Friday February 19th – OBITS (4)

Mrs. Marie Jenkins Ramsey

Mrs. Marie Jenkins Ramsey, age 77, of the Corinth Community of Heard County, passed away Sunday, February 14, 2016, at her home. Mrs. Ramsey was born April 10, 1938, in Atlanta, daughter of the late John Thomas Jenkins and Melrose Babington Jenkins. She had lived at Corinth for the past 30 years and enjoyed taking care of her animals. She was a retired truck driver and she and her late husband, W. L. Ramsey, had served as an over-the-road truck driving team for Werner Enterprises. Survivors include her daughters, Teresa Lynn Donnelly of Prescott, AZ, Debora Watson of Corinth, and Sandra Lee McKown of Indianapolis, IN; grandchildren, Stephen Clark, Tabitha Towns, Tiffany Watson, Shane Ramsey, April Ramsey, Tommy Beckner; and five great-grandchildren. The funeral service was conducted at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 17, in the Chapel of Claude A. McKibben and Sons Funeral Home in Hogansville. The Reverend Terry Rainwater officiated and interment was in the Corinth Cemetery. The family received friends at the funeral home from 12 until 2 Wednesday afternoon. Condolences may be expressed at

Claude A. McKibben and Sons Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

George Michael Searcy

George Michael Searcy, a longtime resident of LaGrange, died unexpectedly on Sunday evening, February 14. The date of his passing, St. Valentine’s Day, was appropriate, as he was a man filled with love for his students at LaGrange College where he was on the faculty as associate math professor from 1966 until his retirement in 2007, and also filled with love and compassion for his fellow man. While serving at LaGrange College he was friend, confident, and adviser to all his students, and especially those international students from around the world. He accepted them into his home and life as though they were his children and family, exhibiting true southern hospitality, making them feel welcome, and maintained close friendships with many of them after their graduations. A graduate of LaGrange College in 1963, he earned his Masters from Auburn University in 1968. An avid traveler, he visited countries around the globe and in the states during his younger years. And as a hobby he developed a love for gardening and the outdoors, becoming known as an expert on camellias, their culture, nomenclature, and breeding. Mike knew by sight most blooms and could tell their parentage without hesitation. A judge at camellia shows, his influence was felt behind the successful business scenes of commercial growers and the enjoyment of backyard growers as well. Mike, from Phenix City, Alabama, was the child of G. F. Searcy and Flora P. Searcy, who both predeceased him. Services was held at Higgins LaGrange Chapel Funeral Home, LaGrange, Thursday, February 18. A gathering of friends was held at 1:00 in the afternoon, followed by the funeral service at 2:00 conducted by Don Jolly, a longtime friend and fellow faculty member at LaGrange College. Interment will be at 2:00 pm est. on Friday, February 19 at Lakeview Memory Gardens, Highway 280, Phenix City, Alabama. Donations in memory of Mr. Searcy may be made to the American Camellia Society, 100 Massee Lane, Fort Valley, Georgia 31030. On line condolences may be sent

Higgins LaGrange Chapel Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.

Dorothy Hammond Willoughby

Dorothy M. Hammond Willoughby was born February 18, 1926 in Memphis, Tennessee to Ronnie and Rozella Hammond. She was reared by her Uncle John Crittenden and his wife Ethel, who both were very dear to her. She was baptized at St. John Baptist Church in Memphis by Reverend Williams. Dorothy was an exceptional student receiving her diploma from Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis in 1947. She enrolled in Clark College 1948. While at Clark, Dorothy majored in Social Science and minored in Secondary Education. She pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Sigma Chapter in 1949. It was while she was at Clark College that she met the love of her life, Charles Willoughby; they both graduated from Clark College in the spring of 1951. Dorothy later attended Teachers College at Columbia University and later completed her Master’s Degree in Education at West Georgia College. On September 3, 1950; Dorothy and Charles were united in Holy Matrimony. After graduation, they moved to LaGrange, Georgia, where she embarked on a career in education as a teacher. Mrs. Willoughby taught at Jones Street Elementary School, Hollis Hand Elementary School, and as the hospital homebound teacher for the City of LaGrange. She integrated the City of LaGrange School system by becoming one of the first black teachers to teach in the system; and was ultimately the first black teacher at Hollis Hand. She retired from City of LaGrange School System after 30 years. Dorothy was always active in her church and community. She was a member of First Baptist Church, Fannin Street in LaGrange; and served as the director of the Baptist Training Union and sang in the choir. Once Dorothy and Charles moved to Peachtree City, Georgia; they settled at a new church home, Christian Fellowship Baptist Church. There Dorothy sang in the church choir, was a member of WMU Women’s Organization Number 2, and was a member of the Senior Adult Ministry (SAM). They later settled in Newnan, Georgia. In addition to her church endeavors, Dorothy was a founding member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, LaGrange Alumnae Chapter and a founding member of the LaGrange Chapter of The Links. She was a devoted wife, mother, daughter, niece, sister-in-law, aunt, cousin, and friend. God felt that Dorothy’s tasks for this world were done, that she had given all the love that she had to give, and that it was time for her to come back home to be with Him. Dorothy Hammond Willoughby departed this life on February 12, 2016. She leaves to cherish her memories, her loving husband, Charles Willoughby; daughter, Mrs. Justine (Joseph) Harris; grandchildren, Mr. Joseph (Courtney) Harris, Jr. and Mrs. Jaclyn (Peter) Karefa-Smart, all of Ann Arbor Michigan; great-grandchildren, Olivia Harris, Kouyate Karefa-Smart, and Kimani Karefa-Smart; sister-in-law, Mrs. Gaynelle Jonas of Atlanta; nephews, Dr. Edward (Veta) Jonas, Jr. of Atlanta; Dr. Harold (Geraldine) Jordan, Sr. of Los Angeles, California, Mr. Emerson (Nicole) Jordan of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Mr. Joshua Willoughby, III. of Lancaster, California; nieces, Mrs. Carolyn Robinson of LaGrange, Mrs. Betty Jean Sutton, and Mrs. Bernice Smalls of Temple Hills, Maryland; special cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Willie and Lucille Harris of Newnan; special great-niece and nephew, Dr. and Mrs. Joseph (Joycelyn) Fowler, Jr. of Atlanta; special great-niece, Ms. Detra Robinson of Washington, D.C.; special friends, Mr. and Mrs. Ray and Sally Thomas of Newnan, Mrs. Thelma Warr of Memphis, Tennessee, and Mrs. Anice Pearson of Peachtree City, and a host of other beloved relatives and friends. The Celebration of Life Service was held on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 11:00 at Christian Valley Fellowship Baptist Church. Dr. Keith Reynolds officiated. Burial followed at Eastside Cemetery, LaGrange, Georgia.

Lakes-Dunson-Robertson Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.


Annette “Punky” O’Neal

Annette “Punky” O’Neal, age 55, of LaGrange, GA passed away February 15, 2016 at Hospice LaGrange. Annette was born January 9, 1961 in Hamilton, GA to Earl O’Neal, Jr. and the late Berda Mae Walker O’Neal. She lived in Cataula, GA most of her life, played basketball in high school and enjoyed volleyball and softball. Annette started her career at Magic Oven Bakery and later moved to Anderson Bakery in California. She will be missed by all that knew her. Survivors include her father, Earl O’Neal of Cataula, GA; sisters, Debra Denise (Johnny Ray) Williams, Wanda Rene (David Lee) Baker, both of LaGrange, GA, Sharon Denise O’Neal of Hayward, CA; brothers, John Anthony (Janice Faye) O’Neal of LaGrange, GA, Robert O’Neal of Hayward, CA, Alvin (Vickie) Hall of Columbus, GA, Clifford Bell of Atmore, AL; nephew (like a son), Vantavious O’Neal of Columbus, GA; a host of aunts, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. A Funeral Service will be held at 12:00 P.M. Saturday, February 20, 2016 in the Chapel of Striffler-Hamby Mortuary with Reverend Danjel Heard, Sr. officiating. The Visitation will be from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Friday, February 19, 2016 at the funeral home. Flowers will be accepted or donations be made to Hospice LaGrange, 1510 Vernon Rd., LaGrange, GA 30240 in memory of Annette O’Neal. Those wishing to share a condolence or remembrance with the family may do so by

Arrangements are by Striffler-Hamby Mortuary.