LaForrest Carter Lee
(A Loving Tribute by Cousin Nickie Carter)
Well-known long-time Hacklebarney Community resident Susie LaForest Carter Lee, 93, went to her Heavenly rest Sunday peacefully, attesting to her gentle, dedicated love of God, family, friends and life, surrounded by and in the loving presence of her sons and families.
Her life journey began Oct. 2, 1928, in Hacklebarney Community, her steps gentle and kind to all, with a deep devotion to her God. The widow of a well-known minister, the Rev. Bill Lee, she not only reared three children, shared Christian testimonies, faith walks and services in her life with her husband, but was successful in the business world with her husband. However, her heartbeat with the love of her Hacklebarney Community, happily recalling the times she spent with her parents “on the Hacklebarney Community farm located on Ware Street”, the acreage stretching to Hacklebarney Road and beyond. She shared the hard work a farm presented--the times of tobacco harvesting, vegetables picked and canned, seeing her parents Reddish and Cora Bratcher Carter toiling successfully in conflicting weather conditions from the earth's growing treasures. They came to Hacklebarney between 1918--1922--with his parents David Jefferson Carter and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Rena Cason Carter from Cartertown (located between Blackshear and Alma) becoming pioneers in a community, once the country, but today a growing population of lovely homes in Pierce County, replacing the once farmed fields. David Jefferson Carter learned of the Hacklebarney farm and property as he traveled in mule and wagon on dirt rough roads through the area with his cattle and hogs from Cartertown to sell in Waycross, eventually buying the farm from the Lee Dean family.
Mrs. Lee's grandfather David J. Carter died at the age of 54 after living only two years in Hacklebarney. He gave each of his sons a farm in the Hacklebarney area and owned much acreage on Ware Street. Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Hyers both lived on Oak Hill property on Ware Street that their father once owned.
Mrs. Lee, and, sister Mrs. Darcile Carter Hyers living close by, could daily admire the land across from their homes once owned by their great-grandparents and parents on Ware Street. In their lifetimes, this land was sold and today remains an eye-catching green pasture and once horse sightings. They loved to recall "the country, dirt roads now paved; the many crop fields farmed by them as well as beloved neighbors, many of whom have gone on to meet our Lord. We recall with much love and affection the parenting our parents gave us and that hard work turned into good lives for each of us in today's world.'' (These statements and more descriptions of the sisters' lives are featured in Nickie Carter's book "Hacklebarney Memories'' which will be available soon for all to enjoy being printed by Yarbrough Brothers Printing of Waycross.)
As a young child, Mrs. Lee enjoyed not only the farming success of her parents, but recalled in her life, the fun times of fishing in Hacklebarney Branch with her father, going to Waycross with her parents for some shopping on Tebeau Street and a chocolate milkshake, and, in growing-up years, walking with sister Darcile and other family members and friends down Ware Street, just to enjoy a Sunday afternoon of chatting and smiling. Her lifetime included enjoying recalling "yesterday'' like when electricity first came in the '30s to Hacklebarney and remembering, "I was out of high school when our telephone was installed.'' Mrs. Lee's life continued through the years in a tradition of becoming a dedicated Godly mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Mrs. Lee would often recall "my days in Hacklebarney'' sharing the love of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Added blessing, she would often say, "is being near my sister Darcile Carter Hyers who lived near me.'' Her passing several years ago was a sadness to Mrs. Lee, but she became closer to her Godly faith and continued with her pretty, gentle smiling face and welcomed the blessings of her sons and their families. A sadness to she and all family members was the passing of her only daughter Susan Lee McIntosh in July 2010.
A lifetime of living, encouraging her family, and tending to the chores of home, Mrs. Lee was also a businesswoman with her late husband, Rev. Bill Wilbur Lee. He served as a well-known minister of the Gospel for two Baptist churches. They were wed 61 years when he died June 23, 2008. He worked for Atlantic Coastline Railroad, Seaboard, then CSX Transportation. He joined his wife in manufacturing clothes. Together they sewed clothes including boy’s jackets for London Fog out of New York from 1977--1991 in area shops from their business. Talented in business ventures, the two also invented the toilet seat release which gained popularity at the time.
Growing up for Mrs. Lee, besides the farming and vegetable tasks, included studying and walking to Hacklebarney School (which later burned down) and attending Blackshear High School. LaForrest was a lifelong Baptist and a member of First Baptist Church in Blackshear.
Besides loved ones mentioned, preceding Mrs. Lee in death were her siblings: Darcile Carter Hyers of Hacklebarney, Beatrice Carter of Hacklebarney, Alene Carter Palmer of Tampa, Fla., David Reddish Carter, Jr. of Hacklebarney, and Tracy Franklin (Frank) Carter of Waycross.
Others surviving to cherish Mrs. Lee's memory are her two sons Joey Lee, wife Debra Lee of Blackshear and Marc Lee, wife Suzannah Lee of Blackshear; a sister Maxine Carter Brasseur of Santa Barbara, Calif. and 8 grandchildren, Michael (Shanna) Duncan, Jr., Candice Jacobs, Joey (Ciara) Lee, Jr., Brandi Freeman, Caleb (Kadie) McDuffie, Krystal Lee, Seth (Merica) Lee, and Amber Lee; 24 great grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
A celebration of Mrs. Lee's life will be held Wednesday afternoon, March 16, 2022, at 3:00 o’clock at the Pearson-Dial Funeral Home Chapel with Dr. Bill Young and Rev. Eric Rentz officiating.
The family will receive friends at the chapel one hour prior to the service.
Burial will be in the Blackshear Cemetery.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online register at www.pearsondial.com.
Pearson-Dial Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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