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Obituaries

Cheri Dawn Andrews

 

Graveside service for Mrs. Cheri Dawn Andrews, 73, of Kellyton, will be Saturday, March 23, 2024, at 12 p.m. at the Hillview Memorial Park. Johnny Watkins will officiate. The family will receive friends on Saturday, March 23, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Radney Funeral Home.

Cheri Dawn Andrews, a beacon of generosity and selflessness, passed away peacefully on March 20, 2024, at her home in Kellyton. Born on October 12, 1950, in Sylacauga, Cheri’s creative spirit and warm smile touched the lives of all who knew her.
Cheri’s life was one of devoted service to her family and community. As a dedicated homemaker, she created a nurturing environment for her loved ones, always placing their needs above her own. Her marriage to Mike Andrews was a testament to enduring love and partnership, and together they built a legacy of kindness and support that extended to everyone they met.
She leaves behind a loving family who will cherish her memory: her husband, Mike Andrews; her daughter, Holley Andrews Culligan (Bo); her son, Jay Andrews (Kelly); her adored grandchildren, Noah Culligan (Morgan Cross), Dax Culligan, Emma Culligan, Tara Andrews, Jordan Towne (Ethan), Jaycee Andrews, and Gavin Andrews; and her treasured great-grandchildren, Kylin Rivers, Benzley Towne, Tate Towne, and Kenley Griner. Cheri is also survived by her brother, Doug Looney (Reba) of Sylacauga, and a host of nieces and nephews who felt her love and guidance throughout their lives.
Cheri was preceded in death by her parents, Harold Oliver Looney and Essie Charles Looney; and her siblings, Diddy Warren, James Looney, Nean Culp, Linda Sue Hanna, and Carolann Looney, all of whom she remembered with deep affection and respect.
A faithful member of Victory Baptist Church, Cheri’s commitment to her faith was evident in her daily life. She never met a stranger and approached each day with a spirit of giving that was truly inspirational. Her hobbies, such as cross-stitching, were yet another outlet for her creativity and care.
An avid Alabama fan, Cheri’s enthusiasm for her Crimson Tide was infectious. She relished every opportunity to support her team and instilled a sense of pride and camaraderie in her family. Her presence was a staple at her grandchildren’s sporting events, where she could be found cheering them on with unwavering support.
Cheri Dawn Andrews will be remembered as a loving wife, mother, and Nana, whose generosity and selflessness shaped the lives of those around her. Her legacy of love, creativity, and kindness will continue to inspire and guide her family and all who were blessed to know her.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Tunnel to Towers at t2t.org or the Wounded Warrior Project at support.woundedwarriorproject.org.

Memories and condolences may be shared at www.radneyfuneralhome.com.

Radney Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Cheri Dawn Andrews.

 

Jane Helm Ezekiel

 

Jane Helm Ezekiel, age 82, of Weogufka, passed away on Monday, March 18, 2024.

Jane is survived by her daughter, Rhonda Robbins (Pat); grandchild, Amber Stewart; great-grandchildren, Rylee Stewart, Gracyn Stewart, Brian Stewart; daughter, Wanda Byrd (Teddy); deceased grandson, Corey Byrd; grandchild, Camron Byrd; great-grandchildren, Ava Byrd, Waylon Byrd; deceased son, Wayne Ezekiel; grandchild, Chris Ezekiel; great-grandchildren, Ryker Ezekiel, Maci Ezekiel; son, Kevin Ezekiel (Stacey); grandchildren, Reed Ezekiel, Codey Ezekiel, Erika Millwood, Emma Stevenson, Bella Ezekiel; great-grandchildren, Chasidy Ezekiel, Avery Millwood, Oaklynn Ezekiel; brothers, Henry Helm, Randy Helm; and sister, Joann Ogle.

She is also preceded in death by her parents, Jim and Decie Helm; brothers, Jimmy Helm, Richard Helm; and sisters, Eunice Culver and Jewel Woodfin.

A Celebration of Life was held Thursday, March 21, 2024, at The Barn at 21 Jim Helm Road, Weogufka.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made to the cemetery fund at Unity Presbyterian.

Memorial messages may be sent to the family at www.dignitymemorial.com/funeral-homes/sylacauga-al/radney-smith-funeral-home/8516.

Radney-Smith Funeral Home in Sylacauga handled the arrangements.

 

Vanessa Leonard

Ms. Vanessa Leonard was born September 26, 1960, in Birmingham, spending most of her life in Coosa County. Vanessa passed away on March 11, 2024, at the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital.
Vanessa joined New Home Missionary Baptist Church in Hissop at an early age, where she was an
active member of the Sunbeam, Junior Mission, Matrons, and Morning Star District. She served as a Legal Advisor to the New Home Missionary Baptist Church Trustee Board and taught Sunday School, and classes at the Morning Star District Congress of Christian Education where she served as youth director. She had a deep love for the Lord and served Him through church affiliations by being a Christian educator of young people. She lived out this passion through mentorship and creating opportunities for the youth she encountered.
Vanessa was educated in the Coosa County School System, graduating from Coosa County High School in 1978 as class valedictorian. Vanessa then furthered her education at various universities: the University of Alabama (B.S. in healthcare management, 1983), the University of Mississippi (M.B.A., 1992), and the University of Alabama School of Law (J.D., 1995).
Vanessa’s work history includes working at Emory University as a financial analyst, at the International Firm KPMG as a senior consultant and manager for higher education, and as assistant attorney general for the Coosa County Human Resource Department. She was the owner and founder of Leonard Mitchell Consulting, allowing her to carry out her passion every day.
Vanessa served on several boards: Protective Life Corp., the University of Alabama Board of Trustees for the Sixth Congressional District, Health Care Authority for Baptist Health, the UAB Education Foundation, Task Force to Strengthen Alabama Families, Shiloh Project Inc., and previously served on the Lake Martin Area United Way Board. Vanessa provided consulting services for various not-for-profit organizations.
Vanessa was additionally affiliated with numerous organizations: alumna of Leadership Alabama, Cottage Grove Chapter 313 Order of Eastern Star, and others.
Vanessa received several awards in her lifetime, including Yellowhammer’s 2022 Woman of Impact, and was inducted into the Hall of Honor for the University of Alabama Law School in 2024.
Vanessa was preceded in death by her father, Rev. Earlie Lee Leonard, and she leaves to cherish her memories, her mother, Mrs. Lillian Leonard of Rockford; two brothers, Rev. Irvin (Wanda) Leonard of Florence, DeJarvis (Karen) Leonard of Kellyton; one sister, Melissa (Michael) Roseman of Rockford. She also leaves to cherish her memory nieces and nephews, Marlon Terrell Bankhead, Wanishea
(Fred) Wilkins, Ivory (Russell) Sirmans, Brittany (Nick) Hogan, DeJarvis II (Scotti Michele) Leonard, Ashley (Maurice) Grace, Aliyah Roseman; and a host of relatives and friends.

The Homegoing Celebration of Ms. Vanessa Leonard was held Friday, March 15, 2024, at New Home Missionary Baptist Church with Rev. Terrance Stamps officiating. Interment followed in the church cemetery. Armour’s Memorial Funeral Home staff directed the services.

 

William R. “Bill” Markham

 

William R. “Bill” Markham, age 75, of Sylacauga, passed away on Friday, March 15, 2024, at his residence surrounded by family.

Bill was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on August 25, 1948. He was the younger of two brothers, and he was always mischievous and loved to joke with everyone. He was the class clown in high school, and that shaped his personality throughout his lifetime.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy right out of high school and served during Vietnam on several ships, including the USS Intrepid and the USS Forrestal.  While in the Navy, he was on leave in Alabama and met his wife of 57 years, Teresa.

Together, they had many adventures. They raised four children, moved to Narragansett, Rhode Island, Crystal Lake, Illinois and eventually back home to Alabama. His whole life, Bill was a dedicated friend to many, a loyal and loving husband to Teresa, and a wonderful and supportive father and grandfather to his family. Bill worked all over the world for various companies in the printing press industry where he ran projects, made lasting friendships and loved all of his guys on the road like family. He had a passion for his family, his country, NASCAR, his land here in Alabama, and the outdoors.

Everyone who met Bill was immediately drawn to his great sense of humor, his infectious laughter and his ability to joke and make people feel at ease. To know him was to love him. His passing has left a huge void in the Markham family, and he will be missed beyond measure.

Bill is survived by his wife, Teresa Markham; three daughters, Melissa Haney (Elbert), Barbara Weber (Adam), Michelle “Ziggy” Markham; son, Charles Emory Markham III (Ashley); brother, Robert C. Markham; five grandchildren, Darien Anne Markham, Phoebe Fruhauf (Joseph), Anna Haney, William “Will” Markham, Sarah Berger (Calvin); five great-grandchildren, Karter Killough, Riley Anne Killough, Elijah Berger, Dexter Berger, Dominique Berger; and dedicated family, Shirley Byrd-Collier and Ervin Jones.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Marie Markham.

A visitation for Bill will be held Friday, March 22, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Radney-Smith Funeral Home, 320 North Elm Avenue, Sylacauga. A funeral service will occur Saturday, March 23, at 1 p.m. at St. Jude Catholic Church, 310 West Bay Street, Sylacauga.

Bill will be laid to rest in Grimes Chapel Baptist Church Cemetery, 25235 Coosa County Road 29, Sylacauga, 35151.

Serving as pallbearers are Robert C. Markham, Charles Markham III, Adam Weber, Sherrill Weathers, Michael Weathers, David Weathers, and honorary pallbearer William “Will” Markham.

Memorial messages may be sent to the family at www.dignitymemorial.com/funeral-homes/sylacauga-al/radney-smith-funeral-home/8516.

Radney-Smith Funeral Home in Sylacauga will direct the services.

 

Judy Smith

 

Funeral service for Mrs. Judy Smith, 68, of Goodwater, was Thursday, March 21, 2024, at the Goodwater Baptist Church. Rev. Ed Frantz and Rev. Joe Fain officiated. Burial followed in the Greenview Cemetery.

Judy Ashworth Smith, a cherished beacon of love and selflessness, passed away surrounded by her adoring family, leaving behind a legacy of warmth and generosity that will be fondly remembered by all who had the pleasure of knowing her. Judy graced this world with her presence for many years, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of her loved ones and the community of Goodwater, where she was a beloved figure.

Born to the late Louis Elmer Ashworth and Agnes Thompson Ashworth, Judy’s early years were shaped by the bonds of family and the values of hard work and dedication. She graduated from Weogufka High School in 1974, setting the stage for a lifetime of commitment and service to others. Judy’s professional journey was deeply intertwined with Winn Dixie, where she retired after an impressive 48 years. Known fondly as the “cake lady,” Judy’s talent and creativity as a bakery manager brought joy to countless celebrations over the years.

Judy’s love story with her devoted husband, George Smith, blossomed into a beautiful family, including her daughter, Julie Smith Barron; her sons, Johnathon Smith, Benjamin Smith (Sabrina), Jeb Miller (Sarah); and her daughter, Katie Smith McCallum (Dustin). She was the proud grandmother to Taylor Short (Colton), Landon Barron (Ally), Caymen Barron, George Smith, Trevor Miller, Raylee Smith, Anna Miller, Jenna Miller, Cohen McCallum, Logan Smith, and Erica Miller. The joy of her life multiplied with the birth of her great-grandchild, Addi Short. Judy’s love extended to her siblings, Gerri Forbus (Rex) and Barry Ashworth (Bobbie), and she held a special place in her heart for her sisters-in-law, Bonnie Smith and Holly Hawkins (David), as well as her numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Judy’s passions were as abundant as her love for her family. She found immense joy in baking for her family, friends, and church family, an act of service that showcased her thoughtful nature. Her love for reading was only matched by her talent in the kitchen and her green thumb, which could be seen in the beautiful flowers that adorned her yard. Judy cherished family time, especially with her children and grandchildren, and enjoyed preserving memories in the photo albums she meticulously crafted.

Judy’s life was characterized by an unwavering spirit of giving. She was a pillar of strength and support, always putting the needs of others before her own. Her thoughtful gestures and loving demeanor made her a treasured friend and confidant to many. Her selflessness knew no bounds, and it was reflected in every aspect of her life, from her work at Winn Dixie to the countless hours she spent ensuring her family felt her love in both grand and simple ways.

She was preceded in death by her beloved parents; her sister, Patsy Cox; and her brothers, James Doyle Ashworth and Randy Ashworth; as well as her cherished son-in-law, David Barron.

Judy’s memory will be safeguarded by the lives she touched, the smiles she created, and the love she shared.

As we bid farewell to Judy Ashworth Smith, we celebrate a life lived with purpose and kindness. Her enduring legacy will continue to inspire those who were fortunate enough to have been a part of her journey. Judy’s story is not one of an end, but a beautiful reminder of the impact one life can have on so many. She will be deeply missed, but her spirit will forever reside in the hearts of her family and friends.

Memories and condolences may be shared at www.radneyfuneralhome.com.

Radney Funeral Home was honored to serve the family of Judy Ashworth Smith.

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