Sunday, February 23, 2020
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We Remember: Today’s Obituaries

Here are the latest obituaries and notices as provided by the funeral homes serving Cookeville, Baxter, Monterey, Sparta, Gainesboro and Livingston.

News Talk 94.1/AM 1600 brings you the daily obituaries each morning, Monday through Saturday, at 7:25am, during The Upper Cumberland This Morning and afternoons at 5:25pm during The Upper Cumberland At 5.

Local news, weather and sports on your way to and from work from News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.

Obituaries are presented by Presley Funeral Home, West Jackson Street in Cookeville.

Obituaries For Saturday, February 22

Funeral services for Hershell Glenn Simmons, age 64 of Sparta, will be conducted 11:00am Saturday, February 22, 2020 from the Chapel of Hunter Funeral Home with burial in Smith Chapel Cemetery. Hershell, beloved brother, father and friend went to be with his Lord February 18, 2020. Hershell was born July 31, 1955 in Anderson, Indiana, the fourth of eleven children to the late Herbert Eston and Virgie Mae Simmons. He attended Madison Heights High School and went on to work in construction for his brother-in-law Bill Zile. He learned many skills that he would carry with him through his life. While growing up in Indiana, he vacationed with family in Tennessee and longed for the day he would be able to move there. In 1979, Hershell made the move to White County. During his time in Tennessee, Hershell worked for Cookeville Heating and Cooling for over 30 years. He was a loyal employee and made many friends while working there. He adored his Bon Air Mountain home, and enjoyed the friendships he made. Hershell spent many weekends swimming, sailing and fishing at Thousand Oaks Lake or up in a tree stand on his property. In 1981 he welcomed his daughter into the world on his birthday. Twenty years later in 2001, he welcomed his granddaughter Kiya Simmons. He was so proud of her and she was the apple of his eye. Hershell loved his family and cherished his friends. He was even a friend to animals. He had many beloved companions he came to care for over the years. Hershell was very proud of his personal relationship with Christ. He was secure in his belief that his salvation would be ensured by his faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. In addition to his parents, he is also preceded in death by brothers Virgil Lee Simmons, Jesse Clay Simmons and Herbert Eston Simmons, II; sister Betty Carol Stittums. Family members left to cherish his memory include his daughter Misty Dawn Simmons-Poteet and husband Josh of Sparta; Granddaughter: Kiya Simmons of Sparta; Brother: Malcolm Vernon Simmons of Sparta; Sisters: Vernell Nash, Shirley Evelyn Zile, Martha Ann Sullivan, Rhonda Jean (James) Barnes all of Sparta, Norma Kay High-Smith of Texas. The family will receive friends Friday from 4-8:00pm at Hunter Funeral Home.

Funeral Service for Ray Watson, age 95 of Sparta, will begin at 11:00AM Saturday, February 22, 2020 at Thurman Funeral Home with Interment Doyle Cemetery. He passed from this life to be with the Lord on Sunday, February 16, 2020 with Phillip and Deborah by his side at his residence of Sparta. Ray was a member of Doyle United Methodist Church and a Mason of 66 years at the Sparta Masonic Lodge. Ray was a construction foreman most of his working life. He built many buildings in White and surrounding counties. This included the White County High School, Edd Rogers Chevrolet, and Woodland Park. He also worked at the Sparta Planning Mill. He enjoyed sitting on his front porch in Doyle watching the world pass by. He was a fan of the University of Tennessee sports program and the Atlanta Braves. He was born January 3, 1925 in the Hickory Valley Community to the late Charlie and Lillie Watson. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife of 59 years, Lula Watson; daughter, Devon; sisters, Charlene (Earl) Nash and Emma Lilliam McKellips; brother, Joel (Florene) Watson. Survivors include his son, Phillip Watson; daughter, Deborah and son-in-law Barry Roberts. He was Papa Ray to Janna, Raela, Stefan, Rachel, Stephanie, Brandon, Angie, and Casey. He was great-Papa Ray to Olivia, Laney, and Lucas. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. The family will accept visitors from 5:00PM until 8:00PM on Friday, February 21, 2020 in the chapel of Thurman Funeral Home.

Funeral services for Mrs. Brenda Louise Choate, age 65 of Livingston, will be held on Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 11 AM from the Chapel of the Hall Funeral Home of Livingston with burial to follow in the Dodson Chapel Cemetery in Rickman, Overton Co., TN. Mrs. Brenda Louise Choate was born in Livingston, Overton Co., TN on September 21, 1954 to the late Bill and Louise (Breeding) Judd. Brenda was a schoolteacher for many years in the Overton Co. School System. She loved her family very much. She passed away at her home on Wednesday morning, February 19, 2020. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Friday evening, 21st starting at 5 PM until 8 PM. Officiating the service will be Bro. Orbin “Dog” Lane. In Lieu of Flowers the family request that donation be made toward funeral expenses by contacting the funeral home.

A memorial service for Mr. James Robert Hughes, age 78 of Cookeville, will be held Saturday, February 22nd at 11:00 a.m. at Cookeville First United Methodist Church. Rev. Kevin Conrad will officiate. A reception will follow the service at the church. His family will receive friends Friday, February 21st from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Cookeville chapel of Hooper-Huddleston & Horner Funeral Home and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until service time at the church. Mr. Hughes passed away Sunday, February 16, 2020 at Cookeville Regional Medical Center. His family requests in lieu of flowers memorial contributions be made to Cookeville First United Methodist Church, 165 E Broad St, Cookeville, TN 38501, Cookeville Regional Medical Center Charitable Foundation, 1 Medical Center Blvd., Cookeville, TN 38501 and/or Mended Hearts, Chapter 127, (also at) 1 Medical Center Blvd., Cookeville, TN 38501.

Funeral Service for Sheila Ann McMurry, 52 of Cookeville, will be Saturday, February 22, 2020, at 1:00 pm from the chapel of Crest Lawn Funeral Home with Rev. Diantha McLeod officiating. She passed from this life on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at her home. Sheila was born Monday, May 15, 1967, in Cookeville, she was the daughter of John McMurry and Wanda (Peake) McMurry. Sheila was a loving daughter, sister, niece, and friend. She loved working with kids, she was loved by all that knew her, and she will be greatly missed. Sheila is survived by, Mother, Wanda McMurry, Father, John McMurry. Siblings, Gregory, Anglie, Derrick McMurry; Other Siblings Tyrone, Steve, and Jaqueta McMurry, and Domanick McMurry – Owens. Special Aunt, Teresa and Bobby Smith; A host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and special friends. Sheila was preceded in death by, Brother, Timothy McMurry; Paternal Grandparents, Howard and Nevada McMurry; Maternal Grandmother, Elease Ervin, and Maternal Grandfather, Frank Peake. The family will receive friends from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday, February 22, 2020, at Crest Lawn Funeral Home.

Funeral Services for Mr. Leonard A. Ledbetter, age 85, of Livingston will be conducted 2 p.m., Saturday, February 22, 2020 from the chapel of Speck Funeral Home. Bro. John Mabry will officiate. Burial to follow in the Robbins Cemetery. The family will welcome friends on Friday evening from 5 until 9 p.m., then on Saturday from 12 until time of services. Mr. Leonard Ledbetter passed from this life on Tuesday evening, February 18, 2020 from the Livingston Regional Medical Center. He was born in Overton County, Tennessee on November 27, 1934 to the late Mose E. & Eula Robbins Ledbetter. He was a member of the Hilham Church of Christ. Leonard worked for many years driving a truck for Volunteer Foam in Livingston. He enjoyed mowing grass, watching westerns and old tv shows. He also enjoyed taking on his CB radio, where his handle name was Groundhog.

The Funeral Service for William “Billy” Willhite Jr. ,61, of Sparta, will be held at Oak Lawn Funeral Home on Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 2 pm with John Pippin, Roy Whited and Jeff Turner officiating. He passed away at his home Wednesday, February 19, 2020 in Sparta. He was born on September 29, 1958 to the late William Willhite Sr. and Alice “Susie” Willhite in Sparta. Billy was a member of DeRossett Church of Christ. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by; Grandparents- Dow and Ruby Howard and George and Mary Kate Willhite, Father-in-law- Charles Milligan, Special friend- John David Eller, Cousin- Bobby Howard and several Aunts and Uncles. Billy is survived by; Wife- Sabra Milligan Willhite of Sparta; Son- William Charles Willhite (Jessica) of Cookeville; Daughter- Amy Mackenzie Woodruff (Steven) of Sevierville; Grandchildren- Steven Tyler Woodruff, Allyson Mackenzie Woodruff, Joshua Allen Woodruff, Alexander Able Woodruff and William Howard “Liam” Willhite. Brother- Mack Willhite (Jan) of Sparta; Nieces- Danielle Barnes (Justin) and Janielle Allen (David); Nephew- Coady Willhite; Mother-in-law- Barbara Milligan; Several cousins, neighbors and friends. The family will receive friends on Saturday at the funeral home from 11 am till time of service. In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to American Diabetes Association 1-800-342-2383.

Funeral Service for Mr. JT Gracey, age 92 of Sparta, will begin on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 2:00PM at Thurman Funeral Home. Interment at Old Zion Cemetery. Officiating: Bro. Jimmy Cooke and Bro. John Pippin. He passed away on February 20, 2020 at Life Care of Sparta. JT was the son of Monroe and Maude Jones Gracey, and a lifelong resident of Sparta. He was a member of Corinth Church of Christ and served his community and church in many capacities. He was a former member of Sparta Jaycees and worked with both Sparta (15 years) and Crossville ( 5 years) Fire Departments. He is survived by his wife Allene Gracey and foster daughter, Kelly Cope of Sparta; Grandchildren, Brandon Cope of Sparta, and Kara Haney of Sanford, Florida; Great grand-daughter, Blakelyn Cope of Sparta. Visitation will be Sunday, February 23, 2020 from 10:00AM until 2:00PM. In Lieu of flowers donations may be made to Old Zion Cemetery.

A Celebration Of Life Gathering For Michael “Mike” Sisco, Age 54, Of Crossville, Will Be Conducted On Sunday, February 23, 2020, From 2:00 PM Until 5:00 PM In The Chapel Of Goff Funeral Home. Mr. Sisco Was Born On Tuesday, April 20, 1965, In Crossville, To Jimmie Melton Sisco Of Mayland, And The Late Roger Franklin Sisco. Mr. Sisco Passed Away On Thursday, February 20, 2020, At The Cumberland Medical Center. Mr. Sisco Worked With Cumberland Container, Perdue And In Road Construction For Many Years. He Was Active In Sports Playing Softball, Football And Basketball. He Was A “Sports Dad” Coaching His Daughters Softball Teams For Many Years. He Never Met A Stranger. He Is Survived By, His Mother, Jimmie Sisco And Companion, Charlie Miller Of Mayland; Daughters, Tiffany Sisco Of Monterey, Ashley Fossett And Julie Fossett Of Crossville; 4 Grandchildren, Ariana Goss, Anastasia Anderson, Braeleigh Fossett And Baylor Fossett; Aunts And Uncles, Janice (Rick) Evans, Janis (Michael) Tinnel, Ronald (Virginia) Sisco, Kathleen Harville; And Many Cousins. In Lieu Of Flowers, The Family Request Memorials Be Given To The Funeral Home.

Funeral services for William Herman Smith, age 86, of Cookeville, will be on Sunday February 23 at 2 p.m. at Friendship United Methodist Church. Interment with military honors will follow at Smith Chapel Cemetery. William was a corporal during the Korean War Era in the Army National Guard. He graduated from Dondero High School located in Royal Oak, MI in 1962. He later graduated from a Missionary studies course through the Lutheran Church. He learned French, at the Paris Institute of Language Studies as preparation for the mission field. William was a missionary to Garoua Boulai, Cameroon, Africa from 1965-1968, serving as a house parent in the children’s home. He opened his first bicycle shop in 1952 in Berkley, MI. Moving to Cookeville, TN in 1985, he opened Smith’s Bikery and owned it until his retirement in 1997. He was an avid bicycle rider and a lover of VW Bugs. He was a member of Friendship United Methodist Church where he enjoyed teaching Sunday school. The family will receive friends Sunday from 1 p.m. until time of service at church. Mr. Smith passed away Saturday February 15 at his home.

Funeral services for Mrs. Myrtle Lucile Cunningham Lee, age 98 of Sparta, will be conducted 1:00pm Monday, February 24, 2020 at Hampton’s Crossroads Baptist Church with burial to follow in Cunningham Cemetery. She passed from this life Friday morning, February 21, 2020 at her home surrounded by her loving family. Mrs. Lee was born December 1, 1921 in White County to the late Arthur Lane Cunningham, Sr. and Dora Ann Lafever Cunningham. Mrs. Lee was baptized in August of 1945 and became a life long member of Hampton’s Crossroads Baptist Church. She also devoted her life to being a homemaker and raising their daughter Linda. The family will receive friends Monday from 11:00am until service time at the church. Rev. Bobby Moore and Rev. Maston Jackson will officiate.

Graveside services for James A. Johnson, 73, of Gainesboro, will be held at 2 P.M. on Saturday, March 7, 2020, at the McCurry Cemetery in Burnsville, NC. The family has chosen cremation. He passed away on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, at his residence. He was born September 21, 1946, in Detroit, MI, to the late Aaron P. “Buck” Johnson and Irene Vickers Meadows. He was married to the late Wilma Johnson, who passed away March 7, 2014. He was factory worker, and attended the Spring Creek Baptist Church. In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by Brother: Gary Johnson. Survivors include 3 Daughters: Sandy (David) Stafford, Shawn Edna (Anthony) Durham, and Misty (Robert) Chaffin, all of Gainesboro, TN; 7 Grandchildren: Victoria (Dustin) Head, James Pitman, Wilson Durham, Lilly Chaffin, Emma Chaffin, Bella Chaffin, and CeCe Chaffin; 1 Great Grandchild: David Reed Head; and 1 Brother: Bob Johnson of Gainesboro, TN. Rev. Denny Wilson will officiate at the services.

Graveside Services for Paul Garrison, age 81 of Cookeville will be held March 28, 2020 at Boma Cemetery. He passed from this Wednesday, February 19, 2020, at Cookeville Regional Medical Center. He was born Monday, March 28, 1938 in Gainesboro, Tennessee. He was the son of the late Vestel and Annie (Ramsey) Garrison. Paul was a Machinist and retired from Clawson, Michigan. The family has chosen cremation.