Michael Leon Thomas, 32, of Aberdeen, MD, died Dec. 26, 2003 in a motor vehicle accident in Jackson. He was a native of Coffeeville.
He was a 1990 graduate of Coffeeville High School and attended Alabama State University, Montgomery. He was a member of Cedar Point Baptist Church in Coffeeville, where he sang in the choir and was active in the youth department. He joined Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Havre De Grace, MD. He was a veteran of the United States Army. He was employed as a forklift driver for Constar and Medline in Aberdeen.
Survivors include his mother, Bessie P. Thomas of Coffeeville; one daughter, Ny’Ara Ashanti Thomas of Aberdeen; one brother, Robert Earl Thomas of Deatsville; two sisters, Bessie Watkins of Deatsville and Lennie Slater of Elmore; his grandmother, Lennie L. Pace of Coffeeville.
Funeral services were held Dec. 31 at 11 a.m. at Cedar Point Baptist Church with Revs. James Chaney and Brian Chapman officiating. Burial was in the Rock Bar Cemetery.
Andrews Funeral Home directed.
Pamela Susan Hepstall, 33, of Thomasville died March 3, 2004 on Highway 10 in Camden.
She was a member of the Mt. Vernon Baptist Church. She was manager of Days Inn in Camden.
Survivors include her husband, Earl Hepstall, Thomasville; three sons, Randy Faril "R.J." McKinley, Thomasville, Jamie Hepstall, Pine Hill, Michael Hepstall, Destin, FL; two daughters, Pamela Gayle McKinley, Thomasville, Daphne Marshall, Gainestown; father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Williams Jr., Lower Peach Tree; birth mother, Susan Lee Lawson, Thomasville; five brothers, Michael Williams, Cusseta, GA, Shane Williams, Fulton, David Williams, Lower Peach Tree, Jeffery Williams, Thomasville, Wyman Lawson, Salitpa, 11 sisters, Alora Harrison, April Odom, Ashley Wallace, Saranda Allday, Suzanne Manese, all of Thomasville, Wynette Wilkinson, Linden, Cristina Peek, Daleville, Samantha Humphrey, Leaksville, MS, Kristina Williams, Fulton, Ann Haas, Texas, Rhonda Williams, Cusseta, GA; grandfather, Emet Junior Lawson, Grove Hill, grandmother, Bertha Gray Williams, Thomasville; two grandchildren.
The service was held March 5 at 2 p.m. at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church with Rev. Hal Taylor officiating. Burial was in the Finley Crossing Cemetery in Thomasville. O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home directed.
Active pallbearers were Michael Williams, Shane Williams, David Williams, Jeffery Williams, Benny Ballard and Travis Wilkinson.
Honorary pallbearers were Ben Marshall, Jamie Hepstall, Neal Sheffield, Michael Hepstall, John Finney, Wyman Lawson and R.J. Vincent.
Ella Mae Thomas, 74, of Arlington died March 5, 2004 at DCH Regional Medical Hospital.
She was a member of the County Line Baptist Church in Arlington. She had worked as a seamstress.
Survivors include three sons, Wayne Thomas, Peterson, James Thomas, Reform, Henry Thomas, Arlington; two sisters, Arneder Gartman, Vernon, Adean Parson, Waterloo; 11 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild.
The service was held March 7 at 2 p.m. at the chapel of O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home with Revs. Mike Hall and David Boyd officiating. Burial was in the County Line Baptist Church Cemetery in Arlington.
Active pallbearers were Mark Thomas, Chris Thomas, Paul Thomas, Roger Maness, James David Maness and Walter Maness.
Honorary pallbearers were the staff of the Third Floor South at DCH.
Fletcher Barnes Jr., known as "Lil Bubba," 68, of Calvert died May 7, 2004 at Mercy Medical in Mobile.
He retired in 1990 after 15 years of employment as a crane operator at Scott Paper, now known as Kimberly Clark. He was a member of Union Baptist Church of Fairford.
Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Mabel Barnes, Fairford; four sons, Gillis Barnes, Coffeeville, Gregory C. Barnes, Stanley A. Barnes and Mortez L. Barnes, all of Fairford; one daughter, Sundra R. Howard, McIntosh; five sisters, Shirley Mae Hill, McIntosh, Alice Radcliff, Lelia Davidson, both of Calvert, Minnie Lee Law, Carolyn Spencer, both of Eight Mile; five brothers, Sterling Barnes, Vivian Barnes, Charles Barnes, Nathaniel Barnes, all of Calvert, Freddie Lee Barnes, Movico; nine grandchildren.
The service was held May 12 at 11 a.m. at the Union Baptist Church of Fairford with Rev. Charles Shipman, pastor. Andrews Funeral Home of Jackson directed. Burial was in the Union Baptist Church Cemetery.
Vera Knotts Reeves Bynum, 79, of Grove Hill died May 8, 2004.
She was a member of Union Baptist Church. She was a homemaker.
Survivors include two sons, Gerald Reeves, Tommy Reeves, both of Grove Hill; one brother, Hillman Knotts, Laurel, Miss.; two sisters, Delia Wheeler, Laurel, Miss., Vicie Prescott, Bay Springs, Miss.; four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; nephews, nieces.
The service was held May 10 at 2 p.m. at the Memory Chapel Funeral Home in Laurel, Miss. Burial was in the Calhoun Baptist Church Cemetery in Jones County, Miss. with Rev. Richard Bailey officiating.
Georgia Stoker Richardson, 89, of St. Stephens died May 4, 2004 at a local healthcare facility.
She was born July 16, 1914 to the late Jim and Mary Elizabeth Stoker. She attended Midway Assembly of God Church.
Survivors include two daughters, Dalma R. Deas, St. Stephens, Joy R. Hicks, Scyrene; two sons, George G. Richardson, Paul D. Richardson Sr., both of St. Stephens; 12 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; many other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, George Wade Richardson and two grandchildren, Paul Daniel Richardson Jr. and Kathryn Michelle Deas.
The service was held May 6 with Revs. E.C. Russell and Lamar Chapman officiating at the Midway Assembly of God Church in St. Stephens. Burial was in the Mt. Nebo Cemetery in St. Stephens. Radney Funeral Home of Saraland directed.
Active pallbearers were great-grandsons. Honorary pallbearers were grandchildren.
Vivian Dale Philips Whatley, 46, of Post Oak Trace, Villa Rica, Ga. died May 3, 2004 at Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta, Ga. after an extended illness.
She was born June 23, 1957 in Atlanta, Ga. to Mrs. Margaret Miller Philips and the late Homer M. Philips. She was an active member and wife of the pastor of the Villa Rica United Methodist Church. She was very dedicated to helping the hearing impaired and established and taught a signing choir. She was also a Sunday school teacher and active in the youth department. She graduated with honors, receiving both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology from Florida State University. She taught in Gainesville, Georgia City School System. She was a telephone counselor for the Contact Teleministries in Gainesville. She established and was director of the Easter Seal Chapter in Waycross, Ga. She was also certified in the brain gym as an instructor. Mrs. Whatley was the daughter-in-law of Billy Whatley, formerly of Whatley but now resides in Atlanta, Ga.
Survivors include her husband, Rev. Gary L. Whatley, Villa Rica, Ga.; two daughters, Cynthia Marie Whatley, Katelyn Elizabeth Whatley, both of Villa Rica, Ga.; one son, Ryan William Whatley, Villa Rica, Ga.; her mother, Margaret Miller Philips, Palmetto, Fla.; one sister, Margaret Marie Phillips, Houston, Texas; two brothers, Dr. David Miller Philips, Shreveport, La., Edwin Allen Philips, Tampa, Fla.; an aunt, Emily J. Miller, Palmetto, Fla. who resides with Mrs. Whatley’s mother; other aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
The service was held May 6 at 2 p.m. at the Villa Rica First United Methodist Church with Mrs. Whatley’s uncle, Rev. Dale Miller, Rev. Linda Hessel, Rev. Art Graves and Dr. Sam Newman officiating. Burial was in the Concord Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, those desiring to do so may make contributions to the Villa Rica First United Methodist Church Building Fund, 206 North Ave., Villa Rica, GA 30180.
Annie Lucile Chastain, 94, of Jackson died May 5, 2004 in a Mobile hospital.
She was a native of Zimco. She was a homemaker. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Jackson.
Survivors include one son, Coleman Chastain, Jackson; one daughter, Gayle Sherman, Jackson; one sister, Hilda James, Saraland; eight grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; six great-great-grandchildren.
The service was held May 7 at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Jackson with Revs. Jim Dufriend and Billy Hall officiating. Burial was in the Bethel Cemetery on Chastain Hill in Jackson. Lathan Funeral Home of Jackson directed.
Active pallbearers were Jackie Chastain, Greg Chastain, Webb Chastain, Will House, Bob House, Travis House, John Brown and Tom Gwin.
Alton Timothy "Festus" Estes, 45, of Coffeeville died May 5, 2004 at his residence.
He had worked as an electrical helper for Edwards Electric Company.
Survivors include his wife, Kelly Estes, Coffeeville; one son, Timothy Allen Estes, Coffeeville; one daughter, Robin Arlene Estes, Coffeeville; five brothers, Robert Allen Estes, Creola, Jack O. Estes, Citronelle, Leslie Earl Estes, Saraland, Mack Ray Estes, Coffeeville, Wylie Lee Estes, Jackson; two sisters, Sarah Alice Estes Snider, Eight Mile, Adaline Estes Covington, Citronelle.
The service was held May 7 at 11 a.m. at the West Bend Baptist Church. Burial was in the West Bend Cemetery. Lathan Funeral Home of Jackson directed.
Active pallbearers were Robbie Mauldin, Scott Estes, Shannon Estes, Richard Covington, Kenneth Mott, Laurie Roberts, Cecil Abston, Perry Pickard, Michael Estes and Tony Cox.
Barbara Bumpers Faulkner, 72, of Jackson died May 6, 2004 at her residence.
She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Jackson. She was a retired merchant of Faulkner Clothing Store.
Survivors include her husband, Clyde Edward Faulkner, Jackson; cousin, Joe and Molly DuBose, Jackson, and a host of nephews and nieces.
The service was held May 8 at 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Jackson. Burial was in the Stave Creek Baptist Church Cemetery. Lathan Funeral Home directed.
Active pallbearers were I.G. Tarleton, Richard McMullen, Doug Bumpers, Frankie Bumpers, Dr. Sid Crosby and Tom Henley.
Melanie Marie Davis, 32, of Leroy died May 2, 2004 at Jackson Medical Center. Survivors include her mother, Janie Davis, Leroy; her father, Joseph Davis, Leroy; three brothers, Gerald McConcico, Los Angeles, Calif., Curtis Brooks, Huntsville, Eric Davis, Leroy; one sister, Tiffany Davis, Leroy; grandmother, Adline Robinson, Leroy.
The service was held Friday, May 7 at 11 a.m. at the St. Union Baptist Church in Leroy. Burial was at the St. Union Baptist Church Cemetery in Leroy. Jackson Memorial Funeral Home directed.
Robert Colen Pope, 64, of Pine Hill died May 5, 2004 at Thomasville Infirmary.
He was a member of Nicholsville Church of God. He had worked as a machine tender at MacMillan Bloedel Inc.
Survivors include his wife, Peggy Pope, Pine Hill; one son, Randall Black, Nicholsville; four daughters, Glenda V. Pugh, Michelle Pritchett, both of Sweet Water, Linda S. Wilson, Meridian, Miss., Angela Walker, Thomasville; three brothers, Doc Pope, Saraland, Joe Pope, Thomasville, John Pope, Spanish Fort; five sisters, Annie Walker, Creola, Laura Rush, Mary Crownover, both of Chickasaw, Ethel Matchem, Satsuma, Vermelle Chasom, Eight Mile; 14 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren.
The service was held May 8 at 11 a.m. at the Hoboken Baptist Church with Rev. Grey Snodgrass officiating. Burial was in the Hoboken Baptist Church Cemetery in Sweet Water.
Active pallbearers were Paul Pugh, Sam Pugh, Jimmy Ballard, Doug Smith, Champ Smith and Jimmy Pritchett.
Honorary pallbearers were Ralph Drewel and Lamar White.
Wilder Luther Rush, 86, of Thomasville died May 8, 2004 at Country Oaks Assisted Living Facility.
He was a member of Elam Baptist Church. He had worked as a mental health worker.
Survivors include one son, Garry Taylor Rush, Creola; three daughters, Minnie E. Robinson, Slocomb, Mary Rush Linder, Thomasville, Linda R. Sturdivant, Needham; one brother, Gaston Seymore Rush, Chickasaw; 15 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Myrtle L. Walker Rush, Father, William Ocie Rush, mother, Sadie Ethel Huggins Rush, three brothers, Sidney Raymond Rush, Quenton Rush, Willard Rush and a sister, Ruth Pritchett.
The service was held May 11 at 2 p.m. at the chapel of O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home with Rev. Clovis Lewis officiating. Burial was in the Elam Baptist Church Cemetery.
Active pallbearers were Larry Joe Rush, Regal Hare, Merle Robinson, Joe Wilkerson, Perry Dailey and Ray Perotti Jr.
Alternate pallbearer was Donnie T. Rush.
Honorary pallbearers were employees of Southern Care Hospice.
Verdis Alton Sheffield, 80, of Thomasville died May 9, 2004 at Thomasville Infirmary.
He was a member of the Midway Baptist Church. He was a veteran of World War II having served in the United States Army. He had worked as a sign engineer with the State of Alabama.
Survivors include one son, Windell Sheffield, Thomasville; two daughters, Faye Tyus, Autaugaville, Wanda Joann Stifflemire, Monroeville; one brother, Richard Carlisle, Tuscaloosa; one sister, Ioma Rivers, Grove Hill; seven grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a brother, James Sheffield.
The service was held May 11 at 11 a.m. at the chapel of O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home with Revs. Percy Clarke and Sammie Daniels officiating. Burial was in the Midway Baptist Church Cemetery in Thomasville.
Active pallbearers were Jonathan Sheffield, Dennis Stifflemire, Cody Hill, Lee Pittman, Dennis Lassiter and Donald Drinkard.
Clara Bell Sheehan Champion, 82, of Pine Hill died May 10, 2004 at her residence.
She was a member of the Pine Hill Baptist Church. She was a homemaker.
Survivors include six sons, John F. Champion, Dickinson, Cornelius Champion Jr., Dixons Mills, Lawrence Champion, Arlington, Ronnie Champion, Henry Champion, both of Thomasville, Hank Champion, Pine Hill; three daughters, Patricia Klug, Sandra F. Champion, both of Pine Hill, Dorothy J. Calvert, Decatur; one brother, Johnny Clifford Sheehan, Orrville; 24 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren.
The service was held May 13 at 11 a.m. at the chapel of O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home with Rev. Benny Harrison officiating. Burial was in the Kelly Cemetery in Pine Hill.
Active pallbearers were John F. Champion, Cornelius Champion Jr., Lawrence Champion, Ronnie Champion, Hank Champion, Henry Champion and Cornelius Champion III.
Jack Stephens, 71, of Grove Hill died May 15, 2004 at his residence.
He was a native of Thomasville. He was a member of the Grove Hill Baptist Church. He was a retired millwright with McMillan-Bloedel Paper Mill.
Survivors include his wife, Nell Pugh Stephens, Grove Hill; two sons, Kerry Stephens, Kliff Stephens, both of Grove Hill; three brothers, Hollis Stephens, Austin, Texas, Everette Stephens, Grove Hill, Herman Stephens, Chilton; one sister, Sally Evans, Carthage, Miss.; four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren.
The service was held May 17 at 2 p.m. at the chapel of Lathan Funeral Home in Grove Hill. Burial was in the Magnolia Lawn Cemetery in Grove Hill.
Active pallbearers were Stan Hutto, Bobby Newton, Buster Hough, Willie Austin, Stevie Stephens and Benny Ray Stephens.
Honorary pallbearers were Robert Fore, Preston Webb, Jimmy Wiggins, Bill Hamilton, DeVane Paul and Cecil Morgan.
Betty Joyce Williams, 69, of Jackson died May 11, 2004 at her residence.
She was a native of Memphis, Tenn. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Jackson. She served as a deaconess of the church and she was a member of the First Presbyterian Women’s Group. She was a homemaker.
Survivors include her husband Willie S. "Sonny" Williams Jr., Jackson; one son, Geary G. Williams, Jackson; one daughter, Bridget Weaver, Jackson; two brothers, Edward Gill, Perdido Beach, Billy Scott, Hermitage, Tenn.; one sister, Dorothy Bunn, Loraine, Ohio; seven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren.
The service was held May 13 at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Jackson. Burial was in the Trinity Memorial Gardens in Jackson. Lathan Funeral Home directed.
David Chapman Fleming Jr., 78, of Evergreen died May 16, 2004 at his residence.
He grew up in Clarke County. He finished high school at Coffeeville High School.
Survivors include his wife, Ernestine Fleming, Evergreen; one daughter, Rosemary Frost, Monroeville; one sister, Addie Lou Beverly, Montgomery; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; nephews, nieces and other relatives.
A graveside service was held May 19 at 11 a.m. at the Magnolia Cemetery in Evergreen. Cope Funeral Home of Evergreen directed.
Flora Overstreet James, 81, of Selma died May 12, 2004.
She was born in Clarke County.
Survivors include one daughter, Wilda Buffaloe; three brothers, Jim Overstreet, Roy Overstreet, both of Chatom, Ben Overstreet, Citronelle; two grandchildren, Donna Oldright, Orrville, Joe Buffaloe, Garland, Texas; four great-grandchildren; a host of nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, George Leon James.
The service was held May 14 at 11 a.m. at the chapel of Lawrence Funeral Home in Selma with Rev. John Davis officiating. Burial was in the New Live Oak Cemetery.
The family suggests memorials be made to the Westend Baptist Church.
Active pallbearers were Gary Overstreet, Joe Overstreet, Jim Griffin, Bobby Sanders, Bill Oldright and Perry Cochran.