Byron James (BJ) Haire

Byron James (BJ) Haire, departed this life on October 15 at home. He was born on September 10, 1937, in Evans County to Byron James, Sr. and Sallie Eason Haire. In October 1956, he married his high school sweetheart, Matha McCall, and together they had five children. Byron was a member of Eason Chapel Church where he worshipped and served throughout his lifetime. He served in the Army from December 1961 to December 1962, and was employed by Union Camp Corporation in Savannah for 40 years as a forklift mechanic. Byron was a “people person” and never met a stranger. He especially loved to share stories (and a laugh). Being raised in the Undine community on a farm, he never lost his love of working the land and was most comfortable wearing his overalls, riding the tractor and tending his cows. He was a member of the 1954 Claxton Tigers football championship team, a diehard Georgia Tech fan, and a coach for the midget football league for many years. Byron loved the mountains and instilled the love of God’s creation in his wife, children and grandchildren as they spent many vacations there as a family. Byron will be lovingly missed by his wife of 63 years, Matha; his children, Debra (Wayne) Purcell, Byron (Charlene) Haire, Cindy (Jack) Cox, Teena (Tony) Gilbreth and Tammy (Scottie) DeLoach; his grandchildren, Lauren Purcell, Katie (Henry) Orton, Zachary Purcell, Alicia (Andrew) Holloway, Whitney (John) Wimbush, Ben (Mary E.) Gilbreth, Sally (David) Purser, Jessica and Rebecca DeLoach; great-grandchildren, Daisy and Sally Holloway, David and Isaac Gilbreth and Lillian Purser. He was preceded in death by his parents, Byron James, Sr. and Sallie Eason Haire; siblings, Wesley Haire, Edwin (Blue) Haire, Nell Aldrich, Carolyn Waters and Sue Jordan. Visitation will be Wednesday, Oct.16 from 5 – 7 p.m., at J. Mellie NeSmith Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held in the chapel at J. Mellie NeSmith Funeral Home on Thursday, Oct. 17 at 11 a.m., with Pastor Charles Fiveash and Elder Jimmy Haire officiating. Burial will be in the Eason Family Cemetery. Remembrances may be sent to: Ogeechee Area Hospice, P. O. Box 531, Statesboro, Ga. 30459; Eason Chapel Church, c/o Alice Agnew, 601 Frank Sikes Road, Claxton, Ga. 30417; or Tattnall Campground, c/o David Yarbrough, 306 Yarbrough Lane, Claxton, Ga. 30417. Pallbearers will be Ellis Conley, Shane Eason, Ben Gilbreth, Tommy Haire, Wesley Jenkins and Zachary Purcell. Mellie NeSmith Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.