Madison County Obituaries...

JULY 7, 2004


Wayne T. Bonnette
Wayne T. Bonnette, 64, of Commerce, died Wednesday, June 23, 2004.
A native of New Orleans, La., Mr. Bonnette was a resident of this area for over four years. He was the son of the late Milbon and Birdie Guillery Bonnette.
Mr. Bonnette was a veteran of the United States Navy and was of the Baptist denomination.
Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 26, in the chapel of Lord & Stephens Funeral Home, Danielsville, with the Rev. Carl Beckman officiating. Burial was in Athens Memory Gardens.
Mr. Bonnette is survived by his wife, Louella T. Bonnette; step-daughter and step-son-in-law, Mary Giles and Patrick Kelley, Waggaman, La.; step-sons and step-daughters-in-law, Tommy and Lynne Giles, Hull, and Johnny and Deneen Giles, Comer; grandchildren, Jonathan Giles, Crystal Kelley, David William Giles, Michael Giles, Melinda Giles, Matthew Giles and Mitchell Giles; step-grandchildren, Melissa Gordon, Patrick Kelley Jr. and Michael Kelley; and great-grandchildren, Christopher Kelley and Darren Kelley.
Lord & Stephens Funeral Home, Danielsville, was in charge of arrangements.
The Madison County Journal, July 7, 2004

Billy D. Dial
Billy Dwayne Dial, 68, of Colbert, died Tuesday, June 29, 2004.
A native of Oconee County, Mr. Dial was a son of the late Grady Golden and Beulah Victoria Christopher Dial.
A veteran of the United States Air Force, Mr. Dial was a retired farmer and attended Victory Baptist Church. He was preceded in death by a son, Ken Dial.
Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Friday, July 2, in the chapel of Bernstein Funeral Home, Athens, with the Rev. Elmer Butler officiating. Burial was in Athens Memory Gardens Cemetery.
Survivors include a daughter, Dawn Melkowits, New Providence, N.J.; a step-daughter, Melissa Ballenger, Danielsville; a brother, Charles Dial, Farmington; a sister, Ann Scott, Bishop; and eight grandchildren.
Bernstein Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
The Madison County Journal, July 7, 2004
Sara Kennedy
Mrs. Sara Lou James Kennedy, 64, of Commerce, died Thursday, July 1, 2004, at Brown Memorial Convalescent Center in Royston.
Mrs. Kennedy was born August 17, 1939, in Madison County, a daughter of the late Earl W. and Lettie Mae Hilley James. She was a school bus driver with the Franklin County School System for 27 years. Mrs. Kennedy was preceded in death by her husband, John Dan (J.D.) Kennedy, and a brother, Bill James.
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 3, in the chapel of Pruitt Funeral Home, Royston, with the Rev. Dennis Kesler officiating. Burial was in Danielsville Memorial Gardens. Dr. Terry Beusse, Clark Beusse, Ricky Shelton, Taylor James, James Graham, Shawn Burns and Lee Harris served as pallbearers.
Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Jon Dan Kennedy II and Angela Kennedy, Commerce; daughter, Crystal Sisk, Commerce; four grandchildren, Justin Kennedy, Jamie Kennedy, Saranne Sisk and Summer Sisk; brothers, Earl (Dick) James Jr., Royston, and Robert (Bob) James, Danielsville; sisters, JoAnn Beusse, Danielsville, Armanell Shelton, Athens, and Lucy Graham and Linda Harris, both of Canon; and mother-in-law, Emily Kennedy, Royston.
Pruitt Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
The Madison County Journal, July 7, 2004

Dr. Joe L. Griffeth, 78, prominent Commerce physician and community leader, died Tuesday, June 29, 2004, at his home in Commerce.
He was born in the Plainview area of Jackson County, son of the late Robert Howell and Lucile Hancock Griffeth. He graduated from Martin Institute, Jefferson, and North Georgia College, Dahlonega, where he served as cadet lieutenant-colonel. Dr. Griffeth served his country in the U.S. Army as technical sergeant with the 77th Infantry Division during World War II in the Pacific Theatre.
Following his discharge, he entered the University of Georgia and received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in education. He remained a proud and enthusiastic University of Georgia alumnus. Dr. Griffeth served as principal of Commerce Grammar School for two years and earned his M.D. degree from the Medical College of Georgia. Following an internship at Macon Hospital, Macon, and residency in surgery at Medical College of Georgia Hospitals, he began his medical practice in Commerce, serving the area for 42 years.
Dr. Griffeth was chief of the medical staff at BJC Hospital and Hospital Authority Chairman for many years and was active in the 9th District and state medical organizations. He achieved Board Certification in Family Practice and was a preceptor for Mercer University and the Medical College of Georgia where he assisted in the medical education of many medical students. He was the team doctor for the Commerce Tigers football program for decades. For his dedicated service, the Tigers honored Dr. Griffeth in September 2000 with a granite likeness placed at the field’s entrance.
The physician was a member of the Commerce First United Methodist Church where he served as chairman of the Board of Stewards for nine years. He served on the executive board of the Northeast Georgia Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He was devoted to the Kiwanis organization where he served over the years as local president, Georgia governor, International Trustee and International Vice President. He thoroughly enjoyed his friendships and service through Kiwanis, said family members. He was a member of Unity Masonic Lodge #36, and was a Scottish Rite Mason and Shriner of Yaraab Temple. He served as a director of nBank Corporation for many years until his retirement.
“Dr. Joe loved his community. He considered it his privilege, and it certainly was his passion, to serve the families of the area,” said a family member. “He delivered over 3,400 babies and enjoyed taking care of patients of all ages.”
Funeral services were held at 1 p.m. Friday, July 2, at the First United Methodist Church of Commerce, with the Revs. David Bowen and Hoyt Allen officiating. Burial was in the Holly Springs United Methodist Church Cemetery.
Dr. Griffeth is survived by his wife of 53 years, Ann Thurmon Griffeth; three sons and daughters-in-law, Bob and Carine Griffeth, Asheville, N.C., Dr. Jack and Barbara Griffeth, Gainesville, and Joe Jr. and Linda Griffeth, Davidson, N.C.; eight grandchildren, Jacline, Robert and Joanna, Will, Kirkley Ann and Jackson, Patrick and Daniel; and one sister and brother-in-law, Jean and Ray Bauerband, Jefferson.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Joe L. Griffeth, M.D. Scholarship Fund, c/o the North Georgia Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1583, Gainesville, GA 30503, or to the First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 755, Commerce, GA 30529.
Little-Ward Funeral Home, Commerce, was in charge of arrangements.
The Madison County Journal, July 7, 2004

E.J. Allen
Elmer Jackson “E.J.” Allen, 83, of the Brown Memorial Convalescent Center, Royston, died Monday, July 5, 2004, at Athens Regional Medical Center.
Mr. Allen was born in Hall County on May 31, 1921, a son of the late James Bradford and Lelia Coker Allen.
Mr. Allen retired from Capital Construction, where he was the superintendent of construction, and was a lifetime member of the Carpenters Union in Atlanta. He was also an avid hunter and fisherman.
A veteran of the United States Army, Mr. Allen served during World War II in the Pacific Theater and received several Distinguished Service Medals.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 8, in the chapel of Pruitt Funeral Home, Royston. Burial will follow at 1 p.m. in the Talmo Baptist Church Cemetery.
Survivors include daughter and son-in-law, Debrah Jean and Gary Bunten; grandchildren, Rachel and Luke Watts and Carlie Bunten; three great-grandsons; brothers, Sherman Allen and Roy Allen; and several nieces and nephews.
Flowers will be accepted, or memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 1131, Fairfax, VA 22038-1131.
The family is at their respective homes and was to have received friends from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.
Pruitt Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
The Madison County Journal, July 7, 2004

Thomas L. Cheatham
Thomas Luther Cheatham, 78, of Bluffton, S.C., formerly of Commerce, died Monday, June 28, 2004.
A veteran of World War II, Mr. Cheatham served in the United States Marine Corps in the Pacific at Iwo Jimo.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Kathleen W. Cheatham, in 1966.
Funeral services were held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 30, at Sauls Chapel in Bluffton, S.C. Graveside services were held at 11 a.m. Friday, July 2, in Jackson Memorial Gardens, Commerce.
Mr. Cheatham is survived by his wife, Jessie Niver Cheatham, Bluffton, S.C.; sons, Steven T. Cheatham, Cumming, and Bill Cheatham, Bluffton, S.C.; daughter, Kathy Ann Cheatham, Bluffton, S.C.; brother, Charles Cheatham, Martinez; sisters, Elizabeth (Lib) Chastain, Commerce, and Kathryn Gray, Greenwood, S.C.; and four grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to the charity of one’s choice.
Ivie Funeral Home, Commerce, was in charge of local arrangements.
The Madison County Journal, July 7, 2004

Garnett H. Patton
Garnett Homer Patton, 82, of Jefferson, died Tuesday, June 29, 2004, following a sudden illness.
Mr. Patton was born in Franklin County on December 4, 1922. He was a son of the late J.M. Patton and Mary Euline Whitsel Patton.
Mr. Patton retired from the Georgia Department of Transportation. He was preceded in death by his wife, Jeanette Cannon Patton, and three sons, James, Junior and Wayne Patton.
Funeral services were held at 3 p.m. Thursday, July 1, in the chapel of Evans Funeral Home, Jefferson, with the Rev. Johnny Knight officiating. Burial was in the Talmo Baptist Church Cemetery.
Survivors include two daughters, Jean Patton, Pendergrass, and Judy Patton, Maysville; one son and daughter-in-law, Ted and Barbara Patton, Jefferson; two sisters, Betty Davis and Polly Patton, both of Pendergrass; one brother, Bobby Patton, Gainesville; eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Evans Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
The Madison County Journal, July 7, 2004

James E. Aikens Jr.
James Edward Aikens Jr., 55, of Jefferson, died Friday, July 2, 2004, from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
Mr. Aikens was born in Jackson County, a son of the late James E. Aikens Sr. and Mary Lou McKimsey Aikens.
He was a security guard with U.S. Security.
Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Monday, July 5, in the chapel of Evans Funeral Home, Jefferson, with the Rev. Bill Franklin officiating. Burial was in Woodbine Cemetery, Jefferson.
Survivors include a daughter, Tonya Michelle Aikens, Gillsville; son, Keith Aikens, Braselton; sisters, Peggy Vandergriff, Jefferson, and Bertie Mae Hicks, Maysville; and brother, Richard David Aikens, Braselton.
Evans Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
The Madison County Journal, July 7, 2004


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