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Sneads Historical Marker dedication held at Log Cabin

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Nora Jean Brown

On Sunday, September 17, 2018, while in the serenity and comfort of Bay Medical Center in Panama City, surrounded by her loving and caring family, God dispatched the Angel of Death to relay a message to Mrs. Nora Jean Brown, 64, of Panama City, Florida., saying “I see your road is rough, and the hill is getting too steep. Come rest your head upon My breast, your soul I will keep.”

Mrs. Nora Jean Brown was born on Sunday, April 4, 1954 in Blountstown, Florida to the late Marie Bennett Battles and James Roulhac.  Nora Jean was raised by her grandparents, the late Leah and Jerry Martin of Blountstown, Florida.

Nora Jean was united in Holy Matrimony to the late Mr. Harold Brown. She was employed with Bay Medical Center in the Housekeeping Department until her health failed.

 Nora Jean had four sisters and brothers preceded her in death, Audrey Mae Battles, Margaret Battles, Eddie Lou Batey and Rosey Bennett, Willie Lee Battles, Eddie Sam Battles, Richard Battles and Robert Battles.

Nora Jean leaves behind one daughter, Wanda Roulhac and a special friend to look to her as a son-in-law, David Mitchell; one brother, Thedo Battles. Nora Jean had several special friends: Mrs. Ollie Mar Bright, Mr. Kenny Stanley, Mrs. Burnette Andrews and Mrs. Diamond Solomon. Mrs. Brown leaves one sister-in-law: Mrs. Sally Batey; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.

A celebration of life will be held at 3:00 PM (CST), Saturday, September 29, 2018, in the Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church, 1520 Louisiana Avenue, Panama City, FL with the Reverend Bruce Taylor, officiating, under the directions of Christian Memorial Chapel of Graceville, Florida.

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Gladys Abbitts

Mrs. Gladys Abbitts, age 99, a resident of Graceville, FL went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, September 13, 2018 at Signature Healthcare of North Florida, Graceville with her family at her bedside. 

She was the widow of the late Reverend George Abbitts.

Sister Abbitts loved the Lord. She was an active member of New Easter Missionary Baptist Church where she served faithfully in several auxiliaries, including the Adult Choir, the Mother Board, Pastor Aide Ministry, Kitchen/Hospitality Ministry amongst other ministries in her church, community and the Second West Missionary Baptist Church.

Sister Abbitts loved spending time with her family and creating many memories where there was much laughing, cooking, and enjoying each other’s company. She always expressed the importance of having a relationship with Jesus, and she shared that with them throughout their lives. She had a loving spirit, was kind to everyone, always had a smile on her face, and an encouraging word to whomever she encountered. She was faithful in her daily devotion, and enjoyed praying for those in need of prayer. She will definitely be missed by all who knew and loved her.

Although we are saddened by her passing, we rejoice in knowing that she’s’ in a land “where she’ll never grow old.”

Many will always be cherish and remember Sister Abbitts including her caretaker and family, Lola Roberts of Graceville, FL; numerous other family, church family and friends.

Visitation will be Sunday, September 16, 2018, 4-7 PM, in the M. Sue and Rodney D. Pittman Memorial Chapel, 5441 Cooper Street, Graceville, FL.

Funeral services will be Monday, September 17, 2018, 11 AM, in the New Easter Missionary Baptist Church, Graceville, FL with the Pastor/Teacher Earnest Parker, Jr., officiating.

Sister Abbitts will be laid to rest beside her husband, Reverend George Abbitts, in the Graceville Community Cemetery under the directions of Christian Memorial Chapel of Graceville, Florida.

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Cleveland Bailey, Sr.

Deacon Cleveland Bailey, Sr., affectionately known as “Rockjaw” departed his life on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 3:30 am. God dispatched His Heavenly angels to take His servant home, whispering, “well done My good and faithful servant”.

Deacon Bailey was born on Tuesday, April 26, 1927 in Jackson County, Florida to the late Equillar Brown Bailey and the late Abraham Pittman. At an very early age he and his mother moved to Port St. Joe, where he was reared by the late Jeff Bailey.

He was converted at an early age, he joined New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church where he served as Sr. Deacon until his health declined.

“Rockjaw” was known as a “jack of all trades”. After completing an eight hour shift at the Saint Joe Paper Company where he retired in 1992, he could often be found remodeling homes or providing plumbing services throughout the North Port St. Joe community. He taught those skills, not only to his sons, but to other young men throughout the community. Circumstances forbade his acquisition of a formal education, but God’s grace provided him with an innate intellect surpassed by none. He, his late uncles, Crawford and Jay Bailey, along with Pastor McCray worked diligently adding to and remodeling New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church.

Deacon Bailey was active in his community. He was a member of the St. Joseph Masonic Lodge #99. He served as Worthy Patron with the Order of Eastern Star. In addition, he worked with several local gospel quartet groups. “Rockjaw” was also founder of “Big Rock” male softball team.

Cleveland Bailey, Sr., was preceded in death by his loving mother and fathers; along with several of his children.

He left to mourn his passing a devoted and loving wife of seventy-two (72) years, Dorothy Russ Bailey; sons: Cleveland Jr. (Tonya) of Clearwater, Florida, the Reverend Carle (Victoria) of Jacob City, Florida, Leonard “Raye” (Jennifer) of Port St. Joe, Florida, Richard of Jacob City, Florida and Quamaine of Port St. Joe, Florida; daughters: Era of Jacob City, Florida, Bertha (Michael) of Port St. Joe, Florida, Brenda of Port St. Joe, Florida and Florence (Keith) of Atlanta, Georgia; siblings: Willie James Pittman, Sr. (Mildred) and Joe Pittman (Evelyn) and Lena Malone all of Jacob City, Florida and Anna Tanner of Ocala, Florida; sisters-in-law: Lorene and Lois Pittman both of Jacob City, Florida; thirty-one grandchildren; a host of great grandchildren; several great-great grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.

Public viewing for Deacon Bailey will be held Wednesday, September 19, 2018 from 4-5 PM (CST) at the funeral home.

On Thursday, September 20, 2018 from 4-5 PM (EST) at New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Port St. Joe, FL.

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