Honoring Our Soldier
Specialist Donzell Kiante Brooks

On February 12, 2020, many citizens of Sumter County, Alabama lined the street in York, Alabama, to welcome home our fallen soldier, Specialist Donzell Kiante Brooks. As he passed through town, fellowclassmates, veterans, soldiers, family and friends waved flags in his honor and out of respect for his service to our contry in the United States Army. Specialist Brooks was stationed at Ft. Stewart in Hinesville, Ga.
With full military honors rendered by the 1-145 AVN Brigade of Fort Rucker, Alabama, and the Patriot Gaurd Riders out of Mississippi, Specialist Brooks funeral service was held on Feb 15, 2020 at Sumter Central High School in York, Alabama. Rev. Ronnie Walk delivered the eulogy. With a motor cage escort by the Patriot Gaurd Riders of Mississippi, Specialist Brooks was laid to rest in Elmwood Memorial Gardens, Hwy.11 East in York.
Specialist Broowk was born a twin to Donevan Diante Broowk on August 7, 1994 to the union of Eddie and Caroly Artis Brooks. Specialist Brooks departed his life on Monday, February 3, 2020 at Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Ga. He was a faithful member of the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in York, AL where the Rev. James Granger, Jr. is pastor.
He is preceded in death by his grandmothers Mrs. Katie Lee Artis-Green and Mrs. Annie Pearl Brooks; his grandfathers William Brooks and Henry Fowler; his older brother Eric Terrell Evans.
Specialist Brooks leaves to cherish his precious memories: his loving mother Carolyn Artis-Brooks of York; his father and step-mother Eddie (Lisa) Brooks of Cuba; a son whom he loved dearly Eric Keon Brooks; and the love of his life and the mother of his son D’Sha Delaine (Red Momma); two brothers Donovan Brooks and LaPatrick Ward of York; a spoecial cousin whom he loved as a little brother Joseph Green (Joe) of York; three sisters Erica Evans of York, Ashley Evans of Cuba, and Jasmine Wallace of Hattiesburg, Miss. Donzell loved all his aunts, but he had a special connection with one who helped raise him. He was her caregiver when she had a stroke, Linda Artis; other aunts whom he loved dearly are Debra and Sandra green of York, Mariah (Alvin) White of Racine, Wis., Gloria (Arthur Townsend of Ward, Clark Brooks of Montgomery, Elnora Brooks of Lexington, S. C.; his beloved uncles Larry Artis, Johnny (Diane) Green of York, Joseph (Ungenetta) Green of Kingsland, Ga., Donald Patrick of Cuba, Larry Brooks of Cocoa, Fla.; Willie (Tara) Patrick of Lexington, S. C.; Leonard (Jana) Brooks of N. C., Henry Patrick of Meridian, Miss.; two cousins who were like uncles: Larry Robinson of York, Marvin (Noague) Artis of Conyers, Ga.; newphews Daytron Tolliver, Braylen Lawrence, Donovan Brooks, Jr., TylerEvans, JaceonEvans; seven special cousins that he had a very special bond with Katie (Quincy, Sr.) Horn, Tyrice Green, Larry Artis, Jr., Miranda Artis, LaKeisha Broughton, Ernest (Debra) Giles, Jr., Eric (Javon) Giles, Sr., Angela (Carlos) Barron, Cynthia Green, Troynica Green, Kevin Ruffin, Desmond (Stevie), Dekendrick Ruffin; two special second counsins that looked up to him were Quincy, Jr., and Katelyn Horn of York; very special friends who were like brothers Bruce Chaney of Meridian, Miss. and Willie Ewing of Tuscaloosa, and a host of fellow soldiers, other relatives, and friends who will miss him dearly. Written by Carol McVay Hull.

David M. Dial
Mr. David M. Dial, 82, of Boyd passed away Tuesday, February 11, 2020, at the Veterans State Home in Oxford, Miss He was born October 24, 1937, in Electric Mills, Miss. He was retired from Gulf States Papermill. A private graveside service will be held, per Mr. Dial’s wishes. Visit to sign the online register and post condolences to the family. Arrangements by Bumpers Funeral Home of York.
Survivors include his nieces, Donna Brown and Debra Burgett (David); nephew, Thomas Allen Dial, Jr. (Tonya); and a host of loving in-laws and close lifelong neighbors.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert Mitchell Dial and Ruby Lucille Dial; wife, Wonnie Jo Dial; and brother, Thomas Allen Dial, Sr. and his wife Bettye.
Jerry W. Evans
Jerry W. Evans, 73, went to his heavenly father on February 15, 2020. He was born July 17, 1946 in Tuscaloosa. Services were 11 a.m. Wednesday, February 19, 2020, at Memory Chapel. Burial followed in Memory Hill Gardens with Memory Chapel Funeral Home, a Dignity Memorial Provider, directing. Visitation was Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at the funeral home.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lloyd and Louise Evans; a brother, Bobby; and two sons-in-law, Kirk Bailey and Bobby Jones.
He is survived by his wife, Carol L. Evans; daughters, Tammy E. Babb (Mark) and Terry E. Bailey; son, J.J. Evans all of Gordo; brother, Darryl C. Evans (Sharon); sister, Nan Hardy (Bill) of Tuscaloosa; grandchildren, Kayla Bailey, Justin Babb (Amanda), Heather Shelton (Nate), Brooke Babb, Jordan Loving and Gage Evans; countless cousins, nephews and nieces.
He graduated from Tuscaloosa High School Class of ’64, University of West Alabama (Livingston) 1970, TKE fraternity, L Club at Livingston University; retired from B. F. Goodrich, was a Gideon, promise keeper, in the West Alabama Softball Hall of Fame, and a six-year United States Army Veteran. Jerry was a very active member of Gordo First United Methodist Church until his health declined. He was a certified Lay speaker in the Lay ministry for 30+ years where he served in many leadership positions, Tuscaloosa district, Conference of UMC. He served as a minister and a Sunday school teacher, and received the Harry Denman Evangelism Award. Jerry loved God, his family, times together at the beach, softball, golf and Alabama football.
Pallbearers were Gary Achterhof, Doug Graham, Bill Tidmore, Ray Herdman, Mike Brewer, Bill Elliott, Doug Hollyhand, Joe McComb, Justin Babb, Nate Shelton and Brett Estes. Honorary Pallbearers were members of Gordo FUMC, Barry Ambrose, Janice E. Martin, Bill and Joyce Hamilton, Carolyn Achterhof, Vickie Raines, Rita Miller, Diann Herdman, Gayle Elliott and Brenda McComb, Warren and Pam Buck, Amedisys Hospice, THS Class of ’64 and BF Goodrich employees. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Gordo First UMC, T.E.S., or your favorite charity.
Adell H. Garrett
Mrs. Adell H. Garrett of St. Louis, Mo., formerly of Carrollton, passed away on Monday, February 3, 2020 at Garden Plaza of Florissant in Florissant, Mo. The home going celebration was 1 p.m., Saturday, February 15, 2020, in the James & Lola Lavender Memorial Chapel of Lavender’s Funeral Service, 11233 Hwy. 17 S., Aliceville. The body lay in state one hour prior to the service. Internment was in Pine Grove Memorial Gardens Cemetery, 91 Big Creek Rd., Carrollton. Rev. Rodney Shamery, pastor of Good Hope Baptist Church, Aliceville, was the eulogist. Lavender’s Funeral Service, Aliceville, 205-373-2420 directing.
Survivors are the Garrett and Burdett families.
Joyce Ann “Molly” Hughes Hurst
Mrs. Joyce Ann “Molly” Hughes Hurst, 64, of Carrollton, passed away on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at Arlington Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Birmingham. Visitation will be Friday, February 21, 2020 from 5-6 p.m at Lavender’s Funeral Service. The home going celebration will be Saturday, February 22, 2020, at noon at Spirit & Truth Pentecostal Church, 2717 MLK Rd., Aliceville. The body will lie in state in the church one hour prior to the service. Internment will be in New Cumberland Presbyterian Church Cemetery, 250 New Cumberland Rd., Carrollton. Apostle Jeffrey Ball, Sr. is the pastor of Spirit & Truth Pentecostal Church. Pastor Nellie Woods, pastor of New Jerusalem Pentecostal Church, will be the eulogist. Lavender’s Funeral Service, Aliceville, 205-373-2420, directing.​
Survivors are the Hurst and Hughes families.
Lurena “Ms. Dot” James
Service for Lurena “Ms. Dot” James, 83, was held on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at the Bethel Pine Baptist Church Coatopa, with Rev. Lorenzo James officiating. Interment followed in the Dugg Hill Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery, Coatopa. Lurena was born on September 18, 1936 to the late Lucinda Bailey and Gaston Shelton of Coatopa. She was the oldest child of 13 children, 10 of whom preceded her in death. Lurena departed this earthly life on Thursday, January 30, 2020 in her home with her children.
She leaves to cherish her fondest memories; a devoted and loving son and daughter, DeVon A. James and Dwayne James; four grandchildren: LaMarco James, Tequalyn Ormond, LaTaisha James and Michael Ormond; five great grandchildren: Journei Khai Walker, Marquis Suave Ormond, Ashanti LaVon James, Kamron Rahsaan and Karmen Nicole Ormond; two sisters, a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends whom she loved dearly. The celebration of life service was rendered by John T. Scott and staff of Larkin and Scott Mortuary, Demopolis.
Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Jones
Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Jones, 87, passed away on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at DCH Regional Medical Center, Tuscaloosa. Visitation will be Friday, February 21, 2020 from 2-6 p.m. at Lavender’s Funeral Service. The home going celebration will be Saturday, February 22, 2020, 1 p.m. at Pine Grove Baptist Church, 9004 Hwy. 86, Carrollton. The body will lie in state in the church one hour prior to the service. Internment will be in Pine Grove Memorial Gardens Cemetery, 91 Big Creek Rd., Carrollton. Rev. Marcus Wright, pastor of Mt. Hebron Baptist Church, Aliceville, will be the eulogist. Lavender’s Funeral Service, Aliceville, 205-373-2420, directing.
Survivors are the Jones, Barnes, Ellis, Lanier, Little, and Nevitt families.
Jessie Lard
Funeral service for Jessie Lard of Epes, who passed away Monday, February 10, 2020 at DCH Regional Medical Center, Tuscaloosa, will be 2 p.m. Saturday, February 22, 2020 at Ward Chapel A. M. E. Church, Choctaw. Rev. Bettye Landrumis church pastor. Rev. Charles Cottrell will officiate with interment to follow in Ward Chapel Cemetery, Choctaw. Public viewing and visitation will be 2-5 p.m. Friday, February 21, 2020 at McInnis Mortuary, Livingston. She will lie in state at the church one hour prior to service time. McInnis Mortuary of Livingston is entrusted with all arrangements.
She leaves to cherish her memory three daughters Sara Davis, Earlene Lard and Bernice Lard; two sons Nathaniel (Juanita) Lard and Robert Earl Lard; one sister Elaine Harris; one brother Robert (Geneva) Chaney; along with her grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
Mary Faye “Toby” Martin
Warner Robins –  Mary Faye “Toby” Martin of Warner Robins, Ga., died of natural causes at her home on February 12, 2020. Toby, as she was called by family, friends, and colleagues, was born in Eutaw, Ala., to Mary Louise McDonald and Berry Austin Henderson on October 12, 1935.
Toby married Winfred Oliver “Whitie” Martin, Jr.,  from Livingston, Ala., prior to him entering the Air Force. She joined him in Casablanca, Morocco, Africa. Upon their return, Toby completed her education and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tift College in Forsyth, a. Toby was an educator at Shirley Hills Elementary School in Warner Robins for 25 years. She retired in 1998.  She was an active member of Central Baptist Church.
She leaves behind her husband of 68 years Whitie; her children Stan Martin (Robbie), Alice Martin Sands (Mark), and David Alan Martin; granddaughters, Sara Glenn (Ryan) and Anna Martin; grandson Austin Horne (Megan); three great-grandchildren; and sister Sara Lazarus of Vestavia Hills, Ala.
Visitation was Friday, February 14, 2020, at McCullough Funeral Home.  Toby was laid to rest with a graveside funeral service on Saturday, February 15, 2020, in Magnolia Park Cemetery at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations sent to either St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Pl., Memphis, TN 38105 or to the Salvation Army, 305 Green St., Warner Robins, GA 31093. Go to to sign the Online Registry for the family.  McCullough Funeral Home and Crematory has the privilege of being entrusted with these arrangements.
Edward Gerard Murphy
Mr. Edward Gerard Murphy, 79 of Carrollton, Ga., passed away Sunday, February 16, 2020 at Pine Knoll. The family will host a wake for Mr. Murphy at the Irish Bred Pub in Carrollton on Sunday, February 23, 2020 from 2-5 p.m. A memorial mass will be held 10:30 a.m. Monday, February 24, 2020 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church with Monsignor Jaime Barona officiating. Interment will immediately follow in Our Lady’s Memorial Gardens.
Ed was the Athletic Director and the Head Basketball Coach of Livingston University, now the University of West Alabama, from 1978-83.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in honor of Mr. Murphy may be made to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, 210 Old Center Point Road, Carrollton, GA 30117. Messages of condolences may be offered at Almon Funeral Home has charge of the arrangements.
Gwendolyn Cox Oliver
Gwendolyn Cox Oliver, 61, of Boligee, passed away February 8, 2020 at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Birmingham. Services were 11 a.m. Saturday, February 15, 2020, at Paramount High School, Boligee, with Rev. Cedric Royal officiating. Burial followed in St. Paul Baptist Church Cemetery, Boligee, with Gandy Funeral Home directing.
Juanita M. Rice
Juanita M. Rice, 67, of Tuscaloosa, died on Sunday, February 9, 2020, at her home. Funeral services were held on Monday, February 17, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Plum Grove Missionary Baptist Church. Rev. Tyshawn Gardner officiated. Burial followed in Old Bethany Cemetery, Aliceville. Rollins’ Mortuary directed. The body lay in state at the church one prior to service time. Public viewing was, February 16, 2020, at Rollins’ Mortuary.
Johnnie E. Watson
Funeral Service for Johnnie E. Watson of Scooba, Miss., who passed away, Thursday, February 13, 2020 at her residence, will be 11 a.m. Saturday, February 22, 2020 at Sunflower Missionary Baptist Church, Scooba, Miss. Rev. James Granger is church pastor. Rev. Larry Watson, Jr. will officiate. Interment to follow in Jerusalem Baptist Church Cemetery, Emelle. Public viewing and visitation will be 2-5 p.m. at McInnis Mortuary in Livingston. She will be placed in the church one hour prior to service time. McInnis Mortuary of Livingston is entrusted with all arrangements.
Those left to cherish her memory are her children Ruby Moore, Willie Watson, Jr., Margaret Frazier, Emma Palmer, Larry Watson, Sr. Rosie Thompson, Frankie Payne, Martha Walden, Johnnie E. Meeks, Watson and Reginald Watson; her brother Rev. Clifford l. Kimbrough; her sister Clara Collins; along with her grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.