Friday, March 31st – Obits (7)

Mary Marlene Baker

Mary Marlene Baker of Cordele, formerly of Woodland, Georgia, passed away Sunday, March 26, 2017 at her residence.Funeral services were held at 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, 2017 in the chapel of Cox Funeral Home, 93 Prather Barnes Road, Manchester, GA 31816 with a private committal service at Meriwether Memory Gardens. The family received friends prior to the service Wednesday at Cox Funeral Home beginning at 3:00 p.m. Marlene, age 86, was born in Manchester and was the daughter of the late Ira Thomas Collins and Lilla Gay Gilbert Collins. She was a retired grocery store manager and attended Bethlehem Freewill Baptist Church. Marlene enjoyed traveling but closest to her heart was her family and always enjoyed her time with them. She especially enjoyed having them all together and cooking on special occasions. She is survived by her two sons and their wives, Tommy and Sonya Baker of Cordele and Cy and Melanie Baker of Duluth; three grandchildren, Blair Frye and her husband, Lee of Honolulu, HI, Seth Baker of Alpharetta and Maryssa Cepic and her husband, Dinko of Lilburn; four great-grandchildren, Hayden Frye, Lily Frye, Mia Cepic and Nikolas Cepic; a sister-in-law, Estelle Collins of Griffin; three nieces, Vicki Osboune and her husband Enrique Flores of Watsonville, CA, Marcia Collins of Griffin and Linda Baker of Shiloh. She was preceded in death by siblings, Bob Collins and Vermelle Osborne. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your local church. An online guest register is available at and

Cox Funeral Home, Manchester was in charge of arrangements.

Karen Simpson Richey

Mrs. Karen Simpson Richey, age 54, of LaGrange, passed away at her residence on March 28, 2017. Mrs. Richey was born on January 4, 1963 in Anniston, Alabama to James Simpson and Jean Loftin Simpson.  Her father preceded her in death. In addition to her mother, she is survived by her son, Joshua Lee Richey and his wife Nikki of Pine Mountain; daughter, Sarah Catherine Jones and her husband Matthew of LaGrange; brother, Stan Simpson and his wife Beth of Raleigh, North Carolina; sister, Amy Simpson of LaGrange; grandchildren, Madison Furgerson, Gabrielle Furgerson and Tucker Richey; extended family and friends. Services for Mrs. Richey will be held on Friday, March 31, 2017 at 4:00 pm at the Higgins LaGrange Chapel with Rev. Charles Chapman officiating. Family will receive friends at a reception following the service at the Cameron Crossing Club House. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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


James Carl Wright

Mr. James Carl Wright, age 75, of LaGrange, passed away on March 27, 2017 at the WellStar West Georgia Medical Center. Mr. Wright was born on June 18, 1941 in Heard County Georgia to the late Leon and Eunice Smith Wright. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by siblings, Betty Nobley, Billy Jack Wright, Mary Pike and his beloved dog, Patches. Mr. Wright proudly served his country in the United States Marines, retired from Georgia Pacific, worked for many years at Valley Apparel. He was a faithful member of Grace Baptist Church. Survivors include his wife, Linda Faye Tims Wright of LaGrange; son, Bryan Wright and his wife Brandy of LaGrange; daughters, Diane Vittitoe and her husband Ron of Ocala, Florida and Sonya Conroy and her husband Glenn of LaGrange; sister, Ann Wright of Peachtree City; 10 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren; extended family and friends. Services for Mr. Wright will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 4:00 pm at the Grace Baptist Church with Rev. Donnie Benefield officiating. Online condolences may be sent to the family at  In lieu of flowers, family has requested donations be made to the Grace Baptist Church Building Fund, 3731 West Point Road, LaGrange, 30240 or the charity of your choice.

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


Hazel Shepard Butts

Mrs. Hazel Shepard Butts, age 80, a resident of Valley, AL passed away Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at the Bethany House Hospice in Auburn. Graveside services will be held on Friday, March 31, 2017 at 1:00 PM EST from Restlawn Memorial Gardens in LaGrange, GA with Rev. Billy Clark officiating. Visitation was held from 6:00 – 8:00 PM EST Thursday at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home in Valley. Survivors include her daughter, Reba Heath (Jimmy); grandchildren, Casey (Christy), Chris, & Benji Heath; great-grandchildren, Devin, Alexis, & Jerald Heath; Christian & Angel Holloway; sisters, Grace Bates, and Claudine Crocket; brother, Ray Simpson, and several nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her husbands, Frank Shepard and George Butts. Mrs. Butts was born in Alabama and was of the Baptist faith.  Family and friends will assemble at the gravesite. Visit to sign the online guest book.

Johnson Brown-Service of Valley is directing services.



Loyd Bernie Akins

Mr. Loyd Bernie Akins, age 90, of Lanett, AL passed away on Thursday, March 23, 2017 at the EAMC Lanier Memorial Hospital in Valley, AL. Mr. Akins is survived by his wife, Maye Akins; his daughter, Doris Leamer of Cusseta, AL; his daughter-in-law, Barbara Sue Akins of Monroe, GA; his four step-children, Debra Sue Walters of Montgomery, AL, Ed (Denise) Lamb of LaFayette, AL, Denise (Johnny) Maddox of Dothan, AL, and Jerry (Connie) Tenny of Valley, AL; his brother, Edward (Dee) Akins of Wedowee, Al; his five sisters, Nell McClintosh of Breman, GA, Mattie Mae Overton of Roanoke, Al, Mary Kraft of Wedowee, Al, Lucille Richardson of Carrollton, GA, and Margaret (Timon) Holloway of Wedowee, AL; his eight grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, and eight great-great grandchildren; many more step grandchildren, great grandchildren, and nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Garfield and Lily Akins; and his son, Loyd Randall Akins. Mr. Akins was born on June 4, 1926 in Graham, AL. He was a longtime member of Welcome Home Baptist Church in Roanoke, AL. He loved making music and worshiping the Lord in his retirement. He loved gardening in his spare time. Funeral services were held on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at 4:00 PM (EST) at the Welcome Home Baptist Church in Roanoke, AL. Brother Terry Holder and Brother Claude Bennett officiated. Interment followed in the Church Cemetery. The family received friends Saturday evening from 6:00 until 8:00 PM (EST) at the Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home in Valley directed services.


Pamela McClellan

Mrs. Pamela McClellan, age 58, of Valley, Alabama went to be with the Lord surrounded by her family on Thursday, March 23, 2017 at the East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika. Pamela was born in Troup County, Georgia on May 3, 1958 to Stella and Ruban Morgan. She is survived by her Darryl McClellan; children, Stephanie Davis and Wayne Carter of LaGrange, Georgia, Laura and Tony Cleveland of Kiln, Mississippi; six grandsons and two granddaughters; sisters, Patricia Ellis, Birmingham, Lynda Whitley, Pine Mountain, Georgia; brother and sister-in-laws, Randall and Laura McClellan, Fredonia, Calvin and Kathy McClellan, Valley, Kayla Fowley, Valley; multiple nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews. Funeral services were held on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 11:00A.M. EDT at the West End Baptist Church. Rev. Don Downs officiated. Interment followed in Resthaven Cemetery in Lanett. Her family received friends at the Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home in Valley Tuesday evening from 6:00P.M. EDT until 8:00P.M. EDT. Pamela was a member of West End Baptist Church in Valley, Alabama.   She will be remembered as a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and aunt, who loved spending time with her family. Please visit our website at to leave a condolence for the family or to light a Remembrance Candle in Pamela’s memory.

Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley directed services.


Sonja Martine Dixon Hutchinson

Mrs. Sonja Martine Dixon Hutchinson was born July 30, 1966 in Carrollton, Georgia. She was the daughter of Mrs. Josephine C. Wilkes and the late, Mr. James Dixon. She joined Mt. Olive Baptist Church of Franklin, Georgia at an early age. She was a faithful member of True Worship Baptist Church in LaGrange, Georgia. Sonja attended Heard County High School and later Sound Doctrine Christian Academy where she received her High School Diploma. Upon graduation, she furthered her education at West Georgia Technical College in Nursing. On November 23, 2010 she entered into Pruitt Health Nursing Home in Greenville, Georgia where she resided until her passing on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.

She leaves to cherish her memories, her husband, Mr. Larry Hutchinson; daughters, Mrs. Artesha (Kelly) Reed, Ms. Kimberly Dixon, Ms. Eleisha Daniel, Ms. Christy Hutchinson, all of LaGrange, GA; sons, Mr. Roderrick (Victoria) Daniel, Lanett, AL; Mr. Rieco (Gabrielle Dunson) Daniel, Carrollton, GA; and Larry Hutchinson, Jr., Newnan, GA; grandchildren, La’Dravion Anthony Daniel, JaBraylon Teshaun Grier, Ryleigh Martine’ Daniel, JaKayla Ahmiya Dunson, Rylan ViVi’ Rose Daniel, Jamiya Denise Reed, Jerimah Reed, Jaylin Reed, Anecia Clay, Patrick Harmon, Jr., Shigderia Hutchinson, Naiema Hutchinson, Andre’ Hutchinson; two sisters, Ms. Yolanda Dixon, Carrollton, GA; Mrs. Teyanna (David) Keeler, Franklin, GA; three brothers, James Dixon, Jr., Carrollton, GA, Eric (Ella) Dixon, Roopville, GA; Dexter Dixon; special god parents, Mr. Robert (Selena) Daniel; and a host of brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews. The Celebration of Life Service was held Sunday at 3:00 PM at Canaan Baptist Church. Pastor Allen Simpson officiated. Burial followed at Stateline Baptist Church Cemetery.

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