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Rema Parker, 88, of Glen St. Mary

Rema Parker, 88, of Glen St. Mary died Tuesday, August 7, 2012. Born in Perry, FL to the late William and Victoria Padgett Parker, he has been a Baker County resident since 1968. A World War II Navy veteran, Mr. Parker was aboard the fifth ship into Tokyo when Japan surrendered. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, building things, and spending time with family and friends.

He is survived by sons Douglas Parker of Glen St. Mary, Steve (Wanda) Parker and Barry (Alice) Parker, both of Jacksonville, and Wayne (Wanda) Parker of Macclenny; daughters Maria Parker of Jacksonville and Evelyn Parker of Sanderson; sister Ruth Cribbs of Live Oak; eight grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren; his loyal sidekick “Pistol.”

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Break tradition: lengthen annual school term

Every year about this time the nagging feeling comes around that perhaps we should re-think traditional school calendars, or more specifically, the nine-month school year broken by a nearly three-month summer vacation.

The majority of industrialized countries don’t use it because that large gap between grade levels is believed to be too lengthy. It breaks the learning cycle and puts the burden on teachers to bring students “back to earth” on vital matters like concentration, recalling what they learned last year and delving into new material.

China, for instance, has a school year that runs from early September to mid-July — some six weeks longer than ours (school days run from 7:30 am-5 pm!).

Japan requires 240 days (vs. 180 here) and gives students three equal breaks from April when new levels begin through March.

In South Korea, the year is divided into two semesters — March to July and September to February — with intervening one-month breathers.

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Angus Combs, 89, of Sanderson dies

Angus Jackson Combs, 89, of Glen St. Mary died Friday, August 3 at the Acosta-Rau Center for Caring in Jacksonville following a long illness. He was born in Sanderson and resided in Baker County all of his life. He was a forest ranger with the Florida Division of Forestry for 28 years before his retirement.

Mr. Combs was a member of the Taylor Church, a Navy veteran of World War II and enjoyed fishing, farming and growing his garden. He was preceded in death by parents Cole Younger Combs Sr. and Effie Mae Sweat Combs, and his daughter Deborah Joan Kennedy.

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Mr. Hamilton, 78, of Glen St. Mary

Thurman Z. Hamilton, 78, died on August 4, 2012 at his home in Glen St. Mary. He was a retired Marine Corps veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam wars and was preceded in death by Donna, his wife of 15 years.

Mr. Hamilton is survived by daughters Debra (Greg) Ellison of Oklahoma City and Susan Daniel of Middleburg; sons Doug Hamilton of Orange Park and Steven (Lisa) Hamilton of Port St. Lucie; brother Linwood Hamilton of Jacksonville; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on August 9 at 7 pm at Fraser Funeral Home, Jacksonville.

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