Obituaries 9/15/20

Dr. T. Ross Averitt

Dr. T. Ross Averitt, O.D., a beloved doctor who helped several of generations of patients see more clearly the beauty in the world, died peacefully in his home on Thursday, Sept. 10. He was 82. He died as he lived, on his own terms and surrounded by those whom he loved most.

He combined a worldly intellect with a folksy and unhurried “country doctor” charm, which made his patients feel comfortable and loved. He was a man of principle and character who found life simple: he knew what the right thing was and he always did the right thing. He knew what was important: God, his family, his patients and his community. He never missed his children’s ball games and was never too busy to help anyone. He had been a proud member of the First United Methodist Church since 1966.

Although he could have lived anywhere, he fell in love with Lebanon and knew he never wanted to live anywhere else. It provided the setting for him to live his perfect life with his wife, Mary Helen, and raise Teresa, Kelly, Stanley and Amy. He relished family dinners, where daily happenings and life lessons were shared as the delicious homemade dishes were passed around the table. His life provided the best example to his children, but he also inspired them by unforgettable stories from his childhood, as well as others he picked up along the way. He enjoyed working on his farm to unwind after a busy day of work.

He also embraced the philosophy that it was important to give back to the community that had blessed him, so he served as Wilson County Commission of District 19. He was devoted to the Wilson County Jail Ministries for several years.

Born May 16, 1938, he and siblings Linda and Jack were raised in Livingston, Tenn., by their father, Thurman Averitt, the founder of Averitt Express, and his warm and loving mother, Colah.

He was a 1956 graduate of Livingston Academy. He graduated in 1959 from Tennessee Polytechnical Institute (now Tennessee Tech University) and the Southern College of Optometry in 1962.

He served as a captain in the U.S. Army from 1962 to 1965. After his honorable discharge, he moved to Lebanon and opened his optometry practice, where he worked until he retired in 2013.

He was committed to growing and expanding the field of optometry and served as a member of the Tennessee Optometric Association since 1963. He served as president of that organization as well as The Lebanon Lions Club, an organization to which he devoted decades of his life.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Colah and Thurman Averitt, and his wife, Mary Helen Averitt; brother, John Robert Averitt and grandson, Benjamin Paul Averitt.

He is survived by his brother, Jack Averitt; sister, Linda Tipton; daughters, Teresa Averitt Barlow (Tim) and Amy Averitt Wheeler (Mike); sons, Kelly Vaughn Averitt (Audrey) and Stanley Ross Averitt (Kelly J.); grandchildren, Joel Barlow, Sarah Beth Barlow, Emily Averitt, Daniel Averitt, Samuel Averitt, Hailey Averitt Mulligan (Richard), Hannah Averitt, Andrew Averitt, Mattie Averitt, Stephen Wheeler (Shelby), Mary Ruth Wheeler Jones (Duncan) and Julia Wheeler and one great-grandson, Jasper Andrews.

Pallbearers are Kelly Averitt, Stanley Averitt, Andrew Averitt, Joel Barlow, Tim Barlow, Mike Wheeler, Stephen Wheeler and Duncan Jones.

Visitation was held at Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home, 241 West Main St, Lebanon, on Saturday, Sept. 12, from 2-6 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 13, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The funeral was held at First United Methodist Church on Sunday at 2 p.m. with Rev. Ryan Bennett and Rev. David Hesson officiated. Interment with military honors followed at Wilson County Memorial Gardens.

Memorials may be made to Volunteers in Mission thru Lebanon First United Methodist Church.

The service was live streamed at lebanonfumc.com

Travis Ray Anderson

Private family funeral services for Mr. Travis Ray Anderson, age 89 of Cookeville, were held Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. in the Cookeville chapel of Hooper-Huddleston & Horner Funeral Home. Rev. Kevin Conrad officiated. COVID-19 precautions were observed and masks were required.

Entombment will follow at Crest Lawn Cemetery.

Travis passed away Monday, Sept. 7 at Cookeville Regional Medical Center. He was born April 13, 1931 in rural New Albany, Miss.

Travis was a member of First United Methodist Church of Cookeville. He loved people and surrounded himself with family, church and friends. He will be remembered as quick witted and sharp as a tack, with the ability to spin any recollection into a grand story.

Travis began his professional career at the Federal Reserve Bank in Memphis. He then went to Memphis Bank and Trust during that time earning his degree at the LSU School of Banking. He moved to Nashville to begin a new position with Capital City Bank. In 1965 he moved to Livingston to accept the position of President for the newly chartered First National Bank of Livingston, which was founded by Millard Vaughn Oakley and a group of investors. In 1971 Travis along with Henry McCall and Bill Looper started Financial Institution Services, Inc. (FISI). The purpose was to allow banks to offer packaged banking services to their customers.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Annie and Harrison Anderson; a brother, Quay; a sister, Ruby and his oldest son, Harrison.

He is survived by his wife, Charlovene Looper; daughter, Susan and husband, Art Napolitano of Franklin; son, Wesley Anderson of Lebanon; grandsons Corey Napolitano of Franklin and Connor Napolitano of Chandler, Ariz.

In lieu of flowers, any donations may be made to Cookeville United Methodist Church 165 E Broad St, Cookeville, TN 38501 and/or Saddle Up of Nashville, a therapeutic horseback riding facility for children with special needs. www.saddleupnashville.org.

Hooper Huddleston and Horner Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. (931)526-6111 Share your thoughts and memories at www.hhhfunerals.com.

Douglas

Langford

Douglas Langford, 76, of Hilham passed away Sept. 7 from his residence.

Graveside services were held Sept. 12 at the Overton County Memorial Gardens. Pastor Donnie Bull officiated.

He was born in Overton County on April 26, 1944.

He loved going to Fiddler’s Jamboree in Smithville, enjoyed going dancing and loved working with cattle and spending time at the Cookeville Stock Barn.

He was preceded in death by: parents, Thomas Bradford and Lizzie Vela Franklin Langford; brothers, Doyle Langford, Thurman Langford and Hurmon Langford; sisters, Ruby Jones and Reba Poteete.

He is survived by: sister, Sandra Hobbs and husband, Gary of Cantonment, Fla. and several nieces and nephews.

Speck Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Phillip L. Mayer

Phillip L. Mayer, 81, of Allons passed away Sept. 3 from the Livingston Regional Hospital. Funeral services were held Sept. 7 at the chapel of Speck Funeral Home. Interment followed in the Overton County Memorial Gardens. Bro. John Keith officiated.

He was born in West Frankfort, Ill. He was a member of the Allons Baptist Church. He enjoyed fishing, playing cards and traveling. His greatest joy was his family and spending time with them.

He was preceded in death by: parents, Rollie, Sr. and Haydia Brooks Mayer; brothers, Rollie Mayer, Jr. and Delbert Mayer and sister, Zolonia Steffens.

He is survived by: wife, Rosalie Birdsall Mayer of Allons; son, Phillip Mayer, Jr. and wife, Joyce of Fort Wayne, Ind.; daughter, Dawn Wogomon and husband, Kirk of Millersburg, Ind. and several nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers who served were Roger Mayer, Mike Mayer, Mason Mayer, Steven Mayer, Dell Estes and Bruce Seber.

James Leon Dale

James Leon Dale, 84, of Rickman passed away Sept. 5 from the Cookeville Regional Medical Center. Funeral services will be held Sept. 16 at the chapel of Speck Funeral Home 2 p.m. Interment will follow in the Holly Springs Cemetery.

He was born in Overton County on April 24, 1936.

He was preceded in death by: parents, Delbert and Mary Moore Dale; wife, Opal Dale; brother, Leo Dale; sisters, Hazel LaPonte, Maxine Walker and Erline Ledbetter.

He is survived by: daughter, Donna Faye Goodman of Rickman; adopted daughter, Chyanne Dale of Rickman; grandchildren, Mike Stocker, Christopher Goodman and Tabitha Miller; brother, Willie Hugh Dale and wife, Reba of Rickman.

Lola J.

Owens

Lola J. Owens, 82, of Hilham passed away Sept. 5 from her daughter’s home. Funeral services were held Sept. 8 at the chapel of Hall Funeral Home. Interment followed in the Paran Cemetery. Bro. Danny Hunter and Bro. Justin Owens officiated.

She was born in Rickman on June 26, 1938. She was a member of the House of Prayer Revival Center and was a cook with the Head Start. She loved her children and family very much and put her faith in God. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends and all who knew her.

She was preceded in death by: parents, Thomas and Cordia (Tayes) Peek; husband, Curtis Wade Owens; sons, Johnny Owens, Terry Owens, Ricky Owens and Robert Owens; sisters, Rosa Mae West and Sarah Peek; brothers, Elmas Peek, Edward Peek, James Peek, Kenneth Peek and Lonnie Peek; sister-in-law, Beverly Peek; brothers-in-law, Charles Key, Billy Hawkins and John West.

She is survived by: daughter, Mary Hunter and husband, Danny of Hilham; son, Mike Owens and wife, Brenda of Rickman; sisters, Claudean Tinch and husband, Raybon of Anderson, Ind., Betty Key of Algood, Ruby Hawkins of Algood and Kathy Turner and husband, Howard of Cookeville; brothers, Billy Peek and wife, LuAnn of Algood, Jimmy Peek of Monterey and Charles Peek and wife, Sandy of Sebastian, Fla.; 18 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild.

Deborah “Dee Dee” Denise Brent

Deborah “Dee Dee” Brent, 67, of Livingston passed away Aug. 31 from the Cookeville Regional Medical Center. A private burial will be held at a later date.

She was born in Victoria, Texas on July 9, 1953. She loved horses and rodeo, doing things for others, and spent her last days making sure others had what they needed and that they were alright.

She was preceded in death by: parents, Billy J. and Laverta Rose Adams Brent and uncle, James “Jim” Brent.

She is survived by: aunt, Bernice Adams and special friends, “The Band,” Terry Augustine, Tim Sells, Gretchen Jacobson, Rita Rosenberger, John and Lili Mitchell, Pablo and Collin Aulia, Charl Herring, Susie Stanton, Sue Appleby and Barbie Finely.

Speck Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements

Gladys Ina Bilbrey

Gladys Ina Bilbrey, 80, of Monterey passed away Sept. 13 from the Cookeville Regional Medical Center. Funeral services will be held on Sept. 16 at the chapel of Goff Funeral Home. Interment will follow in the Phillips Cemetery. Rev. Ronnie McCowan and Rev. Eugene McCowan will officiate

She was born Aug. 30, 1940 in Overton County. She was a garment factory worker. She was a member of Cornerstone Freewill Baptist Church.

She was preceded in death by: parents, Markless Gentle and Sarah Clarcy Foster Vaughn; husband, J.B. Bilbrey; daughter-in-law, Deborah Bilbrey; sisters, Sally Mae Vaughn, Julie Ann Vaughn, Dorothy Ellen Vaughn, Earlene Phillips, Tennie Murphy and Clara Bowman; brothers, Claude, Ralph, Miller, Robert and James Vaughn.

She is survived by: daughter and son-in-law, Peggy And Ronnie McCowan Of Monterey; sons and daughters-in-law, Dwayne and Patricia Bilbrey of Monterey, Donnie Bilbrey of the Love Joy Community and Randy and Gena Bilbrey of Cookeville; 12 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.

Dorothy Cook

Dorothy Cook, 54, of Crawford passed away Sept. 7 from her residence. The family has chosen cremation. A memorial service will be held at a later date. She was born in Monterey on Feb. 8, 1966.

She was preceded in death by: parents, Tommy and Joyce (Howard) Lusk and husband, Jim Cook.

She is survived by: son, Jonathan Penticuff; sisters, Wanda Stults, Martha Lusk and brother, Tommy Lusk; grandchildren, A.J. Jackson, Elijah Jackson and Malia Penticuff.

Hall Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Tammie Irene Lewis

Tammie Irene Lewis, 52, of Livingston passed away Sept. 11 from the Centennial Medical Center in Nashville. Funeral services will be conducted at a later date. She was born May 17, 1968 in Overton County. She was a 1986 graduate of Livingston Academy. She enjoyed crafts, crocheting and traveling to the beach. Her greatest love was her family and being with them.

She was preceded in death by: parents, Leslie Doyle and Estie Odell Harris Lewis.

She is survived by: daughters, Ashley Smith and husband, Daniel of Rickman and Brandi Geesling of Livingston; grandchildren, Shelby Hughes, Rylee Smith and Taylon Smith; brother, Ronnie Lewis of Oneida; sister, Helen Clark of Livingston; sister-in-law, Kim Fillers of Livingston and nephew, Zachary Fillers of Cookeville. Speck Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Robert “Bob” K. Masters

Robert “Bob” K. Masters, 65, of Livingston passed away Sept. 5 from the Cookeville Regional Medical Center. A private family service will be held at a later date.

He was born in Overton County on Jan. 17, 1955. He enjoyed fishing, playing golf and watching all types of sports.

He was preceded in death by: parents, Glen and Billie Kirby Masters.

He is survived by: brother, Terry Masters of Crab Orchard and nephew, Jonathan Masters and wife, Amanda of Crossville.

Speck Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

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