Last updateWed, 30 Nov 2016 11pm

William Russell Chastain

William Russell Chastain, 54, of High Springs, Florida, passed away after a long courageous battle with cancer on April 10, 2016 at his home with his family. Russell was the owner and operator of Russell’s Lawn Service for the past three years and previously owner of W.R. Chastain Spreading Service. Russell worked in farming all of his life and took great pride in his work.

Russell is survived by his loving wife of 25 years, Linda Lee Chastain, daughter Brittany (Donny) Chastain Logan and son William Colton Chastain. Russell loved his kids and always made sure they were taken care of. He is also survived by his loving parents, Billy and Cleone Crews Chastain and sister April Chastain.

Russell was a Christian and a member of Forest Grove Baptist Church. He loved and lived life to the very fullest and always made friends with everyone he met. Russell would greet everyone with his cowboy hat, a big smile, and a funny joke.  He loved to make everyone laugh and had a heart of gold.  Russell was a member of the Gilchrist County Sportsman hunting club, he looked forward to being there every season to hunt and spend time with his friends that he loved so dearly.   During the summer months Russell liked to take his family to Daytona Beach and spend time in the waves and enjoy the sunshine.  He loved to listen to country music and sing Willie Nelson karaoke. Russell was a devoted husband, father, son, brother, cousin, and friend to all. He will be greatly missed.

Funeral services will be held at Forest Grove Baptist Church, Alachua, Florida, on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 11 a.m. with Rev. Andy Cook officiating. Interment will follow at Forest Grove Cemetery. A visitation will be held Thursday, April 14, 2016 at Forest Grove Baptist Church between the hours of 6 and 8 p.m. Flowers are welcome but donations to Haven Hospice of the Tri-Counties will be appreciated.

Arrangements have been placed under the care of Rick Gooding Funeral Home, Chiefland, Florida, 352-493-0050.

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Melvie Jean O'Steen-Joiner

Melvie Jean O'Steen-Joiner, 71, of High Springs passed away on the morning of Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at Haven Hospice.

She was born to Sidney Willshy O'Steen and Durlie Mae Nettles-O'steen of Gilchrist County on July 29, 1944. She was the youngest of nine children.

She attended and graduated Valedictorian from Bell High School in 1962. She married William Benjamin Joiner and had two children William Benjamin Joiner, Jr. and John Mark Joiner.

She worked in the cafeteria at Spring Hill Middle School for 27 years before retiring in 2013. She was very good at crafting and loved to cook, sew, knit, crochet, carpentry, and needlepoint just to name a few. She was a very hard working woman of determination that was dearly loved and will be missed.

She was a Jehovah's Witness. Per her wishes there will be no services and the family does not want food or flowers.

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Glenn R. (Turk) Thomas

Glenn R. (Turk) Thomas, 88, lifetime High Springs resident passed away Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at his residence. He was a graduate of High Springs High School Class of 1945 and a dedicated member of First Baptist Church of High Springs. He was a veteran, serving his country in the Navy during WWII and served his community as City Commissioner for nine years and Mayor of High Springs for two terms in 1994-95 and 1998-99. He was a retired conductor with 37 years of service for CSX Railroad. He was the Chaplain and former Worshipful Master of the High Springs Masonic Lodge #137 (Scottish Rite Valley of Ocala) He was an avid golfer, enjoyed fishing and all Gator sports, but his greatest passions were his Lord and his family.

He is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, JoAnn Richardson Thomas of High Springs; a son, Jimmy Thomas of High Springs; two daughters, Debbie Means Mathews (Lance) of Ft. White, Glenna Petty (Donny) of High Springs; five granddaughters, Megan Davis (Jeff), Molly Ashraf (Wally), Mallory Means (Josh), Rachel Petty and Emma Petty; four great grandchildren, Kenidy, Brynley, Brooklynn and Grant. He is also survived by three sisters, Belinda Hollingsworth of High Springs, Barbara Ann Bryan of Alachua and Kate Davis of Warner Robins, Georgia, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Cliffton L. Thomas and Minnie Estelle Parrish; his first wife, Rozanne Westmoreland Thomas; a son, William Kirkland Thomas; six siblings, Lonnis, Don, Gladys, Berta, L.C. and Karo.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, March 11, 2016 at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church of High Springs with Dr. Derek Lambert and Rev. Jacob Hollingsworth officiating. Interment will follow at High Spring Cemetery with Masonic Rites. A visitation will be held at the church an hour prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Hospice of the Nature Coast or First Baptist Church of High Springs Building Fund will be appreciated.

Arrangements have been placed under the care of Langford-Rogers Funeral Home, under the direction of Rick Gooding Funeral Home, Chiefland, Florida, 352-493-0050.

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James “Jim” L. Willis

Mr. James “Jim” L. Willis, 77, passed away Sunday, March 13, 2016.

Mr. Willis was born in Petersburg, Indiana, but had lived for several years in Gainesville, Florida, after moving there from Jacksonville, Florida.

He was a Veteran of the United States Navy and Army, and was a truck driver for several years. Mr. Willis was a member of the Lenox Avenue Church of God in Jacksonville, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Ellamae Willis; his brothers Bob Willis and Jack Willis both of Petersburg; and several nieces, nephews, and other family members.

A graveside service will be held for Mr. Willis at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 17, 2016 in Elzey Chapel Cemetery in Worthington Springs, Florida. Arrangements under the direction of Archer Funeral Home 55 N. Lake Avenue, Lake Butler, FL 32054; 386-496-2008. Please sign the guestbook at

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Raymond Donell Cason

Raymond Donell Cason, age 62, of Alachua, Florida, passed on Feb. 29, 2016.

Viewing will be held Friday, March 11, 2016 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at A. Jerome Brown Funeral Home, 1560 NW 1st Avenue, High Springs, Florida, 32643.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 1 pm. at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 12254 NW 140th Street, Alachua.

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