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Bernard Lee Shutes

Bernard Lee Shutes, known locally as “Vivian”, 84, of Jackson County, Florida died July 15, 2018 with his family by his side following a brief illness while in the care of Covenant Care Hospice in Panama City Florida.  He was born in Kynesville on September 15,1933 to Gordon Bernard Shutes and Ollie Fennell Shutes. Paternal grandparents were Gordon Lee Shutes and Mamie Lash Shutes. Maternal grandparents were Laney Love Arnold Fennell and Amos P Fennell.

He attended Kynesville Elementary School; was a 1951 graduate of Cottondale High School; a 1953 graduate of Chipola College; and a 1962 graduate of Auburn University. He served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1956, with basic training in Fort Jackson, S.C., followed by serving in Okinawa, Japan. 

Following graduation from Auburn University, he honed his broad knowledge of industrial construction including power plants, paper mills and automotive assembly plants around the country.  Upon completing a project at Port Panama City, to afford his family the opportunity to stay in area, he opened Shutes Construction Company, specializing in custom residential and commercial.  After his children were grown, he returned to large scale industrial construction and the travel it demanded.

Following his retirement he returned to his roots of Jackson County.  When his health failed he moved to the Clifford Chester Sims State Veterans Nursing Home.  He spent his last days in the compassionate care of Covenent Hospice.

While very intelligent, he strived to obtain broad knowledge of many subjects whether it be engineering, the arts, philosophy, legalities – or human nature.  He had a very strong body that he utilized to the fullest, working from a very young age learning construction from his father and uncles. He maintained that strength through his last days.  He was a giver – whether it be of his time, his labor, his knowledge of building and engineering, his material resources or his very broad shoulders upon which many would lean.  

His many interests included a love of music, travel, museums and a variety of arts.  He was an avid supporter of western heritage museums, the Albuquerque Balloon Festival, and The Dayton Art Institute Guild, to name a few.  He was a private pilot and enjoyed the freedom afforded in traveling via his own planes for his business and pleasure. He was an advocate for the American Legion Boys State program, was bestowed the honor of a Kentucky Colonel, he served as a Gideon, was a member of Kiwanis International, and generously served on the building committees of various churches and organizations that he belonged over the years. 

A natural athlete, he loved the game of basketball and played on Cottondale High School’s State Championship team his senior year.  He continued to play basketball while attending Chipola and during his service in the Army.

In addition to his parents and grandparents, Vivian is predeceased by his eldest daughter Miriam Elaine Shutes, granddaughter Kathryn Michaela Crosby and sons-in-law, Michael D. Crosby and Bill D. Moreland; and a brother, J.W. Shutes. 

He is survived by his sister, Muriel Shutes Baxley, Lynn Haven; daughters Jennifer Shutes Crosby Moreland, Atlanta, Georgia; Brenda Shutes Reed, Panama City; former wife and mother of his children, Fredda Williams Shutes, Panama City; former sister-in-law Aletta Shutes, Tallahassee, granddaughter, Amanda Reed Hodges (Brian), grandson, Brandon Reed, great-granddaughters Alexis Reed and Briana Hodges all of Panama City, and beloved cousins, nieces and nephews.

Arrangements are provided by Obert Funeral Home, Chipley, Florida.  Visitation, services and burial will be at Bethlehem Baptist Church on Saturday, July 21st with visitation from 10:00-11:00 and services to follow from 11:00 - 12:00 with the Reverend Jim Sharkey officiating. Burial shall be in the Bethlehem Cemetery.  

In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials be made to The Cal Farley Boys Ranch, P.O. Box 1890 Amarillo, TX 79174-0001,  Ph.(800)687-3722 or The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 8382 Baymeadows Rd Ste 9, Jacksonville 32256 - Ph.(904)733-3560.

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Hester Lee Lucas Wells

Hester Lee Lucas Wells, age 89, passed from this life on July 13, 2018, in the Washington Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Chipley, Florida.  She was born and reared in Holmes County on a farm on Ten Mile Creek.  She attended Esto School through the ninth grade, transferring to Holmes County High School in Bonifay, and graduating in April 1945.  Hester has the distinction of being a student in the last eight-month school term in the State of Florida. She attended Mt. Zion Church near Esto, and was baptized in nearby Ten Mile Creek. After marriage, she attended Primitive Baptist churches in Panama City, the Bethel community in Washington County, and Chipley Chapel.

Hester was predeceased in death by her parents, Herbert Timothy Lucas and Pauline Hartzog Lucas, two brothers, Milton Cortez Lucas and Daniel Leon Lucas, one sister, Era Martiel Lucas White, and a  grandson, Ryan Lee Wells. She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Perry Wells, and their four sons: Tim (Debbie), Grant (Lynn), Emory (Robbin), and Gordon (Donna). She leaves eight grandchildren: Laura, Julie and Perry Edward Wells II (Tim), Dan Murray and Deanna Marie Wells (Gordon), Lucas McLean and Virginia Marie Wells (Grant), and Courtney Elyse Wells (Emory).  She also leaves a host of nieces, nephews and cousins, all of whom she loved dearly.

Hester and Perry married in October 4, 1952 in Cottonwood, Alabama. Their first home was in Panama City.  In 1970, the Wells family moved to Chipley, Florida to own and operate the Sears Catalog store where Hester was an integral part. She later ran the historic T.L. Wells and Bro. department store in town. Hester was an accomplished seamstress and cook, and throughout her life enjoyed attending bluegrass events, gospel sings, and church sings. 

Funeral Services will be held Tuesday, July 17, at Shiloh Baptist Church, with Eric Smith officiating. Visitation will be 9:00 - 11:00 a.m., with the service immediately following. Interment will follow at Bethany Baptist Church cemetery in Holmes County where three generations of Hester’s ancestors are buried. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Bethany Baptist cemetery fund.

Obert Funeral Home of Chipley, Florida directing.

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Sue Ditty

Sue Ditty, age 83 of Bascom, went home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on January 29, 2017 at her residence.

Mrs. Sue was born on December 27, 1933 in Sneads, Florida to Van Lockhart and Oley Sasser Lockhart. She was a lifelong resident of Jackson County and worked as a caregiver at Sunland Center in Marianna. She was a member of Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Bascom.

She was preceded in death by her husband: Loyce Ditty; parents: Van and Oley Lockhart; brother: Sammy Lockhart.

She is survived by her two daughters: Elaine Oestrike and husband Harold “Chip” of Bascom, FL, Debbie McCran and husband W.O. of Cypress, FL; brother-in-law: Joseph C. Ditty and wife Jeffie of Bascom, FL; sister-in-law: Bernice McDaniel of Bascom, FL; three grandchildren: Josh Oestrike of Panama City, FL, Marion McCroan of Marianna, FL, Tony McCroan of Cypress, FL; two great grandchildren: Michells Phillips of Tallahassee, FL, Tillman McCroan of Tallahassee, FL; six great-great grandchildren: Craig Phillips, Emma Riley, Noah Phillips, Jack Phillips, Blakleigh Pervis all of Cypress, FL, Summer Desmine of Altha, FL; nieces: Vickie Fowler and husband Bobby of Bascom, FL, Kim Shouppe and husband Jeff of Panama City, FL, Nola Register of Marianna, FL, Jennifer Luther and husband Jeff of Tampa, FL; nephew: Jason Lockhart and wife Donna of Tallahassee, FL; several great nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held 2P.M. Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at Hickory Grove Free Will Baptist Church in Bascom, Florida with Rev. Chris Nelson and Rev. Alvin Roberts officiating. Interment will follow the service in Mt. Olive Baptist Church Cemetery in Bascom. Obert Funeral Home of Chipley, Florida directing.

The family will receive friends from 5-7P.M. Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at Hickory Grover Free Will Baptist Church. Flowers are accepted or donations can be made to New Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, 5324 Womack Road, Cottonwood, Alabama 36320 or Midway Free Will Baptist Church, 1600 Church Street, Marianna, Florida 32448.

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