Banks County News

January 30, 2008


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Evia Stewart
Evia Stewart, 84, of Commerce, died Sunday, January 27, 2008, at her residence.
Born in Hall County, she was the daughter of the late Robert Richard and Tensie Fortson Campbell. Mrs. Stewart was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond Stewart; daughters, Elaine Wiley and Jody Lee; and sons, Johnny Stewart and Donnie Stewart.
Survivors include daughters, Diane Matthews, Nicholson, Linda Lee, Commerce; sons, Merlin Stewart, Commerce, Robert Weldon Stewart, Hoschton, Ronnie Stewart, Whitesburg, Gary Stewart, Buford; 24 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, January 29, in the chapel of Ivie Funeral Home with the Rev. Chad Rising officiating. Burial was in White Plains Baptist Church cemetery.
Ivie Funeral Home, Commerce, was in charge of arrangements.
The Banks County News, January 30, 2008.

Jack Irvin
Carl Jack Irvin Sr., 79, of Baldwin, died Friday, January 25, 2008, at Habersham County Medical Center.
Born in Habersham County on January 16, 1929, he was the son of the late Lee V. and Stella Thomason Irvin. He was self-employed and a member of Leatherwood Baptist Church.
Mr. Irvin served on the Banks County Commissioners’ Board for 20 years and later served in the State House of Representatives 10th District for 12 years. He was a member of the Hollingsworth Masonic Lodge #355 F.&A.M., a 50-year mason, and also a member of the Yaarab Shrine Temple of Atlanta. He was preceded in death by a brother, Lee V. Irvin, Jr.
He enjoyed hunting and fishing, but most importantly he enjoyed being surrounded by his children and grandchildren, according to loved ones.
Survivors include his loving wife, Ann D. Irvin, Baldwin; daughters and sons-in-law, Zoe and Rod Pass, Hope Mills, N.C., Wanda and Gene DeLeo, Washington, D.C., and Teresa and Steve Dodd, Baldwin; son and daughter-in-law, Carl Jack Irvin Jr. and Dessie Irvin, Baldwin; brother and sister-in-law, Tommie and Alice Irvin, Baldwin; ten grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, January 29, in the chapel of McGahee-Griffin & Stewart Funeral Home with the Rev. Tim House officiating. Burial was in Leatherwood Baptist Church Cemetery with Dr. Ken Franklin officiating.
McGahee-Griffin & Stewart Funeral Home, Cornelia, was in charge of arrangements.
The Banks County News, January 30, 2008.

‘Matt’ Yates
Charles Matthew “Matt” Yates, 26, of Baldwin, died Friday, January 25, 2008, at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville.
Born in Jackson County on March 21, 1981, he was the son of Chuck Yates of Rivera Beach, Fla., and Elaine Rogers of Baldwin. He attended the New and Living Way and The Torch. He enjoyed spending time with his son, Tyson, his family and friends, and playing sports, according to loved ones.
Survivors in addition to his parents, include a son, Tyson Yates, Baldwin; step-father, Phillip Rogers, Baldwin; brother, John Paul Rogers, Turnerville; sister, Kim Payne, Homer; step-sisters, Tonya Ellerbee and Tara Rogers, both of Clarkesville; godmother, LeAnne Masten, Clarkesville; godparents, Bruce and Carolyn Joyce, Clarkesville; and several nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, January 29, at Grove Level Baptist Church with Pastor Mike Garroutte and Bruce and Carolyn Joyce officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery with Pastor Mike Franklin officiating.
Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice.
McGahee-Griffin & Stewart Funeral Home, Cornelia, was in charge of arrangements.
The Banks County News, January 30, 2008.

Bruce Simmons
Bruce Edward Simmons, 58, of Homer, died Saturday, January 26, 2008, at a private care facility.
He was born on June 2, 1949, in Banks County, the son of the late Brodice and Gleness Kelley Simmons. He attended Banks County High School and was in the trucking business for 30 years, having owned and operated Kayton Express, Inc. for 22 years. He attended Mt. Sinai Congregational Holiness Church. Mr. Simmons was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Jessica Whitney Fowler.
Survivors include his wife, Glenda Tyler Simmons, Homer; daughters, Karen Fowler and Tonya Pruitt, both of Homer; sisters, Arlene Gailey and Annie Ruth Simmons, both of Baldwin; brothers, Ernest Simmons and Rickey Simmons, both of Baldwin; grandchildren, Christina Fowler, Dylan Fowler, Kirkland Pruitt, Gabriel Pruitt, Kim Pruitt and Haleigh Pruitt.
Funeral services were held Monday, January 28, at Mt. Sinai Congregational Holiness Church with the Revs. Billy Autry, Herman Nation and Greg Baldwin officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery.
Whitfield Funeral Home, South Chapel, Baldwin, was in charge of arrangements.
The Banks County News, January 30, 2008.

Edna Bell
Edna Bell, 88, of Baldwin, formerly of Toccoa, died Wednesday, January 23, 2008, at a private health care facility.
She was born on January 29, 1919, in Stephens County, the daughter of the late Ernest and Marie Holcomb Purcell. She was a member of the Sunnyside Baptist Church and was a homemaker. Mrs. Bell was preceded in death by her husband, Angus A. Bell; grandson, David Purcell; daughter-in-law, Nell Purcell; sister, Mary Hampton; brothers, Clarence Purcell and Terrell Purcell.
Survivors include a son, Elbert Purcell, Snellville; step-daughter, Peggy Bell, Clarkesville; sisters, Joyce Collins, Toccoa, Agnes Brown, Martin, Helen Taylor, Marietta, Ruby Ferguson, Dawsonville, Nancy Watson, Mansfield; brother, Edward Purcell, Toccoa; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held Friday, January 25, at Whitfield Funeral Home with the Revs. Bill Evans and Robert Thomas officiating. Burial was in Yonah Memorial Gardens.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 2565 Thompson Bridge Rd., Suite 114, Gainesville, Ga. 30501.
Whitfield Funeral Home, North Chapel, Demorest, was in charge of arrangements.
The Banks County News, January 30, 2008.

William Everett
William Everett, 92, of Commerce, formerly of Fannin County, died Sunday, January 27, 2008, at Southern Pines in Maysville.
Born in Union County, he was the son of the late George Washington and Laura Galloway Everett. He was retired from General Motors.
Survivors include several nieces and nephews with local nieces being Mary (Ronnie) Seabolt, Commerce, and Maxcille Hite, Smyrna; and a sister, Lucille Donaldson, Mineral Bluff.
Funeral services were held Wednesday, January 30, in the chapel of Ivie Funeral Home with the Revs. Mike Odham, James Montgomery and Keith Richey officiating. Burial was in Union Baptist Church Cemetery at Mineral Bluff, where graveside services were held.
Ivie Funeral Home, was in charge of arrangements.
The Banks County News, January 30, 2008.

Clem Lowe
Clem Lowe, 84, of Homer, died Tuesday, January 22, 2008, at his residence.
Born in Stephens County on June 1, 1923, he was the son of the late Richard and Sallie Sargent Lowe. He was a retired poultry farmer.
Survivors include a daughter, Hattie Garrett, Homer; four grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
Funeral services were held Friday, January 25, in the chapel of Little-Ward Funeral Home with the Rev. Luther Campbell officiating. Burial was at Oconee Baptist Church Cemetery in Jefferson.
Little-Ward Funeral Home, Commerce, was in charge of arrangements.
The Banks County News, January 30, 2008.
‘Don’ Watkins
Donald H. “Don” Watkins, 66, Georgia bluegrass music star and patriarch of the bluegrass gospel performers The Watkins Family of Eastanollee, died Saturday, January 26, 2008, following a heart attack during an appearance at True Gospel Community Church in Dobson, N.C.
Survivors and members of the bluegrass family, include his wife, Judy; a son, Todd; and daughters, Lorie and Shannon.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, January 31, at 2 p.m., at Liberty Baptist Church in Toccoa. Visitation will be held Wednesday, January 30, from 4 to 8 p.m., at Whitlock Mortuary in Toccoa, 706-886-9411.
The Banks County News, January 30, 2008.

‘Pop’ Smith
William Doyle “Pop” Smith, 76, of Gainesville, died Wednesday, January 23, 2008, at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, following a sudden illness.
He was born in Madison County, the son of the late O’Dell and Charlotte (Smith) Smith, and was a member of the Rock of Christ Baptist Church. He was a truck driver for over 50 years. Mr. Smith was preceded in death by brothers, Douglas Smith and Jack Smith.
Survivors include his wife, Louise Hegwood Smith, Gainesville; daughters, Gail Forrester, Homer, Susan Rodriguez, Murrayville, and Sherry Smith Cagle, Dawsonville; sons, Danny Smith and Tony Smith, both of Oakwood, Jeffery Smith, Dawsonville, David Hegwood and Donavan Hegwood, both of Gainesville; a brother, Gerald Smith, St. Joseph, Mo.; a sister, Sara Dale Brown, Hoschton; 17 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; and best friends, Cathy and George Holleger, Dustin Mathis, Jay Will Strickland, Clermont, and Garrison Meadows, Cleveland; and a host of other nieces, nephews, family and friends.
Funeral services were held Saturday, January 26, at Rock of Christ Baptist Church in Flowery Branch with the Revs. John Bryant, John Haynes, Curtis Pendagraft and David Jones officiating.
Memorial Park Funeral Home, Gainesville, was in charge of arrangements.
The Banks County News, January 30, 2008.

Wallace Gaither
Wallace Gaither, 66, died Tuesday, January 22, 2008, at the Vista Care Facilities in Atlanta.
He was born in Banks County on March 18, 1941, the son of the late Willie and Ina Gaither. He joined Neal’s Grove Baptist Church in Commerce at an early age. He later moved to Atlanta, where he lived and blessed many with his presence, loved ones stated. Some of his works included singing and playing the piano for various churches, but he attended Bethel Grove Baptist Church in Covington, where he continued to bless many with his singing and gift of playing and leadership of the choir until he became ill. He was preceded in death by a brother, Jerry Gaither.
Survivors include sons and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Gaither Jr., Decatur, Willie Gaither, Atlanta; a daughter, Debra Yates, Conyers; his wife of 12 years, Brenda Johnson Gaither; sisters, brothers and spouses, Willie Mae Butler, Canon, Gennie F. Williams, Atlanta, Inez Harris, Forest Park, Mr. and Mrs. John Allen Gillespie, North Carolina, Mr. and Mrs. Rufus Gaither, Commerce; seven grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and a multitude of aunts, nieces, nephews and friends.
Funeral services were held Saturday, January 26, at Neal’s Grove Baptist Church in Commerce. Burial was in Bush River Cemetery.
Moss-Stovall-Neal Funeral Home, Toccoa, was in charge of arrangements.
The Banks County News, January 30, 2008.

Louise Irvin
Louise Brooks Irvin, 85, formerly of Elberton, died Thursday, January 24, 2008, at Parkwood Living Center in Snellville.
She was born in Jackson County, the daughter of the late Roy and Bertie Brooks. She was a retired bookkeeper and homemaker. She was a member of the Elberton First Baptist Church, the Friendship Sunday School Class, and was active for many years in the ladies auxiliary at Elbert Memorial Hospital. Mrs. Irvin was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph H. “Bud” Irvin; and a sister, Frances Brooks.
Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Dennis and Donna Irvin, Lawrenceville; daughter and son-in-law, Melinda and Mike Getz, Calera, Ala.; brother and sister-in-law, James and Betty Brooks, Maysville; nephew, Tim Brooks, Maysville; and an uncle, Harold Adams, Elberton.
Funeral services were held Sunday, January 27, at the Memorial Chapel of Berry Funeral Home with the Rev. Ed Sayer officiating. Burial was in Forest Hills Memorial Park. Pallbearers were Tim Brooks, Larry Howell, Norman Banks, Neal Banks, Ryan Brooks and Allen Moore.
Berry Funeral Home, Elberton, was in charge of arrangements.
The Banks County News, January 30, 2008.

‘Bella’ Reece
“Bella” Donna Sue Reece, 38, of Clayton, died Friday, January 25, 2008, at her residence, following a sudden illness.
Born in Habersham County on January 12, 1970, she was the daughter of Charles Reece of Cornelia and Geneva Goss Reece of Clarkesville, and was Baptist. She was preceded in death by a brother, Davie Joe Reece. She enjoyed spending time with her niece and nephews, according to loved ones.
Survivors in addition to her parents, include a brother and sister-in-law, Kenneth Charles Reece and Jodi Rosser, Demorest; sisters and brothers-in-law, Kaye and John Patterson, Toccoa, Sandra Reece and Todd Jones, Cleveland; and a sister, Juanita Reece, Carnesville; a niece and several nephews.
Funeral services were held Monday, January 28, in the chapel of McGahee-Griffin Stewart Funeral Home with the Revs. Bill Trotter and Sharon Thompson officiating.
McGahee-Griffin & Stewart Funeral Home, Cornelia, was in charge of arrangements.
The Banks County News, January 30, 2008.

Leon White
Leon White, 58, of Cornelia, died Tuesday, January 22, 2008, at his residence, following a sudden illness.
He was born in Fulton County on August 17, 1949, the son of J.T. and Edna Thompson White of Blairsville. He was retired from Alltel with 25 years of service as an engineer. Mr. White was a veteran, having served in the United States Army in Vietnam and was the recipient of two Purple Heart awards. He was a lifetime member of the V.F.W. Post #7720 and enjoyed hunting and fishing, loved ones stated.
Survivors in addition to his parents, include a daughter, Amanda White, Atlanta; son and daughter-in-law, Douglas and Kirsten White, New Bern, N.C.
Funeral services were held Friday, January 25, in the chapel of McGahee-Griffin & Stewart Funeral Home with the Rev. Paris Whitworth officiating. Burial was in V.F.W. Memorial Park.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 409410, Atlanta, Ga. 30384-9410, or to the local chapter of the V.F.W., 423 V.F.W. Post Rd., Cornelia, Ga. 30531.
McGahee-Griffin & Stewart Funeral Home, Cornelia, was in charge of arrangements.
The Banks County News, January 30, 2008.

Mary Frances Wilkes
Mary Frances Wilkes, 75, of Commerce, died Monday, January 28, 2008, at BJC Medical Center in Commerce.
Born in Saxapaha, N.C., she was the daughter of the late Henry Grady and Zady Bell Fredericks Forrester. She was a retired realtor, and was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Daniel Wilkes Jr., and a son, Gary Wilkes.
Survivors include children, Steve Wilkes, Winterville, Charlie Wilkes and Stanley Wilkes, both of Ila, John Wilkes, Bogart, Jeanne Pratt, Athens, and Sharon Wilkes, Danielsville; brothers, Lloyd Forrester, Norfolk, Va., Ray Forrester, Henderson, N.C., and Frank Forrester, Maysville; 12 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Friday, February 1, 2008, at 2 p.m., in the chapel of Little-Ward Funeral Home with the Rev. Henry Webb officiating. Burial will be at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Thursday, January 31, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Little-Ward Funeral Home, Commerce, is in charge of arrangements.
The Banks County News, January 30, 2008.

Paul Beck
Paul Beck, 63, of Commerce, died Monday, January 28, 2008, at his residence.
He was the son of the late Harold and Ruby Evans Beck.
Survivors include his wife, Lynda Roberts Beck, Commerce; son and daughter-in-law, Mickey and Wanda Patrick, Commerce; brothers, Clifford Beck, Commerce, Donald Beck, Jefferson, and Ronald Beck, Lexington; sisters, Gladys Thomas, Dade City, Fla., Brenda Crane, Jefferson, and Linda Ward, Maysville; grandchildren, Cruz and Blake Patrick.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, January 31, at 2 p.m., in the chapel of Ivie Funeral Home with the Rev. Phil Parks officiating. Burial will be in the Banks County Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Wednesday, January 30, from 6 to 9 p.m.
Ivie Funeral Home, Commerce, is in charge of arrangements.
The Banks County News, January 30, 2008.



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