Martha Jane Whitaker
Martha Jane Whitaker, 85, of Cookeville, passed away on Sept. 24 in Sparta. A memorial service was held on Oct. 1 at First Presbyterian Church of Cookeville.
Born on March 5, 1931 in Durham, N.C. to Eric Clyde Johnson and Annie Bagwell Johnson, Martha Jane graduated with the Durham High School class of 1949. From her earliest years, Martha Jane was a lifelong advocate of education and reading. Even as a teenager, she regularly volunteered in programs that brought books and literacy to the poor of rural North Carolina. Always an outstanding and enthusiastic student, she received a full scholarship to attend the teaching program at “WC” (Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina – now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro).
In 1952, she took the courageous step of leaving her hometown and traveling halfway around the world to Honolulu, Hawaii, where she was married to her high school sweetheart, Faison Young “Whit” Whitaker, on Sept. 4. There, she continued her drive toward teaching, proudly graduating from the University of Hawaii with a degree in education.
Returning to the mainland and never afraid of new adventures, the new couple would find themselves in New Jersey, North Carolina and, later, Nevada. In each city along the way, Martha Jane devoted herself to her calling, patiently and passionately shaping young minds in the classroom – including those of her own two children. In 1973, joining with her longtime friend Margaret Wruble, Martha Jane launched an independent day school/preschool in Las Vegas. For the next 16 years as Director, Martha Jane would motivate and lead her students and staff. Today, All Saints Day School continues to thrive with the principles and mission that Martha Jane established nearly 44 years ago.
After retiring, Martha Jane and Whit moved to Cookeville where they found the more intimate small town life they had enjoyed in their youth. Also, with a lifelong enthusiasm for old cars, Martha Jane and Whit were also members of several car clubs. Never one to rest, Martha Jane continued her passion for education and children. She regularly volunteered at Sunday School and at the Putnam County Library, and she was an active and enthusiastic member the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO).
Those who knew Martha Jane will remember her for her graciousness, her patience and her unfailing kindness, always ready to celebrate the lives and accomplishments of others. An eternal optimist, she always had a compliment and an encouraging word for her family, her friends and everyone she met. We know that Martha Jane is patiently waiting for her loved ones to join her, with a welcoming smile, an encouraging word…and a plate of slightly burnt cookies.
Martha Jane is survived by her soulmate and husband of 64 years, Whit Whitaker; daughter and son-in-law, Beth and George Wood, her son, Eric Whitaker; grandchildren Chris Whitaker; Michelle Fairfield, and James Fairfield; along with an extended family of nieces, nephews and step-great-grandchildren, all of whom are grateful for her love, her patience and her compassion.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Putnam County Library, 50 East Broad St., Cookeville, TN 38501. The family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to the caring staff at LifeCare Center of Sparta, and to the medical and hospice staff who tended to Martha Jane in the last days of her life.
Arrangements were made by Hooper, Huddleston and Horner Funeral Home, 931-526-6111. You may share your thoughts and memories at www.hhhfunerals.com.
Willam A. Roop
William A. “Bill” Roop Sr. 80, of the Ozone Community in Monroe, passed away Sept. 25 at Livingston Regional Hospital. Funeral services were held Sept. 29 from the chapel of Speck Funeral Home in Livingston with Bro. Joe Lee and Bro. Robert Kitchen officiating. Interment followed in the Roop Family Cemeterey in Monroe, where there was a military service provided by the Honor Guard from the James T. Davis Memorial Post 5062 of the VFW in Livingston.
He was born July 29, 1936 in Jonesville, Va. He was a residential building contractor and veteran of the U.S. Army. He loved his family and spending time with them. He also loved farming, raising animals, telling stories and watching all sports.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Houston and Mary Ella Warner Roop; daughter, Patricia Ann Roop; sisters, Jouie Roop and Jewell Waddell; and brothers-in-law, Robert Kraus and Richard Syferd.
Surviving relatives include his sons, William Alexander (Marilyn) Roop Jr. of Livingston, Michael Roop of Livingston and David Roop of Nebraska; daughters, Wanda Wallace and Vicki Jones, both of Indiana, and Amy (Elmer) Helton of Lafayette, Ind.; grandchildren, Rebecca, Brannon, Samantha, Nathaniel, Shianne, Michaela and Mickenze; five step-grandchildren; two great grandchildren; sisters, Reba Kraus of Crown Point, Ind. and Mary Belle Syferd of Peru, Ind.; brother, Tommy (Karen) Roop of Michigan; special caregiver, Tina Kitchen and several nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers were Brannon Roop, Joe Lee, William Roop Jr., Michael Roop, David Roop and Elmer Helton.
Edith Carol Sherrils
Edith “Edie” Carol Flowers Sherrils, 72, of Perry County, Ga. and formerly of Overton County, passed away Sept. 26. Funeral services were held Sept. 30 from the chapel of the Heritage Memorial Funeral Home and Crematory in Warner Robins, Ga. with Rev. Andrew Pickens officiating. Interment followed in the Pleasant View Baptist Church Cemetery in Wilcox County, Ga.
She was born in Overton County on Oct. 2, 1943. She was retired from Wells Fargo and worked for the Bank of Perry as a teller. Edith was a loving and devoted wife, mother and grandmother who will be greatly missed by all.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Cecil and Florence Ledford Flowers; and her brothers, Howard, Doug and Dale Flowers.
Surviving relatives include Tommy McGlamry of Perry, Ga.; daughters, Angela Hight (Bill) Patterson of Byron, Ga., Lisa Banks of Warner Robins, Ga. and Dawn Owens of Perry, Ga.; granddaughter, Kacey (Bruce) Vance; grandsons, Matthew (Emily) Hight and Tyler Banks; brothers, Donald (Rhonda) Flowers, Dwight Flowers and Darrell (Gail) Flowers; and sisters, Carol (James) Wilson and Edna Hughes.
Heritage Memorial Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. Information provided by Speck Funeral Home.
Evelyn Boles Sidwell, 80, of Livingston, passed away Oct. 1 at Livingston Regional Hospital. Funeral services were held Oct. 3 from the chapel of Speck Funeral Home with Bro. Jerry Buck officiating. Interment followed in the Turkey Town Cemetery.
She was born Jan. 9, 1936 in Clay County. She enjoyed reading her Bible daily and watching television. She loved spending time with all her grandchildren, great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Ricey and Reecee Tharp Boles; her daughter, Beverly Sue Boles; grandson, Russell Sidwell; sisters, Nora, Ora, Cora, Nelldean and Betty; and brother, Ricey Boles.
Surviving relatives include her husband of 49 years, Billy Sidwell of Livingston; daughters, Donna Edwards and Carolyn Breeding both of Livingston, Teri (Jeff) Staggs of Rickman and Elena Borfoush of Allons; sons, Gary (Trish) Sidwell and Larry (Angie) Sidwell of Livingston; 21 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild; sisters, Thema Simpson, Gracie Beckett and Reecee Boles.
Pallbearers were Danny Edwards, Billy Edwards, Keith Edwards, Johnathan Crabtree, Thomas Edwards, Alex Contrea and Spencer Hargis.
Memorial donations may be made to the family by contacting Speck Funeral Home.