SAVANNAH, Ga. -
Paula Deen’s younger brother, Earl “Bubba” Wayne Hiers Jr., died Thursday from pancreatic cancer. He was 65.
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“Bubba was the greatest brother who was loved by so many people,” Deen, 72, said in a statement to People. “We will miss him dearly.”
Hiers, Deen’s only sibling, grew up in Albany, Georgia. He owned a landscaping business but sold it to follow Deen to Savannah to help launch her cooking franchise.
The entrepreneur served as Deen’s business partner at their restaurant Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House in Savannah, which abruptly closed in 2014. The space is now occupied by Deen’s newest restaurant, Paula Deen’s Creek House.
Hiers was also a cookbook author. He penned “Uncle Bubba’s Savannah Seafood,” which was released in 2007. Deen wrote the foreword.
Hiers is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Corrie and Brian Rooks; and a grandson, Sullivan Way Rooks. He was preceded in death by his son, Jay Paul Hiers.