Cover photo for Mrs. Lizzie Mae Dukes Guess's Obituary
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1942 Mrs. Lizzie Mae Dukes Guess 2023

Mrs. Lizzie Mae Dukes Guess

February 4, 1942 — May 31, 2023

Savannah, Georgia

Adams announces the passing of Mrs. Lizzie Mae Dukes Guess, 81, who transitioned on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at St. Joseph's Hospital. A Celebration of Life Service will be held 2:00 PM, Friday, June 9, 2023 in The Adams Chapel. The Public Viewing will be held from 4 PM - 6 PM, Thursday, June 8, 2023 at the funeral home. Interment: Cherokee Hill Cemetery.

The Obituary


Honoring A Life Well Lived


Lizzie Mae Dukes McCullough Guess Goldwire was born in Meinhard, Georgia on February 4, 1942 to Jesse Dukes and Elizabeth Murphy Dukes. She was baptized at Townsley Chapel AME Church. She attended Tompkins High School where she graduated in 1960. While matriculating, she was a member of the high school chorus and singer with the Ever Ready Gospel Singers.


Upon graduation, she wed and moved to Little Rock, Arkansas where her husband served in the United States Air Force and was stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base. To their union, two children were born – William H. McCullough, Jr and Sylathia Denise McCullough. They were affectionately called Billy and Sissie.


She later married. To this union, three children were born – Henry Spencer Guess, Leslie Elizabeth Guess, and Natalie Fay Guess. In Little Rock, she was employed by Brown Meat Packing Plant. In 1972, Lizzie Mae and her five children moved back to her hometown of Savannah, Georgia where she was raised since age four.


From youth and into adulthood, she participated in civic duty. Her involvements included being a campaign manager for a political campaign, fieldwork for the NAACP, attending Baptist conventions, and singing in the Savannah State College Chorus and Savannah Concert Chorale. She ensured that her children were involved in church, civics, and politics. She graduated from Savannah State College in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.


Lizzie Mae married, and she and her husband ran a business in the late 70s and 80s. Called Andrew Goldwire Building Construction Company, they provided jobs to numerous men in the community. She was also a poll manager for the Chatham County Board of Elections for many years. She was the official historian for the Dukes-Murphy-Burgess Family Reunion which began in 1978 and continues to this day.  


Her home on East 33rd and Live Oak was the epicenter of love and joy. It was bustling with nonstop activity. Whenever friends and family came to town, it was at Lizzie Mae’s house that everyone congregated. There were crab boils and oyster roasts in the back yard, Fish Frys, fried chicken dinners served inside of the home, an exciting block party that required neighbor and county approval to block off the street, and so much more.  


She was a regal, elegant, graceful, strong, resilient, caring, and phenomenal woman of God. To know her was to love her. She liked to read, travel, take cruises, sew, participate in Bible Study, volunteer at her senior high-rise homes, and play solitaire with the actual playing cards. Quite computer savvy, she would play the game on her computer and cell phone. But more than anything, she loved being with her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and family members. She was fiercely protective of them and supported them in all they did.


On Wednesday, May 31, 2023, she quietly slipped away from her earthly loved ones and entered into the heavenly presence of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She was preceded in death by her father Jesse Dukes, mother Elizabeth Murphy Dukes, stepmother Carrie Bell “Big Mama” Dukes, brothers Robert Dukes, Jesse Dukes, Charles Dukes, Nathaniel Dukes, and Arthur Dukes, sister Ella Mae Dukes Miller, niece Tonya Lynette Goldwire, and grandson Tommy Lee Reese III.  


Those who cherish her loving memory are her children: William H. McCullough, Jr. (Marsha), Sylathia McCullough Johnson (Edward), Henry Spencer Guess, Leslie Guess Royal (Tony), and Natalie Guess Reese. Brother: James Franklin Dukes (Donna), Sister: Lula Dukes Gray (William).


Grandchildren: Jesse Oglesby (Ginnie), Antasha Royal Wilson (Julius), Ernestine McCullough Johnson, Prince Phillip Guess (Cherelle), Anthony Jay Royal II, Kayla Rae Majors, Zeddrick Lamarn Pope, Sr., LeTonya Denise Reese, Treneal C. Banks, Quinntin C. McCullough (Demonica), Randon C. McCullough (Jordan), and Cameron C. McCullough (Jackie).


Great Grandchildren: Gabbrielle, Camille, Jesse, William, Eva, Cher’rish, Cortez, Par’rish, Ezra, Eden, Quinntin Jr, Parker, Alex, Landen, Aston, Lovell, Aiden, Jacey, Alani, Zeddrick Jr, and Kedei. Numerous relatives and friends, including nephew David Dukes (Phylisha), dear friend Pamela Gray, and sister-in-love Pastor Haydee Mincey Dukes have been impacted by her extraordinary life.



To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mrs. Lizzie Mae Dukes Guess, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, June 8, 2023

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Celebration of Life

Friday, June 9, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Friday, June 9, 2023

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