Saturday, April 20, 2002

Vera C. Bailey

TlFTON -- Vera Conger Smith Bailey, 92, of Tifton, died Thursday, April 18, 2002, at Tift Regional Medical Center in Tifton.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Memorial Chapel of First Baptist Church. Dr. Wayne Roe and Dr. W. Ches Smith III will officiate. Burial will follow at Tift Memorial Gardens.

Pallbearers will be Anthony Conger, Don Hardison, Allen Conger Sr., Charles Sellers, Robert Conger, Tommy Conger, Harold Conger and Sheldon Conger.

Honorary pallbearers will be the Bessie Tift Sunday School Class of First Baptist Church, retired teachers and the Noon Baptist Women of First Baptist Church.

The family will receive friends from 7 to 9 tonight at Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals.

Born Aug. 12, 1909, in Tift County, Mrs. Bailey was the daughter of Abe Conger and Nancy Rigdon Conger, both deceased. She was also preceded in death by her first husband, Carlton Smith, who died in 1975; her second husband, Reed Bailey, who died in 1987; one sister, Martha Sue Hardison; and two brothers, Marcus F. Conger and Lewis A. Conger.

A lifetime resident of Tift County, Mrs. Bailey was a retired teacher and a member of First Baptist Church of Tifton.

She is survived by one sister and brother-in-law, Lottie C. and Aubrey Sellers of Brunswick; one sister-in-law, Thelma Conger of Leesburg; and 11 nieces and nephews, Don Hardison, Anthony Conger, Robert Conger, Tommy Conger, Allen Conger Sr., Harold Conger, Sheldon Conger, Ann Price, Linda Collier, Jozie Tinker and Charles Sellers.

Vera Conger Smith Bailey planted the seeds of education in the minds of young people for 41 years as a teacher. Through a gift to the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Foundation, Inc., she guaranteed that college students will continue to benefit from her generosity for generations to come.

As a result of Bailey's gift of her 147-acre farm, the Vera Conger and Carlton Smith Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust was established and funded. With that trust, funded at $360,000, the ABAC Foundation accepted its second largest trust ever.

"I believe this gift will provide multiple benefits beyond our imagination," former ABAC President Harold Loyd said. "It is really unbelievable to think how many students will be helped through this contribution.

"More and more people are discovering the value of the charitable remainder trust both to the institution and the individual involved. In addition to quarterly annuity payments, the donor may experience consequential savings through increased income tax deductions and reduced capital gain and estate taxes. Anyone having appreciated property, like Mrs. Bailey's farm, should consider the advantages of such a charitable contribution."

Bailey's first connection with ABAC came in 1929, only a week after she had graduated from Tifton High School. She took a phonics class at what was then Georgia State College for Men to prepare for her teaching career. She took the Georgia State Teachers Exam, passed it, and received a Georgia State Teachers Life Certificate.

"We never had any children," Bailey said. "But I had all my children at school every day."

Carlton Smith died in 1975. Before he died, he advised Vera not to try to take care of the entire farm by herself.

She heeded his advice and moved to Tifton in 1978. She continued to rent out the farm until its recent sale. Looking for a way to continue to invest her finances in the future of young people, Bailey established the Carlton Smith Memorial Scholarship with the ABAC Foundation in 1974. The scholarship is restricted to students who study in the field of agriculture.

In 1993, she established the Baldwin Sophomore Scholarship which is awarded to a rising sophomore who has completed 30 hours of academic work with a 3.0 or higher grade point average.

"I have always liked ABAC," Bailey said. "I liked it when I was a student here, and when Carlton died, I wanted to establish this scholarship in memory of him."

In 1980, Bailey married W. Reed Bailey. They took a cruise to the Virgin Islands and di

d some traveling in the United States. Bailey died in 1987, and Vera described their time as "a short, but happy life together."

Bailey never married again, but poured her life into the college and the First Baptist Church of Tifton. She was the outreach leader of the Bessie Tift Sunday School Class, a member of the Noon Baptist Women, Senior Citizens One Day Club, and Joyful Sounds Senior Choir. She was also a member of the Joy Fellowship at the First Baptist Church in Ty Ty. Bailey also belonged to the Arts Division of the 20th Century Library Club in Tifton.

Always active, Bailey's hobbies included cooking, working in her flowers, traveling and reading. She made trips to Egypt, Israel, Japan, China, Korea, Italy and Hawaii. She had also been to Alaska. She toured by land and sea areas near the Mediterranean on a journey called "The Footsteps of Paul."

Just after her retirement, Bailey chaired the organizational meetings of the Tift County Retired Teachers Association. She was a two-time president and life member of that organization as well as the Georgia Retired Teachers Association and the National Retired Teachers Association.

In September 1929, she began teaching with one other teacher in a two-room school in Worth County. Students were in the first, second or third grade. They huddled around a pot-bellied stove for warmth and made use of outdoor toilets.

But that's not the most rural setting Bailey experienced during her long career.

"I taught down in the Okefenokee Swamp for three years when we moved to Ware County," she said.

Overall, Bailey spent 38 of her 41 years teaching first graders, 24 of those years in Tift County. She also taught in Berrien, Worth, and Ware counties.

"I still get letters from my students,' Bailey said. "I keep them all. I really like to take them out and read them."

Bailey never had any designs on any other career besides teaching. In fact, as a youngster she was always the teacher when she and her friends "played school."

"I really enjoyed teaching," Bailey said. "I didn't have too many problems with children behaving. I still have some of those same children come up to me in restaurants and other places today to speak to me."

In 1969, Bailey was selected Teacher of the Year for Tift County. She also received the Honorary Life Membership in the National Congress of Parents and Teachers Association. In 1971 she received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Georgia Department of Education. Her final year in front of a class was in 1971 at Len Lastinger Elementary School in Tifton.

Bailey's life took a variety of twists and turns from the time she gathered her pupils around that pot-bellied stove until the present day. She married Carlton Smith in 1938. He worked for the Atlantic Coastline Railroad, and his job eventually took him to Ware County. In 1950, the couple moved back from Ware County to a farm near Ty Ty, built a brick house on two acres of pine trees, and began a life of farming and teaching.

"We both worked together," Bailey said. "We helped each other. If I had not had a husband like him, I couldn't have done it. He always wanted to raise Black Angus cattle, and through our farm we were able to do that."

The Smiths were always self-sufficient. Vera said her father died in 1935, and she helped her mother with the rest of the family. She said Carlton was also head of his family. When they married, they learned to depend on each other.

Bailey's gifts to ABAC earned her a spot in the President's Club with recognition at the Golden Achievement Award level. In 1994 she was named an Honorary Alumna of ABAC.

Right in the middle of her teaching career, Bailey took a leave of absence and completed the final work on a bachelor of science degree in education from Georgia Teachers College. She also attended three summer schools at North Georgia College as well as her time at the Georgia State College for Men.

Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals is in charge of arrangements.

Reideth Mobley Brown

TIFTON -- Reideth Mobley Brown, 88, of Tifton, died Friday, April 19, 2002, in Tifton.


ide services will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday at Oakridge Cemetery. Dr. Wayne Roe will officiate.

Pallbearers will be Eric Collins, David Collins, Greg Yawn, Joe Sheffield, Corey Cottle and Chad Cottle.

Visitation will be held from 7 to 9 tonight at Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals.

Born Nov. 21, 1913, in Cook County, Mrs. Brown was the daughter of George C. Mobley and Mary Elizabeth Corbitt Mobley, both deceased.

A loving mother and grandmother, she was a homemaker and a member of Salem Primitive Baptist Church of Adel.

Mrs. Brown is survived by her husband, Harvey Clifford "Cliff" Brown of Tifton; two daughters and sons-in-law, Jackie and Paul Spradley and Beth and Donnie Collins, all of Tifton; one brother, George C. Mobley Jr. of Tallahassee, Fla.; two sisters, Catherine Goldwire of Orange, Texas, and Mary Frances Willis of Tifton; four grandchildren, Susan Sheffield, Shannon Yawn, David Collins and Eric Collins; three great-grandchildren, Joe William Sheffield, Samuel Sheffield and Elizabeth Yawn; and six nieces and nephews, Marianna Willis Cottle of Tifton; Jane Mobley Lowe of Virginia, Jerry Goldwire and Ronnie Goldwire, both of Texas, George Mobley III of Ohio and Gene Malcolm of Cobb.

Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals is in charge of arrangements.

Anne Rutland Franks

TIFTON -- Anne Rutland Franks, 58, of Tifton, died Friday, April 19, 2002, at her residence.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the chapel of Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals. The Rev. Terrell Roberts will officiate. Burial will follow at Zion Hope Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 7-9 p.m. Sunday at Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals.

Born March 7, 1944, in Bibb County, Mrs. Franks was the daughter of Henry G. Rutland Sr. and Lucile Gilmore Rutland, both deceased.

She ws employed with Waldrop Construction Company and was a member of Tift Avenue Baptist Church.

Mrs. Franks is survived by two sons, Dewayne Franks and Robert Fitzgerald, both of Tifton; one daughter, Angela Stokes of Brooksville, Fla.; one brother, Henry Rutland of Thomasville; and several grandchildren.

Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals is in charge of arrangements.

Mary Alice Jackson, 62, of Tifton, died Wednesday, April 17, 2002, at her residence. Funeral services will be held at noon Saturday at Springfield Baptist Church, burial at Sandy Ridge Cemetery in Crosland. Survivors include two sons, Marvin Hall and Warren Hughes. Southview Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

Thomas Tyler Gunter, 3, of Fitzgerald, died Wednesday, April 17, 2002, in Fitzgerald. Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Pinetta Cemetery in Irwin County, burial at Pinetta Cemetery in Irwin County. Survivors include his mother, Mellissa Ann Evers of Fitzgerald. Paulk Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Faye V. Sewell, 59, of Fitzgerald, died Friday, April 19, 2002, at Life Care Center in Fitzgerald. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Paulk Funeral Home Chapel, burial at Pine Level Cemetery in Fitzgerald. Visitation will be held from 7-9 p.m. tonight at Paulk Funeral Home. Survivors include one son, Henry L. Sewell of Sylvester; one daughter, Norma S. Hendley of Fitzgerald; one brother, Troy "Gene" Vaughn of Wildwood, Fla. Paulk Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

John W. Quinn, 71, of Adel, died Friday, April 19, 2002, at her residence. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Chapel Boone-Lipsey Funeral Home, burial at Woodlawn Cemetery Annex. The family will receive friends from 6-9 p.m. tonight at Boone-Lipsey Funeral Home on Highway 41 South, who is in charge of arrangements.

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