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Obituaries for July 11, 2019: Jim Thurston; Mary Ellen Mathews; Bonnie Christian; Jean Ficht

Jim Thurston


Mr. Jim William Thurston of Woodstock, GA. passed away Wednesday, July 3, 2019 at Northside Cherokee Hospital following an extended illness.  He was 81.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. at Poole Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Jake Webster officiating. Visitation will be from 9 until service time on Wednesday at the funeral home. A private committal for the family only will be held at 12 p.m. Wednesday at Georgia National Cemetery in Canton.  

Mr. Thurston was born in Arlington, South Dakota to the late Marion and Catherine Baer Thurston. Jim was raised on a farm in South Dakota and had a love for animals, he even trained a Badger. Mr. Thurston joined the Navy in 1955 and served his country faithfully for 21 years. Jim met his wife Eleanor in 1961 in Virginia Beach and they married later in 1962 at St. Francis Church in New Jersey. After retirement from the Navy, Jim had several wonderful job opportunities. He later retired from his long term employment with Dornier Med Tech at the age of 72. Jim had several hobbies but his favorite was his love for antique cars.  He owned a 1931 Model A which he showed at many antique car shows.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Eleanor Thurston, Woodstock, GA; two daughters, Catherine Thurston (Rudy), Apollo Beach, FL. and Mary Ruth Sorenson (Ken), Canada; one son, James William Thurston, Jr. Jasper, GA; one sister, Sylvia Cody, Texas; three grandchildren, Joshua Thurston, Samantha Delli, and Jessica Delli; one great grandchild, Sage Delli;

Online condolences may be made at

Mary Ellen Mathews


Mary Ellen Mathews, 84, of Jasper, passed away Monday, July 1, 2019 at her home.  She was born March 13, 1935 to Odell and Kathleen Brackett.  

She is survived by her children, Susie and Ronnie Jones of Jasper, Denese and Tim Gramling of Talking Rock, Bud and Dena Mathews of Canton, Dee and Michael Brandon of Jasper; grandchildren, Ronnie Jones, Rocky Gramling, Jesse Gramling; great-grandchildren, Carter Gramling, Wyatt Jones, and Logan Gramling.

A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, July 5, 2019 at Sunrise Memorial Gardens Mausoleum with Reverend Ken May officiating. Entombment will follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to Antioch Christian Church in Mary's honor. (3595 Sugar Pike Road; Canton, Georgia 30115;; 770-475-9628)

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

Online condolences may be made at

Bonnie Christian


Bonnie V. Christian, 87, of Jasper, passed away Sunday, July 7, 2019 at her home.  She was born September 9, 1931 to Ronnie and Ruth Wade in Etowah, Alabama.

She is survived by her son, Jay Christian of Jasper; daughters, Laurinda Rogers  of Kennesaw, Carolyn Freeman of Gadsden, Alabama; seven grandchildren; fifteen great-grandchildren; and fourteen great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., Wednesday, July 10 at the Chapel of Roper Funeral Home with Reverend Jerrold Young officiating. Interment will follow at Sunrise Memorial Gardens.  Pallbearers are Thad Nations, Robbie Aaron, Dustin Bates, D. J. Hutchen, David Mahan, Michael Hunt, and Ray Freeman.

The family will receive friends at Roper Funeral Home on Wednesday, July 10 from 10 a.m. until the funeral hour.

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

Online condolences may be made at


Jean Ficht


Mrs. Jean Ellen Ficht, a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother of Big Canoe, Georgia, passed away on July 3, 2019.  She was the wife of Thomas A. Ficht, and they shared over 61 years of happy marriage together.  She is survived by her husband, Thomas; her daughter, Andrea Winson; and grandsons, Danial Winson and Kyle Winson, all of Georgia.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Irma (King) Lightner and Ira Lightner of Streator, Illinois, and four sisters and two brothers, all of Illinois.

Jean was graduated from Streator (IL) High School and the Henrotin Hospital School of Nursing (Chicago, IL) as a Registered Nurse.  She pursued a nursing career for over 23 years in various cities as an Operating Room Nurse.  Jean and her husband were fortunate to enjoy many travels together and journeyed to 50 states, 7 continents, and 46 separate nations.  Also, she was active for many years in the Big Canoe Friendship Force and the Tate United Methodist Church (GA), where she enjoyed singing in the choir.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, July 27, 2019 at 2 p.m. at the Tate United Methodist Church in Tate, Georgia. The family will receive condolences at 1 p.m. on that day at the Tate Church Fellowship Hall.

Online condolences may be made at

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