Bessie Neele (Oliver) Rich

Born: Wed., Mar. 11, 1931
Died: Mon., May 6, 2019


5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Wed., May 08, 2019
Location: Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors

Funeral Service

11:00 AM Thu., May 09, 2019
Location: Swainboro First Baptist Church


Location: Swainsboro City Cemetery

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Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors announces the death of Mrs. Bessie Neele Rich, age 88,    of Swainsboro, GA, on Monday, May 6, 2019 at her residence.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, May 9, 2019, at 11:00 AM, at the Swainsboro First Baptist Church with Rev. Dr. Robert Blankenship officiating, assisted by Rev. Casey Shaw.

Mrs. Rich will lie in state at the church one hour prior to the service.

The family will receive friends at the Funeral Home on Wednesday evening, May 8, 2019 from 5:00 until 7:00 PM.

Interment will be in the Swainsboro City Cemetery.

Honorary Escorts will be Ken Fields, Duncan Fields, Geri Fields, David Morgan, Freddie McVey and Donnie Wilson.

Mrs. Rich was born on March 11, 1931, in Swainsboro, GA, to the late Rollie Lee Oliver and Irene Katherine Smith Oliver Sherrod.  Mrs. Rich was a Dental Hygienist for over 59 years, she was a member of the Swainsboro First Baptist Church for 78 years, during which time she taught Sunday School and was a member of WMU for a number of those years.  She was very active in all church activities and she and her husband, Wyatt, enjoyed participating with the “Happy Rovers” at the church.  Mrs. Rich organized the Swainsboro Jaycettes; was scorekeeper for the Dixie Youth League for over thirty years and served in the Ladies Auxiliary and was District Director for the Dixie Youth League.  In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her step-father, Cecil Sherrod and one sister, Mattie Lee Fields.

Survivors include:

Her Husband:  Wyatt Rich of Swainsboro, GA

One Daughter:  Kathy R. Fowler (Bruce) of Moultrie, GA

One Son:  David Rich of Swainsboro, GA

Two Grand Daughters:  Kelley Smith and Kaitlyn Smith both of Bend, Oregon

Condolences may be submitted on-line at

Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements for the funeral of Mrs. Bessie Neele Rich of Swainsboro, GA.


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Betty Rich Clements
   Posted Mon May 06, 2019
So Sorry to learn of Bessie Neele's death. She was a very special person and dear to me as well as Bobby. Lamar joins me in sending our sympathy. With our love and prayers.

Phil & Cel Thompson
   Posted Mon May 06, 2019
So Sorry for your loss...I loved Miss Bessie Neal pet

Danette Davis
   Posted Tue May 07, 2019
Kathy, My thoughts and prayers will be with you now and the coming times.
You are a lot like your Mama and you even sound like her. Hold on to your father, Bruce and the girls. They will be a source of comfort to you.

White Family
   Posted Wed May 08, 2019
Our condolences to the Rich Family. We were sorry to hear of your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time. May God give you all the strength, comfort and peace you need, as we all wait on better days ahead (Revelation 32: 3, 4).

Rev. Warren & Joy Gilpin
   Posted Fri June 07, 2019
Dear Ones,
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Bessie Neil, She was my mother's Geraldine Edenfield Gilpin's best friend all through school. They remained friends until my mothers death in 2005. One of the best stories that my mother told was the time that Bessie Neil broke her arm and my mother helped her with her school work. I have been honored to be acquainted with this Family all of my life. I am sure there was a glorious reunion in heaven. Kathy Joy and I live in Moultrie we teach at C.A.Gray. If you need anything let us know.