Benita Cordelia Waller Brooks, originally from Fayetteville and a resident of Nashville, died Tuesday (April 15, 2015). She was born Oct. 27, 1957 to the late Samuel Waller and Polly Ann Eslick in Fayetteville. She was the eldest of four siblings, who are James Waller, Anthony Waller, and Adrian Waller. After 56 years, God called her to her final resting place. Benita accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior at an early age and united with St. Paul A.M.E., Church in Fayetteville. She was a devoted member and was a member of the choir and YPD. As a child, Benita was a vivacious and vibrant young girl, who would soon grow up to be a caring and selfless individual. After graduating high school, Benita enrolled in Austin Peay University and became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. in the spring of 1978. While at Austin Peay, she met her future husband, Wayne Anthony Brooks. After graduate from Austin Peay State University, Wayne and Benita were united in holy matrimony on June 27, 1987. To this union, two children were born, Mariah and Garland. After moving to Nashville, Benita joined Greater Bethel A.M.E. Church. As an active member of Greater Bethel A.M.E. for over 20 years, the church always offered her a great foundation of encouragement and growth from which she has offered incredible strength to her family and community and instilled great faith in her children. Her constant advice for them was always “walk by faith and not by sight.” Benita was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend. The remembrance of her pleasant smiles, strong hugs and warm kisses will forever be engraved upon the tablets of our hearts. She leaves to cherish her loving memory a devoted and loving husband, Wayne Anthony Brooks; one daughter, Mariah Ann-Jeanette Brooks; one son, Garland Samuel Brooks; a loving mother, Polly Ann Eslick, Fayetteville; three brothers, James Waller, Huntsville, Ala., Adrian Waller and Anthony Waller, both of Cleveland, Ohio; one granddaughter, A’mya Caden Brooks, Nashville; and devoted aunts and uncles, a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends. Funeral services were conducted Tuesday, April 22, at noon at the Greater Bethel A.M.E. Church in Nashville with the Rev. Edward Lee Thompson officiating. Interment followed in West Greenwood Cemetery on Elm Hill Pike in Nashville.
Earl S. Crouch of Elora passed away Friday afternoon (May 2, 2014) at his residence. He was 86. Mr. Crouch was a native of Lincoln County, the son of the late Jessie B. and Mae Smith Crouch. He was a farmer, and he retired from the Lincoln Farmers Co-op. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Huntland. He is survived by his wife, Geneva Crouch of Elora; daughters, Lynette Barnett of Flintville and Beverly (Terry) Posey of Elora; sisters, Ruth Ward of Lewisburg and Sadie Sullivan of Fayetteville; grandchildren Heather (Jimmy) Martin, Zackary (Heather) Coker, Keeley Posey, Leah Barnett, and Frankie Chad (Brittany) Barnett; five great-grandchildren, four step-grandchildren, several step-great grandchildren, as well as step-children Kathy (Wendell) Norton, Kim (Reuben) Byrom, all of Manchester, Kit (Vicki) Jacobs of Hillsboro, Keita Daniel of Texas, and several step-grandchildren and step-great grandchildren. Funeral services were conducted Monday morning at Higgins Funeral Home with the Rev. Joe Plunkett officiating. Burial followed in Kirkland Cemetery beside his first wife Jewel McAlister Crouch, who passed away in 1989. Higgins Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Thomas J. Dempsey, age 72, of Fayetteville, passed away Friday afternoon in St. Thomas Hospital. Mr. Dempsey was a native of Lincoln County, the son of the late F.E. and Eleanor Jordon Dempsey. He was retired from the National Guard and a member of the Howell Hill Baptist Church. Survivors include his wife Gail Dempsey of Fayetteville, children Joseph (Shavone) Goodman of Fayetteville, Suzy (Kenny) Givens of Florence, Ala., Buffy (Pete Rollins) Winn of Fayetteville, Cindy (Marty) Mathis of Dellrose, daughter-in-law Rita Jobe of Petersburg, brothers James Douglas (Carolyn) Dempsey of Petersburg, Larry David (Joan) Dempsey of Vanntown, Steve (Dolly) Dempsey of Lynchburg, Paul (Debbie) Dempsey, Johnny Dempsey, Mark (Paula) Dempsey, all of Fayetteville, 16 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and his beloved dogs, Little Bit and Little One. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his son Jeff Dempsey and sister Effie Jean Dempsey. Funeral services were conducted Monday afternoon at Howell Hill Baptist Church with Bro. John Hinson officiating. Burial followed in New Grove Cemetery. Memorials may be mailed Rita Jobe, 39 N. Fishing Ford Rd., Petersburg, TN 37144. Higgins Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Ica Mae “Bobbie” Dison, 88, of Elkmont, Ala., died Saturday (May 3, 2014) at Huntsville Hospital, Huntsville, Ala. funeral services were conducted Tuesday afternoon at Ardmore Chapel Funeral Home, with Bro. Jerry Smith officiating. Burial was in Gatlin Cemetery. Ardmore Chapel Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Evelyn Johns Dooley, 95, retired teacher and former resident of Columbia, died Saturday, (May 3, 2014) at her residence in Fayetteville. She is survived by daughter, Wilma Dooley Muse of Fayetteville; granddaughter, Lynn Muse Chappin, grandson-in-law, Bob Chappin; great-grandson, Samuel David Chappin; and great granddaughter, Katherine Anne Chappin, all of Murfreesboro; tow sisters, Frankie Bostick of Mt. Pleasant; Linda (Norman) Orton of Lawrenceburg; two sisters-in-law, Janis Johns and Lossie Johns Culberson of Columbia and many nieces and nephews. Mrs. Dooley was preceded in death by her beloved son-in-law, Sam Muse. Also preceded in death by three sisters, Mary Edith Johns Kelley, Gertrude Johns Jones Nash, Nina Lee Johns Severson; three brothers, Porter Bingham Johns Jr., Mahlon Johns and Billie Ray Johns; and brothers-in-law, Archie Kelley, Virgil Jones, Don Severson and Carter Bostick. The Maury County native was the daughter of the late Janie Lynn and Porter Bingham Johns, Sr. Evelyn grew up in Cross Bridges, where she actively participated in her family farm work and raising of her eight brothers and sisters. She graduated valedictorian of Hampshire High School in 1937 and began her teaching career at Union Valley, on one room school. She received her BS degree from MTSU in 1957 and her Masters degree in math from Peabody College in 1961. Her teaching career spanned 41 years at many schools, including Union Grove, Zion School, Johnson’s Chapel, Cross Bridges, Graham, Lick Skillet, Philadelphia, Andrews, Columbia Central and Columbia State. After her retirement in 1984, she taught part-time at Zion Christian and Columbia Academy. While teaching at Union Grove, she met the love of her life, Billy Dooley. They were married on Dec. 21, 1944 and were devoted to each other for 48 years. He preceded her in death on Nov. 26, 1993. A life lived so well, for so long, brought joy and inspiration to many. A natural born teacher, Mrs. Dooley removed the fear of math for students she tutored and instilled skills and confidence in students who regularly went on to win regional and state contests. She taught quilting to dozens of ladies in Maury County and continued to teach this area when she moved to Lincoln County. Growing up on a farm, knowing how to make lard, Mrs. Dooley knew of, and shared, the goodness it brought to the kitchen. Her angel biscuits have had fans for decades. In more recent years, macular degeneration did not slow her love for teaching and learning. Her loving son-in-law, the late Sammy Muse, a former District Governor with Lions Club International, was able to assist her in getting a magnifying machine so that she was able to remain active doing those things that brought her daily joy. Mrs. Dooley was a member of the Fayetteville Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. When in Columbia, she was a member of the Pleasant Mount Cumberland Presbyterian Church and First Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Active pallbearers will be Chris Bostick, Ben Brooks, Jimmy Campbell, Johnny Johns, Joe Roberson and Randy Southall. Honorary pallbearers will be Ladies of the Clara Craig Sunday School Class, Hardy Loyd, Harold Hardison, Jack Barron, Ted Wright, Teddy Ray, Dr. William Kidd, Dr. Mack Hamilton, Dr. Bill Jones and Dr. Ruth Lamar. The family will visit with friends on Tuesday, May 6, from 5-8 p .m. at Higgins Funeral Home. Visitation will be on Wednesday, May 7 from 10-11 a.m. at Oakes and Nichols Funeral Home in Columbia with the service following at 11 a.m. Burial will follow the service at Rose Hill Cemetery in Columbia. Services will be conducted by Bob Chappin and Keith Malugin. Donations may be made to Middle Tennessee Lions Sight Service, 911 Westside Court, Murfreesboro, TN 37130 or Middle Tennessee Christian Foundation, 1105 East Bell Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37130. Higgins Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Royce Franklin Hill, 55, died Sunday (April 20, 2014). Mr. Hill is survived by his sons, Sterling and Garrett Hill of Manassa, Va.; daughters, Samantha Hill and Jackie Gill, both of Germany; granddaughter, Serena Gill; grandson Ryan Gill, both of Germany; father, Robert Hill of Fayetteville; mother, Estelle Helms of Huntsville, Ala.; and brother, Eric Hill of California. He was preceded in death by his sister, Theresa Hill; brother, Craig Hill; and four infant brothers. Burial was in Stateline Cemetery. Higgins Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Rebecca Ruth Hodges, 64, of Elkmont, Ala., died Tuesday (April 29, 2014) at her home. Funeral services were held Friday afternoon at Ardmore Chapel Funeral Home with Bro. Dale Mitchell officiating. Burial was in Stateline Cemetery, Hazel Green, Ala. Ardmore Chapel Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Gracie Estelle Marr, 84, of Fayetteville, passed away Monday (April 28, 2014) at Lincoln Care Center. She was born on Oct. 3, 1929 in Lincoln County to the late James Presley and Grace Kerbo Hasty. Mrs. Marr was a homemaker and was a member of the Cotton Mill Church of God. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, J.W. Marr; daughters, Mary Kathryn Bevils, Margaret Ann Marr; son, James Allen Marr; and brother, Walter Hasty. Mrs. Marr is survived by her daughters, Martha Hentz, Margie Waggoner and Marsha Jones, all of Fayetteville; sons, Jimmy Ray Marr of Flintville, Jerry Wayne Marr of Nashville, Johnny Preston Marr and Jimboe Marr, both of Fayetteville; brother, Bobby Hasty of Estill Springs, 16 grandchildren; and 26 great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon in the chapel of Gallant-Riverview Funeral Home with Bro. Sonny Moore officiating. Burial followed in Flintville Cemetery. Gallant-Riverview Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Teddy Mac Norwood, 78, of Fayetteville, passed away Sunday morning at his residence. A native of Marshall County, he was the son of the late Mary D. Norwood Short. Mr. Norwood was retired from Amana where he was the superintendent of fabrication. Survivors include his wife, Becky Jane Nowlin Norwood; daughters Lisa Nichols of the Cyruston community, Tracy Deweese and husband, Pat, of Fayetteville, Jo Bradford of Taft, Lisa Atchley of Taft, son-in-law Joey Atchley; grandchildren Matt Nichols, Dustin Nichols, Mackenzie Atchley, Eric Atchley, Brandi Birdsong, Darbi Bradford, Crystal Atchley, Logan Atchley; 17 great-grandchildren and sister, Martha Ray Adams of the Boonshill Community and mother-in-law, Dorothy Sullivan. Funeral services were conducted Tuesday afternoon at Higgins Funeral Home with Bro. David England officiating. Burial followed in Prospect Cemetery. Higgins Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Donnie T. Pendergrass of Ooltewah departed this life and joined his Heavenly Father on March 24, 2014. Donnie was born on Oct. 19, 1946 in Guntersville, Ala., to the late T.L. and Violet (Edmondson) Pendergrass. Donnie spent his childhood in Flintville. As an adult, he lived and worked in the Mississippi Gulf Coast area. These jobs took him to Florida to Mississippi to Oklahoma and eventually back to his home state, Tennessee. He was employed as director of operations for Alstom Power at its Chattanooga plant, a position he held for more than 27 years, either with Alstom or its predecessors. He was an avid outdoorsman who saw and marveled at God’s love reflected in the beauty of nature. He enjoyed bass fishing; hunting and meandering motorcycle rides with his wife and best friend, Sherry. Donnie was a member of the Silverdale Baptist Church. Donnie is survived by his loving family: wife, Sherry (Goff) Pendergrass of Ooltewah; five daughters; and eight grandchildren, Donna Sommerville and children Jacob and Olivia Eslick and Charlotte Sommerville of Fayetteville, Clessie (Brent) Spears and their children Maysie and Piper Spears of Owens Cross Road, Ala., Kelly (Lee) Hunter and children River and Baylor Dees of Mississippi, Lindsay Owenby and daughter Taylor Tucker of Ooltewah, and Hailey Owenby of Chattanooga. He is also survived by three sisters, Linda Simmons and Carolyn (Percy) McNeese of Flintville and Sandra Stone of Fayetteville; as well as a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. In addition to his parents, Donnie was preceded in death by an infant grandson, Isaiah Brown (Hailey Owenby). Visitation was held on March 27 at the Chattanooga Valley View Chapel. Graveside services and burial were at Johnson Cemetery, Waid, Miss., on March 30. Chattanooga Valley View Chapel in charge of arrangements.
Karen Faye Prince and John Wesley Prince, of Fayetteville, passed away at their residence Monday (April 28, 2014). Mrs. Prince was a native of Selfridge AFB, Mich., and the daughter of Noble and Betty Sue Thweatt Howard, who survive. She was employed by BCBS in Huntsville, Ala., and was a Christian. She is survived by four sons, Andrew William (Candra) Hoeppner of Huntsville, Phillip Gregory (Tabbatha) Hoeppner of Fayetteville, Kenneth Cody Land of Taft and John Wesley Prince, Jr., of Fayetteville; grandchildren, Chloee Grae Hoeppner, Maverick Justice Hoeppner, Jordan Nicole Prince and Carter Vincent Prince; brother, Major Clark (Himeko) Howard of Germany and Kaven D. (Linda) Howard of Huntsville. Mr. Prince was a native of Lincoln County and was the son of the late Ollie Oliver and Beulah May Barnes Prince. He was a retired master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, employed by Lincoln County Public Transportation and was a Christian. Survivors include four sons, Wesley Prince, Jr., of Fayetteville, Andrew William Hoeppner of Huntsville, Phillip Gregory Hoeppner of Fayetteville and Kenneth Cody Land of Taft; and four grandchildren, Chloee Grae Hoeppner, Maverick Justice Hoeppner, Jordan Nicole Prince, Carter Vincent Prince; brothers and sisters, James Barnes, JoAnn Barnes Jacobs, Mary Lee Barnes Keith, David Moore and George Oliver Prince. He was preceded in death by brothers and sisters, Buford Prince, Lela Prince Swinford, Ella Prince Gist, Jewel Prince Ellis, Doris Prince Pruitt, Laurene Prince Whitt, Margaret Prince, Bobby Barnes and Coy Prince. Memorial services were conducted Saturday afternoon at Higgins Funeral Home with the Rev. James Barnes officiating. Higgins Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Jerry “Smiley” Shelton, age 65, of Fayetteville, passed away Saturday at his residence. A native of Lincoln County, he was the son of the late James Edward and Agna Green Shelton. He was a cook at the Pool Room for many years and a member of his Brogan Avenue Baptist Church. Smiley loved his church family very much. Survivors include his brothers James Royce Shelton of Lakeland, Fla., Stanley Shelton of Fayetteville, sister Wanda Neece of Fayetteville, eight nieces and nephews. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Donnie Shelton. Graveside services were to be conducted at 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon at Lincoln Cemetery with the Rev. James Barnes officiating. Higgins Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Magdalene Tillery, 86, of Ardmore, died Friday (May 2, 2014) at Huntsville Hospital, Huntsville, Ala. Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon at Ardmore Chapel Funeral Home with Bro. Alan Hughes officiating. Burial was in Gatlin Cemetery. Ardmore Chapel Funeral home in charge of arrangements.