Obituaries

Alpha Dean Young

October 28, 2020

Alpha Dean Young, age 89, passed away peacefully in her sleep on October 24, 2020 in Hillsdale, Michigan. She was born on June 16, 1931 to Roland and Clara (Taylor) Cantrell. She married Houston Young on March 9, 1951.

Alpha grew up in Smithville, Tennessee with her siblings Charlene, Mary Ann and Alton. She enjoyed playing on the basketball team in her youth. She met Houston Young and married at the age of 19, moving to Detroit, Michigan to start their lives together during the automobile industry boom. Working at General Motors as a seamstress, she raised 5 children: Doyle, Dona, Rodney, Rita and Jason. Alpha instilled in them her love for her home state of Tennessee and of family, making frequent trips with them, going to state fairs and visiting family members.

When you heard your middle name leave Alpha’s lips, you listened. If she was giving advice about your problems, you knew she was right. She kept everyone out of trouble. Whether that meant protecting her sister from lizards crawling up the wall or getting rid of some chiggers with a little help from a kerosene bath, she was there with the answer. When the seams felt like they were coming apart, she always had some way of stitching them back together.

Most of all, she instilled the meaning and importance of family to everyone around her. She was a catalyst in bringing her tight-knit family together and set the example for how everyone could be there for each other in both good times and bad. She taught you to kick your heels up and dance with the rest of them. She was the epitome of a devoted mother, raising her children to be caring and compassionate. This devotion extended to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who she cared for as if they were her own. She braved Michigan snowstorms to watch her grandchildren, spoiled them with late night pumpkin pie and never forgot a birthday. Her capacity to love was limitless and her impact is timeless.

After their kids and many of their grandkids started their own families, Alpha and Houston moved from Detroit to Hillsdale, Michigan and began a more relaxed life reminiscent of their Smithville upbringings. Alpha kept watch of the birds visiting outside her window and Houston worked outside and in the garage. After Houston’s death on May 17, 2014, Alpha continued to be the matriarch of the family. Even as her health declined in later years, she never lost her fiery sense of humor or her capacity to show love to her family. She was still the example of “great” that her family all strived to be. Her lasting legacy will be the countless memories she shared with her family and the lessons she taught them along the way. Her wish would be that we hold onto all those moments dearly and always remember her fondly.

Survivors include five children, Doyle Young of Hillsdale, Dona (Wallace) Furtado of St. Joseph, Rodney (Diana) Young of Pittsford, Rita (Daniel) Woodcock of New Hudson and Jason (Maria) Young of Canton; 9 grandchildren including Meredith, Wallace Michael, Rene’, Bryan, Robin, Jason, Joshua, Jasmine and Sophia; 15 great-grandchildren, with a 16th on the way; and brother, Alton Cantrell of Colorado.

Funeral services for Alpha Young will be held Friday, October 30, 2020 at 11:AM at DeKalb Funeral Chapel in Smithville, TN with burial following at Bonham Cemetery. Visitation will be held Thursday, October 29, 2020 from 4 PM to 7 PM and Friday 10:AM until the time of the service at 11:AM.




Michael Arthur Goralski

October 28, 2020

Michael Arthur Goralski age 62 of McMinnville passed away on Sunday October 25 at St. Thomas Midtown. Mr. Goralski is the owner of Ace Fence Company in McMinnville. He was preceded in death by his parents Arthur & Jessie Ruth Goralski. He is survived by his wife Carolyn Goralski of McMinnville, 3 Children- Stephanie, Michael Jay & Brittany Goralski, 2 Grandchildren- Keegan Goralski & Maylin Vaughn, 4 brothers & 2 Sisters also survive. There will be no visitation at the funeral home. The family will announce a celebration of life at a later date. Love-Cantrell Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.




Connie Sue Brownfield

October 27, 2020

Connie Sue Brownfield age 64 of Ohio and native of Smithville, passed away Sunday October 25, 2020 at St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital. She was born July 3, 1956 to her parents, Carolyn Wilkey and the late Eugene Wilkey. In addition to her father she was preceded in death by brother, Phillip Wilkey; sisters, Penny Hale, and Reba Jean Wilkey; niece, April Brownfield. Mrs. Brownfield was a Baptist, member of Moose Lodge 2583 in Ohio, Eagles 3006, American Legion Post 256, and a cashier. She is survived by husband, David Brownfield of Loveland, Ohio; 2 daughters, Jennifer Mullens of Baxter, and Susan Stacy of Loveland, Ohio; step-son, Richard Brownfield of Indianapolis, IN; mother, Carolyn Wilkey of Smithville; brother, Roy Wilkey of McMinnville; sisters, Ginger (David) Smith, Candy Hale, Ellen (Charlie) Hale all of Smithville; nephews Tom Brownfield, Mike Brownfield, and Mark Brownfield; niece, September Brownfield; cousins, Pope Brownfield and Mike Brownfield; sister-in-law, Bonnie Brownfield. Funeral services will be 11:AM Thursday, October 29, 2020 at DeKalb Funeral Chapel with her daughters and Bro. Richard Edwards officiating. Visitation will be Wednesday 4:PM until 7:PM and Thursday 9:AM until the time of the service at 11:AM. Due to COVID-19 and Social Distancing guidelines, our pews in the chapel are marked off to respect these guidelines and allow 100-125 people for the service. We ask for the health and safety of everyone that you please exercise social distancing. Our lounge is currently closed and NO Food or Drinks are allowed in the funeral home at this time. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.




Phillip Eugene Wilkey

October 27, 2020

Phillip Eugene Wilkey age 61 of Smithville, passed away in Smithville on Saturday October, 24, 2020. He was born March 28, 1959 to his parents Carolyn Elmore Wilkey and the late Eugene Wilkey. In addition to his father he was preceded in death by his wife, Clara May Wilkey; 2 sisters, Penny Hale and Reba Jean Wilkey; sister-in-law, Cynthia Hale; brothers-in-law, Joe Harrison, and Daniel “Duck” Anderson. Mr. Wilkey was a Baptist, a lifetime member of the DeKalb County Rescue Squad, and worked for the City of Smithville for 35 years. He is survived by 2 daughters, April Wilkey of Smithville and Candeda Snead of Indiana; 2 sons, R. J. Wilkey of Texas and J. P. Wilkey of Colorado; mother, Carolyn Wilkey of Smithville; brother, Roy Wilkey of McMinnville; sisters, Connie (David) Brownfield of Ohio, Ginger (David) Smith, Candy Hale, and Ellen (Charlie) Hale all of Smithville; brothers-in-law, Leroy Hale, Tom “Red” Hale, John Hale, Steve (Linda) Hale all of Smithville; sisters-in-law, Pauline Crook and Betty (Peewee) Pack both of Smithville; 2 granddaughters; 1 grandson; several nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be 1:PM Thursday October 29, 2020 at DeKalb Funeral Chapel with Bro. Richard Edwards officiating and burial to follow in the Peeled Chestnut Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday 4:PM until 7:PM and on Thursday 9:AM until 11:AM, there will be no visitation between 11 to 12 due to the family being in the chapel for his sister’s funeral, then visitation will be 12 noon until the time of the service at 1:PM. Due to COVID-19 and Social Distancing guidelines, our pews in the chapel are marked off to respect these guidelines and allow 100-125 people for the service. We ask for the health and safety of everyone that you please exercise social distancing. Our lounge is currently closed and NO Food or Drinks are allowed in the funeral home at this time. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

*NOTE: The Smithville City Hall will close Thursday at 12:30 p.m. out of respect for Mr. Wilkey and to allow city employees to attend the memorial service. City Hall will reopen after the funeral service.

“Mr. Wilkey was a faithful employee for over 30 years. He was someone that you could count on. He will be missed by all of us at the city,” said Mayor Josh Miller.




Rickey Eugene Murphy

October 27, 2020

Rickey Eugene Murphy age 61 of Smithville, passed away Saturday October 24, 2020 at St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital. He was born March 27, 1959 to his parents, the late Arthur Lee and Kathleen Crook Murphy. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Minnie Oleta Murphy and son, Rickey Wayne Murphy. He was a Baptist and a nursery worker. Rickey is survived by 2 daughters, Teresa Thomas and Norma Ervin both of Smithville; 8 grandchildren, Chris Davis, Kayla Ervin, Brittany Zimmerman, Jonathan Chapman, Jessie Herman and Heather Parsell; 10 great-grandchildren; 2 brothers, Harold Murphy of Smithville and Kenneth Murphy of Florida; 2 sisters, Faye Baker of Sparta and Kathy Murphy of Shelbyville; several nieces and nephews also survive. The funeral arrangements for Rickey are incomplete at this time and will be announced later. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to DeKalb Funeral Chapel to help with funeral expenses. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.




Dana Dale English

October 26, 2020

Mr. Dana Dale English, age 85, of Alexandria, TN, passed away Friday, October 23, 2020.

Mr. English was born on August 8, 1935 in Weatherford, TX, a son of the late Gerald English and Lucinda Grace Woolsey English. He was also preceded in death by a daughter Wanda K. Adams and a great-granddaughter: Nora Jane Cooper. Mr. English was a 1953 graduate of Williams-Adams High School in Alice, TX. He Married Jean Culberth in 1956. He was a farmer and a member of the Upper Helton Baptist Church.

Mr. English is survived by his wife of 64 years Mrs. Jean English of Alexandria, TN; three children: Debra McKay of Alexandria, TN, Jerry (Hope) English of Beeville, TX and Sandra (Jerry) Osborne of Alexandria, TN: seven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, one sister Joy Foeh of TX and two brothers: Don English of TX and Neal English of TX.

Funeral services for Mr. English are scheduled to be conducted on Wednesday October 28, 2020 at 1 PM at the Avant Funeral Home Chapel in Alexandria, TN with Bro. Jerry Osborne and Bro. Jimmy Arms officiating. Interment will follow in the Mt. Zion Cemetery.

Visitation with the English Family will be at Avant Funeral Home in Alexandria, TN, on Wednesday from October 28, 2020 from 12 Noon until service time at 1PM.

Masks are required and please follow social distancing guidelines during the visitation and the funeral service.




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