Wednesday November 30th – OBITS (5)

Willis T. Woodruff

Mr. Willis T. Woodruff, age 90, of Hogansville, passed away Sunday, November 27, 2016, at Florence Hand Home in LaGrange. Mr. Woodruff was born January 28, 1926, son of the late Sloan and Ninnah Baughan Woodruff. A lifelong resident of Meriwether County,  he served in the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War Two and then spent the rest of his life as a dairyman and cattle farmer. He was a member of Union Baptist Church in the St. Marks Community, where he was a former Sunday School teacher and superintendent and served as a deacon for 65 years. Mr. Woodruff served on the board of directors of Diverse Power for 29 years, receiving the Distinguished Co-operator Award in 2004, and served as a member representative to the Oglethorpe Power Board for thirteen years. A member of Wells Dairies Cooperative for more than 20 years, he was a member of the Georgia, Meriwether County, and Troup County Cattlemen’s Associations; was a director of the U.S. Agriculture Farm Agency for 35 years; was a director of the Meriwether County Farm Bureau for over 40 years; and had served as acting supervisor of the Roosevelt Soil and Water Conservation District. Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Wilma Dean Keith Woodruff of Hogansville; niece, Joan Mitchell Crawford; nephew, Bill Mitchell; and great-nieces and great-nephew, Kendal Crawford, Korleigh Crawford Ivie, Kasey Crawford, Monica Mitchell, and Wes Mitchell. The funeral service will be conducted at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, November 30, at Union Baptist Church in St. Marks. The Reverend Bill Smith and Will Murray will officiate and interment will be in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 6 until 8 Tuesday night. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Union Baptist Church or to a church of the donor’s choice. Condolences may be expressed at

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



Ann L. Adamson

Ann L. Adamson, age 82, former Interim Secretary of State of Georgia (September 18, 1934 – November 24, 2016) For a brief time in 1979, Ann Lenhardt Adamson became Georgia’s first female constitutional officer, temporarily filling the shoes of long-time Secretary of State Ben W. Fortson who died in office May 19, 1979. A Toccoa, GA native who joined the Secretary of State’s office in 1952, Ms. Adamson rose through the ranks to become second in command. She was appointed Assistant Secretary of State in 1973 by then Governor Jimmy Carter. Ms. Adamson passed away unexpectedly on Thanksgiving day, following a fall Wednesday night at her residence in LaGrange. She leaves behind a legacy of hard work, caring for others and always trying to do the right thing. In fact, when Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated in 1968, Ms. Adamson did what she thought was right, defying then Governor Lester Maddox’s orders not to lower the capital building flag to half staff in honor of the slain civil rights leader. At the time Ben Fortson was away on a fishing trip and she made the call. “The Secretary of State’s office is responsible for the flag; we’re following the President’s (Lyndon Johnson) orders, and that’s that,” she was known to have said. Ms. Adamson was considered by Governor George Busbee to serve the remainder of Ben Fortson’s term, expiring in 1982. According to an Atlanta Constitution article from May 24, 1979, Ms. Adamson had “behind the scenes” support from a number of top state officials including Lt. Gov. Zell Miller and House Speaker Tom Murphy. She was passed over for the position but continued to stay involved in Georgia politics. After leaving the Secretary of State’s office in 1980, Ms. Adamson spent time as a political consultant, worked for the DeKalb Democratic Party and had an unsuccessful run for Georgia House District 67 in 1992. In 2005 she moved to LaGrange and became involved with a number of organizations, serving on the boards of Florence Hand Home, the LaGrange Lyric Theatre, and serving as president of the resident’s council at Vernon Woods Retirement Community. She was also involved with the LaGrange Newcomers Club. Carol Ann Lenhardt married Charles Leonard Adamson on November 27, 1953 at Epworth Methodist Church in Atlanta, where she was a member. They would have celebrated 63 years together this Sunday. She is preceded in death by her husband Dr. C.L. Adamson (1930-2007), mother Sara Adeline Henderson Foster (1916-2005) and father Edwin B. Lenhardt (1913-1951). She is survived by daughters Lisa Bell (Steve) of Charlotte, NC, Alis Albritton (Dale) of LaGrange, GA, grandchildren Stephen Bell of Long Island, NY, John Bell (Taylor) of Charlotte, NC, Christopher Albritton of LaGrange, David Bell (Catalina Ruz) of Chicago, IL, Sara Albritton, of Columbus, GA and Rebecca Denham (Jimmy) of LaGrange. She is also survived by her beloved brother Richard Lenhardt of Snellville and a number of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends, including the residents of Vernon Woods Retirement community. Higgins LaGrange Chapel Funeral Home was handling the arrangements; a Celebration of Life was held at First Baptist Church on the Square in LaGrange at 1:30 pm on Sunday, November 27 with visitation following the service. The family requests that memorials be made to the charity of your choice. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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



Jennie Lou Gates Smith

Mrs. Jennie Lou Gates Smith was one of three girls, born on May 4, 1918 in Troup County, Georgia to parents, Molly Bell Stinson and Jack Gates. Her mother died when she was young and she was reared by her grandparents, and later her uncle, the late, Luther and Ossie Spencer in Mountville, Georgia. As a young adult, Jennie accepted the Lord as her personal savior and joined Mount Pleasant CME Church. Jennie later became a housewife to Mr. Smith, there were no children in this marriage. Jennie continued to live in LaGrange, Georgia for a few decades in LaGrange, Georgia with the Spencer Family. Her occupation was caretaker for family members and anyone else she could help. During the 70’s, Jennie relocated to Philadelphia, PA with her grandparents and extended family members. Occasionally, she would visit her uncle and aunt, the Spencers, and her paternal aunt, Lera Cameron and cousins. In Philadelphia, Jennie joined the Desert Stream Baptist Church under Rev. Elizabeth Gates Prior. Retired Rev. Prior recalled, “Jennie loving the Lord and praised him through Hymns and Spirituals”. She stated that Jennie was a good caretaker to their grandparents. Jennie loved her extended family and they love her just as much. Jennie was blessed with good health and a sound mind for a long period of time. This enabled her to enjoy and understand the “Ups and Downs of Life”; and was immaculate clean. Though she was not a real conversationalist, she would speak her mind on right and wrong and tasks undone. She also took time out of the day to praise the Lord. “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus”. Colossians 3:17 Jennie returned to Georgia in the early 90’s to board with her cousin, the late Eddie Hall and to assist in caretaking of his wife, the late, Mary Ann Hall. It was during this period, that she attended Church services at Louise UMC in LaGrange, Georgia. Near the mid 90’s, Jennie moved to Pruitt Healthcare Center in nearby Greenville, Georgia; under professional health care providers. She made new friends and engaged in activities set aside by the Pruitt Healthcare Staff. She was under the guardianship of the late, Mary Alice Hall (2012). During the next decade, Jennie health declined, yet she was conscious of the staff, family, and friend’s presence. On Tuesday morning, November 22, 2016, Jennie Lou Smith “A Gentle Spirit” transitioned to her Heavenly Home with our Lord. She has been blessed with longevity of 98 years. “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” Psalms 90:10. Immediate family members of husband, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and first cousins preceded her in death years ago. She leaves to mourn, one niece, Shirley (Leon) King; and three grand nephews in Atlanta, GA; faithful cousins, Rev. Liz Prior and Renee Appline of Philadelphia, PA; Gladys Hill, Atlanta, GA; Martha H. Crenshaw, Accokeek MD; Robert Hall, Decatur, GA; Lavonia Stanley, Atlanta, GA; Dorothy Cousins, Hogansville, GA; and Shelby Hall, Lithonia, GA; and several third cousins.

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



John Davis McDermond

Mr. John Davis McDermond, age 85, of LaGrange, GA, passed away Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at West Georgia Medical Center. Mr. McDermond was born October 11, 1931 in Danville, IL, son of the late J. Frank and Inez McDermond, Jr. and the husband to the late Ann Campbell and Dena McDermond. He was an active member of St Mark’s Episcopal Church and was a graduate of Attica High School in Attica, Indiana and Purdue University. He lived in LaGrange for over 30 years. John played basketball in High School and College. He enjoyed golfing with his buddies at Highland Country Club where he was a member in LaGrange. John served in the Army and was stationed in Korea. He worked in the contract roofing sales industry for 25 years. He is survived by his sister, Mary Jane Rodgers, daughter, Julie LaCour, sons Robert McDermond, John McDermond and Steve and Tracye McDermond, grandchildren, Jamie McDermond, John McDermond, Dean and Crystal McDermond, Davis and Libby McDermond and Layne McDermond, Nicholas LaCour, Sara McDermond, Robin McDermond; great grandchildren, Beckett and Taryn McDermond, and longtime loving friend Marcia Wooten. His family would like to thank the staff at Vernon Woods for the care they provided over the past four years. John’s love for his friends and family will always be cherished. Services for John Davis McDermond will be at 1:30 pm Thursday December 1, 2016 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 207 N. Greenwood St. LaGrange, GA with The Very Reverend R. Allen Pruitt officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Memorial Fund in memory of Mr. McDermond.

Arrangements are by Striffler-Hamby Mortuary.



Joseph Waymon Hudson

Joseph Waymon Hudson, age 93, of Standing Rock, Alabama, passed away at his home on the evening of November 25, 2016. Mr. Hudson was born in Randolph County Alabama to the late John Thomas, Sr. and Lilla Kate Holladay Hudson on August 4, 1923 but, Lived most of his life in Standing Rock, Alabama. Mr. Hudson retired from Lanett Bleachery and Dye Works, a division of West Point Pepperell, in 1985 after approximately 35 years of employment. He had previously worked for McClendon Trucking Company. He enjoyed raising squirrels when he was young. He greatly enjoyed hunting and fishing until his later years in life. He raised cattle up until the mid 1990’s, he also ran a bass and bream fish pond known as the Hudson Pond, that was open to the public (for a dollar a day) up until the early 1980’s. He also enjoyed planting, working in and raising a big vegetable garden up until his health prevented it about four years ago. Mr. Hudson was preceded in death by his parents, a son David Vaughn (Little David), five sisters, two brothers, 2 nieces, one great-great niece and a close childhood friend William Coughlin. Mr. Hudson is survived by his wife of 58 years Audrey Daniel Hudson, son Joseph C. (Neal) Hudson both of Standing Rock, AL, six nieces, three nephews, eighteen great nieces and nephews. The Gathering of Family and friends was held on Monday, November 28, 2016 from 6:00 until 8:00 pm. The Celebration of Life was held on Tuesday November 29, 2016 at 1:00 pm at the Striffler-Hamby Mortuary Chapel. In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made to the Standing Rock Community Club House New Building Fund, c/o J.C. Hudson, 2294 County Road 283, Five Points AL 36855, or to a charity of your choice. Those wishing to share a condolence or remembrance with the family may do so by visiting

Arrangements were by Striffler-Hamby Mortuary.