Obits 6/26/18

Faison Young

Whitaker, Jr.


Faison Young Whitaker, Jr., 88 of Cookeville, passed away on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 in Sparta.

A memorial service was held on Friday, June 29th, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Cookeville, TN. Visitation preceded the service from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Following the service, all guests were welcome to join the family for refreshments.

Born on May 27, 1930, in Durham, NC to Faison Young Whitaker, Sr. and Margaret Louise O’Kelley Whitaker, Whit was a proud member of the Durham High School class of 1948.

Born with a passion to work and to serve, in 1950, he volunteered for the United States Air Force during the Korean War. As a radio repair technician, Whit was assigned to Hickam Field in Honolulu. It was in Hawaii that he was married to his high school sweetheart, Martha Jane Johnson, on September 4, 1952 – a marriage that would go on to last nearly 65 years.

Returning to the mainland after the war…and never afraid of new adventures…the new couple would find themselves in New Jersey, North Carolina and later in Nevada where, for the next twenty-five years, Whit would serve with distinction at the Nevada Test Site. Throughout his time there, Whit worked across a wide variety of vital engineering projects and programs – from underground atomic testing to aerial measurements to supporting the national Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST). His work took him to many destinations too, from the hot sands of Yucca Flats to the Los Alamos national laboratory to the unforgiving Aleutian islands of Alaska – where he learned first-hand that gasoline can, in fact, freeze.

From his earliest years, Whit was fascinated by machinery – especially automobiles. At age 15, he disassembled and reassembled a junked Model A Ford in attempt to make it run, kicking off what would become a lifetime spent as a classic car enthusiast and backyard mechanic. An outspoken and loyal “Ford” man, his most notable accomplishment was the complete restoration of an multiple-award-winning 1957 Ford Thunderbird. A long-standing member of the Classic Thunderbird Club International, Whit also held memberships in a wide variety of regional classic car organizations, too, leaving a legacy of amazing friendships from coast to coast.

After retiring Whit and Martha Jane moved to Cookeville, TN where they rediscovered the small town life they had enjoyed in their youth. Always one to seek out service, Whit was a Deacon with Cookeville’s First Presbyterian Church and regularly volunteered for projects, ranging from elder-care to water purification for the rural poor – once again, leaving a legacy of amazing friendships in his wake.

Those who knew Whit will remember many things. His humor, his wit and his passion for bringing a smile to the faces of those around him. His non-stop willingness to harmlessly flirt with any woman within arms reach. And despite a personality that was larger than life, his steadfast willingness to quietly and sincerely lend a helping hand to anyone who needed it.

Today, we know that Whit has been reunited with so many people who have passed before him. He is once again with Martha Jane. He is happy and healthy…and he most likely advising St. Peter to turn up the air conditioner thermostat in order to save a few bucks.

Whit is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Beth and George Wood; his son, Eric Whitaker; grandchildren, Chris Whitaker, Michelle Fairfield, and James Fairfield; along with an extended family of nieces, nephews and step-great-grandchildren – all of whom are grateful for his love.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the First Presbyterian Chuch of Cookeville, 20 N Dixie Ave., Cookeville, TN 38501. The family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to the remarkable staff at LifeCare Center of Sparta, and to the medical and hospice staff who tended to Whit in the last days of his life.

Hooper-Huddleston and Horner Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements (931) 526-6111. You may share your thoughts and memories at

Billy Tim Pangle

Billy Tim Pangle, 90 of Livingston, passed away on June 20 from the Overton County Health and Rehab Center. Funeral services were held on June 25 from the chapel of Livingston Funeral Home. Bro. Craig Green officiated. Interment followed in the Overton County Memorial Gardens.

He was born April 26, 1928 in Overton County. He was a 1947 graduate of Livingston Academy. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Livingston. He loved all sports, especially golf and football. He was a big family man who enjoyed spending time with all his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank David and Sylvia Catherine Crawford Pangle; sister, Geneva Pangle Bilbrey; and brother, Donald Jack Pangle.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Peggy Miller Smith Pangle of Livingston; daughters, Patricia Catherine Oakley and husband, Louis of Livingston, and Vivian Miller Ashley and husband, Ronald F. of Roswell, Ga.; grandchildren, Scott Ashley Oakley and wife, Amy of Cookeville, Kara Beth Oakley Miller and husband, Jimmy of Rickman, and Robert Louis Oakley III and wife, Lelia of Livingston; great grandchildren, Eliza Beth Oakley, Lily Catherine Oakley, Windle Timothy Oakley, Jack Oakley, Tucker James Miller, Brody Cannon Miller, Maddie Beth Miller, Robert Louis Oakley IV, Ellie Anne Oakley and Cully Kruz Oakley; nephews, Keith Bilbrey, Bobby Bilbrey, and Jack Pangle, sister-in-laws Anne Pangle of Cookeville, Coy Lander and wife, Patricia of Atlanta, Ga., nephews, nieces and cousins.

Bennie Ruth Robbins

Factory Worker/ Retail

Bennie Ruth Reeder Robbins, 87 of Livingston, passed away on June 20 from the Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga. Funeral services were held on June 23 from the chapel of Speck Funeral Home in Livingston. Bro. Harold Smith and Bro. Scott Allred officiated. Interment followed in the Fellowship Cemetery.

She was born May 31, 1931, in Overton County. She was a longtime member of the Livingston First Baptist Church. She worked for many years at Jenkins and Darwin on the Livingston Square, and later in life for Hutchinson in Livingston. She loved working outside in her yard, her flowers or her garden where she truly had a green thumb and a strong work ethic. She was known for helping others and took great joy in giving back. She will be missed the most by her loving family. Family was her life, especially her grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Benjamin “Ben” Franklin and Nona Pearl Langford Reeder; husband, Rolan Cross Robbins; and brothers, Clarence, James and John L. Reeder.

She is survived by her sons, Rusty Robbins and Jimmy Robbins, both of Livingston; grandchildren, Russ Robbins and wife, Amanda, Kendall Robbins, Jennifer Robbins Hutson and husband, Daniel, Jamie Barela, Amy Robbins, Kensley Robbins and Ramona Robbins Winningham; great grandchildren, Mikayla, Isaac, Alisa, Heston, Harper, Trevor and Tanner; great-great grandchildren, Matix and Chloe; and several loving nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers were Russ Robbins, Heston Robbins, Andrew Maynord, Bobby Gillentine, Andrew Pippin and Billy Maynord.

Honorary Pallbearers were Leon Reeder, Harold Smith, Daniel Hutson, Isaac Muniz and Raymond Brown.

Joe Kenneth Coffee


Joe Kenneth Coffee, 69 of Livingston, passed away on June 22 from the Overton County Health and Rehab. Funeral services were held on June 25 from the chapel of Speck Funeral Home. Bro. Kerry Duke and Bro. Jon Ledbetter officiated. Interment followed in the St. John Cemetery.

He was born Sept. 5, 1948, in Overton County. He was a member of the Livingston Church of Christ and worked for many years building furniture. After the loss of his own child, Joe and Brenda enjoyed helping other children in his church and community. He enjoyed taking his wife Brenda to dances all over the area. He also enjoyed working on small engines, woodworking and traveling to the beach.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Eula Carmack Coffee; son, Jeffery Kenneth Coffee; and sister, Linda Coffee Green.

He is survived by his wife, Brenda Thrasher Coffee of Livingston; brothers, Ray Coffee of Livingston, and Dolphus “Cracker” Coffee of Rickman.

Pallbearers were Jeff Short, Paul Strong, Nathaniel Strong, David Green and Ethan Barlow.

Bonnie Denise


Bonnie Denise Richards Reagan, 56 of Monroe, passed away on June 21 from the Overton County Health and Rehab Center. Celebration of Life Services were held on June 23 from the chapel of Livingston Funeral Home. Bro. Denton Hummel officiated.

She was born July 23, 1962 in Anderson Ind. She was Methodist in faith. She enjoyed making wonderful works of art with her needle and thread. She loved her family and family was her life. Her biggest smiles was with her family around the dinner table.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Odus Junior and Addie Allyene Goodpasture Richards; sisters, Dottie Reagan and Susie Richards Hancock; and brothers, Danny Richards and Tuffy Richards.

She is survived by her husband Jerry Reagan of Monroe; daughters, Amanda Lakey of Anderson, Ind. and Addie Reagan of Monroe; four grandchildren; brothers, Ronnie Lawson and wife, Linda, Odie Richards and wife, Mary, Wally Richards and wife, Ruth, and Ralph Richards and Debbie; sisters, Mickey Castor, Julie Richards and LeeAnn Jarvis; and several nieces and nephews.

Audry Marie Madewell Bilbrey

Audry Marie “Auda” Madewell Bilbrey, 95 of Alpine, passed away on June 22 from the Livingston Regional Hospital. Funeral services were held June 24 from the chapel of Livingston Funeral Home. Bro. Earnest Campbell officiated. Interment followed in the Overton County Memorial Gardens.

She was born July 7, 1922 in Overton County. She was Baptist in Faith. She was known for her garden, which she watched over and tended to daily. Her garden brought her great joy, which was seen by all the neighbors and passing cars. She loved her neighbors as her own family.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Barton Moses and Jane Cook Madewell; and brothers, Doyle and Roy Madewell.

She is survived by her sister, Ollie Madewell Campbell; brother, Donald Madewell; special neighbors and friends, Sue Pope, Carolyn McDonald, Jill White, Tonya King and Dr. John Clough and his family and staff.

Gladys Looper

Gladys Looper, 87 of Monterey, passed away on June 23 at her residence. Funeral services were held on June 26 at Hope In Christ Fellowship in Monterey. Rev. Junior Gardner And Pastor Steve Looper officiated. Interment followed in the Looper Cemetery. Goff Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.

She was born on Jan. 24, 1931, in Livingston. She was a homemaker. She was a member of Faith Outreach Worship Center.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Caleb and Tina Morrows White; husband, Oral Looper; daughter, Barbara Wilson; son, Rev. Ferrel Looper; sisters, Bernice Murphy and Kathryn Deck; brothers, Bill And Arvis White; and great grandsons, James Paul Holloway and Baby Norris.

She is survived by, daughters and sons-in-law, Brenda And Johnny Ray of Monterey, Louise and Jerry Hinson of Livingston, Lisa and Randy Norris of Monterey; son and daughter-in-law, Rev. Freddie and Debbie Looper of Monterey; daughter-in-law, Judy Looper of Livingston, son-in-law, Richard Wilson of Mayland; grandchildren, Jennifer Harvey, Angel Turner, Rhonda Harris, David Looper, Kim Cantrell, Richard Dale Wilson, Christy Nave, Johnny Ray, Jr., Michelle Looper, Shannon Davis, James M. Holloway, Jason G. Holloway, Stacy Hinson, Shelley Dishman, Chastity Hammock, Matthew A. Norris, Timberly S. Gibson, Gabriel T. Norris and Ashlin E. Cravens; great grandchildren, great great grandchildren; sisters, Sylvia Beason and Lucille Hargis both of Rickman; and brother, Paul White of Rickman.

Card Of Thanks

We would like to thank everyone for the kindness and support shown to our family during the loss of our father. Thank you to his doctors, Overton County Health and Rehab, Caris Health Care and Speck Funeral Home for his care. Thank you to Rev. Dee Wells, Overton County Veterans Honor Guard for a special service and First Baptist Church for the delicious meal you provided for our family. We are very blessed with great family and friends.

The Family of Lynn Swanson

Barbara, Judy and Brenda


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