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Robert Combs Sr., retired welder

Robert Allen Combs Sr., 70, a lifelong resident of Macclenny, died January 3, 2013 at Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville with family by his side. He was born in Baker County on August 13, 1942 to the late Alton Combs, Sr. and Gertie Mae Thomas Combs. Robert was a member of the Christian Fellowship Temple and he preached at Christian United Church of Macclenny for many years. He retired from the Department of Transportation in 1983 after 25 years of dedicated service as a welder.

Robert enjoyed studying the Bible, singing, playing the guitar, banjo and mandolin, listening to Bluegrass music, whittling with wood, welding and working on small engines. He also enjoyed hunting, watching wrestling and spending time with his grandchildren.

He was also known to worry about his children. Robert was preceded in death by his brother, Alton Combs, Jr. and his nephew, Mitchell Combs.

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James Lawrence, the father of locals

James E. Lawrence Sr., 76, of Frankfort, Indiana died on December 13, 2012 at his home.

He was born on January 16, 1936 in Geneva County, Alabama to John D. and Effie May (Brooks) Lawrence and married Barbara Fleenor on December 27, 1979 in Kingson, GA. He served in the U.S. Navy aboard an amphibious assault personnel carrier from 1952-55 during the Korean War.

Mr. Lawrence worked 45 years for Miller Pipeline Construction as superintendent and foreman, and retired in 1998. He was a member of the Local 103 Operating Engineers Union.

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Weir Barton Sr. dies December 22

Weir Stewart Barton Sr., 64, of Sanderson died on December 22, 2012 at the VA Medical Center in Gainesville. He was born in Glen St. Mary on November 1, 1948 to the late Martin Barton Jr. and Mary Griffith Barton, and was a lifelong resident of Baker County. He was a longtime member of Faith Baptist Church where he served as a deacon for forty years. He served in the United States Marine Corps and retired as a corrections officer from Florida State Prison after 30 years of employment and more recently was employed by Northeast Florida State Hospital as a security officer for over four years.

Mr. Barton enjoyed hunting and was deeply committed to the bus ministry at his church. He was preceded in death by his sister Schere Barton.

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Faye McCollum dies December 19

Sylvia Faye McCollum of Macclenny died on Wednesday, December 19, at her residence following a lengthy illness. She was a homemaker and enjoyed working in her garden, fishing and found a sense of peace in taking care of her family and friends. She was the wife of the late Calvin Grant “Mac” McCollum and was preceded in death by parents Herbert and Eva Mae Crews Harris and her sister Eloise Harris Crews. She was born in Jacksonville and resided in Macclenny all of her life.

Mrs. McCollum is survived by sons Randy Long, Ronnie (Jill) Long and Ricky Long, all of Baker County; step-son Char (Debbie) McCollum of Jacksonville; grandchildren Dawson Allen Long, Jordan Zoe Long and Lacey Lee King; sister Linda (Jim) Pifer and brother Herbert (Sherry) Harris Jr., both of Glen St. Mary; nieces and nephews and her pet companion Lizzie.

The funeral service was held at 3 pm Saturday, December 22 at Sanderson Congregational Holiness Church with Rev. David Thomas officiating, assisted by Rev. Justin Griffis. Interment was at South Prong Cemetery, Sanderson. Guerry Funeral Home of Macclenny was in charge of arrangements.

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