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Obituaries for June 14, 2018; Matthew Ellis, Kyra Colvin, Avis Buchanan, Lt. Billy Teems, Mary Blackburn, Janet Owens, Sarah Roper, Jon Fowler, Sythoia Chambless


Matthew Ellis


Matthew Adam Ellis, 26, of Talking Rock, Georgia passed away Sunday, June 3, 2018 at his home.  

Survivors include his mother and step-father, Sounya and James Stokes of Talking Rock; father and step-mother, Allen and Mary Ann Ellis of Fairmount; sister and brother-in-law, Kim and Eric McNemar of Talking Rock; brother, Allen Ellis of Talking Rock; aunt and uncle, Dan and Jessie Dale of Talking Rock; uncle, Gary Dale of Talking Rock; grandparents, Larry and Judy Long of Talking Rock; nieces, Chloe Richards, Ericka McNemar, Aaliyah McNemar;  nephew, James Ellis; aunts and uncles, Lisa and Raymond Cantrell, Amanda and Stephen Whitlow, Stacey Hamrick; stepbrother, Micheal Ellis of Kingsport, Kentucky. Several other family members also survive.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Morris Dale, Carlin Bradley, Sally Ruby Ellis and sister, Jessica Richards.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m., Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at the Chapel of Roper Funeral Home with Joseph Hightower and Ronnie Branham officiating.  Interment followed in the Church of Christ Cemetery in Ludville.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Staff of Roper Funeral Home and Crematory.  


Kyra Colvin


Miss Kyra Rose Colvin, 10, of Dawsonville, passed away Monday, June 4, 2018 at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite Hospital.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 9, 2018 at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church with Rev. Gary Keown, Rev. Scott Day and Rev. Rodney Pilcher officiating. Interment followed in the church cemetery. 

Kyra was outgoing and had a heart of gold. She was a member of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church and a student at Riverview Elementary School. Kyra enjoyed helping cook, fishing, swimming, riding on the four-wheeler and in the boat and singing. She loved flowers, kittens and being a big sister. Kyra was a "Ray of Sunshine."

She is survived by her parents, Missy and Walt Harvey; grandparents, Robin and Jan Venable; great-grandmothers, Shirley Durham and Estell Venable; brother, Karson Harvey; aunts and uncles, Rose Venable, Germain (Brian) Martin, Kim (Scott) Day, Stephanie (Mark) Cowart, Larissa Hightower and Jamie (Wayne) Tidwell; cousins, Evan, Lillie, Dylan, Zach, Philip, Jordan, Kaitlyn, Everleigh and Colton; godfather, Eddie (Donna) Guy; and many special friends.

Serving as pallbearers were Jordan Day, Philip Day, Zach Harvey and Dylan Harvey. Honorary pallbearers were Jonathan Henson, Chess Hamby, Chip Penland and Eddie Guy.

Sosebee Funeral Home, Canton, GA is honored to serve the family.


Avis Buchanan


Avis Barnett Buchanan,  85, of Jasper, Georgia passed away Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at Pruitt Health in Jasper. She was born November 11, 1932 to Nolan and Maybelle Barnett in Cartersville, Georgia.  

Survivors include her  husband, Troyet Buchanan of Jasper; sister-in-law, Mrs. James Buchanan; nephew, Charles and Marianne Lawson of Jasper; great-niece, Sherry Woodall of Wetumpka, Alabama; great-nephew, David Lawson of Talking Rock; and several other great-nieces and great-nephews.

Funeral services were held at 11 a.m., Friday, May 25, 2018 in the chapel of Roper Funeral Home with Reverend Bobby Padgett and Reverend Tommy Estes officiating. The interment followed at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Cartersville.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Marble Hill Baptist Church (% James Satterfield; 3525 Conns Creek Road; Ball Ground, GA  30107) in her memory.

Arrangements are entrusted to the staff of Roper Funeral Home and Crematory.  


Lt. Billy Teems


  Lt. Billy Walter Teems, U.S. Navy, Ret., 79, of Jasper, GA, formerly of Ellijay, GA passed on Friday evening, June 8th, 2018 at his residence.

Lt. Teems was born June 13th, 1938 in Cherokee county, GA to his late parents Hayden Dewey and Buelah Josephine Thacker Teems. He served his country honorably in the United States Navy, retiring after 21 years of service. Billy was also a member of the Mount Vernon Baptist Church and was a Mason. He is preceded in death by his sister; Sue Bullock, brothers; Herman, Euland, and Eugene Teems, and grandson; Joey Teems.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Mary Lee Aaron Teems of the home in Jasper; daughter and son-in-law, Sandi & Mike Gaddis of Jasper; sons and daughters-in-law, Christopher & Kim Teems of Epworth, GA and Matthew and Sabrina Teems of Jasper; grandchildren and spouse, Kristy Taunton, Brandon and Carlee Nelson, Kirsten Teems and Connor Teems; great-granddaughter, Kaylee Taunton; sisters and brother-in-law, Peggy Spiva of Covington, GA; Doris and Frank Morris of Social Circle, GA; brother, Frankie Lee of Georgia; sister-in-law, Annie Teems of Ellijay, GA.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. on Monday, June 11th, 2018 from the Logan Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Russel Hood, Min. Terry Stuart, and Chaplain Roland Nelson officiating.  Music and vocals by Rev. Anthony Sanford, Eva Reece, Regina Morgan and congregational singing led by Garry Hensley. Military graveside rites performed immediately after the service in the Logan Funeral Home Pavilion with military graveside rites performed by the North Georgia Honor Guard. Graveside interment followed in the Ellijay Church of Christ Memorial Garden.

Flowers were acceptable, or donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105 or to the Mt. Vernon Baptist Church Cemetery Fund at P.O. Box 1435 Ellijay, GA 30540 in memory of Lt. Teems with Brandon Nelson, Connor Teems, Randy Spiva, Kenny Morris, Ronnie Morris, and Mitchell Aaron serving as pallbearers.

Online condolences can be left to the family at

Logan Funeral Home & Chapel in charge of arrangements.


Mary Blackburn


Mary Blackburn was the first born of Spiro and Katherine Pandora, both natives of Yugoslavia. She was born April 9, 1924 in San Pedro, California. She attended Catholic schools until attending San Pedro High School where she graduated in 1943.

She determined early in life that she wanted a career in nursing, having been impressed during a hospital stay for a tonsillectomy by the actions of a young student nurse. She trained to become a registered nurse at Los Angeles General Hospital and completed her training in 1946, and spent several years at the University of California Hospital in Berkeley, California.

She began a career as a U.S. Navy nurse in 1949, serving at the Naval Hospital in Bremerton, Washington where she met her future husband, Ben Blackburn while his ship was in Bremerton for an overhaul period. After a short period in San Diego, she was selected for training as a Naval Flight Nurse and received training at Gunter Field in Alabama. She was then assigned to Moffett Field, San Jose, California where she began her duties evacuating patients by air from Alaska.

Mary and Ben Blackburn were married when he returned from his second tour of duty off the coast of Korea in February 1952. Upon his release from active duty in the Fall of 1952 they returned to his home in Atlanta, Georgia where he attended Emory University School of Law.

Mary was an avid golfer, taking the game up seriously when she and Ben became active members of Druid Hills Golf Club in 1975. She served as chairperson of the Ladies Golf Association while at Druid Hills. After she and Ben moved in 1993 to the Bent Tree Community, Jasper, GA, she served again as chairman of the Ladies Gold Association. While a member of the Georgia Senior Golfers Association she won the Low Net Ladies Championship, played at Sea Palms Golf Resort at St. Simmons Island, Georgia in October 2005 at the age of 81.

Their family life as parents began with the birth of a son, Michael James Blackburn in December 1952. He was followed by a second son, Robert Bentley Blackburn in June 1954, a daughter, Kathryn Antonia Blackburn (Boyce) in October 1955, and the last born, a son, David Thomas Blackburn in October 1956.

Mary enjoyed a family of 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. She was a member of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Family in Jasper.

Mary passed away, at the age of 94, on June 10, 2018.   She is survived by her husband, Benjamin Bentley Blackburn  III of Jasper; sons and daughters-in-law, Michael James and Juneam Blackburn of Reno, Nevada, Robert Bentley Blackburn of Oxford, David Thomas and Beth Blackburn of Dalton; daughter and son-in-law, Kathy and Ron Boyce of Cumming; grandchildren, Olivia Blackburn of Loganville, William Blackburn of Jefferson, Benjamin Blackburn IV of Resaca, Matthew Blackburn of Memphis, Tennessee, Lara Carrillo of Marietta, Allison Wilcox of Cumming, Anna Ryder of Smyrna, Monica Diaz of Atlanta; 11 great-grandchildren; and several other relatives.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, June 14, 2018 at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Family with George Yandell officiating. Inurnment will follow at 1:30 p.m. at Georgia National Cemetery.

Arrangements are entrusted to the staff of Roper Funeral Home & Crematory in Jasper.

Online condolences can be made at


Janet Owens

December 10, 1952 – June 7, 2018


Janet Ross Owens, 65, of Jasper passed away Thursday, June 7, 2018 at Northside Hospital Cherokee.

She is survived by her husband, Greg Owens of Jasper; daughter and son-in-law, Chelsea and Greg Doggett of Waxhaw, North Carolina; granddaughter, Sophia Owens of Waxhaw, North Carolina; sisters, Donna McCune and Tim Walker of Irvine California, Ann and Todd Nicholson of Tustin, California; cousin, Marney Hull of Seattle, Washington; mother-in-law, Betty Owens of Acworth, Georgia; sister-in-law, Cathy Jackson of Acworth, Georgia.

Janet was cremated under the care of the staff of Roper Funeral Home & Crematory in Jasper.

Online condolences can be made at


Sarah Roper 


Sarah Walterine "Granny Rine" Roper, 89, of Ball Ground passed away Thursday, June 7, 2018 at Seasons Hospice.  

Survivors include grandchildren, Steven and Amy Roper of Ball Ground, Kevin and Leslie Roper of Canton, Brian Roper of Panama City Beach,  Trina and Brent Chastain of Ball Ground; great-grandchildren, Brittany Parham, Dalton Roper, William Roper, Thomas Roper, Trey Edge, Mason Roper, Carlee Roper, Bralee Roper, Ryan Shearouse, Logan Shearouse, Alexis Shearouse; daughters-in-law, Maxine Roper of Ball Ground, Olene Roper of Ball Ground; and brother, Harry Cavender of Ball Ground.  Several nieces, nephews also survive, especially Linda and Robert Reece.

She was preceded in death by parents, Will and Ora Cavender; husband, Ralph Roper; sons, Jimmy Roper and Ricky Roper; grandson, Jimmy Ralph Roper Jr.

Services were held at 2 p.m., Saturday, June 9, 2018 at the Roper Funeral Home Chapel.  Interment followed in Lake Forest Memorial Park (280 Camp Road, Jasper, GA 30143.)

Arrangements are entrusted to the Staff of Roper Funeral Home and Crematory.  


Jon Fowler


Jon Cameron Fowler, 66, of Jasper, Georgia passed away Friday, June 8, 2018 at Piedmont Mountainside Hospital.  

Survivors include his son and daughter-in-law, Brian and Sabrina Fowler of Lawrenceville; grandson, Brady Fowler of Lawrenceville; his brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Suzie Fowler of Jasper; niece, Shelbi Fowler of Jasper; and nephew, Cameron Fowler of Jasper.  Aunts, uncles, cousins, and other family members also survive.

Services will be held at 3 p.m., Saturday, June 16, 2018 at the Chapel of Roper Funeral Home with Greg Meadows officiating. 

The family will be receiving friends at Roper Funeral Home Saturday, June 16, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Staff of Roper Funeral Home and Crematory.  


Sythoia Chambless

December 11, 1950 - June 07, 2018


Mrs. Syothia Chambless,  67, of Talking Rock passed away Thursday, June 7, 2018 at Pruitt Health Care of Jasper. 

Mrs. Chambless is survived by her husband, Henry Chambless of Talking Rock; daughter and son-in-law, Staci & Mike Mabrey; grandchildren, Tyler Mabrey, Taylor Mabrey, McKenzie Maybrey, Tyna & Dayna Mabrey; great-grandchildren, Joyce Mabrey, Danica Mabrey, Gunner Mabrey & Ryland Mabrey. 

Sythoia is the daughter of Danny Saturday and Constance Burnett. 

Mrs. Chambless cremains will be interred at Town Creek Baptist Church Cemetery at a later date.  

Cagle Funeral Home is honored to serve the Chambless Family.


Masonic Resolution

Masonic Resolution on the death of Brother Billy Franklin Hales

To the Worshipful Master, Warden, and Brethren of Pickens Star Lodge #220 F&A.M. Jasper, Georgia

Whereas, on April 19, 2018 it was the will of the Grand Architect of Heaven and Earth to call from Labor ro Refreshment our beloved Brother Billy Franklin Hales

And whereas we, his brethren, feel keenly his absence from our midst and while we humbly bow to the will of our Infinite Creator, we desire to make a suitable Memorial, therefore:

Be it resolved that Pickens Star Lodge No. 220 F&A.M. express to the family of our departed Brother, Deepest sympathy and wish to express our gratitude for his life of service among us.

Be it further resolved that a copy of these resolutions be sent to the bereaved family of our departed brother,

A copy to be spread on our minutes and a copy to be published in the Pickens County Progress.

Respectfully submitted,

Worshipful Brother Phil Thomason, Worshipful Brother Gene Free, Worshipful Brother William Cantrell