA and Jim (Adia) Long of Valdosta; sisters Linda (Darrell) Sirmons of Milledgeville, GA and Lori (Steve) Lasseter of Nashville, GA; brother-in-law Jerry Wilson of Ray City, GA and mother-in-law Lois V. Crews Odom; many nieces and nephews.

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