Obituaries – September 24, 2021

James Marshall Hill

BERLIN — James Marshall Hill, Jr., 36, passed away on Sept. 10, 2021, in Salisbury.

James was born on March 3, 1985 in Boynton Beach, Fla. to parents James Hill, Sr. and Celeste Rayne Miller. James is known and will be remembered by his family and

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James Marshall Hill

friends as a loving man with a huge personality. He went headfirst into life and into every interest. His love for family and family gatherings was his favorite pastime. He took great pride in his work and craftsmanship and enjoyed challenging projects that would eventually give him an opportunity to show he was one of the best. Son Kelly and daughter Charlie stole their Daddy’s heart and he took great joy in watching them grow.

James is survived by children Kelly Hill, Charlie Hill; Celeste Rayne Miller (Mother) , James Hill Sr. (Father) , Kinsey Camelio (Sister), James Ira Hill (Grandfather), and Dona Rayne Pearson (Grandmother). He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Richard Rayne and Carol Hill

Friends and family gathered at the Burbage Funeral Home on Sept. 19, 2021 for services with Robert Miller (Stepfather) officiating. Burial was held privately at Evergreen Cemetery in Berlin.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Farmers Bank of Willards, the account of Celeste Rayne, FBO The Hill Children. Condolences can be made to the family at


Tamara Higbee Mathias

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Tamara Higbee Mathias

OCEAN CITY — Tamara (Tammie) Higbee Mathias, loving mother and wife, was surrounded by her family when she went home to be with the Lord on Sept. 17, 2021.

Tammie was born in March 1966, in Brooklyn, N.Y. to William and Linda Higbee.

A graduate of Salisbury University, Tammie’s early professional career was in the hospitality industry. Tammie also served as the Vice President of Sales for Pam’s Golf. Tammie married the love of her life, Jeffrey Mathias, and devoted her life to raising and educating their two children. Tammie worked as a substitute teacher at Worcester Preparatory School and ultimately became a full-time educator for her home-schooled children. Tammie was an active member of the Ocean City Home School organization.

Tammie always seized the opportunity to hostess a party for her family and friends and made each holiday and occasion very special with her wonderful cooking and entertaining skills. Her specialties at dinner parties were “Tammie’s Taters” and her infamous tasty baked beans. Tammie was a faithful friend to many. She nurtured and honored her long-time friendships, and she will be missed by all.

Tammie is survived by her loving husband, Jeffrey Lee Mathias of Ocean City; her children, James, William and Crow; her parents, Linda Larsen (Wayne) and William Higbee; her brother, Jason Higbee (Tammy); uncle, George L. Gundy (Linda); brother-in-law, James N. Mathias, Jr.; sister-in-law, Holly Donovan (Dan); niece, Lauren Mathias Williams (Beau); nephews Trevor Mathias and William Blackwell; great-nephew, Christian Williams; and great-niece, Katherine Williams.

Please join us in celebrating her life on Friday, September 24, 2021, at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Parish– Holy Savior Church. The church is located at 1705 Philadelphia Avenue in Ocean City. There will be a gathering immediately following the service at the parish hall. Interment will be private.
The service also will be live-streamed from the church via their Facebook page:

Arrangements are being managed by Burbage Funeral Home of Berlin. Tammie was an advocate of adopting pets from the shelter, including their own pet, Benji. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to either the Worcester County Humane Society, 12330 Eagle’s Nest Road, Berlin, Md. 21811 or The American Cancer Society Relay for Life of North Worcester, P.O. Box 1877, Salisbury, Md. 21802.


James Townsend Cropper

OCEAN CITY — James (Jim) Townsend Cropper, 86, passed away on Sept. 16, 2021.

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James Townsend Cropper

Jim was born in Ocean City to his late parents Thomas Quillen and Lura Edith Cropper. He was preceded in death by his wife, Laura (Carolyn) Cropper; brother Thomas J. Cropper; and sisters Ruth Witherspoon and Marian Lankford.

Jim is survived by his daughter, Terry McCabe of Berlin, and his granddaughter Lauren Bacco and her husband Stephen of Baltimore.
A Marine Corps veteran, he was stationed in Japan during the Korean War. After receiving an honorable discharge, Jim returned to Ocean City and joined his parents’ business, The Pioneer Hotel, formerly located on Somerset Street in Ocean City. Over the years he served his community as an ambulance driver, fire marshal, and volunteer firefighter with the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company. He worked as a lineman for Delmarva Power & Light and then retired from the United States Postal Service. During his retirement, he enjoyed nothing more than being outside working in his yard and caring for his animals.
A graveside service was held on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, at 11:30 am at Sunset Memorial Cemetery in Berlin with Reverend Olin Shockley officiating.
Donations in Jim’s memory may be made to the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company, 1409 Philadelphia Avenue, Ocean City, Md. 21842.
Condolences may be sent to the family at


Carol Jean Caldwell

OCEAN PINES — Carol Jean Caldwell, 82, passed away on Sept. 18, 2021 after a short illness.

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Carol Jean Caldwell

She was born Feb. 9, 1939 to Oscar and Evelyn Klaburner in Baltimore. Carol graduated from Eastern High School in 1956 and met the love of her life, Jack Edward Caldwell later the same year. They were married on Dec. 26, 1958. From that day until her passing, madly in love, they shared the type of bond that you read about in poetry. They created a beautiful full life together and had four children who she loved dearly. They are the late Pamela Mafera, Suzanne Gentile of St. John’s, Fla. (husband Rick Gentile), Robin Caldwell of Ocean Pines and Gregory Caldwell of Willards (wife JoLana Caldwell). In addition to her husband and children, she is survived by nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild, who all lovingly knew her as their “Grammie.”

Carol enjoyed her career as a corporate secretary for more than 20 years, but her passion was traveling. Carol and Jack were global explorers, seeing Asia, Fiji, North Africa and Bora Bora (where they renewed their vows) and her favorite spot in St. Maarten, where they vacationed for many years. She loved design and thoughtfully filled her home with beautiful keepsakes from her travels. When she wasn’t traveling the world, she enjoyed the beautiful beaches and waterways surrounding her home.

If you were lucky enough to spend a night out with the Caldwells at the yacht club, you would remember feeling an immediate urge to start dancing upon seeing a certain lively blonde lighting up the dance floor. She also had a wonderfully strong spirit, and you’d know this if you ever challenged her and the ladies of Ocean Pines to a game of tennis.

Carol was courageous and kind, with a bright smile and an infectious laugh. With a strong sense of community and faith, she and her husband believed in being of service to their community and always helping those in need. She brought joy to everyone fortunate enough to meet her, and will be missed by so many people.

Her funeral will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 26 at the Community Church of Ocean Pines, with the Reverend Dale Brown presiding. Visitation will start one hour before. Interment will follow at the Garden of the Pines. Donations can be made to Coastal Hospice in lieu of flowers.

Condolences may be sent by visiting


Joan Garner Smith

FENWICK ISLAND — Joan Garner Smith, age 80, died on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 surrounded by her children, at her home in Fenwick Island, Del.

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Joan Garner Smith

Born in Washington DC, she was the daughter of the late John and Virginia (Williams) Garner. She is survived by her children, Adam Craig Smith and his wife Denise of Salisbury, and Amy Smith-Wiech of Mokuleia, Oahu, Hawaii. There are four grandchildren, Evan and Jenna Smith and Keenan and Kailee Wiech. Also surviving are her siblings, twin sister Janet Crump and Joyce Garner, both of Silver Spring, Md., brother Jack Garner (Nancy) of Dover, Del., and brother-in-law Robert Sweetman of Glenwood, Md. She was preceded in death by a sister, Karen Garner Sweetman.

She was born in Washington, DC, attended Immaculata High School in DC, and continued to live in the Washington, DC area until relocating to her summer home in Fenwick Island, Del. in 1989. She attended St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Bethany Beach, Del.

She enjoyed trips to the casino with her sisters and friends, playing Trivia, and sitting by the water on the canal with an occasional glass of wine and some steamed shrimp. She also made a few trips to Hawaii to see her daughter and explore the Hawaiian islands.

A visitation will be held on Saturday, Sept. 25, from 10-11 a.m. the Burbage Funeral Home in Berlin. The service will be private. A donation may be made in her memory to: . Letters of condolence may be sent via: