Obituaries

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.




Ruby Nell Hall

January 11, 2021

Ruby Nell Hall age 85 of Smithville, passed away peacefully Sunday afternoon January 10, 2021 at NHC HealthCare Center in Smithville. She was born February 11, 1935 in Alexandria to her parents, the late Benjamin Harrison and Lillie Mae Hall. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her son, Kenneth Harrison Hall; 2 sisters, Lucille Holmes and Helen Herman; 1 brother, Jimmy Hall. She was a Baptist, longtime shirt factory worker and retired from Timers after 30 years. She is survived by 3 sisters, Sue (Ron) Hill of Smithville, Margaret Swaney of Butler, GA, Kathryn Holmes of Chattanooga; 2 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren, 5 nieces, 4 nephews, 6 great-nieces, 5 great-nephews, 3 great-great-nieces, 3 great-great-nephews; special cousin, Peggy Minnear. Funeral services will be 11:AM Wednesday January 13, 2021 at DeKalb Funeral Chapel with Bro. Nathan Thomason officiating and burial will follow at DeKalb Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be Wednesday 10:AM until the time of the service at 11:AM. Due to Covid-19 and social distancing guidelines, we ask for the health and safety of everyone that you please exercise social distancing. The funeral home chapel is marked off to respect these guidelines and allow 100-125 people for the service. The funeral home lounge is closed at this time and no food or drinks are allowed in the funeral home. The family would like express a special “Thank You” to NHC of Sparta and Peggy Minnear for the love and care shown to Nell. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.




Matthew Bruce (Matt) Malone

January 8, 2021

Matthew Bruce (Matt) Malone age 30, passed at his residence in Townsend, TN in the evening of 01 Jan 2021. He was born 07 June 1990 to his parents Bruce & Patricia Malone in Knoxville, TN.

Matt grew up Indian Rocks Beach, FL with his father and sister. He graduated from Osceola High School in May of 2008. He overcame many obstacles & challenges to reach manhood.

Scoring an unheard of nearly perfect score on the S.A.T. Before his high school graduation, Matt was most proud of his accomplishment of over 2,000 hours of volunteer service at Bay Pines VA Medical Center in St. Petersburg, FL.

Matthew chose military service over college. He enlisted in the US Navy in March 2009 and was the honor graduate in his boot camp class; receiving the admiral’s award for excellence. He was stationed at Camp LeJeune, NC as a hospital corpsman. He served two voluntary combat tours in Afghanistan with 2nd light armored Reconnaissance Battalion (Afghanistan OEF 11 & 12) and 2nd Battalion 6th Marine (2012-2014). After discharge from the US Navy, he had just completed a BA in accounting & finance from Maryville College with a 3.97 GPA National Honors Society and Dean’s List.

He is survived by his 2 year old son, Henry Evans Malone; wife, Annie Malone; sister, Marlee Holt (John) of St. Petersburg, FL; nephews, Joel, Milo, and Xavier all of St. Petersburg, FL; The Troxler Family of Wears Valley, TN; father, Boyd Bruce Malone of Smithville, TN; aunts, Melinda Malone, Maleaha Malone Elliot; Kay Perry; grandparents, Boyd & Marion Malone of Oak Ridge, TN. Matt’s “Grandpa Boyd” is a 1956 graduate Smithville “pure fountain” high school; Other important local relatives include Mack & Sandy Harney, Mary Hooper (Billy), Bruno & Geri Frazier.

Matthew was preceded in death by his mother, Patricia Higgins Taylor and his Grandparents, Ted and Elsie Higgins.

Matt described himself as:

Child of God, PROUD AMERICAN, but was most proud of his relationship and closeness with his son Henry.

There will be a private family service. Direct Cremation. Burial to be announced by Bay Pines National Cemetery, St. Petersburg, FL with full details & honors.

This information provided as a courtesy of DeKalb Funeral Chapel.




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