Obituaries

Earl Lee Vanatta

May 25 2017
Earl Lee Vanatta

87 year old Earl Lee Vanatta of Dowelltown passed away Thursday at his residence. He was a retired grinder at TRW in Lebanon where he worked for 26 years. He was also a member of the Mount Herman Baptist Church and he loved playing horseshoes, fishing, and hunting. The funeral will be Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Chapel of Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. Dave Carden and Jonathan Willoughby will officiate and burial will be in DeKalb Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be Friday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. until the service at 1 p.m. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harvey and Avo Bain Vanatta; brothers, Elzie Vanatta and Ewin Vanatta; sister-in-law, Aunia Bell Vanatta; son-in-law, Jimmy Harold Hendrixson; and nephew, Kennith Vanatta. Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Margaret Taylor Vanatta and a daughter, Linda Frances Hendrixson of Dowelltown. Two grandchildren, Michael and Tracey Hendrixson of Smithville and Jason and Tisha Hendrixson of Dowelltown. Five great grandchildren, Mikayla Hendrixson of Murfreesboro, Matt Florida, Elijah Hendrixson, Sydnee Hendrixson, and Izzy Hendrixson all of Dowelltown. Special sister-in-law, Barbara Vanatta. Brother-in-law, Edward Maynard. Nephew, Jeffery and Jalene Vanatta. Niece, Barbara Jean Vanatta and special friend, Vernon Bennett. Love-Cantrell Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Geraldine Davis Hendrixson

May 25 2017
Geraldine Davis Hendrixson

GERALDINE DAVIS HENDRIXSON was born on March 22, 1920, grew up in the Dry Creek community of DeKalb County, and died on May 24, 2017. She was the daughter of William Marshall and Martha Helen Corley Davis. She graduated from Liberty High School where during a production of a play, she met her future husband, Sellars Hendrixson of Smithville. Gerry and Sellars were married for sixty-five years until his death in 2003. They lived all their married years in the house that she designed as a young woman, and her family members still love and enjoy. She loved beauty and had impeccable taste. Her interest in interior design, architecture, landscape, fashion, and art lasted throughout her life. In her mid-80’s she was a passionate member of the interior decorating team at her beloved First Baptist Church. Her graceful signature touches are prevalent throughout the sanctuary.

Gerry was known and loved for her generosity, compassion, graciousness, and enthusiastic love of life. Her friends were legion, spanning all ages and walks of life. She loved entertaining and her hospitality was legendary. All who knew her valued her warmth, fun-loving spirit, and kindness.

Gerry was devoted to her family and received her greatest joy in caring for them. From her, they learned about bravery, grace, self-sacrifice, and appreciation for life. Gerry’s family will always cherish their sweet memories of her.

Gerry was preceded in death by her husband; parents; grandson, Davis Hendrixson; and six siblings.

Gerry is survived by her daughter, Linda and husband Don Fuson; her son, Billy and wife Pam Hendrixson; her grandchildren, Radley Hendrixson, Hunter and wife Monica Hendrixson, Brad and wife Nathalie Fuson, Martha Fuson and husband Patrick Holder; great-grandchildren, Rosson, Carlie, Ella, and Max Hendrixson, Sasha and Katia Fuson, and Patrick and Sellars Holder.

Her requested private family graveside burial for family only will be held at DeKalb Memorial Gardens in Smithville, TN. Dr. Jim E. Hunter, nephew, of Louisville, KY will officiate the private service.

The family would like to thank Gerry’s devoted family physician, Dr. Hugh Don Cripps. They are also deeply grateful for her support teams at Webb House Retirement Center and Caris (Hospice) Healthcare of Cookeville.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church, 101 West Church Street, Smithville, TN 37166, or the charity of your choice.

Love-Cantrell Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements

Jo Ellen Huffman

May 24 2017
Jo Ellen Huffman

65 year old Jo Ellen Huffman of Smithville passed away Tuesday at her residence. She was a member of the West Main Baptist Church in Alexandria and secretary of the 4-H Extension Office. A graveside service will be Friday at 1:30 p.m. at Woodlawn Memorial Park. Visitation will be Thursday from 4-8 p.m. She was preceded in death by her father, Joe Donald Huffman; grandparents, C.W. and Lizzie Nixon and J.P. and Lona Huffman, and an uncle, Harold Evans. Survivors include parents, Nolan and Polly Turner of Smithville. Two aunts, Peggy Evans of Cookeville and Emily and Doug Wills of Nashville. Step brother, Jamie Turner of Dowelltown and several cousins. Love-Cantrell Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. In addition to flowers, the family has asked for donations to be made to the Gideons Bibles.

Lula Ann "Ma Ann" Robinson Smith

May 21 2017
Lula Ann "Ma Ann" Robinson Smith

Lula Ann "Ma Ann" Robinson Smith age 85 of Smithville, passed away Sunday morning, May 21, 2017 at her residence. She was born June 21, 1931 to her parents, the late Barnett and Mary Hester Taylor Hendrixson. She was a long time employee at the nursing home and shirt factory worker, a member of Whorton Springs Baptist Church. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by 2 husbands Eldon Robinson and Finley Smith; 2 brothers, Carman Hendrixson and Skylar Hendrixson; 2 Sisters, Viola Pinegar and Jewel Bain. Funeral Services will be held 1 PM Wednesday May 24, 2017 at DeKalb Funeral Chapel with Bro. Michael Hale officiating and burial to follow in DeKalb Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be Tuesday 11:AM until 8 PM and Wednesday 10:AM until time of the service at 1 PM. Survivors include daughter Linda Barber of Smithville; 2 grandsons, Danny Barber and Scotty Barber both of Smithville; 2 great grandsons, Jasper Barber and Dillan Matthews; Special Nieces, Faye (Walter) Ferrell and Doris (Jerry) Beshearse both of Smithville; Several other nieces and nephews also survive. In addition to flowers donations may be made to the DeKalb Animal Coalition, in memory of Ms. Ann. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Myrtle Lee Luna

May 20 2017
Myrtle Lee Luna

72 year old Myrtle Lee Luna of Sparta died Thursday at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville. She was a homemaker and a member of the Taylor Providence Freewill Baptist Church. She enjoyed puzzles, crafts, and she loved the Lord. The funeral will be Saturday at 4:00 p.m. at the Chapel of Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. Phillip Luna and Joe England will officiate and burial will be in the Taylor Providence Cemetery. Visitation will be Saturday from 1 p.m. until the service at 4 p.m. She was preceded in death by her parents, Rastus and Emma Lee Taylor Luna; a half sister, Rosetta Luna, and five half brothers, Rayburn, Otis, Randall, Wilbur, and Royce Luna. Survivors include caretakers and cousins, John and Jan Pittman and Martha England all of Sparta and several other cousins. Love-Cantrell Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Wayne Petty

May 17 2017
Wayne Petty

64 year old Wayne Petty of Smithville died Wednesday at St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital. He was a foreman with Rogers Group. The funeral will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Chapel of Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. Bryan Jones will officiate and a private burial will be in the Cantrell Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. until the service at 11 a.m. He was preceded in death by his father, Billy Petty. Survivors include his wife of 29 years, Sue Petty of Smithville. One daughter, Dana and Jacob Davis of Dowelltown. One step-son, Barry and Kelly Martin of Cookeville. Four grandchildren, Kendall and Kloe Davis of Dowelltown, Taylor Martin of Smithville, and Hunter Summers of Brush Creek. Mother, Winnie Petty of Smithville. One brother, Randy Petty of Smithville. Three sisters, Treva and Terry Turner, Marlene Bly, and Rebecca Petty all of Smithville. Several nieces and nephews also survive. Love-Cantrell Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Mary Elizabeth Thompson

May 17 2017
Mary Elizabeth Thompson

Mary Elizabeth Thompson age 89 of Alexandria died Wednesday morning, May 17, 2017 at NHC Healthcare in Smithville. Born Dec. 29, 1927, she
was the daughter of the late John Calvin Bly and Rosie Bennett Bly and was preceded in death by her husband, Pinkney O. Thompson in 1999;
sister, Willie Mae Bly and brothers, Hudson and Odell Bly. Mary is survived by her nieces, Shirley Ray, Margie Ball and Ida Mae Byrd; nephews, Danny and Larry Bly; great nieces and nephews and special friend, Clyde Allen Ray. Funeral services will be at 4 p.m. Friday, May 19, 2017 at Hunter Funeral Home in Watertown. Visitation will be from Noon till service time on Friday. Interment will be at Hillview Cemetery in Alexandria. HUNTER FUNERAL HOME in Watertown is in charge of the arrangements.

Nellie Marie Ferrell

May 16 2017

Nellie Marie Ferrell, age 69, of Woodbury passed away Monday, May 15, 2017 at St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital. She was a native of Dekalb Co.

Survivors include her husband of 55 years, Paul H. Ferrell of Woodbury; Daughter, Viva Gail Johnson of Smithville; 3 Grandchildren, Brad (Brandy) Johnson of McMinnville, Melissa Johnson of Cookeville, & Debra Johnson of McMinnville; Siblings, Jennie Herman of Smithville, Mary Chapman of Smithville, & Jo Helen Melton of La Vergne; 4 Great Grandchildren & 2 Step Great Grandchildren. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Jones Vernon Johnson & Mai Lawrence Johnson; and brothers, Willie, Frank, Fred, & Issac Johnson.

Mrs. Ferrell was a member of the Baptist church and was a seamstress at Colonial Corporation and Valdor. She loved flowers and working in her garden.

Funeral Services will be 3 PM Thursday, May 18, 2017 in the Chapel of Woodbury Funeral Home with Bro. Greg Mitchell officiating. Interment will follow at Mt. Aarat Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be from 11 AM to 9 PM Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

Woodbury Funeral Home, 615-563-2311, www.woodburyfuneralhome.net

Ronnie Cantrell

May 16 2017
Ronnie Cantrell

Ronnie Cantrell age 73 of McMinnville, passed away Monday evening, May 15, 2017 at NHC HealthCare in McMinnville. He was born October 23, 1943 to his parents, the late Gentry Lee and Elmer Dean Hall Cantrell. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by 2 sisters, Darlene Haas and Regina Bates. Ronnie was a mechanic and the owner of Cantrell's Marine for 35 years and a member of the Mt. View Primitive Baptist Church. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Judy Cantrell of McMinnville; 2 sons, Robbie Cantrell and Jeff (Julie) Cantrell both of McMinnville; 5 grandchildren, Payton Cantrell, Carter Cantrell, Cyndi Cantrell, Lilly Cantrell and Ella Cantrell; 2 brothers, Jerry Lee (Jane) Cantrell and Phillip (Marilyn) Cantrell both of Smithville. Three sisters-in-law, Louise Cantrell and Lillian (Brownie) Tittsworth all of Smithville and Lois (J E) Gay of McMinnville. One brother-in-law, Zollie D. Cantrell of Signal Mountain. Funeral services will be 2 PM Thursday, May 18, 2017 at DeKalb Funeral Chapel with Elder Paul Violet officiating and interment to follow in DeKalb Memorial Gardens. Visitation with the family will be on Wednesday 1 PM until 8 PM and Thursday 10:AM until the time of the service at 2 PM. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Jason Pankey, Jr.

May 15 2017
Jason Pankey, Jr.

Mr. Jason Pankey, Jr. age 82 of Smithville and a long-time resident of Murfreesboro, passed away Sunday afternoon at his residence. Mr. Pankey was born May 13, 1935 in Kentucky. He was preceded in death by his mother, Pauline Adcox Dickens. A graduate of Central High School in Murfreesboro and attended Middle Tennessee State for 2 years, he worked as a cabinet and furniture maker for Bell Brothers and then Haynes Brothers. He eventually opened his own business and built houses until his retirement. In his younger days, he enjoyed deer hunting with his friends and in retirement, his passion was fishing. Mr. Pankey was a U.S. Navy Veteran serving in the Navy Seabees for 31 years and was a member of the Murfreesboro First Baptist Church. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Betty Jo Faulkner Pankey of Smithville; 1 son, Jason Pankey, III and wife, Mary of Murfreesboro; 2 grandsons, Jason Isaac Pankey and Ryan Nathaniel Pankey; special friends, Jeff and Susan Goldstein and family; several nieces and nephews in the Middle Tennessee area also survive. Funeral services will be 2 PM Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at DeKalb Funeral Chapel with Bro. Isaac Gray and Tommy Webb officiating and burial will follow in DeKalb Cemetery with Military Honors by the Veterans Honor Guard. Visitation will be Tuesday 4 PM until 8 PM and Wednesday 12 Noon until the time of the service at 2 PM. In addition to flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Justin Potter Library, in memory of Mr. Pankey. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

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