Obituaries

Donna Kay Knowles

January 14, 2021

Donna Kay Knowles age 70 passed away Tuesday night January 12, 2021 at St. Thomas West Hospital in Nashville. She was born November 6, 1950 to her parents, the late Grady Austin and Emmojean Jones Neal. She worked at Walmart for 14 years, owner of Big K’s K9’s and a member of the Smithville Church of God. Funeral services will be held 1 PM Friday January 15, 2021 at the Smithville Church of God with Bros. Chris Moore and Michael Hale officiating and burial to follow in DeKalb Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be Thursday 4 PM until 7 PM and Friday 10:AM until the time of the service at 1 PM. All visitation will be held at the Smithville Church of God. Due to COVID-19 please exercise social distancing. Survivors include her husband of 53 years Donald Knowles of Smithville; Children: Richie (Martha) Knowles, Amanda Knowles both of Smithville; Grandchildren: Gabriel (Kylee) Knowles, Hannah Knowles both of Smithville; 2 Great-Granddaughters: Emberleigh and Emryn; Special Great-Nephew: Joshua Neal; 3 Sisters: Nina Lawrence of Smithville, Betty (Glynn) Byford, Diane (Danny) Evans both of McMinnville; 4 Brothers: David (Gloria) Neal of McMinnville, Kenneth (Jeanette) Neal, Jimmy (Carol) Neal, Danny Neal all of Smithville; Several nieces and nephews also survive. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.




Ruta Ivy

January 14, 2021

Ruta Ivy went home January 11, 2021. Ruta was born in Riga, Latvia in July, 1941 and immigrated to the U.S. during WWII. She was a loving mother and grandmother. She was dedicated to rescuing animals and the Warren County Humane Society. Ms. Ivy was a member of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in McMinnville.

She is preceded in death by Christine DeLaCruz – daughter, Jimmy Ivy-husband, Vera Dabolins-mother, Arnold Dabolins-stepfather, Richard Priesburg-father, Natalie Tiltins -aunt and many loving pets

Ms. Ivy is survived by children; Dan(Cris Mangin) DeLaCruz of Smithville, Peter (Liz Boyd) DeLaCruz of Nashville. Sister, Ilze (Mike) Valente of Chicago, IL. Cousin; Valda (Gerry) Gebhart of Chicago, IL. Grandchildren; Sam (Jessieca) Hyneman, Rochelle (Mark) Bailey, Jacob DeLaCruz, Nolan Mangin, Braeden Mangin, Nicole (Kevin) Pedigo, Jesse Adams, Ryan Adams, Candace Smith. Great grandchildren; Noah and James Marone, Adielynn and Maddix Hyneman, Nolan and Madeline Bailey.

Memorial Service to be held at Ruta’s former home Sunday January 17 at 1:30pm, 551 Kirby Rd, McMinnville, TN 37110. This will be mostly outside in a casual setting. Lunch to follow.
Pastor David McMinn officiating .

In lieu of flowers please make a donation to your local animal shelter.




Ralph Edwin Gay

January 13, 2021

Ralph Edwin Gay age 78 of Smithville passed Tuesday afternoon at Tri-Star Medical Center in Nashville. He was born October 4, 1942 to his parents, the late Willie E. and Susie Jane Pirtle Gay. He worked at the DeKalb Co. Highway Dept. and was a member at the Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by Sisters: Naomi Cripps, Evelyn Underwood, Dean Waggoner; Brothers: Edsel & Austin Gay. A Graveside service will be held 2 PM Thursday January 14, 2021 at Bethel Cemetery with Bro. Bill Robertson & Bro. Ronnie Gay officiating. Due to Covid-19 please exercise social distancing. Survivors include 3 sons: Mike (Michelle) Gay of Cookeville, Daryl (Jennifer) Gay, Thomas(Denise) Reed both of Smithville; Grandchildren: Brandon Gay, Gracie Woodside, Christian Gay, Ashlyn Gay, Allison Gay, Amanda Vaughn, Laura Reed; Great-Grandchildren: Grayson, Jackson, Gunner, Kinsley, Brayden, Maddie, Van, Amelia; Brother: Ronnie (Cathy) Gay of Fayetteville; Brother-in-law: Ray Doyle Cripps of Smithville; Sister-in-law: Miranda Gay of Minnesota. In addition to flowers family asked that donations be made to Mt. Herman Baptist Church Building Fund in memory of Mr. Ralph. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is is charge of the arrangements.




Helen “Tony” Baker

January 12, 2021

Helen “Tony” Baker, age 87, of Alexandria, TN, passed away Monday, January 11, 2021 at Smith County Health and Rehab in Carthage, TN.

Tony was born April 9, 1933 in Sykes, TN, a daughter of the late Ollie Lee Wills and Beulah Granstaff Wills. She was also preceded in death by brothers; C.D. Wills and Roy Wills, infant sister; Dixie Odell Wills, brother-in-law; Tommy Nixon, Son; Joel Baker, daughter; Glenda Baker, and husband; Bobby Baker.

Tony Baker was a faithful member of the Union Hill Cumberland Presbyterian Church. She worked at the Alexandria Shirt Factory/Red Kap for several years. She was a 1951 graduate of Gordonsville High School.

Ms. Baker is survived by Children; Ricky (Ria) Baker of Alexandria, TN, and Wendy Baker of Sykes, TN. Grandsons; Travis (Brandye) Thomas, Josh Baker, Derrick (Stacey) Baker, and Alexey Floyd. Granddaughters; Jessie Baker, Avalon Floyd, Samantha (J.R.) Spain, Donna (Kyle) Garbe, and Tori Baker. Great-grandsons; Jonathan Baker, Lucas Spain, Jackson Spain, and Jordan (Jennelle) Wood. Great-granddaughters; Zoey Thomas, Cheyenne Baker, Sadie Baker, Taylor (Jeremy) Bratcher, and Isabella Spain. Great-great grandson; Oliver Wood. Sister; Ollie Jewel Nixon of Gordonsville, TN. Brother; Glenn (Lynn) Wills of Lebanon, TN. Sister-in-Law; Bettye Wills of Hickman, TN. Special Friends; Claudia and Denney Schooley.

Funeral Services for Tony Baker are scheduled to be conducted from the Chapel of Avant Funeral Home on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 1PM with Rev. Dennis Croslin and Rev. Brent Wills officiating. Interment will follow in the Hillview Memorial Cemetery.

Visitation with the family will be at Avant Funeral Home on Wednesday from 10AM until service time at 1PM.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Union Hill Cumberland Presbyterian Church.




Doris Ruth Strickland

January 11, 2021

79 year old Doris Ruth Strickland of Alexandria died Thursday at her residence. She was the office manager for Dr. David Darrah and a member of the West Main Baptist Church. The funeral will be Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the West Main Baptist Church in Alexandria. Dusty Desimone will officiate and burial will be in the Brush Creek Memorial Cemetery. Visitation will be Tuesday from 2-7 p.m. at the funeral home and Wednesday from 10 a.m. until the service at 1 p.m. at the church. She was preceded in death by her parents, Clyde Cox and Sarah Daughtry and her husband, Jerry Strickland, Sr.. She is survived by her children, Sharon Strickland of Alexandria, Jerry Strickland, Jr. of Alexandria, and Jason and Julie Strickland of Hendersonville. Grandchildren, Kristen and Granger Malone of Alexandria, Jessie and Rawlin Vanatta of Smithville, Skyler and Grant Richardson of Gallatin, Peyton Strickland of Hendersonville and Riley Strickland of Hendersonville. Great grandchildren, Strickland Vanatta of Smithville and Brooks Richardson of Hendersonville. Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria is in charge of the arrangements.




Dorothy Ruth Vanatta

January 11, 2021

Dorothy Ruth Vanatta age 90 passed away on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021 at NHC of McMinnville.

Mrs. Vanatta was proceeded in death by her Husband- Omar Vanatta, Parents-Claude & Lula Ferrell Miller, Son- William Ronald Vanatta, 4 Brothers- Aubrey, Oliver, Tom & James Dubber Miller & 2 Sisters- Mildred Evins & Margie Washer.

She is survived by 2 Daughters- Deborah & Todd Sturgill of McMinnville & Patricia Stults of Smithville, 1 Son- Donnie Vanatta of Smithville, 5 Grandchildren- Dianna & Ken Short of McMinnville, Chris & Sherry Vanatta, Joni & David Summers, Jennifer & Ronald Summers, & Chrissie & James Grajalvo all of Smithville, 9 Great Grandchildren & 1 Great-Great Grandchild

There will be no visitation at the funeral home for Mrs. Vanatta. A Graveside service will be held on Monday at 10:30 am at Banks Cemetery.

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




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