George W. “Bill” Corley, Jr.

January 26, 2024

96-year-old George W. Corley, Jr. “Bill” of Alexandria died Thursday at Ascension Saint Thomas River Park in McMinnville. He was A U.S. Navy Veteran and a member of the Alexandria Church of Christ. Corley was also a former member of the Lions Club and a former Alexandria City Alderman and member of the Alexandria Industrial Board. Corley was a lifelong insurance agent having started with his father George W. Corley and Sons Insurance Agency in Alexandria and he was one of the last surviving World War II veterans in this area. The funeral will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Alexandria Church of Christ. Jeff Ford will officiate with burial to follow in Eastview Cemetery in Alexandria. Visitation will be Friday from 4-7 p.m. and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service at 11 a.m. at the Alexandria Church of Christ. Corley was preceded in death by his parents, George W. Corley and Mary Lester Corley and a sister, Katherine Lester Corley. He is survived by his wife of 69 years Sue Wilkerson Corley of Alexandria. Children, William Michael and wife Amy Puckett Corley of McMinnville and Dr. Cris Gordon Corley of Lebanon. Grandchildren, Peter K. and wife Kasie Corley of Post Falls, Idaho and Luke C. Corley of McMinnville. Great grandchildren, Henry and Evelyn. In lieu of flowers the family has requested that donations be made to the Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort, Inc. Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria is in charge of the arrangements.

Margaret “Peggy” Bontrager

January 26, 2024

Margaret “Peggy” Bontrager, 81 of Smithville, TN and formerly of Darien Center, NY sadly passed on to Heaven to be an Angel of GOD, January 21, 2024 with her loving husband of 62 years by her bedside, holding her hand and singing, “Have I told you lately that I love you” and “You are my Sunshine”, both songs which meant a lot to each other of them.

Peggy was preceded in death by her Father, William Buyers and her Mother, Charlotte (Austin) Buyers and her brother, Gary. Peggy is survived by her youngest brother, Robert Buyers of PA, her loving husband, Eugene, their dog and companion BABY and their 5 children; Steven (Letisha), Shelly (partner) Donald, Sherry (Shawn) Choate, Brian (Marcia) and Guy (Jennifer), her grandchildren, Erica, Casey and Nickolas, Kyle, Klint, and Wyatt, and Kelli (Benny), Casey and Andrew, her great-grandchildren, Alex, Connor, Nicholas, Cooper, Brooklyn and Chance. Peggy also left behind several Nieces and Nephews along with their families and survived by her dearest sisters-in-law, Carolyn and Rhonda.

Peggy was a devoted wife, mother and friend, she helped raise their children while working at Greenwoods Restaurant in Darien and returning to College to become a Registered Nurse. Afterwards, she helped Gene run their business, Ringneck Hunting Preserve, where she met, entertained and laughed with the hunters and their families. All of whom became very good friends. She was always helping others as she so often helped her children.

Peggy loved to travel when given the opportunity. Traveling to St. Kitts with the “clan”, Cruising to the Caribbean and vacationing in Florida were among her favorites. Peggy also loved to sit and play penny slots at the Casino and at times, winning thousands of Pennies!

Peggy did not want a funeral with a Casket to gaze at, but instead chose to have a Celebration of Life with family and friends, singing and laughing, remembering when she was vibrant and healthy. Peggy did not like to be the center of attention though her smile and kindness always gave her away.

The family will be determining a future Celebration of Life in the Spring when the Sun is warm and the Flowers are in bloom, at a later date, most likely in Darien NY. The family will be having an open house on Sunday, January 28, 2024 for any friends and family who wish to visit the family all day at her home. All will be welcome. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is honored to care for the Bontrager family.

Frank Forrest Buck

January 25, 2024

Frank Forrest Buck, 80, of Dowelltown passed away on January 24, 2024, at NHC HealthCare in Smithville, Tennessee. He was an attorney, farmer, and retired state representative.

Frank was born on September 26, 1943 in Trousdale County, Tennessee; the second son of the late John and Georgia Buck. He graduated from Lebanon High School, Tennessee Technological University, and the University of Tennessee College of Law. While at TTU, he married his wife,Lena Ann Graves Buck in 1962. After law school, Frank settled in DeKalb County, joining the law firm owned by McAllen Foutch. Eventually, Frank formed his own practice which would ultimately become Buck & Buck Attorneys when his wife, Lena, joined the practice as a partner in 1991.

In 1972, Frank ran for the Tennessee General Assembly representing DeKalb, Cannon, Smith, and part of Rutherford counties. He would go on to represent District 40 for the next thirty-six (36) years in the General Assembly. While in the House, he served as Chairman of the House Judiciary and Conservation and Environment Committees; and Vice-Chair of the Transportation Committee. Frank introduced many bills which bettered the lives of Tennesseans, including but not limited to the Lemonade Stand Bill, precluding the Department of Health from requiring certificates of health from lemonade stands; the Cup of Coffee Bill, which restrained lobbyists from buying meals and paying for travel expenses for the General Assembly and forcing disclosure of such acts; and the Tennessee Interstate Logos bill, which allows businesses to post their logos on interstate signs for motorists. Reflecting on his retirement from the legislature, Frank said, “I’ve been here 33 years, and when I retire from this place and when I see my constituents on the street, I’d like to have their respect that I did a good job for them and that I was an honorable public servant.” The Tennessean, (April 25, 2005).

His many honors included being named in 2005 Tennessean of the Year by The Tennessean Newspaper for his work on ethics; Chairman of the Tennessee Judicial Council for four (4) years; elected a Fellow by the Tennessee Bar Foundation; and the Common Cause Award for his Cup of Coffee Bill.

Frank was revered for his sharp legal mind, lively personality, and plain speech. In later years, he enjoyed retelling many stories involving his family and pranks while in the legislature. Frank rarely abandoned his signature outfit: brown leather vest, khaki pants, and blue button-down shirt. He maintained a lifelong commitment to the legal community. He loved his family deeply and recounted his best memory as, “probably the children.”

Frank is survived by his wife of over sixty-one (61) years, Lena, and daughters, Kathryn Buck Pursell (Brice) of Dowelltown; Melinda Buck Brown (Chase) of Oak Ridge; Sara Buck Doude (John) of Milledgeville, Georgia; and Jennifer Buck of Dowelltown; six grandchildren, Frank Forrest Pursell (Taylor) of Crossville; Ann Pursell Williams (Timothy) of Liberty; William Pursell of Liberty; Emeline Brown Hébert (Luke) of Nashville; Ellie Brown of Nashville; and Lilah Brown of Oak Ridge; and two great grandchildren, Lena Pursell of Liberty and Caroline Pursell of Crossville.

Visitation is scheduled for Saturday, January 27, 2024 from 3:00 to 7:00 pm and Sunday, January 28, 2024 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. The Celebration of Life is scheduled for Sunday, January 28, 2024 at 2:00 pm. Burial will follow in DeKalb Memorial Gardens. All services and visitation are scheduled at Love Cantrell Funeral Home, 100 East Church Street, Smithville, Tennessee 37166.

Margaret Cecil Hibdon Williams

January 23, 2024

Ms. Margaret Cecil Hibdon Williams passed away on Monday, January 22, 2024 at NHC in Smithville. She was a member of Banks Cumberland Presbyterian Church and was a homemaker.

Ms. Cecil was born on June 19, 1919 in Smithville, TN to her parents, the late Luster and Mattie Bain Cantrell. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by 2 husbands, Orvil Hibdon, and J.H. Williams; 3 brothers, Everett Cantrell, Ernest Cantrell, and Bill Cantrell; and 2 sisters, Hazel Hibdon, and Alice Davis.

Survivors include 3 daughters, Patricia Beshearse of Smithville, Wanda Blair of Cookeville, and Lestel (Jack) Cantrell of Lebanon; 1 son, Rayburn (Brenda) Hibdon of Woodbury; 6 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren; and 4 great-great grandchildren.

Visitation with the family will be on Thursday from 4-8pm and on Friday from 10am until the service at 11am. Bro. Leonard Herman will officiate and burial will follow in DeKalb Memorial Gardens.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the great staff at NHC Healthcare.

Love-Cantrell Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Marie Walls

January 23, 2024

Marie Walls age 87, of Smithville, passed away Tuesday January 23, 2024, at Alive Hospice in Murfreesboro, Tn. She was born March 6, 1936, to her parents, the late Fuller and Louvernia Jones Neely. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by husband: Jimmy Walls; brother: Nolan Neely; sisters: Lila Rector, Ruby Thompson, and Velma Templeton. Ms. Walls was a member of Mt. Herman Baptist Church and a Homemaker. She is survived by son: Steven (Susan) Walls of Mississippi; grandchildren: Christina (Eric) Shoemaker, Kimberly (Zakk) Webster and Christopher Walls all of Mississippi; 3 great-grandchildren: Acelyn Shoemaker, Chloe Shoemaker, and Samantha Webster; sister: Linda Neely of AL.; brother: Fuller “Dean” Neely of Shelbyville; several nieces, nephews, and cousins also survive. Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 27, 2024, at 2:00PM at DeKalb Funeral Chapel with Bro. Mike Gay officiating and burial to follow in DeKalb Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be held Saturday January 27, 2024, at 11:00AM until the time of the service at 2:00PM at DeKalb Funeral Chapel. The family ask in addition to flowers donations may be made to Mt. Herman Baptist Church. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is honored to care for the Walls family.

Tracy Mallyn Lee Helser

January 22, 2024

Tracy Mallyn Lee Helser age 65 of Dowelltown, passed away Wednesday night, January 17, 2024 at St. Thomas West Hospital. She was born March 4, 1958 to her parents, the late Malcolm & Mimi Lee. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by brothers, Mac Lee, Chris Lee and Brad Lee; sister-in-law, Cynthia Lee; brothers-in-law, Vernon Barnes, Charles Rushings. Tracy was a member of the Outreach Baptist Church and was a hardwood floor installer. She is survived by her husband, Vincent Helser of Jackson, TN; 2 sons, Nathan (Starr) Jacobs of Florida and Casey (Donna) Jacobs of Smithville; 8 grandchildren, Cameron (Aurora) Silcox, Mason Jacobs, Adam Jacobs, Shawn Jacobs, Kayden Jacobs, Tristan Jacobs, Hunter (Randi) Howell, Sierre (Cody) Storms; 3 great-grandchildren, Gracie Silcox, Braxton Howell and Braylon Howell; 3 sisters, Kelly (Carlis) Hollingsworth, Robin Lee Rushings, Holly Lee Barnes; sister-in-law, Dela Lee and many nieces, nephews and friends. The family has honored Tracy’s request to be cremated and a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is honored to care for the Helser family.

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