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Serena Staggers

Funeral services for Serena L. Staggers, conducted by the Rev. Robert L. Malachi, were held Friday, February 15, 2019, at the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church of Kingstree. Burial, directed by Pressley’s Funeral Home, follow at the Kingstree Cemetery of Kingstree.

Ms. Staggers, born in Kingstree, was the daughter of the late Chester and Annie M. Staggers.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Studies from Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina and a master’s degree in Sociology from Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia.  Committed to education and community, she received countless awards and recognition for her work in the educational system and community outreach. In an educational career that spanned nearly 60 years, she worked as a high school teacher, college professor, and counselor.  She worked as a high school social studies teacher at Mather Academy in Camden; assistant director of Student Activities and social science instructor at Bennett College in Greensboro; a social science instructor at Voorhees College in Denmark; a sociology instructor at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina; an adult educator at Williamsburg Technical College in Kingstree; and as a professor, counselor, and coordinator of Benedict College’s Mentors Program in Columbia. As a long-time educator, counselor, and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, She dedicated her personal and professional life to teaching, counseling, mentoring, and nurturing youth leadership development.  For more than 50 years she developed programs and organized activities that encouraged self-confidence and self-esteem in youths as well as prepared them for the challenges and difficulties of life. Driven by a passion to make a difference in the lives of children, she worked tirelessly to organize programs and outreach services for youth. She organized career fairs; worked with the Children’s Garden, a childcare facility for infants and pre-school aged children from low income families; made greeting cards and delivered gifts to hospitalized children; and provided clothing and other essentials to young men living at the Alston Wilkes Youth Home for Boys. Her “Follow Your Dreams” program provided back-to-school supplies to Columbia youth for almost 20 years. 

Survivors are: countless friends, relatives and love ones.


Alethia Pressley

Funeral services for Mrs. Alethia Ann Tisdale Pressley, conducted by Minister Melvin Sapp, were held Tuesday, February 5, 2019, at the St. Paul United Methodist Church of Kingstree. Burial, directed by Pressley’s Funeral Home, follow at the churchyard cemetery.

Mrs. Pressley, 73, died Wednesday, January 30, 2019. She was born January 21, 1946, the daughter of the late James and Lorine Tisdale. She was a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church.  After graduating from St. Mark High School, she moved to New York City and then later to Rochester, New York.  During her time in Rochester she worked as an administrator for a large furniture company and Rochester Electric and Gas.   

In 1977 she moved to Phoenix, Arizona. While in Phoenix, she worked for several years as an administrator in the Phoenix school district. Once she moved back to South Carolina, she became employed by Wellman Industries in Johnsonville. She worked for many years as a home health care provider.  She was married to the late George Epps Pressley. A son, Denetric, and five siblings, Alberta, James, Jr. (Barbara), Aldavis, Sherman (Ella), and Hilton, preceded her in death.

Survivors are: five sons, Tyrie (Tina), Lature, George Von (Shakiba), Eric, and Darren; a foster son, Jonathan; two sisters, Elizabeth (Robert) of Varnville; and Margaret, Columbia; three brothers, Heyward (Lillie) of Atlanta, Georgia; Otis of Rochester, New York; and Marvin (Cecelia) Kingstree; and eight grandchildren.


Darlene Miles

Darlene McCutchen Miles, 62, wife of Dewayne J. “Joe” Miles, died Thursday, February 21, 2019, at Williamsburg Regional Hospital.

Funeral services were held Sunday, February 24, 2019, in the chapel at Williamsburg Funeral Home. Burial, directed by Williamsburg Funeral Home, followed at the Sandy Bay Cemetery.

Mrs. Miles was born November 28, 1956, in Kingstree, the daughter of the late Willard and Mildred McClary McCutchen. She was a graduate of Kingstree High School and worked at the Animal Hospital of Kingstree for 36 years. A sister, Carol M. Gandy, preceded her in death.

Survivors, in addition to her husband, are: one daughter, Lisa Miles (Chad) of Kingstree; three step-children, Keldon “Bubba” Miles (Ruth Ann) of Lake City; and Kristy Butler and Jody Butler, both of Granite Falls, North Carolina; four sisters, Justine Matthews of Kingstree, Clarice Mercer (Blakely) of Moncks Corner; and Cynthia Robinson (Bobby) and Charlene McKenzie, both of Kingstree; and five grandchildren. 

 Memorials may be made to the Animal Medical Fund at Animal Hospital of Kingstree, 201 N. Williamsburg County Highway, Kingstree, SC 29556.


John Ackerman, Sr.

John “Johnny” Harvey Ackerman, Sr. passed away peacefully at his home on February 23, 2019, surrounded by family and friends. 

Johnny was born on January 27, 1948, to the late William Ellerbe Ackerman, Sr. and Bernice Olena Wilson Ackerman.

Born and raised in Andrews, SC, Johnny graduated Williamsburg High School and farmed until his last days. He was a lifetime member of Earle United Methodist Church. He loved the outdoors and sitting on the banks of the Black River at Bark Landing, watching Nascar racing and Clemson football and socializing with family and friends.


Johnny is survived by his wife of 40 years, Kay, and their children Kathy (Mark) McCutcheon, of Andrews; and John “Jay” (Laura) Ackerman, Jr. and Kristy (Braden) Stoneburner, both of Columbia. A beloved Papa, he leaves behind the lights of his life, his grandchildren: Josh, Kassidy, Olivia Grace, John Ellis, Eliza, Lawson, Blakely and Madison. He is also survived by his siblings: Gail Morris, Elaine (Darrell) Brown, and Wilson (Willa) Ackerman of Andrews; and Ellerbe (Inga) Ackerman, of Kingstree; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Johnny was predeceased by his brother-in-law, Walker Morris.

Funeral services, conducted by the Rev. Arthur Vick and the Rev. Bob Huggins, were held Tuesday, February 26, 2019, at Earle United Methodist Church. Burial, directed by the Andrews Chapel of Mayer Funeral Home, followed at the  Harmony Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Earle United Methodist Church, 2180 Earle Rd, Andrews, SC 29510 or Harmony Cemetery Fund, c/o Mary S. Camlin, 697 Wheeler Rd, Andrews, SC 29510.

Special thanks to Dr. Troy Gamble and the nurses and staff of Hospice Care of South Carolina who cared for Johnny and his family during his final days.

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Sammie Capers

Funeral services for Sammie Joe Lewis “Rabbit” Capers, conducted by the Rev. William Pinckney, were held Friday, February 22, 2019, at Bethel AME Church of Gourdin.  Burial, directed by Dimery and Rogers Funeral Home, followed at McKnight Cemetery.

Mr. Capers died Friday, February 15, 2019, at the Carolina Hospital System of Florence. He was born November 28, 1945, in Salters, the son of the late Willie York and Sarah Mary Elizabeth Capers. He was a member of Bethel AME Church, where he was a member of the Bethel Male Chorus; The Freedom Five Quartet and The Sensational Seven. He received his formal education from Lanes Consolidated School and Williamsburg Training School.  He was employed by Williamsburg County Recycling Center as a site attendant. Four siblings, Simon Capers, Willie Earl York, Virginia Canty, and Virginia King, preceded him in death.

Survivors are: his wife, Linda Joyce Little Capers; six children, Ronald Little (Joyce) of Lanes; Vincent Kelty (Karen), Tonia Scott (Tracy), Stephanie Wilson (Harvey) and Sarah Williams (Claudie), all of Fayetteville, North Carolina; and Sammie Capers (Theresa) of Salters; one adopted daughter, Jamiya Canty; two siblings, Thelma York of Greeleyville; and Lucilla Fraizer of Greensboro, North Carolina; like a mother, Hattie Capers; 24 grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren.


Johnnie Brown

Funeral services for Johnnie Lee Brown, conducted by the Rev. Donald Gillard, were held Thursday, February 21, 2019, at the Community Temple Church. Burial, directed by Dimery and Rogers Funeral Home, followed at Beulah AME Churchyard Cemetery.

Mr. Brown died Sunday, February 17, 2019, at his residence in Cades. He was born February 8, 1960, the son of the late Willie Brown and Sadie Smith Dozier. He attended the public schools of Williamsburg County, where he received his formal education. After graduating, he enlisted in the United States Navy. He later returned home, and began his career in construction and worked till his retirement. He was a man of many talents that included working on automobiles. His father, Willie Brown (Anzile); mother, Sadie Smith Dozier (Ellie); two brothers, Esaw and Ellie Dozier, Jr., and his life partner, Delphia Redden, preceded him in death.

Survivors are: four sons, Johnny Grayson of Wheeling, West Virginia, Johnathan Bradley of Kingstree; SSG Tavoris Brown (Leah) of Fayetteville, North Carolina; and Dont’ae Fulton of Summerville; three daughters, Kimberly Moyd (Emmet) and Alexia Brown, both of Kingstree; and Tierra Brown of the home; Joseph Allred he cared for as his son; two sisters, Patty Ree King (Henry) of Kingstree; and Daisey Reed of Winston Salem, North Carolina; four brothers, Willie Brown and Celest Brown, both of Kingstree; and Frank Brown (Deloris) and Junior Blake, both of Salters; and eight grandchildren including Za’Nia McFadden of the home.