Funeral services for Mr. Howard Raymon Branham, 84, of Hilham and formerly of Breeding, Ky., were held on March 6, 2017, at the Hilham Church of Christ with Bro. John Maybrey officiating. Interment followed in the Hilham Cemetery.
Mr. Branham passed from this life on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, at his home in Hilham, Tennessee. The family welcomed friends on Sunday evening from 5 to 9 p.m. at the chapel of Speck Funeral Home.
Howard was born March 10, 1932 in Cumberland County, Ky. to the late Orbin Howard and Mary Alice Janes Branham. Howard also has a sister, Maxine, who lived with an aunt after the death of Orbin’s first wife, Lula, as his father found it impossible to raise a baby and a farm.
Howard attended Breeding Grade School, and while attending Breeding High School, played both basketball and baseball. He graduated on May 16, 1950. The Chicago Cubs offered him to come up and try out for one of their minor league teams but the family lacked the funds for him to make the trip.
After graduation Howard moved to Anderson, Ind. to work in the GM factory. It was while working at the GM factory he met Johnie Colene Smith, who also worked at GM. Howard enlisted in the Navy December 1950 and served until honorably discharged May 7, 1952. He spent the majority of his duty in French Morocco aboard the USS Midway. Howard and Johnie corresponded during that time and became engaged.
After his discharge, he returned to Anderson and married Johnie. He was employed by CSX Railroad; General Motors and eventually joined Holland Motor Express as a driver until his retirement in 1989. Upon his retirement, they moved back to Hilham and resided there until 2006, when they briefly lived in Fort Worth, Texas where Johnie passed away. Howard moved back to Hilham in 2007 where he currently resided.
Howard married Johnie Colene Smith Branham on Sept. 13, 1952. They were married 54 years before she preceded him in death on Nov. 4, 2006. Howard then married Edwina Carwile Winningham on Sept. 8, 2007.
He was a member of the Columbus Avenue Church of Christ while living in Anderson and Hilham Church of Christ here in Hilham. In both congregations, he served in many capacities including deacon, teaching, leading singing and anywhere that needed help. Howard came to the Lord as an adult answering the Lord’s call and was baptized in 1963 during a gospel meeting being held by Malcolm Hill at Columbus Avenue. He was a faithful servant from that day forward and showed how one truly can turn their lifestyle completely around after conversion.
Howard and Johnie filled out their family with the birth of Wanda Carol and Howard Jr., also know as “Sonny.” Howard was an active man who never met a stranger! He loved to fish, camp, RV, golf and he was a student of both the Bible and History. He truly missed his calling and should have been a teacher. He also was a gifted storyteller.
He is survived by his wife, Edwina Carwile Winningham Branham of Hilham; daughter, Wanda Shantz and husband, Randy, of Arlington, Texas; stepdaughter, Louise Swallows and husband, Pat, of Cookeville; daughter-in-law, Barbara Winningham of Hilham; 10 grandchildren, Shawn Massingill and wife, Trey, of Alvarado, Texas, Heather Breeding and husband, Keith, of Keller, Texas, Nikki Barker and husband, Brandon, of Keller, Texas, Julie Shantz of The Colony, Texas, Joshua Branham and wife, Jennifer, of Alexandria, Ind., Scott Ryan of Philadelphia, Pa., Adam Ryan & wife Brooke of Nashville, TN, Grant Swallows & wife Beth Ann of Sparta, TN, Emily Hammock and husband, Chris, of Hilham, Jason Winningham and wife, Amanda, of Rickman; 28 precious great-grandchildren, Britainy Neuman and husband, T.J., Chandler St. Clair, Kylie Breeding, Ashleigh Breeding, Abby Breeding, Landry Barker, Daylen Barker, Brynley Barker, Dillon Massingill, Tanner Massingill, Macie Massingill, Justin Branham, Emily Branham, Austin Branham, Joshua Ryan, Knox Ryan, Luke Ryan, Brady Swallows, Anniston Swallows, Judah Swallows, Alexandra Hammock, Lochlan Hammock, Eliza Hammock, Nicholas Winningham, Matthew Winningham and Skylar Winningham; sister, Maxine Brown of Louisville, Ky.; nephew, Kerry Brown and wife, Peggy, of Breeding, Ky.; and niece, Brenda Sanders and husband, Larry, of Louisville, Ky., plus many great nephews and nieces.
He was also preceded in death by his son, Howard Jr.; and stepson, Larry Winningham.
Auda Avo Hammock Ledbetter, 80, of Livingston, passed away March 3 at her home. Funeral services were held March 7 from the chapel of Speck Funeral Home with Bro. Derek Copland and Bro. Nolan Cantrell officiating. Interment followed in the Adley and Nora Lebetter Cemetery.
She was born on March 24, 1936, in Overton County. She was affiliated in faith to the East End Church of Christ in Michigan. She loved her family and grandchildren. She also loved traveling, telling stories, singing, flowers and humming birds.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Alex J. and Dora Ann Dishman Hammock; husband, Howard Ledbetter; brothers, Cordell Hammock, Leslie Hammock, Clarence Hammock, Marvin Hammock, Jessie Hammock and James Hammock; and sisters, Minnie Cantrell and Velma Gore.
Surviving relatives include her sons, Ricky (Tammy) Ledbetter of Livingston; Daryle (Lisa) Ledbetter of Celina and Harold Ledbetter; daughters, Sandy (Bryan) Lawson of Columbia, S.C., Helen (Johnny) Lynn of Gainesboro, Christene Simmons of Livingston and Nora (Mike) Davidson of Livingston; grandchildren, Stefania Gustafson, Adam Lawson, Emily Lawson, Hannah Michelle Davidson, Alex Ruben Davidson, Nicholas Alexander Simmons, Logan Blake Ledbetter and Wayne Riley; and great grandchildren, Dossun Riley, Dacoda Riley and Deken Riley.
John Dudley Beason
John Dudley Beason, 70, of Livingston, passed away at his home on Feb. 26. A memorial service was held on March 2 from the chapel of Livingston Funeral Home.
He was born in Overton County on Feb. 18, 1947. He enjoyed cattle farming. His passion was raising and hunting CataHoula Curs. He loved spending time with his kids and grandchildren. He served in the United States Army during the Vietnam Era.
Surviving relatives include his son, John Eril Beason, of Ashland City, Tenn.; daughter, Marrissa Smith, of Florida; brothers, Jerry Beason of Lebanon and Billy Beason of Livingston; sisters, Sherry Peterman and Sharon Phillips of Mississippi and Alma Fletcher of Allons; and five grandchildren.
Juanita F. Hargis
Juanita F. Hargis, 81, of Livingston, passed away Feb. 22 at the Livingston Regional Hospital. Funeral services were held Feb. 25 from the chapel of the Hall Funeral Home of Livingston with Nolan Cantrell officiating. Interment followed in the Speck Cemetery.
She was born in the Crawford community of Overton County on Dec. 26, 1935. She and her husband Clinton worked for many years together in their upholstery shop in Livingston.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Bonnie and Ruby (Norrod) Bowman; and brother, Junior Bowman.
Surviving relatives include her husband, Clinton Hargis; sons, Jerry Hargis, David Hargis and Keith Hargis; daughter, Sherry Meadows; and sister, Phyllis Duke.
Pallbearers were her grandsons: Jeremy Hargis, Chris Hargis, Matt Hargis, Nathanian Meadows, Robert Westmoreland and Spencer Hargis.
Mary Lee Sparks
Mary Lee Sparks, 60, of Cookeville, passed away Feb. 26 at the Cookeville Regional Medical Center. Funeral services were held Feb. 28 from the chapel of Livingston Funeral Home with Bro. Jerry Murphy officiating. Interment followed in the Mt. Gilead Cemetery.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Ray and Zelphia Dillon Carmack; brother, Donald Carmack; sister, Nell Carmack; and grandson, Dakota Melton.
Surviving relatives include her husband, Ellis McCoy of Livingston; daughter, Cindy Melton of Hilham; sons, Randall Sparks of Livingston and Jerry Sparks of Cookeville; sister, Patricia Coleman of Cookeville; brother, Joe Carmack of Baxter; grandchildren, Ashley Carr & Jeremy, Christopher Melton and Kelli, Emily Winningham and Sam, Kayla Sparks, Ciara Sparks, Mary Sparks, Brandy Sparks and Destiny Sparks.
Pallbearers were Jeremy Carr, Sam Winningham, Christian Boles, Josh Bowman, Chris Melton and Zack Yates.
Ernest Eugene Johnson
Ernest Eugene Johnson, 67, of Livingston, passed away Feb. 28 at the Overton County Health and Rehab Center. Funeral services were held March 3 from the chapel of the Livingston Funeral Home with Bro. Roger Phillips officiating. Interment followed in the Campground Cemetery.
He was born in Overton County on May 16, 1949. He enjoyed being with his wife and friends. He loved watching wrestling on TV, classic country music and gospel singing.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Andrew and Dollie Kyle Johnson.
Surviving relatives include his loving wife of 16 years, Sarah Denson Randolph Johnson of Livingston.
CARD OF THANKS
The family of Bill Riley would like to thank everyone for their kindness shown to us during the sickness and loss of our loved one. We really appreciate the thoughts and prayers and all the food and flowers and pallbearers. Thanks to Dr. Cox and his staff for their care!
Special thanks to Hall Funeral Home and our pastors, Testin Gilpatrick and Gary Anderson, and to everyone who attended the services.
Lula Bell Riley