Saturday, March 7, 2015

Obits 25 Dec 2014

Dartha Ola Smith
The Clarke County Tribune
Dartha Ola Smith, 85, of Quitman, MS, passed away on December 17, 2014, in Stonewall, MS.
     She was born on July 11, 1929 to William Joseph and Ottie (Smith) Dunnam in Clarke County, MS.
     Dartha is survived by her son, Atlee (Sharon) Smith, II, daughters, Dartha Diane (Walter M.) Crane and Gloria Jean (Wayne) Williams; brother, Neil Dunnam; grandchildren, Michael Crane, Mark Crane, Ruth Combest, Jonathan Williams, Jennifer Hiatt, Angie McCraney, Pike Smith, Shelby Smith, Bryant Smith, and Lori Joyner; great-grandchildren, Ray Crane, Lelia Crane, Walter Crane, Malcomb Combest, Maddy Combest, Tessa Crane, Breonna Crane, David Hiatt, Jordan Hiatt, Mason Jennings, Katherine Williams, Joshua Crager, Maggie Smith, Abraham Smith, Levi Smith, Sawyer Smith, Zachary Crane, Sadie Crane, and Seth King; great-great grandchildren, Sophie Hiatt and Huntley Hiatt.
     She was preceded in death by her husband, Atlee A. Smith, Sr.; son, John Mark Smith; parents, William Joseph and Ottie Dunnam; 3 brothers and 1 sister.
     Visitation was held Friday, December 19, 2014, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Wright's Funeral Home, Quitman.
     Funeral services were held on Saturday, December 20, 2014, 2:00 p.m. at the Bucatunna Baptist Church with Rev. Pike Smith and Rev. Steve Avera officiating. The body was taken to the church at 1:00 p.m. Burial took place in the Bucatunna Baptist Church Cemetery.
     Pallbearers were Shelby Smith, Bryant Smith, Michael Crane, Mark Crane, Jody Combest and Kelvin Hiatt. Honorary Pallbearers were Jonathan Williams, Lee McCraney, David Hiatt, Joshua Crager and Ray Crane.
     Online condolences can be given at

James E. Johnson
The Clarke County Tribune
James E. Johnson, 67, was called Home by his Loving Savior, on Monday, December 15, 2014. James was born in Meridian, MS on August 11, 1947, the son of Edward and Mattie Lee (nee: Smith) Johnson.
     James was a 1965 graduate of William Horlick High School. After graduation, James joined the Racine Police Department, where he served honorably for over 35 years. He was also serving with the Wind Point Police Department for the past 28 years. James was a family man through and through. His grandchildren were the center of his world, and everything revolved around them.
     He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife Rochelle; children, Jorena Lewandowski, of Milwaukee, Tracy (Veronica) Steward, Stacy Johnson, and Preshes Johnson, all of Racine; grandchildren, Ashley, Darrion, Jalen, Jeremy, Justin, Infinity, Jorvonte, and Jeffrey; mother, Mattie Lee Johnson, of Houston, TX; sisters, Edwina (Keith) Green, of Houston, TX, Brenda (Michael) Fortune, of Atlanta, GA, Linda "Faye" (Les) Higgenbottom, of Racine, Janice "Pokey" (Roosevelt) Willis, of Houston, TX, Margaret Love, of Memphis, TN, and Jacqueline Oliver, of Atlanta, GA; brothers, Michael Johnson, of Atlanta, GA, Gregory (Olga) Johnson, of Houston, TX, and Bryant (Brenda) Johnson, of Vallejo, CA. He is also survived by several, nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends. James was preceded in death by his father, Edward Johnson, paternal grandparents, Squire and Peggy Johnson, mater grandparents, Percy and Fabie Smith.
     The visitation was held on Monday, December 22nd from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. The Homegoing Service will be held at 2:00 p.m., in the Enterprise Baptist Church, Enterprise, MS, on Saturday, December 27th. Visitation will be in the church from noon until the time of the service. To honor James' request, burial will follow in the New Fellowship Cemetery, in Enterprise.

William D. Norris, Jr.
The Clarke County Tribune
William Delevan Norris, Jr. 52 died Wednesday, December 17, 2014, in his home surrounded by his family. He was born December 6, 1962, to William Delevan Norris, Sr. and Edwina Sanders Norris in Quitman, MS. He was a long time business man and owner of Bulldog Lanes and a member of the First Baptist Church in Starkville, MS.
     Visitation for Mr. Norris was Saturday, December 20, 2014, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Welch Funeral Home in Starkville, MS, with the funeral service immediately following in the funeral home chapel. Rev. Clifton Curtis conducted he service. Graveside services for family and close friends was Sunday at 2:00 P.M. at Old Union Cemetery in Wayside, AL.
     He leaves his wife, Kristie Jo Uptain Norris; his daughter, Sarah Jo Norris; his son, William Delevan Norris, III; his mother, Edwina Sanders Norris, all of Starkville; and one sister, Sandy Norris Helsel and husband, Fred Helsel of Port Charlotte, FL. He also leaves his beloved Aunt Faye Brownlee of Quitman, MS.
     He was preceded in death by his father, William D. Norris.
     In memoriam, the family asks that donations be made to First Baptist Church, 106 E Lampkin Street, Starkville, MS 39759

Johnnie Rayburn Athey
The Clarke County Tribune
Johnnie Rayburn Athey passed away December 11, 2014, at Cleveland Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Cleveland, MS, following extended hospitalization for complications due to a fall.
     She was born in Sunflower County in the Marie Community November 15, 1924, to the late John S. and Mary Ada Rayburn. A longtime resident of Tutwiler, MS, she had resided for much of the past two years at Providence Assisted Living Center (previously known as Cleveland Personal Care Community) in Cleveland. She was preceded in death by the Rev. Eldred E. (Bro. Jack) Athey, her husband of more than 68 years in November, 2013. She was also preceded in death by her sisters, Ruby McGraw, Verdi Trice and Elsie (Nell) McGraw, as well as her brother, Herbert Mancill (Ray) Rayburn.
     Services honoring her was held December 13, 2014, in the Chapel of Boone-Card Funeral Home, Indianola, MS. Message and tribute were presented by her pastor of more than two decades, the Rev. Dr. Zane D. Hodge of Greenwood, and by a beloved family friend, the Rev. Donelle Wiggins of Tutwiler, MS.
     Some of her favorite gospel songs were presented by cherished friends, the Robert Rowe family and Alan and Robbie Rowe Yeager of Charleston, MS.
     Grandson David Athey, nephews, Ronnie Rayburn, David Trice, and Wayne McGra, great-nephew Duane Holder and family friend Ray Rikard bore her to her final resting place, closely accompanied by nephews, Paul Trice and Mike Rayburn. Burial was in Indianola Memorial Gardens, Highway 49 South, Indianola.
     A graduate of Lockram High School, she didn't consider herself having accomplished a great deal, despite having served in a number of positions in her capacity as a pastor's wife for several decades beginning in the early 1950's, including assisting her husband in the founding of two new churches (one of which was Quitman Church of God) in the 1960s and 1970s. She was a gifted seamstress and cook. Johnnie Athey was primarily recognized for her devotion to her husband, family and church. Great was her faithfulness.
     She is survived by a son, Eddie Athey (Sharon), Quitman; daughter, Bonnie Borkowski (Gene), Tutwiler; grandchildren, Chris Athey (Theresa), Quitman; David Athey (Susie), Toeka, KS and Ada Borkowski Gunn, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and numerous nephews and nieces.

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