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Balmer, Walter Stephen "Steve" - Rincon  
Walter Stephen "Steve" Balmer, 73, passed away Thursday, April 9, 2015 at Memorial Health. Steve spoke often of his childhood, having been raised on Wilmington Island during the '40s and '50s. His family home was on the river and salt water fishing became his love early on due to the influence of his dad. He enjoyed discussing the adventures he went on with his father and his two younger brothers including fishing, boat building and camping on our local barrier islands. Seafood was often the special of the day at the Balmer household. He also talked about the many misadventures of him and his friends growing up on a primarily undeveloped Wilmington Island. He took great pride in his knowledge of the history of the island. Steve joined the U.S. Navy just a few days following graduation from Savannah High School in 1960. He retired with 22 years of service as a HMC/chief petty officer. Having saved innumerable lives during his Navy career, he served with the U.S. Marines on the ground in Vietnam in the late sixties, on the USS Sanctuary – a hospital ship operating in the waters off Vietnam - as a bereavement officer and as a public affairs officer at the Naval Hospital in Beaufort, S.C., as well as other duty stations. Steve served his country with pride, taking satisfaction in often receiving the highest evaluations by his superior officers. He was awarded the Vietnam Service Medal with Bronze Star, Purple Heart and other medals and commendations. Following his Navy retirement, Steve began a career in woodworking. He worked as a cabinet builder for Wilmington Cabinet Company in addition to several others. He built all sorts of furniture and other items. Indeed, he was building a boat at the time of his death. Steve enjoyed creating a large pile of sawdust whenever he could. In October of 1994, Steve married Charlene Anderson at Hospice House Savannah (their first wedding there), where his mother was being cared for. Steve and Charlene had more than 20 wonderful years together, traveling as often as possible with various Masonic groups frequently raising funds for diabetes research. Their favorite inside joke to each other was "forever and two weeks" indicating the length of their love for each other. Steve and Charlene had many wonderful cats and dogs but his favorite was his current pup, Madison, who was his shadow. Madison accompanied him on boat and beach romps and even swam with the sharks on one trip. Steve grew in his faith during the last several decades. He was a past deacon at Bull Street Baptist Church, where he and Charlene met. He was currently a member of First Baptist Church of Springfield, where he served in the adult choir and was a proud member of the Soul Survivors Sunday school class. Steve also taught a small group of older ladies which he enjoyed immensely. He was a team member of the Good News Club of Ebenezer Elementary School which teaches fourth- and fifth-graders about the Bible. He loved his boys group and even developed a rap song for them. His family had a long tradition of membership in Masonry. Steve was Past Master of Ancient Landmark Lodge No. 231, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, National Sojourners Hunter Chapter, Past Patron of Savannah Chapter 52 – Order of the Eastern Star, Deputy Supreme Royal Patron of the Order of the Amaranth – Georgia Court No. 1, as well as the recipient of the Cross of Colors, International Order of Rainbow for Girls. Steve's daughters, Teresa and Jenny, were active Rainbow Girls and he was a proud dad, often driving them and friends all over Georgia to various meetings, banquets, official visits, dances, etc. He often spoke of them needing various gowns, tiaras and other girl stuff with a big smile on his face. They were his heart. He was preceded in death by his parents, John Stewart Balmer and Mildred Bernhardt Balmer; and son, Walter Stephen Balmer Jr. Survivors include his wife, Charlene A. Balmer; daughters, Teresa Lynne Balmer and Jenny Balmer Clements (Troy); grandchildren, Stephen Darrell Allhiser and Kristen Autumn Lavoie; brothers, John Edwin Balmer and George Thomas Balmer (Carolyn). Visitation was held Monday, April 13 at Thomas C. Strickland & Sons Funeral Home followed by a celebration of life in the chapel. Remembrances may be given to the Georgia Diabetic Research Foundation, P.O. Box 70638, Albany, GA 31708.
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Published in Effingham Herald from Apr. 16 to May 16, 2015
Brown, Earl Paul - Bloomingdale  
Earl Paul Brown, 57, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. Earl was born on April 5, 1958 in Effingham County to the late Laura E. and Walter S. Brown Sr. Earl was a member of Faulkville Baptist Church. He recently retired from Local 96 Union Insulators after 34 years of service. Earl cherished all his many friends he met while traveling. Earl was a devoted husband who loved his family and friends. He was an avid NASCAR fan and loved to ride his Harley Davidson. He also was preceded in death by his brothers, Paul Brown and Gene Brown. Survivors include his wife of 22 years, Patricia Brown; sons, Scott (Melissa), Victor (Tressa), Brooks (Brittany), Lenny (Kristen) and Dustin; daughter, Megan (Brandon); seven grandchildren, Hunter, Aubrey, Brooks Jr., Zachary, Bentley, Bailee and Peyton; sisters, Violet (Ronald) Drew and Shirley (William) Purvis; brothers, Walter Jr., Ronnie (Meriam) and David (Donna); best friend, Charlie Moseley; and a number of nieces and nephews. Visitation was held Sunday, April 19 at Thomas C. Strickland & Sons Funeral Home. The funeral was Monday, April 20 in the chapel of the funeral home. Burial followed at Powers Baptist Church Cemetery. Remembrances may be given to the Amyloidosis Foundation at Amyloidosis.org. Friends may sign the online register book at www.stricklandandsonsfuneralhome.com.
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Published in Effingham Herald from Apr. 23 to May 23, 2015
Burnsed, Aaron Elliott - Toccoa  
Aaron Elliott Burnsed, age 37, of Toccoa, passed away on Friday, April 17, 2015. Memorial services will be held Saturday, April 25, at 11 a.m. at Powers Baptist Church in Eden. Mr. Burnsed attended Northside Baptist Church in Rincon and Powers Baptist Church in Eden. He was a graduate at Effingham County High School. Mr. Burnsed was employed with I.B.E.W for 10 years and presently employed with McArthur Electric Company. He is survived by his wife: Claire Peters Burnsed, Toccoa; children, Layne and Ethan Burnsed of Toccoa;pParents: Aaron and Susan Cook Burnsed of Newnan; brother and sister-in-law, Keith and Amy Burnsed of Newnan; mother-in-law, Sandy Meadows of Lawrenceville; aunts and uncles, Doug and Sharon Cook of Cedar Bluff, Ala., DeWayne and Catherine Burnsed of Eden; aunt Marsha Jordan of Ellaville; nieces Hannah, Kayla, Aaryn and Haylynn; and several cousins and other relatives. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Powers Baptist Church Building Fund: 1104 US Highway 80 W, Eden GA 31307. Arrangements by: Tim Stewart Funeral Home: 300 Simonton Road SW Lawrenceville, GA 30046. 770-962-3100. Please leave online condolences at stewartfh.com.
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Published in Effingham Herald from Apr. 23 to May 23, 2015
Busby, Vonnie  
Mrs. Vonnie Busby, a native of Springfield and a longtime resident of Mobile, Ala., passed away Sunday, March 29, 2015. She was preceded in death by her parents, Tom and Hazel Webb. She is survived by the love of her life of 46 years, 4 months, and 1 day, her husband Thomas "Tom" Busby, who married her in Thomaston on Nov. 28, 1968; children Patrice B. Kenney (Tim) and Thomas Scott Busby (Kristi); three loving grandchildren, Megan, Kate and Brooks; siblings Linda Hodgson, Dr. Donald Webb and Noel Webb; four sisters-in-law, Sue, Margaret, Shirley and Tami; two brothers-in-law, Tom and Bobby, numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends. Visitation was Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at Creekwood Church of Christ in Mobile. Services were held Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 1p.m. at Creekwood Church of Christ. Entombment was at the Chapel of the Chimes Mausoleum.
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Published in Effingham Herald from Apr. 23 to May 23, 2015
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