Here are the latest obituaries and notices as provided by the funeral homes serving Cookeville, Baxter, Monterey, Sparta, Gainesboro and Livingston.
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Obituaries For Thursday, October 7
Mr. Mark Anthony Sutton, also known as “Dooley,” age 53 of Cookeville, passed away Tuesday, October 5, 2021, at Cookeville Regional Medical Center. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.
Mr. Bill Buckner, age 73 of Baxter, passed away Tuesday, October 5, 2021, at Cookeville Regional Medical Center. Mr. Buckner’s wishes of cremation and no service are being honored. He was born November 20, 1947, in White County, to the late Arvil and Ollie Mae Weaver Buckner. Bill was a retired press operator with Red Kap of Cookeville. He enjoyed collecting old cars and antiques. His pastimes were fishing, gardening and working in his flower bed. Survivors include two daughters, Emily Rae Buckner and Dana Lynn Buckner, both of Cookeville.
Mrs. Reba Babst, age 99 of Cookeville, passed away Monday, October 4, 2021, at her home. A celebration of her life is being planned for a later date. Reba was the eldest daughter of the late Rose and Benjamin Rosen. She graduated from the Vineland High School (NJ), where she was an accomplished pianist. Reba continued to learn throughout her life in the fields of both music and art. Reba was married to Ralph Babst for 38 years, until his untimely death in 1979. During WWII while Ralph was at sea in the Navy, she clerked for the War Department and the Navy. Afterwards, in addition to maintaining a household with three children, she worked for the General Electric Company for 14 years. Later, she became prominent in the Baltimore/Washington area as a piano teacher, Competitions Coordinator for the Baltimore Music Club and was active in the Music Teachers Association of Baltimore and the Maryland State Music Teachers Association. She was a subscribing member of the National, Baltimore, San Francisco, and Nashville Symphonies, and Opera companies. She also enjoyed art classes and traveled extensively, including to the Galapagos Islands, Russia, China, Africa, and New Zealand just to mention a few. Survivors include two sons, Martin Babst (wife Glenna) and Richard Babst (wife Caren); one daughter Carol Babst. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation be made in the honor of Reba to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO). Donations to the BSO can be made online at www.bsomusic.org/donate by scrolling down to “Tribute Giving.”
Funeral services for Ms. Betty Ruth Looper, age 86 of Monterey, will be held Friday, October 8, at 11:00 a.m., from the chapel of Goff Funeral Home. Interment will follow in the Welch Memorial Cemetery. Ms. Looper passed away Tuesday, October 5, 2021, at her home. She was born Thursday, May 9, 1935, in Norrod Hollow of Overton County, to the late Arthur Roscoe And Ruba Mae Key Norrod. She was retired from Post Cereal in Battle Creek, MI, with 42 Years of service. She was a school teacher at Flat Rock School in the Sunk Cane Community of Overton County. She was Protestant in faith, baptized at the Old Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Hanging Limb, and attended Antioch Baptist Church in Michigan. Survivors include a daughter, Jamie Ford Of Cookeville; a son and daughter-in-law, Jack And Lillian Looper of the Crossroads Community of Overton County. She was preceded in death by the father of her children, Andrew Jackson “Junior” Looper Jr. The family will receive friends at Goff Funeral Home on Friday, October 8, from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the funeral at 11:00 a.m.
Graveside services for Mr. Billie Dexter Ayers, age 89 of Crossville and formerly of Overton County, will be conducted Friday, October 8, at 1 p.m., from Campground Cemetery. Mr. Ayers passed away Wednesday, October 6, 2021. He was born July 26, 1932, in Overton County, to John and Essie May (Sullivan) Ayers. Billie was a kind and gentle man who loved his family with all his heart. Billie’s grandchildren loved spending time with him in his garden and taking care of his beloved German Shepherds. Billie was a carpenter by trade and took great pride in his work. Billie was loved and respected by everyone that knew him and his family and friends will miss him greatly. Survivors include his sons, Jason (Sabrina) Ayers of Crossville, Billie (Kim) Ayers of Lake City, FL, and Jeff (Connie) Ayers of Buffalo Valley. The family will welcome friends at the graveside.
Funeral services for Ms. Judy Ann Henderson, age 67 of Sparta, will be conducted Friday, October 8, at 1 p.m., at Oakwood Street Church of Christ. Burial will follow in Davis Cemetery. Ms. Henderson passed away at Sunday, October 3, 2021, at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. She was born November 30, 1953, in Sparta. She retired from Wagner after 30 years of service. Due to her health in her latter years, she spent a great deal of time at home, where she enjoyed playing games and devoting her middays to the Young and Restless and the Bold and Beautiful. She was a longtime member of Oakwood Street Church of Christ. Survivors include her son, Michael Henderson. She was preceded in death by her mother, Zelda Lillian Henderson Prime; her father William “Bill” Gribble. The family will receive friends Friday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Oakwood Street Church of Christ.
Funeral services for Mrs. Rhonda Kay Hutson, age 65 of Sparta, will be held Friday, October 8, at 1:00 p.m., at Hampton’s Crossroads Baptist Church. Burial will follow in Saylors Cemetery. Mrs. Hutson passed away Tuesday, October 5, 2021, at Cookeville Regional Medical Center. She was born December 21, 1955, in Woodbury, the daughter of the late Ralph Henegar and Norma Jean Haley Dunn. Mrs. Rhonda loved going on cruises, crafts, and Christmas, but most of all, she loved her family and her grandchildren. She was also a member of Hampton Crossroads Baptist Church. Survivors include her husband, John E. Hutson of Sparta; a daughter, Melanie Adams Dodson (Jason) of Rock Island; two sons, Jonathan Hutson (Samantha) and Nathan Hutson (Karissa), both of Sparta. She was preceded in death by her father, Ralph C. Henegar. The family will welcome friends on Friday from 10:00 a.m. until time of the service at 1:00 p.m. at Hampton’s Crossroads Baptist Church.
Graveside services for Mr. Harold Thomas “Tommy” Kolbe of Algood, will be Friday, October 8, at 2 p.m., at Woodcliff Cemetery in Monterey. Mr. Kolbe passed away Thursday, June 24, 2021 of cancer. He was a blue collar man who worked his entire life until unable. He was in the manufacturing industry, and also worked construction. Tommy was an animal lover and worked tirelessly to shelter and care for them, wild or domestic. He loved the Chicago Cubs, the Titans and NASCAR. He enjoyed old black and white TV movies and classic Rock N Roll. Always quick to laugh, he was bright, intelligent and a close friend, as well as a brother. Tommy was a member of the Collegeside Church of Christ and was nurtured by his church family until the end. He loved the Lord and was confident in being with him. He is survived by his brother, Jerry Kolbe of Algood.
Funeral services for Ms. Demple Lee Johnson Miller Boyd, age 89 of White County, will be conducted Friday, October 8, at 3:00 p.m., at Spring Hill The Baptist Church. Burial will follow in Spring Hill Cemetery. Ms. Boyd passed away Monday, October 4, 2021. She was born May 11, 1932, in White County, to the late Lesel Holder and Anna Mae Johnson. She professed a hope in Jesus Christ at an early age and was a long time member of Spring Hill the Baptist Church. If there was a single attribute that defined Demple, it is that she was a hard worker. Married at the age of 15 to World War II veteran Chester W. Miller, she had to learn to grow up fast. Her working career first began at the Sparta Shirt Factory where she made many life long friends. Demple spent nearly two decades sewing shirts finally in the mid sixties she enrolled in computer hardware training. At the time, data processing was just becoming an important part of modern business, and this decision would turn out to be a life changer. While working the IBM machines at night, by day she worked the farm. Always in love with animals, she raised pigs, cows and sometimes a few chickens. Cutting hay, and raising tobacco came natural to her. Her boundless energy towards farming seemed to resonate from her very soul. Demple always appeared happiest when in the presence of her cattle. In the early 1980’s she secured a job in the data processing department of City Bank and Trust of McMinnville. This turned into a management position that lasted well into the late 1990’s. When the bank was sold near the end of the decade, she retired from running computers and concentrated mainly on farming. Now well into her mid 60’s, she embraced the outdoors, as retirement provided ample time to spend with her animals, and to tend the farm. It proved shot lived, grandchildren and great-grandchildren infused her with a new life. Before long, she was once again working a night job at Kroger, while working the farm by day. Never satisfied to just “sit around” she was always engaged with “the kids.” Dogs, chickens, cats; any animals the kids wanted, she was all for it. Ball games, school activities, or just going to McDonald’s, she never seemed to tire of the constant activity. Galla, as she was called, was always there to help with whatever was happening. And although the later years proved to be more taxing, she continued into her 80’s farming and helping her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She worked hard all of her life. And although many days were tough, she perservered and remained faithful of a life to come in Christ. Survivors include two children, Flavy Lesel Miller and Lenton Cheryl Miller. The family will receive friends Friday, from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Spring Hill The Baptist Church.
Funeral services for Mrs. Juanita B. Rich, age 79 of Byrdstown, will be held Saturday, October 9, at 11 a.m., from the Byrdstown First Baptist Church. Mrs. Rich passed away Tuesday, October 5, 2021, at her residence. She was born Sunday, February 15, 1942, to the late Johnny and Martha (Neal) Booher. She met and fell in love with Morris Rich at the young age of 14. They married when she was 16 years old, and had 58 wonderful years together. With an entrepreneurial spirit, they successfully ran M & J Grocery, Juanita’s Hair Salon, Country Classic Home Furnishings, and their family farm on Clark Mountain. During her younger years, she enjoyed being a hairdresser. She loved her clients and their families like her own. Juanita never met a stranger, and was often found sitting at the Dixie talking to friends and visitors with a smile on her face. Survivors include two children, Nathan Wayne Rich and his wife, Tina, and Johnnye Alisa Davidson and her husband, Bobby. The family will welcome friends at Byrdstown First Baptist Church, Friday, October 8, from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m., then on Saturday, from 8 a.m. until the time of the funeral at 11 a.m.
Funeral services with military honors for Mr. Kenneth Frank Minnear, age 74 of Cookeville, will be Sunday, October 10, at 1 p.m., at the Dyer Chapel of Hooper, Huddleston and Horner Funeral Home. Interment will follow at Browns Mill Cemetery. Mr. Minnear passed away Tuesday October 5, 2021, at Cookeville Regional Medical Center surrounded be his loving family and friends. The family will receive friends Saturday, from 5 – 8 p.m., and Sunday, from 11 a.m. until service time.
Funeral services for Mr. Russell Stephen Baum, age 71 of Byrdstown, will be held Sunday, October 10, at 2 p.m., from the chapel of Hunter Funeral Home. In honor of Mr. Baum’s wishes, he will be cremated following his funeral, and his ashes taken to a special location in New York. Mr. Baum passed away Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at The Medical Center of Kentucky in Bowling Green, KY, from complications of Covid-19. He was born November 6, 1949, in Callicoon, NY, to the late Edward John and Florence Marjorie Simonson Baum. He had a successful career in scrap metal and heavy equipment sales. If he was not working, he enjoyed attending auctions of all types, especially truck auctions. With his successful career, he was also proud of his son Jesse who has had great success in his own business. Survivors include his three children, James and Jesse Baum of Pennsylvania, and Tara Baum of McMinnville. The family will receive friends Sunday from noon until 2 p.m. at Hunter Funeral Home.
Celebration of Life services for Mr. David Michael Emerick, age 70 of Livingston, will be conducted Sunday, October 10, at 2 p.m., from the chapel of Speck Funeral Home in Livingston. Military Honors will be provided by the Overton County Veterans Honor Guard. Mr. Emerick passed away Tuesday, October 5, 2021, at his residence. He was born in Troy, OH, on April 4, 1951, to the late Arnold and Margarite Holly Emerick. David always loved building and riding Harley Davidson motorcycles and spending time with his family. Survivors include his daughters, Nicci Emerick-Bergseng of Washington and Elsey Emerick of Florida; sons Erik Emerick of Livingston and Zakari Emerick and wife, Amy, of Livingston; and fiancée, Jennie Greenwood of Livingston. In addition to his parents, Mr. Emerick was preceded in death by a son, Mathew Emerick. The family will welcome friends on Sunday, from 11 a.m. until the time of services at 2 p.m., at Speck Funeral Home.
Graveside services for Mr. William Carl Roberts Jr., age 60 of Sparta, will be held Sunday, October 10, at 2:00 p.m., at Oak Lawn Memorial Cemetery, with full military honors provided by the Veteran’s Honor Guard. Mr. Roberts passed away Sunday, October 3, 2021, from COVID. He was born February 7, 1961, in Akron, OH, son of the late William Carl and Johnnie Bell Roberts. He proudly served in the United States Army, Marines Corps, and National Guard. Survivors include a son, William Chandler Roberts of McMinnville.
Memorial services for Ms. Helen Elizabeth West, age 68 of Jackson County, will be conducted Sunday, October 10, at 2 p.m., in the chapel of Anderson Upper Cumberland Funeral Home. Ms. West was born December 12, 1952, in Jackson County, the daughter of Dowell West and Blanche Young West. She was a food service worker. Survivors include two sons, Brian Birdwell (Traci), Brandon Birdwell; two daughters, Tracey Way (Danny), Tonya Kinnaird (Brian). Visitation will be Sunday from 12 Noon until 2 p.m. at Anderson Upper Cumberland Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Union Hill Flatt Cemetery by contacting the business office of the funeral home.
Funeral services for Mrs. Mary Jo Tollison, age 64 of Jackson County, will be on Tuesday, October 12, at 2 p.m., in the chapel of Anderson Upper Cumberland Funeral Home. Burial will follow in John L. Clark Memorial Cemetery. Mrs. Tollison passed away Tuesday, October 5, 2021, in Cookeville Regional Medical Center. She was born February 2, 1957, in Jackson County, the daughter of the late Hubert Hamlet and Fannie Earlene Davidson Hamlet. She was a factory worker. Survivors include two sons, Bill Edmond Kinnard of Smyrna and Daniel Hubert Kinnard of Leitchfield, KY. Visitation will be held Monday, October 11, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m., and again on Tuesday, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Anderson Upper Cumberland Funeral Home.
A visitation for the family and friends of Mr. Gordon Gene Stephens, age 74 of Cookeville, will be held from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Saturday, October 16, 2021, at Crest Lawn Funeral Home in Cookeville. There will be an Honor Guard presentation at 1:00 pm. Mr. Stephens passed away Sunday, September 26, 2021, surrounded by his family. Gordon proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Conflict. He proudly rode with and was a member of the Mechanized Calvary, First Battalion, Company “A”. He loved to ride his Harley Davidson motorcycle with his wife, Brenda, and friends. He is survived by his loving wife, Brenda Stephens; and daughter, April Wiseman. Following the visitation, Gordon will be taking his last ride to Big Puckett’s Campground where they will be celebrating his life. A pot luck meal will be served. Please bring a dish to share.