Sunday, September 19, 2021
Surviving are Her husband, Carlton Jackson; daughter and spouse, Judy Edgeworth and Billy Joe Durham; son and spouse, Alvin William Edgeworth and Amanda Roulane; granddaughter, Brittaney Edgeworth; grandson, Zachary Edgeworth; brother, Dennis Milam; beloved dog, Ginzo Jackson.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, September 22nd, at 2:00 P.M. from the J. D. Hill Memorial Chapel of Earle Rainwater Funeral Home, with Mr. Robert Wood officiating, interment in Berryton Cemetery. Active Pallbearers, Billy Joe Durham, Zachary Edgeworth, Wayne Keef, David Ward, Jerry Crabtree, Kevin Ball. The Family will receive friends Wednesday from 12:00 noon until 2:00 P.M. at the Funeral Home.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Mrs. Patsy S. Jackson who passed away Saturday.
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Surviving are His wife, Colleen Swift; daughter, Barbara Swift; son David (Mary) Swift, Jr.; sisters, Margaret Crepes and Marie Pierce; brothers, James Arnold Swift and Kenneth Michael Swift; grandchildren, Destinee Swift, Serenity Swift, and Autumn Swift; several Nieces and Nephews.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Mr. David Allen Swift, Sr.
Monday, September 13, 2021
Surviving in addition to Parents are, paternal grandparents, Wayne Abercrombie, Ashley Abercrombie, and Bethany Eastling; maternal grandparents, Cindy Catir and Mark Catir; great grandparents, Maryann Russell, Patricia Abercrombie, Lawana Hill, Kelly Habard, and Lamar White; several Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins.
Private funeral service Monday, September 13th, from the J. D. Hill Memorial Chapel of Earle Rainwater Funeral Home.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Little Roseleigh Abercrombie, who passed away September 8, 2021.
MR. EDDIE LIVELY, age 64, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, formerly of Summervile, passed away August 24, 2021 in Ponte Vedra Beach. He was born in Summerville on June 11, 1957, was self employed in Construction, and was Baptist by Faith. Mr. Lively was preceded in death by a sister, the late Kay Casey.
Survivors include His mother, Polly Gilbreath of Summerville; son-Michael (Page) Bradley of Winchester, KY.; grandchildren, Brooke Bradley and Sidney Bradley; brother, Mark Gilbreath; special friend, Libby Night; three Nieces and one Nephew also survive.
A memorial will be held Wednesday, September 15th, at 6:00 P.M. from the J. D. Hill Memorial Chapel of Earle Rainwater Funeral Home, with Rev. Sean Wegener officiating.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Mr. Eddie Lively.
Monday, September 6, 2021
Surviving are his wife, Raquel Pace; mother, Gail Pace; daughter, Andi Pace; son, Austin Pace; stepchildren, Laura, Jimmy, and Jessie Gowan; his only sister, Leigh Little; niece, Courtney Little, and nephew, Blake Little.
Memorial service will be held Friday, September 10th, at 11:00 A.M. from the Lyerly First Baptist Church; immediately following the Memorial service there will be a time of sharing memories, with Family and Friends in the Church Fellowship Hall.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Mr. Lane Pace, who passed away Sunday.
Saturday, September 4, 2021
Mr. Winstead was born December 19, 1930. He was the son of the late Dr. Ellis G. Winstead, Sr. and Anne Murphy Winstead. In addition to his mother and father, he was predeceased by his two sisters, Leah Dae W. (James) Younce and Anne W. (Charles) Clark and their husbands.
Mr. Winstead is survived by his wife, Julia S. Winstead; his sons, E. Grey (Faye) Winstead, III and David R. Winstead; and, a daughter, Cynthia (Michael) Stephens. Ellis has four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, six great-great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Ellis married his childhood sweetheart, "Julie." They fell in love at the tender age of 7 (Ellis) and 6 (Julie), and they often told the story of how Julie would ride on the handlebars of Ellis's bike in the little town of Belhaven, North Carolina, where they were raised. They remained sweethearts through his school years at Fork Union Military Academy, VA and her school years in Pantego, NC. Ellis married Julie in 1952, the same year he graduated from NC State University with a degree in civil engineering. Soon after, he entered the Air Force, serving during the Korean War. In 1953, they began raising a family of their own.
After the Air Force, Ellis worked in the home construction industry and fire insurance underwriting field before settling into a career as a life insurance agent in the early 1960s. Over his six decades in life insurance, he served many clients, most of whom stayed with him until their deaths and then helped the families settle their estates.
Many of his clients and fellow agents became lifelong friends and they shared many adventures together camping, fishing, houseboating on Lake Lanier, raising children, enjoying the fruits of their labors, and helping neighbors in their north Atlanta communities.
In 2003, Ellis and Julie moved from Atlanta to Summerville to join their eldest son, Grey, and his family in the Teloga community. They built a new home on Grey’s farm, and Ellis learned how to become a remote, digitally engaged life insurance agent, long before remote working was the norm. He worked until his failing vision made it too difficult to see and gave up his last two clients in 2020.
Ellis loved working with his hands and used his at-home "shop" to build and repair everything from furniture to boats to electronics. He loved all kinds of fishing and boating. He loved telling jokes and having a good laugh. He loved his family and friends, and they loved him. Most of all he loved the only sweetheart of his life, his wife of 69 years, Julie. He will be missed by all who came to know him. His family is imagining him sharing a laugh with the Almighty as they wait for our arrival one day. Memorial contributions made to Beersheba Presbyterian Church.
The Rainwater Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Memorial and celebration of life services will be announced at a later date.
Thursday, September 2, 2021
MRS. ANNIE HENDRIX MCCARY, age 101, of Bethel Church Road, Summerville, Georgia, passed away Wednesday, September 1, 2021, at Her residence. A life long resident of Chattooga County, Georgia, She was born to the late Walter Dewitt and Stella Mae Hix Hendrix on February 21, 1920. Mrs. McCary was preceded in death by her husband, the late Marvin Franklin McCary and Siblings, the late Elmer Hendrix, Frank Hendrix, the late Robert Hendrix, and the late Rev. Charles Hendrix. She was a member of Bethel United Methodist Church.
Surviving are Her son, Dennis (Becky) McCary; granddaughter, Ashley Treadaway; grandson, Shawn (Kellie) McCary; great grandchildren, Caden Blalock, Gracie Treadaway, Colton McCary, Addie Treadaway, Eme McCary, Colby Treadaway, several Nieces and Nephews also survive.
Funeral services will be held Sunday, September 5th, at 2:00 P.M. from the Bethel United Methodist Church with Rev. Jody Brock officiating, interment in Summerville Cemetery. Active Pallbearers, Danny Herlong, Justin Baker, Bobby Reeves, David McCary, Rodney Jones, and John Dawson; Honorary Pallbearers, Billy Culberson, Chris Thompson, Jimmy Hix, Leroy Sweatmen, Kevin Espy, Hayden Burdick, Quinn Simpson, and Mike Dawson. Visitation will be Saturday from 5 until 7 P.M. at the Funeral Home. The Family request no flowers, suggests contributions to Bethel United Methodist Church or the Young Farmers Association.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Mrs. Annie Hendrix McCary who passed away Wednesday.
Surviving are daughter, Megan Maelyn Palmer; sisters, Nelda Lindsey, Denise Ramey (John Paul), Tina Hearlson (Gerald), Jacqueline Kay Bates (Jerome), Deborah Terry, Lisa Knowles, Marie Fair, Alecia McGuire; brothers, Danny Colbert, Kenneth Colbert, Michael Colbert, Kenneth Bates, Randy Bates, Chance Bates; special friend, Jessica Terry; several Nieces and Nephews also survive.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, September 4th, at 11:00 A.M. from the J. D. Hill Memorial Chapel of Earle Rainwater Funeral Home with Rev. Ricky Studdard officiating, interment in Dogwood Memorial Garden. Visitation will be Friday from 6 until 8 P.M. at the Funeral Home.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Ms. Linda Joan Hathcock who passed away Wednesday.
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
MR. SONNY TINNEY, age 87, of Allen Street, Summerville, Georgia passed away Tuesday morning, August 31, 2021, at his residence. He was born in Berryton, Georgia on April 11, 1934 to the late John Edward and Mattie Calista Whitehead Tinney. Mr. Tinney was Baptist by Faith and retired from the tufting department of Mohawk Mill. In addition to Parents He was preceded in death by siblings-Johnny Tinney, Bobby Tinney, Mildred Newsome, Mary Ruth Masters, and Barbara Tinney.
Surviving are His wife, Marlene Tinney; daughters, Wanda (Dale) Bain and Phyllis (Mike) Odom; grandchildren, Melissa (Paul) Chamlee, Bucky Joe (Carla) Chisolm, Chris Bain, and Kevin Bain; 10 Great Grandchildren; several Nieces and Nephews.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, September 2nd, at 4:00 P.M. from the J. D. Hill Memorial Chapel of Earle Rainwater Funeral Home with Rev.’s Harold Helton, Gary Howell, and Mike Odom officiating, interment in Lyerly Cemetery. Active Pallbearers Bucky Chisolm, Chris Bain, Kevin Bain, Paul Chamlee, Kimbren Dowdy, and Ricky Biddle; Honorary Pallbearers, Eddy Hawkins, Billy Joe Lee, Bob Roper, Ewell Price, Jerry Purdy, Charles McClain, Rex Jones, Ray Lee, and Charles Millican. The Family will receive friends Thursday from 2 until 4 P.M. at the Funeral Home.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Mr. Sonny Tinney who died Tuesday.
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Surviving are her husband, T. C. Pledger; daughter and spouse, Connie and Othell Stone; sons and spouses, Steve and Jill Pledger and Tommy and Kim Pledger; grandchildren, Amanda Long, Justin Stone, Leslie Boston, Brianna Stone, Zach Pledger, Lann Pledger, Trevor Pledger, and Natalie Burdick; Twenty Great Grandchildren; several Nieces and Nephews.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, August 28th, at 3:00 P.M. from the J. D. Hill Memorial Chapel of Earle Rainwater Funeral Home with Steve Pledger, Tommy Pledger and Rev. Ken Johnson officiating, Interment in Perennial Springs Cemetery. Active Pallbearers will be Justin Stone, Zach Pledger, Lann Pledger, Trevor Pledger, Andy Long, and Tyler Burdick. The Family will receive friends Saturday afternoon from 1 until 3 p.m. at the Funeral Home.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Mrs. Dorothy Beatrice Dooley Pledger who pass away Thursday.
Saturday, August 21, 2021
MRS. DONNA MORGAN LONG, age 61, of Summerville, Georgia, passed away Friday afternoon, August 20, 2021, in a Rome Hospital. A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, she was born on September 6, 1959, to the late George Morgan, Sr. and Edith Morgan. She was a Homemaker and member of Life Purpose Church in Summerville. Mrs. Long was preceded in death by her Parents, and siblings, George Morgan, Jr., Linda Morgan, Jennifer Morgan, Jimmy Morgan, Archie Morgan, Mary Jo Hamilton, and Christine Morgan.
Surviving are husband, Charlie Long; children, Morgan Long, Aaron Long, Zadin Long; sister-in-law, Donna Faye Morgan; several Nieces and Nephews also survive.
Funeral Service will be held Sunday, August 22, 2021 at 4 p.m. from the J.D. Hill Memorial Chapel of Earle Rainwater Funeral Home with LeBron Long and Jeff Shaver officiating. Active Pallbearers will be Jay Morgan, Trevor Morgan, Natiel Morgan, Justin Hamilton, Damien Hamilton, Thomas Hamilton, LaBron Morgan Jaron Morgan, Chad Morgan. Honorary Pallbearers will be Danny Hester, Ronnie Jackson, Jerry Jackson, Denny Smith, Tom Russell, Sammy Barrett, and Members of Life Purpose Church. The family will receive friends on Sunday from 2 until the hour of service at the Funeral Home. The Family respectfully requests all in attendance to services wear face coverings and sanitize hands frequently and in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the “Santa In Uniform” organization
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Mrs. Donna Morgan Long who passed away on Friday.
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Billie Jean Burns Jennings, beloved only child of the late Billie George Burns and Cornelia Dial
Burns, passed away in her sleep on August 13. She was married to her husband, Ralls Jennings for 69 years before he passed away 6 weeks earlier. She was the mother of 3 children, Luci Jennings, Russ Jennings (Linda), and Don Jennings (deceased). Her grandchildren are Julie King, Evan Webb, Jeanna Edgerton, Belle Jennings, Lucas Jennings, Remy Jennings, Jesse Jennings, Matthew Jennings, and Holly Jennings.
She and Ralls, almost inseparable for 70 years, raised a close-knit family while running a business and experiencing places all over the world. Due to military service, education, and job changes, the early years of marriage saw them living in Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and Florida before settling down in Trion, Georgia in 1965. Billie worked as Church Secretary at Trion First Baptist Church, her church home for all her years in Trion.
In 1972, Ralls and Billie started J Bar Corporation. Billie was the original employee and handled the financial aspects of the business while also helping raise her grandchildren when they came along. As their parents worked at J Bar, the grandchildren would stay with Billie at her office at J Bar.
Billie and Ralls loved to travel and see other places and people. Business trips included visiting China, Denmark, Italy, and Spain in addition to places all over the U.S. The older grandchildren fondly remember accompanying their grandparents on trips to St. George Island, Mexico, and Europe.
Mexico held a special charm for them. They made several family trips there in the late 1960’s and then moved to Saltillo, Mexico after their retirement in 1996. After Mexico, they lived in Midtown Atlanta for several years, then Marietta before coming back to Trion a few years ago. Her last months were spent in the Memory Care at The Spires at Berry College where she charmed the staff with her smile and good spirit.
Billie Jennings will be remembered for her love and devotion to her husband, Ralls, and her children and grandchildren as well as for her upbeat nature and bright smile that touched all who knew her.
The family will have a private gathering to celebrate her life.
Thanks to our friend, Elvia Berry, for her care of Billie and her friendship to the entire family.
Thanks to Tracey Rogers and the other nurses at Heyman Hospice.
We appreciate the care and support she was given by the staff in memory care at The Spires at Berry College.
Memorial donations may be made to the Chattooga County Library.
MS. JADEN LEIGH MITCHELL, age 22, of Summerville, Georgia passed away unexpectedly Friday, August 13, 2021, at her residence. She was born in Rome, Georgia on March 8, 1999; a daughter of Jamie and Tammy Mitchell. Ms. Mitchell was former convenience store clerk; she was preceded in death by grand father, the late Charles Milstead.
Surviving are parents, Jamie and Tammy Mitchell; sisters, Haylee Henderson, Annabelle Grissett, and Jamie Mitchell; brothers, Austin (Natalie) Mitchell and Derek (Danika) Mitchell; grandparents, Charlotte Milstead, Steve and Melinda Grissett, Thomas and Kathleen Silvers, and Peggy Mitchell; several Aunts, Uncles, Nieces, Nephews, and Cousins also survive.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, August 19th, at 2:00 P.M. from the J. D. Hill Memorial Chapel of Earle Rainwater Funeral Home with Rev. Ricky Biddle officiating; Active Pallbearers Sheriff Mark Schrader, Chief Deputy Kevin Woods, Brian Tucker, Nick Robinson, Chad Spraggins, and Wendell Flood; interment in Little Sand Mountain Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday from 6 until 8 P.M. at the Funeral Home.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Sheree Vallejo, T. J. Wilson, Levi Wilson, Michelle Chamlee, Michael Terrell, Daniel Terrell, Miriam Wilson, Michael Mcateer, Paul Wilson several great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Officiating will be Pastor Gary Howell.
Saturday, August 7, 2021
Surviving are daughter, Tracy Duvall; son and spouse, Harold Dewayne & Ruby Allmond; step children, Gail Cook, Edith Dendy, and Barbara Dupree; several Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren, Nieces and Nephews also survive.
Funeral services will be held Monday, August 9th, at 11:00 A.M. from the Beersheba Presbyterian Church with Rev. Ken Johnson and Rev. Jennifer Lee officiating, interment in Chattooga Baptist Cemetery. Active Pallbearers will be Eric Waller, David Duvall, David Keen, Zack White. The Family will receive friends at Earle Rainwater Funeral Home, Sunday evening from 5 until 8 P. M.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Mr. Samuel Harold Barclay Allmond who passed away Friday.
Friday, July 23, 2021
Surviving are husband, Michael T. Tucker; daughters, Tanja Evans and Kimberly Blackmon; sister, Bonnie Teems; brother, Danny Ingram; four Grandchildren, eighteen Great Grandchildren, four Great Great Grandchildren, several Nieces and Nephews also survive.
Funeral service will be held Sunday, July 25th, at 3:00 P.M. from the Harold Street Church of God with Rev. Rockland Hughes and Danny Hester officiating, interment in West Hill Cemetery. Active Pallbearers, Merrick Touchstone, Cameron Lyons, Carson Keen, Michael Lyons, D. J. Chapman, and Josh Hines. Visitation will be Sunday 2 until 3 P.M. at the Church prior to Funeral service.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Thursday, July 22, 2021
Surviving are His wife, Charlotte Brown; sons and spouse’s, Scottie and Rhonda Brown, Guy Brown, and Gregory and Tammy Brown; sister, Leila Brown Ward; Five Grandchildren, Four Great Grandchildren; several Nieces and Nephews also survive.
Graveside service will be held Saturday, July 24th, at 11:00 A.M. from Summerville Cemetery, with Rev. Ralph Sumner, Rev. Barry Brown, and Rev. Jason Lee officiating.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Mr. Freddy L. Brown who passed away Wednesday.
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Surviving are mother and step father, Rose and Don Siders of Lincoln City, Org.; father-Vester Virgle (PeeWee) Peoples of Orange County, Fl.; sisters, Carol Sue (James) Epperson of Sylacauga, Al. and Juanita (William Eugene) Bryson of Summerville; brother, Donald Hulsey of Summerville; special extended family/friends, Bud and Diane Crowe, Robert and Debbie Bryant, and Darlene Hughes; several Nieces and Nephews also survive.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday, August 4, 2021, at 1:00 P.M. from the J. D. Hill Memorial Chapel of Earle Rainwater Funeral Home.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Friday, July 16, 2021
Thelma lived a rich and full life. In the 1930s her mother walked with her through the woods from her home on Friendship Church Road to attend the one room Talley School on West Sandtown Road. Later on, Thelma attended McEachern School. She was employed with Bell Aircraft during the years of World War II. She eloped with the love of her life, “Joeby,” on Christmas Eve, 1943. Henceforth, Thelma devoted her life to her role as wife, mother, and grandmother.
In her later years, "Ms. Thelma" was known for her smile, her sense of style, and her sassy spunk. She was a member of McEachern United Methodist Church in Powder Springs for over 50 years. Since November 2018 she resided at the Oakview Nursing Home in Summerville, GA, where she was known affectionately as “Flossie.” Many thanks to the staff who witnessed our mother’s unfailing sense of humor, and took care of her in life as well as in death.
Thelma was a woman of faith who said many times over how blessed she was, and that she was looking forward to seeing her husband again. She left specific instructions for there to be no sadness. So we celebrate her life. Celebrate with us by wearing orange (her favorite color), reading a book (her favorite pastime), or eating a white kit kat (her favorite candy bar).
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in Summerville, GA is in charge of arrangements. The funeral is graveside only at the Macland Cemetery in Powder Springs, GA., Wednesday, July 21 at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to McEachern Methodist Church in her memory.
Friday, July 9, 2021
Surviving are his wife, Tina Pickle; mother, Jeanette Pickle; daughter, Sissy Robinson; sons, Todd Pickle and Joshua Pickle; grandchildren, Samuel Rutledge, Kirsten Rutledge, Cheyenne Pickle, Jesse Pickle, A. J. Reed, Spencer Reed, Jace Robinson, Brantley Robinson, and Ava Robinson; sisters, Cynthia Pruitt and Jennifer Pickle; brothers, William Pickle, Jonathan Pickle, Mike Pickle, Jeremy Pickle, Jerome Pickle, and Seth Pickle; several nieces and nephews also survive.
Funeral services will be held Sunday, July 11th, at 2:00 p.m. from the J. D. Hill Memorial Chapel of Earle Rainwater Funeral Home with Pastor Larry Reynolds and Gerald Haygood officiating, interment in Lyerly Cemetery. Active Pallbearers Samuel Rutledge, Jesse Pickle, Dakota Lewis, Andrew Bennett, Jason Rutledge, and Spencer Reed; Honorary Pallbearers, Jason Hambrick, Daniel Robinson, Jerry Bennett and Austin Haygood. The family will receive friends Saturday from 5 until 8 p.m. at the Funeral Home. In Lieu of flowers, contributions to the family.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Mr. Christopher Todd Pickle, Sr. who passed away Thursday.
Monday, July 5, 2021
NOLAND DEWAYNE WHITE, age 71 of Summerville, passed away on Sunday, July 4, 2021. He was born on December 2, 1949, a son of the late Charles White and Evelyn Rogers White. Mr. White was a member of Teloga Baptist Church, a Veteran of the United States Marines serving during the Vietnam War. He was a Sheet Rock Finisher by trade and member of Lyerly Lodge #338 F&AM. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Steve White and Dale White.
Surviving are his wife, Patsy Kirby White; son, Jaylen White; brothers, Roger White and Lowell White. Several nieces and nephews also survive.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 at 2 p.m. from the Teloga Baptist Church with Rev. Tony Weaver officiating. Interment will be in the Summerville Cemetery. Active Pallbearers will be Johnny Gentry, Gene Brown, Steve Rhinehart, Ted Deberry, Leon Parris, and Eugene Ellenburg. Honorary Pallbearers will be Members of the Teloga Baptist Church. The family will receive friends Tuesday from 12 noon until the hour of service at the Teloga Baptist Church.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Mr. Noland Dewayne White who passed away Sunday.
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
A unique person who led an interesting life, the focus of Ralls’ life was always his love of Billie. Together, they raised a family, started a business, and saw a lot of the world. While Ralls served stateside in the U.S. Air Force during the last years of the Korean war, they began their family with the birth of Luci. Despite having a young family, Ralls worked part time and, with help from the GI Bill, earned a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Alabama to become the first college graduate in his family. 2 sons were added to the family as he worked several jobs throughout the southeast before the family settled in Trion in 1965 when Ralls became Plant Engineer at Riegel Textile.
In 1972, Ralls and Billie started J Bar Corporation. J Bar became a true family business as all their children worked there and most of the grandchildren were kept there as babies and toddlers by their grandmother, Billie, as she and their parents worked. Today it is being run by the third generation of the family and their children are growing up in the office as their parents and grandmother, Luci, work.
A self-taught artist, Ralls began painting in his early 30’s and continued into his 80’s. He produced over 200 paintings, many of which are proudly displayed in the homes of his children and grandchildren. You can see a catalog of his work at rallsjennings.com.
Ralls and Billie loved to travel and see other cultures. Beginning in the late 60’s when they took the family across Mexico in a pickup truck, they traveled abroad regularly and lived in Mexico for a few years when they were in their 60’s. Business was often the reason for travel as they visited companies in Italy, Denmark, Spain, and China that J Bar traded with. Travel and business led Ralls to study foreign languages and when needed, he could do business or order dinner in Spanish, Italian, and French.
After returning from their Mexico phase, they moved to Midtown Atlanta, where they owned several properties that they rented to young professionals and grad students. Although he never really retired, Ralls concentrated a lot of his painting while in Midtown. Always very active, both Ralls and Billie enjoyed walking the streets of Atlanta, a couple in their 70’s amid all the bustle of the young in the city.
The last few years, Ralls showed his devotion to Billie after the progression of her dementia. The man who had seldom cooked and never cleaned, took over the entire running of their lives from shopping to cooking and cleaning and taking complete care of her physical needs by himself. Only in the last 2 years did they move back to Trion to be near family. On his last day, just seeing Billie seemed to ease his suffering and bring calmness to his mind.
The family will have a private gathering to celebrate the life of their patriarch. Thanks to our friend, Elvia Berry, for her care and support of Ralls and Billie and her friendship to the entire family.
Thanks to Tracey Rogers and the other nurses at Heyman Hospice. We appreciate the care and support he was given by the staff in assisted living at The Spires at Berry College.
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Surviving are Her daughter, Tassie (Tony) Kirby Bane; sons, Ryan Kirby and Colton Kirby; sisters, Nelda Lindsey, Denise Ramey (John Paul), Tina Hearlson (Gerald), Jacqueline Kay Bates (Jerome), Linda Joan Hathcock, Deborah Terry, Lisa Knowles, Marie Fair, Alecia McGuire and Nischa Whitaker; brothers, Danny Colbert, Kenneth Colbert, Michael Colbert, Kenneth Bates, Randy Bates, Chance Bates; grandchildren, Madison Green, Devin Kirby, Zeppelin Kirby, Shianne Cisson, Anthony Bane, Drew Bane, and Aiden Bane.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, July 1st, at 11:00 A.M. from the J. D. Hill Memorial Chapel of Earle Rainwater Funeral Home with Rev. Tracy Espy officiating, interment in Dogwood Hills Memorial Garden. Active Pallbearers Zach Bates, James Colbert, Anthony Hogue, Dwight Ponder, Steven Hamby, Jason Lindsey, R. J. (Peko) Brown, and Joshua Bates; Honorary Pallbearers Madison Green, Devin Kirby, and Chase Tucker. Visitation will be Wednesday from 6 until 8 P.M. at the Funeral Home.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Ms. Mary Opal Mer Mer Kirby, who passed away Sunday.
Surviving are daughters, Brandi Pierce, Kassie Pierce, and Ashley Pickle; father, Bert Hathcock; sister, Tina Hathcock; brothers, Tim Hathcock, Vernon Ash, and Michael Hathcock; seven Grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, June 30th, at 11:00 A.M. from the J. D. Hill Memorial Chapel of Earle Rainwater Funeral Home with Rev. Steve Collins officiating, interment in West Hill Cemetery. Active Pallbearers Tim Hathcock, Vernon Ash, Caleb Rhinehart, Ben Pickle, Kenny Ledford, Shane Elrod, Gregory Green, and Richard Milstead; Honorary Pallbearers Tristan Ash, Caden Ash, Cody Boyd, Austin Hathcock. Visitation will be Wednesday from 10 til 11 A.M. at the Funeral Home.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Ms. Shannon Ydean Pierce.
Saturday, June 26, 2021
Surviving are son, Johnny Foster; granddaughters, Arsinoe, Georgia, Marley, and Kalija; brothers, Jason Baker and Nicholas Dooley.
Funeral service will be held Wednesday, June 30th, at 1:00 P.M. from the J. D. Hill Memorial Chapel of Earle Rainwater Funeral Home with Rev. Melvin Moseley officiating. Visitation will be Wednesday from 12 noon until 1:00 P.M. at the Funeral Home.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Ms. Shannon Leah Baker, who passed away Wednesday.
Surviving are his wife, Patricia Tudor Dawson; son, Ben (Ashley Hill) Dawson; brothers, Earl Dawson and Melvin Dawson; grandchildren, Tristan Dawson, Trent Dawson and Tripp Dawson. Several nieces and nephews also survive.
Funeral service will be held on Sunday, June 27, 2021 at 4:30 pm from the J.D. Hill Memorial Chapel of Earle Rainwater Funeral Home with Rev. Ray Teems officiating. Interment in the Fisher’s Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery. Active Pallbearers will be Ben Dawson, Tristan Dawson, Trent Dawson, Kevin Espy, Eli Espy and Craig Sanford. Visitation will be Sunday from 3:30 – 4:30 at the Funeral Home.
Earle Rainwater in charge of arrangements for Roger Wayne Dawson who passed away Friday.
Friday, June 25, 2021
Surviving are his daughters, Marlene (Neal) Ashmore and Denane (Ray) Caldwell; son, Billy Joe Durham (Judy May Edgeworth); step son, Michael (Wanda) Barnes, ten grandchildren, several great grandchildren and special friend, Regina Loveless.
Funeral service will be held on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at 2 p.m. from the Freedom Fellowship Church with Ray Caldwell and Steve Collins officiating, Interment in Macedonia Cemetery. Active Pallbearers will be Eathen Caldwell, Jacob Caldwell, Jeffery Caldwell, Ray Ray Caldwell, Billy Ray Collins and Bobby Joe Durham. Honorary Pallbearers will be Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren, Justin Durham, Pete Huggins, Scotty Caldwell, Justin Durham and Steve Lawson. Mr. Durham will be in state at the residence of a daughter, Denane and Ray Caldwell, #1022 Martin Street, Summerville, Georgia after 5:00 P.M. Sunday.
Earle Rainwater in charge of arrangements for Roy Eugene Durham who passed away Thursday.
Marty is survived by his son, Clint (Megan) Strange, two grandchildren, Emma and Eli of Acworth, GA, and his ex-wife, Gail Cook. Also surviving are two brothers, Lewis Strange of Trion, GA and Bobby Strange of Birmingham, AL, two sisters, Pat Brison of Holand, GA and Sally Strange of Summerville, GA, several nieces and nephews and also four beloved dogs, Barney, Sam, Emma, and Cindy.
Marty was an avid reader, loved to snorkel, and rescued and adopted many dogs during his lifetime. He enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and visiting Little River Canyon and Fort Walton Beach.
The family is planning a private memorial to honor his life at a later date.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements for Marty Ray Strange who passed away Wednesday.
CHRISTOPHER SCOTT MONTGOMERY, 37 of Trion passed away Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Mr. Montgomery was born on January 26, 1984 in Rome, Georgia, son of Jeffery Scott Montgomery and Emily Diane Warren Mountain. He was a member of the Trion Harvest Worship Center and was employed with Mohawk on the wash line.
Surviving are his mother, Emily Diane Mountain; children, Karter Montgomery and Briar Montgomery; fiancée, Hannah Filyow; sister, Amber Hines; niece Emily Hines.
Funeral service will be held Monday, June 28, 2021 at 2 p.m. from the J.D. Hill Memorial Chapel of Earle Rainwater Funeral Home with Mark Crowe officiating, Interment in Greenhills Memory Garden. The family will receive friends from 1 until the hour of service. Active Pallbearers will be Anthony Hines, Vernon Ash, B.J. Ingram, James Warren, Mark Crowe, and Greg Standfield.
Earle Rainwater in charge of arrangements for Christopher Scott Montgomery who passed away on Wednesday.
Thursday, June 24, 2021
Surviving are daughter, Renee Meadows Ware (David); Son- Davin Meadows (Kristi); grandchildren, John Ware (Jessica), Brandon Meadows, Tom Meadows, Angel Meadows, Patrick Greene, Landon Wesson, Charity Greene, Brianna Greene; great-granddaughters, Sophia Keen and Addie Mae Ware; brother, Charles Wesson; aunt, Frances K. Ledford; uncle, Paul Kellett.
Funeral services will be held Sunday, June 27th, at 2:00 P.M. from the J. D. Hill Memorial Chapel of Earle Rainwater Funeral Home with Brother Tom Russell and Brother Tracy Espy officiating, interment in Perennial Springs Cemetery. Active Pallbearers Micha Lively, Zach Lively Ricky Johnson, Roger Wooten, Tye McGuire, Dillon McGuire, and Colman Ledford; Honorary Pallbearers, Billy Brown, Ike and Mary Henderson and the VFW Post #6688 Ladies Auxiliary. Visitation will be Sunday from 1 until 2 P.M. at the funeral home.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Linda Sue Meadows, who passed away Wednesday.
Monday, June 14, 2021
Surviving are son and spouse, Steve and Melody Whaley; sister and Spouse, Elaine and Phil Lamey; four Grandchildren.
A visitation will be held Tuesday, June 15th, from 2 until 4 P.M. at Earle Rainwater Funeral Home, with burial in the Family plot of Summerville Cemetery.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Saturday, June 12, 2021
November 27, 1957 – June 2, 2021
Jeffrey Gorman Gilley, 63, formerly of Athens, Georgia, died Wednesday, June 2, 2021 in Cherokee County, Alabama of natural causes. He was born in Rome, Georgia on November 27, 1957, graduated from Jacksonville State University in 1980 and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1983. The son of the late Clarence Gorman Gilley and Dorothy Slater Gilley of Summerville, Georgia, he was an accomplished attorney, historian, and outdoorsman.
Over the course of his 25-year career as a criminal defense and trial lawyer, he practiced with the deepest respect for his clients as human beings in need of counsel, the United States Constitution (a copy of which was almost always in his suit pocket), and the laws of Georgia. He served as a public defender upon graduation from law school, which led to extensive skill in criminal and civil litigation. While in Athens, he often provided legal work for many at little or no cost, including indigent clients, musical acts, and friends.
He is survived by three sons, John Porter Gilley, Samuel Cobb Gilley, Thomas Houston Gilley, of Athens, Georgia and by his stepson, Will Frame of Gainesville, Georgia. Also surviving are his sister, Carole Smith (Jim) of Versailles, Kentucky, his cousin Jan Cordle (Lann) of Summerville, nieces Ashley Keck and Andrea (Patrick) Abell, along with two great nieces, a great nephew, cousins, and many loving friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome donations made to Nuci’s Space, 396 Oconee St., Athens, GA 30601, an organization dedicated to ending the stigma of mental illness and alleviating the suffering for those living with a brain illness. www.nuci.org.
A memorial celebration of Jeff’s life will be held in Athens, Georgia at a later date.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Surviving are His wife, Gloria Lynch Majors; daughter, Diana Blaszak; son, Gary Pavelka; brother, James Majors; seven Grandchildren, one Great Granddaughter; Nieces and Nephews.
Funeral service will be held Monday, June 14th, at 2:00 P.M. from Graveside in Majors Cemetery, Menlo, Georgia, with Mr. Brad Majors officiating. Active Pallbearers, Brad Majors, Doug Majors, Todd Kaminer, Jason Wright, Eddie Massey, C. E. Massey; Honorary Pallbearers, Lee Massey, Mike Larkins, Gary Pavelka, Kody Kaminer, Parker Mitchell, and Frank Blaszak. In lieu of flowers, contributions to Chattooga County Animal Advocates, P. O. Box 220, Summerville, Georgia-30747.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Mr. John Edward Majors who passed away Friday night.
Thursday, May 27, 2021
She met her husband, of nearly 72 years, when she was 15 and he was 18. Shortly after that, he entered the Army Air Corps. When the war was over, they married on June 22, 1947 and moved to Memphis while he finished school. Their first child, Jon, was born in Memphis. After her husband’s graduation, the family moved to Rome and stayed with relatives while her husband commuted to Summerville, opening his optometric practice.
Together they raised three children: Probate Judge Jonathan Marlin Payne, Marla Brock Payne Wise (Darrell), and Thomas David (Tommy) Payne (Sue). She adored her grandchildren: Patrick Payne, Chase Payne (Brandee), and Marlie Payne, Marisa Wise Parmer (Nathan), Darik Wise (Katie), Amy Payne Clifton (Chad), and Christopher Payne (Ashley). Her beloved great-grandchildren are Madalyn, Audrey, and Jake Clifton, Laney and Logan Payne, Harper Payne, Addison and Reece Wise, and Elise Parmer. She is also survived by her sisters-in-law, Mrs. Betty Crotty and Mrs. Ann Williams, special cousin, Sammie Frye Dobson, and many much-loved nieces and nephews.
In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by her son, Probate Judge Jon M. Payne, sister and brother-in-law, Evelyn and Jimmy Carroll, her brother and sister-in-law, Paul and Mary Lou Brock and two beloved nieces, Rebecca Carroll and Montyne Flint. She was a member if the Church of Christ and taught children’s and teen girls’ Bible classes for 27 years, primarily at Northside Church of Christ. Her home congregation was the Highway 27 South congregation in LaFayette, GA.
Mrs. Payne loved to travel and a favorite experience was a trip she and her husband took to the Kennedy Inauguration in 1961 as guests of newly elected U.S. Representative John W. Davis.
Mrs. Payne served as president of the Summerville Women’s Club, president of the Chattooga Garden Club, was a member of the Music Study Club, and secretary of the Summerville Elementary PTA. She was also active in Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts as her children were growing up. She served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Chattooga County Library Board and was a former Chairman of the Chattooga County Cancer and Heart Association Drives. She taught school at Summerville Elementary briefly and was her husband’s bookkeeper and office manager for many years. She was also a licensed real estate agent for a time. More recently, she was an active member of the local Red Hats group. Mrs. Payne was an ovarian cancer survivor and was always thankful that God allowed her more time with her family.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 29th, at 2:00 p.m. from the Graveside, with Edward Ledford, Officiant, burial to follow in the Family Plot of Summerville Cemetery. Active Pallbearers will be Milford Morgan, Jim Hill, William Crouch, Jason Ledford, Ryan Ledford, Mike Allen, and Charles Williams, Jr.. Honorary Pallbearers will be Quinton Wilson, Sammy Strange, Buster Hollis, Gary McConnell, Chuck Tilley, and John Shamblin. Visitation will be Saturday from 12:00 noon until 2:00 p.m. at Earle Rainwater Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cancer Navigators of Rome. Donations may be mailed to: 3 Central Plaza #415 Rome, Georgia 30161.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Mrs. Montyne Brock Payne.
Saturday, May 8, 2021
Mrs. Nona Laura Ray Snow, age 98, Summerville, GA, formerly of Trion, passed away Friday, May 7, 2021 at a local hospital.
Mrs. Snow was born in Cherokee County, AL (Farill) on August 16, 1922, daughter of the late Columbus Washington Ray and the late Edith Mae Henderson Ray. She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas W. Snow, Sr., in 1965, two sons, Thomas W. Snow, Jr., in 2013 and James W. Snow in 2017, brother Columbus “Bud” Ray in 2018, sister Annie Mae Williams in 2020, and son-in-law, Raybon Williams, in 2018.
Mrs. Snow was retired from the Chattooga County School System as a lunchroom manager, serving at Summerville Elementary, Pennville Elementary, and Lyerly Elementary schools. She also worked at Riegel Textile in the 40’s and 50’s and the Trion Community Center “Y” in the 60’s and 70’s in the diner. Mrs. Snow was a long-time member of the Trion United Methodist Church serving in many capacities over the years.
Survivors include one daughter, Peggy Snow Williams of Gaylesville, AL, sons and daughters-in-law, Lynn Ivie Snow of Pensacola, FL., Kent and Barbara Snow of Ringgold, GA., Teresa Helms Snow of Trion, GA., David and Avis Snow of Subligna, GA., and Robin and Anna Snow of Pensacola, FL. Survivors also include 13 grandchildren, 29 great grandchildren, 6 great-great grandchildren, and a number of nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends at the Trion United Methodist Church on Sunday, May 9th from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM with a celebration service to follow at 2:00 PM. The Revs. David Autry and James Hannah will be officiating. Interment will follow at West Hill Cemetery in Trion, GA., for family only. Pallbearers include grandsons Gil Williams, Ashley Snow, Clayton Snow, Chris Snow, Jeremy Snow, Adam Snow, and Tom Snow. Honorary pallbearers include the church youth groups from the 1960’s and 70’s, Elizabeth Hall, Stanley Carpenter, and residents on Bittings Ave. in Summerville. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be given to Trion United Methodist Church or to Camp Hamby. Please observe mask wearing and social distancing as needed. Earle Rainwater Funeral Home has the arrangements for Mrs. Nona Laura Snow.
Thursday, April 15, 2021
Mrs. Jennifer Kaye Phillips Fields, 41, of Armuchee, passed away at her residence on Saturday, April 10, 2021.
Though unemployed at the time of her death, she worked for many years as a surgical technician in several hospitals, the most recent being Floyd Medical Center and Redmond Regional Medical Center in Rome, and Dekalb Medical Center in Fort Payne, Alabama. She especially enjoyed the field of orthopaedics and the work she did alongside Dr. B. (Bowerman) in Rome, Georgia.
Survivors include her loving husband, David Ryan Fields; son Hayden Luke Fields, daughter Olivia Ryan Fields, sister Jamie Phillips Forsyth (Kenneth) of Armuchee, parents Myles & Kathy Phillips of Armuchee; nieces Hannah Forsyth and Gracie Forsyth, and nephew Sam Forsyth.
A graveside service will be held on Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 4:30pm at Little Sand Mountain Baptist Church cemetery located at 3655 South Little Sand Mountain Road in Armuchee, Georgia 30105.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in Summerville, Georgia has charge of arrangements.
Saturday, April 10, 2021
Surviving are Her husband, Patrick Groover; daughters, Jamie Richey (Wayne) and Cherie Oliver (Bradley); sisters, Elaine Fanning (Roland) and Eileen Stallard; grandchildren, Christopher Oliver, Nicolas Oliver, Charis Richey, Brian Richey, and Brindley Richey; several Nieces and Nephews.
Funeral service will be held Saturday, April 17th, at 1:00 P.M. from the J. D. Hill Memorial Chapel of Earle Rainwater Funeral Home with Rev. Mac McCurry officiating, interment in Georgia National Cemetery, Canton, Georgia. Active Pallbearers Steve Morrison, Gene Smith, Christopher Oliver, Nicholas Oliver, Brian Richey, and Larry Cook. Visitation Saturday (April 17th) from Noon until 1:00 P.M. at the Funeral Home.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Mrs. Margaret Brindley Christian Groover.
Friday, March 26, 2021
Surviving are daughters, Amber (Bobby) Farmer of LaFayette and Veronica (David) Waters of Chatsworth; son, Robert Brandon Headrick of Subligna; sister, Ann (Ronny) Smith of Rome; brother, Jerry (Teresa) Headrick of Summerville; several Grandchildren and three Nephews also survive.
Memorial service will be held Saturday, April 3rd, at 2:00 P.M. from Graveside in Mills Family Cemetery with Rev. Leonard Crawford officiating.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Surviving are sister, Clara Elton Sharp; brothers, Tom Sharp, Jr., and Lamar Sharp (Anne); Nieces and Nephews also survive.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, March 25th, at 2:00 P.M. from the J. D. Hill Memorial Chapel of Earle Rainwater Funeral Home, with Dr. Paul Mason, Rev. Bruce Morgan, Rev. Mike Wallin, and Rev. Mike Evans officiating, interment in Oak Hill United Methodist Cemetery. Pallbearers Justin Black, Taylor Parris, Ed Sharp, Bruce Rife, Sammy Vernon, and Tommy Vernon. Visitation will be Wednesday from 3 until 5 P.M. at the Funeral Home.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Rev. John L. Sharp.
Sunday, March 21, 2021
Surviving are husband, Robert (Bud) Love; daughter, Tammy (Curtis) Cleveland; step children, Phillip (Rebecca) Love and Phyllis (Wayne) Lee; grandchildren, Brandon Seymore and Sonja Price; great grandchildren, Ryan Price, Tucker Seymore, and Dawson Seymore; several Nieces and Nephews also survive.
Funeral services will be held Monday, March 22nd, at 2:00 P.M. from the J. D. Hill Memorial Chapel of Earle Rainwater Funeral Home with Brother Freddy Waldrop and Brother Jim Vanpelt officiating, interment in West Hill Cemetery. Active Pallbearers Curtis Cleveland, Brandon Seymore, Phillip Love, Ryan Price, Wayne Lee, and Tom Vickery; Honorary Pallbearers, Rollette Evett, Tony Evett, Hugh Millican, Perry Doherty, Glenn Ezell, and the Ladies Sunday Scholl Class of Mount Zion Independent Church. Visitation, Monday afternoon from 1 until 2 P.M. at the Funeral Home. CDC guidelines of wearing masks and social distancing is appreciated.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Mrs. Annie Ruth Evett Love.
Surviving are daughters, Doris Wilson of Menlo and Brenda (Greg) Woodall of Fiffe, Alabama; sons-Kenneth Wooten of Menlo and Donnie Wooten of Daytona, Florida; sisters, Carrie McDaniel and Betty Lynch; 7 grandchildren, April, Charlie, Van Crystal, Matt, Hayley, and Brian; great grandchildren, Austen, Chandlar, Skylar, Brent, Ashton, Milie, Joshua, Landon, Waylon, Braylin, Mavrick, Dixie, Journie, Kenzie, Ryder; great great Granddaughter, Hensley; several Nieces and Nephews.
Funeral service will be held Tuesday, March 23rd, at 4:00 P.M. from Graveside in Garrett Cemetery with Rev. John Mann officiating. Active Pallbearers Charlie Wilson, Morgan Laney, Matthew Wooten, Joshua Wilson, Chandlar Laney, and Skylar Laney.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Mr. Hoyt Miles Wooten who passed away Friday.
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Surviving are His wife, Nancy Morehead; daughters, Melanie Morehead Eubanks (U. B.) and Rosemary Morehead Rush (Bobby); grandchildren, Matt Eubanks, Jeff Eubanks, Rozellyn Evans, Suzannah Eubanks, Lauren Lively, Morgan Hardeman, and Alexa Morris; Twelve Great Grandchildren; several Nieces and Nephews.
Private Memorial service will be held Saturday, March 20th, with Rev. John Paul Harris officiating, inurnment in Summerville Cemetery. The Family request no flowers and suggest contributions to Horizon Baptist Fellowship.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for Mr. O. G. Morehead, Jr.
Friday, March 12, 2021
Mrs. Day was born on September 14, 1925 in Chattooga County to the late Nellie Hicks Hendrix and Glenn Hendrix. She was a long time, devoted member of the Pleasant Grove Church of Christ. Mary Nell loved to attend area wide singings and delighted in fellowship with other Christians. She always had a sweet smile and was known for her delicious chocolate cakes.
After graduating Trion High School, she worked for many years as a cashier at Riegel Textile Corporation.
She is survived by her sister Jean Bain of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 71 years, Thurman Day, November 2020 and their precious daughter, Glenda Jane Day, April 1960.
Graveside services will be held Saturday, March 13th 2021 at West Hill Cemetery in Trion, GA at 11:00 A.M., with Minister Hugh Glaze officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Pleasant Grove Church of Christ.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements for Mrs. Mary Nell Hendrix Day.
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Bobby Lee Cook, one of America's most celebrated lawyers, died peacefully at his mountain home in Cloudland, Georgia, on February 19th, surrounded by family. He was 94.
Bobby Lee was born in Chattoogaville, outside the small northwest Georgia town of Lyerly, on February 12, 1927, where he was raised in a home without running water, helping run the family's modest grocery store and keep up with the farm chores. From this rural beginning, however, the son of Paul Cook and Alma Edge Cook embarked on a life's journey that few could have then imagined. He took his first step into the wider world when, as a teenager, he enrolled in Gordon Academy a military school, where he learned the value of personal discipline, duty, and a robust education.
These values were further shaped by World War II. As soon as he graduated from high school, he lied about his age (then only 17) to enlist in the Navy. He first saw the Atlantic Ocean from St. Simons, Georgia on his way to combat in the Pacific. He never forgot that sight, which kindled a lifelong love of the Georgia Coast, and he later would buy homes on Sea Island, Georgia. During Naval training in New Orleans, Cook was also struck by how one would see ships burning off the coast on nearly a nightly basis. He boxed in the Navy, honing his innate fighting spirit which he never lost.
Peacetime brought new transitions that each played key roles in the rest of this life. First, he continued his education: Upon returning from the War, he attended the University of Alabama and Vanderbilt Law School. Second, he found his life partner. Bobby Lee married June Hays on June 8th, 1948, in Summerville, Georgia, a true June wedding that started a sixty-seven-year partnership.
Bobby Lee began his law practice in 1949 in Summerville, Georgia, and that practice from its inception represented his values: personal discipline, erudite temperament, duty to others, justice for all people from all walks of life, and (not the least important characteristic) an indomitable fighting spirit. He represented labor unions when it was unpopular, and moonshiners when it might not have been convenient. As his practice grew, word of his abilities spread, and he developed a reputation as a talented and successful trial lawyer.
While Bobby Lee served in the Georgia Legislature and once ran for Congress, his calling truly was in the courtroom. As time went on, he was called there by many, some of whom paid substantial six and seven figure fees for his skilled advocacy. He represented the Rockefellers, the Carnegies, Robert Vesco, C.H. Butcher, Jr., Mike Thevis, Daniel Paradies, and, for decades, was hired for, or consulted on, nearly every high-profile case in Georgia. His practice went on to transcend Georgia. Among the more than a hundred and fifty acquittals he achieved in murder cases during his career, he won murder trials in Germany and Vietnam, and his career is believed to have inspired the television show Matlock. One of his more colorful cases, in Savannah, is chronicled in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
Among all of these cases, though, perhaps the one he was most proud of was the Matthews murder case. That case embodied his abiding sense that justice should never, ever be denied to anyone from any walk of life. Cook spent over $50,000 of his own money and years of his career to overturn murder convictions wrongfully obtained in Cobb County, Georgia.
He walked with kings, but never lost the common touch. Though he was friends with and socialized with Justice Douglas, others on the Court, numerous politicians, dignitaries and business leaders, Cook never forgot his roots. On Saturday mornings, he opened his office doors to local residents for whom he offered his counsel, usually at no charge. Cook was also a tireless and gifted teacher and mentored numerous younger lawyers, spoke at uncounted seminars and was generously giving of his time to others working to solve thorny issues encountered in their own cases. He was a tireless worker and early riser, and often instructed colleagues "Call me tomorrow morning at 7.”
Bobby Lee Cook was recognized with lifetime achievement awards by both the National and Georgia Associations of Criminal Defense Lawyers (GACDL), Georgia State University College of Law School's 2017 Ben F. Johnson, Jr. Public Service Award, GreenLaw's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Small Town Lawyer Made Good Award, (presented by the State Bar of Washington), inducted into the American Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame, and many more countless other awards too numerous to list.
Even while these well-deserved honors accumulated, he never lost his razor-sharp wit. His award from GACDL included the honor of having his portrait hung in the Georgia Supreme Court. When presented with this, Cook quipped, “I’d rather be hung in the Supreme Court than by the Supreme Court.” Similarly, while he always appreciated the recognition, Cook never rested on his laurels. He practiced law until virtually the time of his death. He was universally recognized as the dean of criminal defense lawyers in Georgia, and his death is mourned across the country.
Bobby Lee was predeceased by his wife, June, his son Bobby Lee Cook, Jr., and his son-in-law Lewis Branch Sutton Connelly and Roger Wheeler Williams. He is survived by his daughters Kristina Cook Graham and Sara Cook Williams; his grandchildren, Sarah Holston O’Reagan. Jessica Wheat Cook Hale, Christopher Sutton Connelly, Jeffrey Scott Connelly, Sarah Elizabeth Connelly Turner, and Anna Lee Williams Jones; great-grandchildren, Patrick Aidan Fell, Morgan Aeron Cook Hale, Lillian Grace Connelly, Fiona Bess Connelly, Branch Hays Connelly, Thomasin June Connelly, Vivian Hays Jones, and Olive Kristina Connelly Turner.
Due to coronavirus concerns and the safety of others, it was Bobby Lee's wish that his funeral be confined to a private family service. A more fitting memorial service will be held at a later time. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be sent to the Boys and Girls Club of Chattooga County, P.O. Box 636, Summerville, Ga. 30747, or Georgia State College of Law, Office of Development, P.O. Box 4037, Atlanta, Ga. 30303. Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Monday, February 22, 2021
Betty graduated from Berry College in Rome, GA in 1946. She said that her first night at Berry, she was more homesick than any time she could remember, but the next day began a wonderful adventure. At Berry, Betty was active in theater, playing Jo in the school’s production of Little Women. And when the yearbook photographer left school for the Army, she stepped in and took and developed all the yearbook pictures. After graduating from Berry, she stayed for a year as the assistant to the Dean of Women. During that year, she met Malcolm Thomas, a Summerville native who had recently returned from military service. Betty and Malcolm were married in 1947 at Berry’s Frost chapel.
Betty and Malcolm settled in Summerville with their son Steve, and later welcomed the arrival of daughters Celia and Carol. Their lives in Summerville were marked by deep ties to family, church, and friends. Gatherings at Lake Weiss filled many summer days, with picnic baskets, life jackets, and folding chairs set out for visiting. Betty submitted to gentle pressure and learned at the lake to waterski but liked to say that the best part was that she never had to do it again. Betty became a teacher when Carol entered school, and fifth and sixth grades were her calling. She was dedicated and loved by her students, and after retiring she took pleasure in being approached by former students with a warm hello and thank you. She and Malcolm enjoyed traveling after they both retired and their trips sometimes began with “Let’s go to Dover (Air Force Base) and see where the next ‘Space Available’ flight is headed.” When that once resulted in planning for Switzerland and winding up in Greece--not a good climate match--she said that was half the fun.
She was a devoted partner, supporting Malcolm when he became ill and grieving his loss. Betty was a woman of deep and abiding faith. Her church became especially important to her after Malcolm’s death and she was a founding member of Horizon Baptist Fellowship. She especially connected with the social ministry of the church, actively participating in providing food and responding to other critical needs in the community. She also warmly welcomed visits from her children and grandchildren, and always greeted their arrival with fresh brownies which did not last long. When, in 2011 Betty moved to Nashville to be near two of her children, moving away from that Horizon community was perhaps the hardest part. But she was lovingly welcomed and took great joy in being near family. And she appreciated the caring community she found at Park Manor/Abe’s Garden where she lived.
Betty was unfailingly gracious. She exhibited a warmth and caring that was remarkable for its consistency and genuineness. She was loath to speak ill of anyone and pinned to her kitchen bulletin board decades ago a poem called “The Critic,” which cautioned against criticizing others because their circumstances were not fully known. Betty was a beautiful woman who understood that true beauty comes from within.
Betty is survived by her children Steve Thomas (Jeanne) and Carol West (Olin) of Nashville and Celia Thomas of Alexandria, Va. She is also survived by her grandchildren Jim Thomas (Sloan), Clayton Thomas, Robert West (Rachel), and Emily West of Nashville and William Martindale of Washington, D.C., and step-grandchildren Tracy Brockhouse (Zach) of Portland Me., Hunter West (Jinanne) of Nashville, and Charlotte Middleton (Shane) of Reston, Va. Great-grandchildren are Holden and James Thomas, and step great-grandchildren are Annabelle and Elliott Brockhouse, Annelise, Hollis, and Anson West, and Austin and Tallin Middleton, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband Malcolm Thomas, her parents, and her siblings Robert Lott, Jane Verdel, and Sarah Townes.
The family will have a graveside service. There will be a memorial service to honor Betty’s life at a later time when it is safe to gather. Those who wish may direct a memorial contribution to Horizon Baptist Fellowship, 1216 HWY 114, Summerville, GA 30747. Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Saturday, February 20, 2021
Surviving are nieces and nephews, Jane Parker, Kay Worsham, Dale Housch, William Wayne Bankey, Sue Beall, Yvonne Flowers, Ronnie Housch; several Great Nieces and Nephews.
Funeral services will be held Sunday, February 21th, at 2:00 P.M. from the Trion United Methodist Church with Rev. David Autry, Rev. James Hannah, and Rev. Ronnie Flowers officiating, interment in Chapel Hill Cemetery. Active Pallbearers Jeremy Worsham, Erick Housch, Ben Housch, Derek Parker, David Parker, and Jason Flowers. Visitation will be Sunday from 1 until 2 P.M. at the Church. Lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Trion United Methodist Church.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home in charge of arrangements for MISS WILLIE FRANCES HOUSCH.
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Brother Jimmy was born in New Albany, MS. on July 14, 1940, the son of the late Carl Clyde Bryant, Memphis, Tn., and Jewel Roberts Martin, Tupelo, Ms. He was a former on-air personality at WVOM Luka, MS. and WBIP, Booneville, MS., where he was known as Booneville’s Morning Mayor. He served the City of Summerville as Seat Four Councilman for two terms before retiring. In the later part of his second term, he served as Interim Mayor following Summerville’s mayor’s retirement. One accomplishment that he was proud of was getting a Basketball Court located in the West Summerville area. He was a Veteran of the U. S. Navy and a member of the Disabled American Veteran’s Post #6, Marietta, GA. He served several terms as Moderator of the Chattooga Baptist Association and several terms as a Georgia Baptist Convention Executive Committee member and the Georgia Baptist Foundation. As long as health permitted, he had a live Facebook broadcast, “Adventures Through God’s Word,” the preaching ministry of Jimmy Bryant each Sunday. He was a regular writer for the GoodNews Christian Magazine, Rome, had articles published in Church Administration Magazine, authored a book, “Confessions of A Baptist Minister,” and a booklet, “When The Story of my Life Is Told.”
In addition to his parents and grandparents, he was preceded in death by a half-sister, Betty Lois Martin
Campbell. Brother Jimmy is survived by his wife, The love of his life and greatest companion, caregiver, and best friend, Esther Timbes Bryant, Summerville; The Bryant’s enjoyed a wonderful life together for 60 years; two sons, Michael Carl Bryant (Susan), Summerville and James Alan Bryant (Diane), Lyerly. Three grandchildren, Brandi Nicole Pierce, Summerville, Jessica Diane Willingham (Adam), Lyerly; James Aaron Bryant (Katie), Oxford, AL.; Two great-grandchildren, Reed James Willingham, Lyerly and Avery Ann Willingham, Lyerly and a host of fellow laborers and special friends.
During 56 years of ministry, he pastored Seven churches in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Georgia. One of those churches was South Summerville Baptist for almost seventeen years. He also served two churches as interim Pastor; Mount Pisgah in Ringgold, Pleasant Grove in Summerville where he served for just over 14 years.
He attended Booneville High School, was a graduate of Northeast Mississippi Junior College Booneville, MS, Blue Mountain College, Blue Mountain, MS; Graduate work at the University of North Alabama, Florence, AL.
Funeral Services for Rev. Jimmy C. Bryant will be conducted from the First Baptist Church, Summerville, Georgia Friday, February 19, 2021 at 2:30 pm with Mr. Tom Underwood, a dear friend and Deacon at a former church, his son, Michael Carl Bryant, and granddaughter, Jessie Willingham officiating. Active pallbearers will be Aaron Bryant, Adam Willingham, Jerry Mixon, Scott Everett and Ray Davis, and Sam Jones. Honorary pallbearers are friends at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church and South Summerville Baptist Church. Interment will be in the Pleasant Grove Church Cemetery. The Family will receive friends at the church Friday from 12:30 – 2:30.
Earle Rainwater Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements for Rev. Jimmy C. Bryant.