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Obituaries Archive: April 9 - April 22


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GRADY JONATHAN STANFILL
1992-2011
MCKENZIE: Grady Jonathan Stanfill, 18, fought a valiant two-year battle before succumbing to a rare form of cancer on Sunday, April 17, 2011. A memorial service is Thursday, April 21, at 6:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church of McKenzie with visitation starting at 5:30 p.m.
Grady was born May 15, 1992 in Memphis. He was an avid LSU football and University of Memphis basketball fan. He graduated from McKenzie High School in 2010 and had been accepted as a freshman at Bethel University. He enjoyed playing drums and guitar and loved music. Grady was a tremendous inspiration to everybody that knew him.
He leaves his parents and caregivers, Linda Beth and Grady James Stanfill of McKenzie; his mother, Travilla L. Phillips of Memphis; brothers, Holden James Stanfill of McKenzie and Samuel Dustin Phillips of Memphis; sister, Brittney Rae Wixon-Stanfill of McKenzie; grandparents, Grady John and Diana Stanfill of McKenzie and Tommy Austien of Memphis and Betty Rea of McKenzie; several uncles, aunts and cousins.
Please send any memorials to the Carroll County Animal Shelter.
McKenzie Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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JOE DAVID HAMILTON
1959-2011
HUNTINGDON: Joe David Hamilton, 52, died Saturday, April 16, 2011, at Skyline Medical Center in Nashville. Funeral services were Monday, April 18, at 2 p.m. at Chase Funeral Home with Bro. Fred Ward officiating.  Burial followed in Chapel Hill Cemetery. 
Pallbearers who served were Eric McMackins, Paul Stokes, Mark Williams, Jeff Stephens, Brad Dean, and Tony Crocker.  Honorary pallbearers were Tony Kee and Jeff Lowe.
Mr. Hamilton was born January 3, 1959 in Rockford, Illinois. He was a sales representative for Swedish Match of North America, worked for Bank of Huntingdon for three years, then for Brown and Williams Tobacco Company for eight years, and also was the former owner of the Hamilton's Stop and Shop. He was also a member of the Huntingdon First Baptist Church.
Survivors include: his wife of 25 years, Sherrie (Lowe) Hamilton of Huntingdon; two sons, Alexander David Hamilton and Hunter Scott Hamilton, both of Huntingdon; his parents, Joe and Carolyn Hamilton of Huntingdon; two sisters, Brenda Blackwell (Gerald) Ray and Debbie (Tony) Kee, both of Huntingdon; brother-in-law, Jeff (Melissa) Lowe of Huntingdon; four nieces, Kristen Lowe, Betty Blackwell Jaskolka, Sharon Blackwell Thornton, and Ashley Kee Hastings; two nephews, Chad Kee and Jace Lowe; one great-nephew, Thomas Thornton; one step-niece, Tori McQuesten; and one step-nephew, Ryan McQuesten.
Paid obit

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LLOYD LEE ROSS
1918-2011
HUNTINGDON: Lloyd Lee Ross, 93, died April 17, 2011. Funeral services were Tuesday, April 19, at 11 a.m. at Chase Funeral Home with Bro. Roger Graham officiating. Burial followed in Palestine Cemetery.
Mr. Ross was born March 24, 1918 in Point Pleasant, Missouri to the late William Charles and Ida Ethal Dean Ross. He was a member of the Huntingdon Church of Christ in West Tennessee. He fought with the Army in World War II, where he survived a gunshot wound to the face.  After the war, he worked as a farmer, carpenter and commercial fisherman.  He and his wife served for several years as houseparents at Christian children's homes in Arkansas and Texas.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret Magdaline House Ross; two brothers, L.D. Ross and John William Ross; and two sisters, Hazel Elizabeth Brasher and Ada Mildred Beasley.
A sweet man with an ornery streak, Lloyd loved hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors.  He lived with his son Kenneth Dale Ross near Huntingdon.
Survivors include: three sons, Kenneth Dale Ross of Huntingdon, Charles Edward (Evelyn) Ross, Sr. of Waco, Texas, and Robert Lee (Judy) Ross of Haslet, Taxas; two daughters, Mary Catherine Zetzsche of Huntingdon and Mary Ruth Brogan of Harrisburg, Illinois; 15 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

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RACHEL NICHOLE PAGE
HUNTINGDON: Rachel Nichole Page, 20, died Monday, April 11, 2011 at her home. Funeral services were Thursday, April 14, at 12 p.m. at Chase Funeral Home with Bro. Fred Ward officiating. Burial followed in Carroll Memorial Gardens.
Miss Page was born February 18, 1991 in Jackson to John Page and Niki (Hailey) Page. She was a graduate of Huntingdon High School Class of 2009 and a member of the First Baptist Church in Huntingdon.
Survivors include: her parents, John and Niki Page of Huntingdon; one brother, Caleb Page of Huntingdon; maternal grandparents, Paul and Mary Flippin of Huntingdon and Billy and Janis Hailey of Lakeland; paternal grandparents, John and Joyce Page, Sr. of Huntingdon; aunts, uncles and cousins.

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RUBY LEE MCMILLIN
1922-2011
HOLLOW ROCK: Ruby Lee McMillin, 88, died Sunday, April 17, 2011 at her home. Funeral services were Tuesday, April 19, at 2 p.m. at Prospect Baptist Church in Hollow Rock with Bro. David Bayer and Bro. Robert Conley officiating. Burial followed in New Prospect Cemetery near Hollow Rock.
Mrs. McMillin was born June 2, 1922 in Buena Vista to the late Leonard Ken Pinkley and Julia Ann Noles Pinkley. She was owner/manager of Mack's Bargain House and member of Prospect Baptist Church. Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, J.W. McMillin; one daughter, Julie McMillin; two sons, Kenny McMillin and Jimmy Rex McMillin; one sister, Ula Barham; and one brother, L.K. Pinkley.
Survivors include: one daughter, Jennie Nunamaker of Hollow Rock; seven grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

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NED RAY MCWHERTER
Ned Ray McWherter, who was born a sharecropper's son in the Great Depression and went on to a career as a successful businessman, House speaker, Tennessee governor and confidant to presidents, died April 4 at age 80.
Mr. McWherter, who had battled cancer in recent months, died peacefully at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville with his son, Mike McWherter, and his longtime personal physician, Karl Van Devender, at his side.
There was a public memorial service for Mr. McWherter at the War Memorial Auditorium in downtown Nashville at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, and another on Sunday, April 10, at the former chief executive's home in Dresden.
Mr. McWherter's life in many ways was the quintessential American success story. He learned to read in a one-room school with a wood-burning stove, bussed tables for his family's restaurant, and began his career as a traveling shoe salesman. He parlayed a strong work ethic, a large physical presence and an engaging personality into a career that included several successful businesses and nearly three decades as one of Tennessee most prominent leaders in state government.
Mr. McWherter was elected unopposed to the House of Representatives in 1968. In his third term he was elected speaker of the House.
Mr. McWherter developed a reputation for bi-partisan cooperation. In 1984 he joined Republican Governor Lamar Alexander to support a sales tax increase and a controversial education package.
He retired from the legislature in 1986 as one of Tennessee's most influential state House speakers, having presided over a shift in power that saw the legislature become a more equal partner with the once-dominant executive branch. Under his leadership, the House opened the legislative process, adopting rules that prohibited closed committee hearings and that required that most state records be available to the public.
The rural speaker appointed the South's first black committee chairman, Ira Murphy of Memphis. Reflecting McWherter's Depression-era philosophy, the legislature during this period enacted a number of conservative fiscal policies, including a requirement that the issuance of state bonds be accompanied by the first year's debt service and that changes to the state pension fund be approved by a committee comprised of the legislature's fiscal leaders. The result of these and other fiscal policies was a low state debt and a high bond rating that saved Tennessee taxpayers millions of dollars in interest costs.
Mr. McWherter's election as governor in 1986 began with a difficult three-candidate primary and ended in the general election with his victory over a popular former governor.
He cut budgets and set an early goal of regaining control of the state prison system that he had been taken over by the federal court. His most significant legislative initiative was a successful effort to establish new standards for the state's nursing homes and civil penalties for serious violations.
McWherter's priority was what he called the 95-County Jobs Plan, a reflection of his belief that Tennessee's economic growth needed to be distributed beyond the state's metropolitan centers. Over his two terms the plan shaped most of his administration's major policy initiatives--including education, roads, health care and waste management-in an effort to attract jobs and reduce chronic unemployment in 42 rural Tennessee counties that had suffered double-digit unemployment for more than a decade.
A road construction plan to link rural communities to the interstate system exceeded a billion dollars annually.
After re-election in 1990, McWherter's most ambitious legislative accomplishment occurred in 1992 with passage of a sweeping education package that equalized state funding for schools, raised graduation standards, abolished elected school superintendents, and implemented a "value-added" evaluation system for teachers that later was adopted by a number of other states.
The final component of his 95-County Jobs Plan was an effort to provide primary health care to the 500,000 uninsured Tennesseans, many of whom lived in the states' rural communities. McWherter's answer was TennCare, a radical plan designed to expand coverage and lower costs by placing the state's massive Medicaid program for indigent care under the management of the private sector. The plan worked initially, saving more than $2 billion and giving Tennessee the highest percentage of insured citizens in the country. Over time, a combination of lawsuits, mismanagement and increasing costs forced succeeding governors to greatly reduce TennCare's scope.
By the close of McWherter's administration in late 1994, Tennessee's economic growth ranked among the nation's highest. The state's unemployment was the lowest in history, and - most important to McWherter - the number of counties with double-digit unemployment had been reduced to two.
After leaving public office, McWherter enjoyed interspersing relaxation with involvement in political campaigns, civic causes, business ventures and spending time with his family.
In addition to his son, Michael Ray McWherter, the former governor is survived by his daughter-in-law Mary Jane Wooten McWherter; two grandchildren, Walker Ray McWherter and Mary Bess McWherter; a stepdaughter, Linda Ramsey; two step-grandchildren, Matthew Ramsey and Brett Ramsey; and a step great-granddaughter, Eliana Hannee Ramsey.
Pallbearers were James C. "Jim" Free, Sam Kennedy, Mary Bess McWherter, Walker Ray McWherter, Brett Riley Ramsey, Mathew Beck Ramsey, The Honorable John Tanner. Honorary Pallbearers are Lt. Jim Beaty , Lt. Col. Steve Browder, Representative Lois DeBerry, David Dortch, Jimmy Evans, Jr. ,Terry Farris, Randy Gregory, Jim Hall, Betty Haynes, Martha Ingram, Carl Johnson, Mary Kennedy, J.W. Luna, Senator and Ms. Harlan Mathews, Speaker Emeritus Jimmy Naifeh, Madelyn B. Pritchett, Lt. Mark Proctor, Lt. Steve Russell, Judge David Welles, Dr. Karl Vandevender.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis.
Paid obit

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WILLA PATE REEDER
1914-2011
SEBRING, FLORIDA: Willa Pate Reeder, 97, formerly of McKenzie, died Monday, April 4, 2011 at Hope Hospice, Sebring, Florida. Graveside services were Friday, April 8, at 1 p.m. at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in McKenzie.
Mrs. Reeder was born February 27, 1914 in Clay County, Mississippi to the late Alan Estes Pate and Jenny Lee Henley Pate. Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Alex Reeder; seven sisters and one brother.
Survivors include: three daughters, Barbara Manning of Sebring, Florida, Patricia Trier of Orlando, Florida and Carolyn Sweeney of Dixon, Illinois; 10 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.

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CHARLES L. THOMAS
HERMITAGE: Charles L. Thomas, 72, died Friday, April 8, 2011. Services were Sunday, April 10, at 2 p.m. at Phillips-Robinson Funeral Home. Burial was Monday, April 11, at 2 p.m. at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in McKenzie.
Survivors include: his wife, Bitia Thomas; sons, Randall and Larry Thomas, Jr.; and one brother, Lenny Thomas.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to charity of your choice.
Phillips-Robinson Funeral Home, www.phillipsrobinson.com, was in charge of arrangements.

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WILLIAM CECIL ELDRIGE
2010-2011
REAGAN, TENNESSEE: William "Will" Cecil Eldridge, 11 months, died Saturday, April 2, 2011 at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville. Funeral services were Thursday, April 7, at 11 a.m. at Chase Funeral Home With Bro. Johnny Burns and Sis. Brenda Kemp officiating. Burial followed in Antioch Cemetery in Springville.
William was born April 29, 2010 in McKenzie to Amanda Kay (Eldridge) Flippin and Cecil Edward Anderson, Jr. He was preceded in death by his half-sister, Kimber Morgan.
Survivors include: his parents, Amanda Kaye Flippin and Cecil Edward Anderson, Jr. of McKenzie; foster parents, Ronnie and Tammie Melson of Reagan; maternal grandmother, Barbara Eldridge of Paris; paternal grandmother, Mary Ann Anderson of Huntingdon; maternal great-grandmother, Ruth Kemp of Springville; and paternal great-grandmother, Annie Bell Breeden of Selmer.

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JAMES THOMAS ESKEW
1917-2011
HUNTINGDON: James Thomas Eskew, 93, died Thursday, April 7, 2011 at Huntingdon Health & Rehabilitation Center. Funeral services were Sunday, April 10, at 2 p.m. at Dilday-Carter Funeral Home with Bro. Robert White officiating. Burial followed in Oak Hill Cemetery.
Mr. Eskew was born September 25, 1917 in Carroll County to the late David Eskew and Lucy Elizabeth (Bessie) Dill Eskew. He was a retired rural mail carrier with 38 years of service and a WW II Army veteran. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Carlos Eskew, Martin Eskew, and Ray Eskew; and one sister, Estelle Rosser.
Survivors include: his wife of 67 years, Frances Eskew; one son, Tommy (Kathy) Eskew of Martin; one daughter, Paula (Buddy) Leach of Huntingdon; two sisters, Leona (TC) Chandler and Ruth Bennett, both of Huntingdon; five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

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