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Obituaries for August 1, 2019; William Wood, Tommy Smith, Betty Wade, Laura Gibbs, Walter White IV

William Wood

April 29, 1940 – July 22, 2019


Bill was born April 29, 1940 on a farm near Covington, Tennessee, to Wilson Kemmet and Nellie G. Wood.  Bill passed from this earthly life on July 22, 2019.  He was a member of East Cobb Church of Christ, Marietta, Georgia.  Bill was predeceased by his parents and his brother; James Edward Wood.  

Bill had many adventures, many friends, and worked at many endeavors during his life. 

He served his country in both the Navy and Army as a photographer being stationed in Japan and Paris, France, respectively. 

He was a lover of little European cars from the time an English MG-A stopped in front of his boyhood home during a rally in 1957 to ask for water. In France he befriended the Triumph Racing Team and was invited to the pits of 24 Hours of LeMans wearing the team’s uniform and being told to “keep cool and just act like a Frenchman!” Later he worked as a crew chief at the 24 Hours of Daytona having developed a passion for endurance racing. At age 61 he fell in love with Rally Racing and was a crew chief, organizer, and then co-driver with his sons Stuart and Hooper.

After leaving the service Bill worked for various photographic firms in Chattanooga as a photographer and set builder including well-known Chattanooga area photographer A. Charles Hinkle and the camera store chain, Camera and Craft. During that time he also attended the University of Chattanooga and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville for three and a half years.  Returning to Camera and Craft he rose to executive vice president.  Afterward Bill moved to Nashville, Tennessee, working for photographic wholesaler, Alfred J. Levit Corporation, as a warehouse manager and salesman and was soon promoted to vice president.  

Bill always had carpentry in his blood and later opened a carpentry shop and commercial building business in Chattanooga and Covington, Tennessee.  His time in western Tennessee eventually led to work in the cotton fields of his youth endeavoring to eradicate the boll weevil - the scourge of the cotton farmer.  Bill worked as a supervisor and later Assistant Officer in Charge of an agency covering three counties and 300,000 acres of cotton fields. 

When this mission was completed Bill moved back east to the beloved mountains of northwest Georgia where he met and married his beautiful wife, Patricia Stettler of Marietta, Georgia.  The Lord has blessed them with nine wonderful years together.  Bill leaves behind five wonderful children and 15 grandchildren. William Stuart Wood and his beautiful wife Jonesy, his baby girl Janna Leigh Hixson and her husband Charles Hixson,   James Stettler and beautiful wife Susan, Joel Stettler and beautiful wife Christen (Peachie), and pretty Rebecca Hooper and her husband Michael.  

The grandkids - Stuart’s children Nellie, Meyer, and Edie.  Janna’s children, Madeline, Eli, and Jacob Moore and Kylee and Alex Hixson. James’ Jonathan, Joel’s Josslyn and John Jack, and Rebecca’s Stella. Patricia’s adopted grandchildren Daniel, William, and Adelaide White.

His sister Rosemary was always his biggest fan and much more than a sister; she was his closest friend.

Bill had so many friends – Bob G., his Brother Bill, Andre, Lewis, Peyton, Aime, and Bob C. were just a few. He gave special thanks to the infusion staff at Piedmont Mountainside for caring for him so well.

In lieu of flowers Bill requested that donations to be made to Affinity Hospice, Jasper, Georgia or the American Red Cross.  Pallbearers:  James Stettler, Joel Stettler, Michael Hooper, Iqbal Khan, Wilson Von Kessler, and Wayne Stephens.

The funeral service was held Friday, July 26th at 1:30 p.m. with burial to follow at the Chattanooga National Cemetery.

Arrangements are under the care of Chattanooga Funeral Home Crematory and Florist East Chapel, 404 South Moore Rd. East Ridge, TN 37412. 

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Tommy Smith


Robert Thomas "Tommy" Smith, 71, of Marble Hill, Georgia passed away Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at his home.  He was born July 21, 1948 to Wilson Holt "Skeet" Smith and Fannie Belle Smith.

Tommy is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Sabrina and Greg Hyde of Jasper; son and daughter-in-law, Michael and April Smith of Hinton; grandchildren, Cody Smith, Corey Smith, Colton Smith, and Jackson Hyde.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Wilson Holt "Skeet" Smith and Fannie Belle Smith; and sister, Wanda June Smith.

Tommy will remain in the care of Roper Funeral Home and Crematory as he is cremated.

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


Betty Wade

October 14, 1934 – July 18, 2019


Betty Wade, a 28-year resident of the Jasper area, passed away Thursday, the 18th of July, surrounded by her loving family.

Born October 14, 1934 in Macon, Georgia, Betty worked for the Internal Revenue service but always believed her most important job was to be the best wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and great-grandmother she could be.

A member of Fellowship Presbyterian Church, Betty held a fierce love for life, her family and faith in God.

Betty was blessed to share 65 wonderful years with her husband, traveling throughout all 50 States and the world.  Her home was always open and inviting and was often filled with the sounds of happiness and the smells of home cooking.

She is survived by her husband, Gerald Wade; her three children, Dennis, Lynda and Gary; her two daughters-in-law, Melanie and Dale; her six grandchildren, Dwight, Rachel, Paul, Travis, Chad and Jessica; and her seven great-grandchildren. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be given in Betty's memory to St. Jude's Children's Hospital and/or Fellowship Presbyterian Church in Jasper Georgia.

A memorial service was held at 2 p.m., Sunday, July 21, 2019 at Fellowship Presbyterian Church. Interment was at 10:30 a.m., Friday, July 26, 2019, at Georgia National Cemetery; 1080 Scott Hudgens Drive; Canton, Georgia. A procession left Roper Funeral Home at 9:30 a.m.

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

Online condolences may be made at


Laura Gibbs


Laura (Bebe) Weeks Gibbs, a 20 year resident of Jasper and 40 year resident of Marietta, passed away Friday, July 19, 2019. 

She was born in Winterville, Ga. on December 20, 1929 and grew up in Ringgold, Ga. She was a graduate and valedictorian of Ringgold High School and studied at Georgia State College for Women. Her professional career began with C&S Bank in Atlanta while later becoming a banking officer with Nations Bank where she retired in 1998 after 36 years.

She was active in the Jasper United Methodist Church, Lions Club, and spending time with her family and friends was a significant part of her life. A season ticket holder for many years, she could be found in Athens on Saturdays cheering for her beloved UGA Bulldogs.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Mary Ida and James Colton Weeks of Ringgold; her husband, James M. Gibbs; and her sisters, Ann Jumper of Chattanooga, Tn., Jean Ross and Margaret Weeks of Greenville, S.C.

Survivors include her daughter, Laura Coile-Rutherford and son, James (Jerry) F. Gibbs; grandchildren, Wendy Pharr, John Sertel, Jamison and Austin Gibbs; great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.

The family is deeply grateful to the pastors, health care professionals and devoted friends for the excellent care and concern for her over the past 16 years.

A memorial service will be held to celebrate her life at 12:00 on August 17, 2019 at Jasper United Methodist Church, 85 West Church St., Jasper, Ga. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in her honor to the Jasper United Methodist Church Pastor Discretionary Fund.


Walter White IV


Walter White IV of Jasper, Georgia passed away Friday, July 26, 2019 after a battle with heart disease. He was 73 years of age.

Walter was blessed to share 53 years with his wife, Linda.  

He was born into a military family and lived in many locations around the country.

Walter attended school in New Jersey and New Hampshire. He then joined the army during the Vietnam Era, where he received training in engineering and attended college during that time as well as after his discharge.

Walter accepted a position with Honeywell Computer Company where he was employed for 24 years. During this time, he and his wife raised two loving daughters.

He then became an entrepreneur at which time he founded American Cigar Accessories.

His loves were family, golf, gardening, fishing, trivia, and of course, his passion for Karaoke where he used his beautiful voice to melt the hearts and entertain many.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Natalie; his father, Walter White Jr.; his mother, Yvonne Elaine Harding.

He is survived by his wife, Linda; daughter, Vicki (Dan Thompson); grandchildren, Lana (Luis), Austin (Lacey), Heather, Lauren; great-granddaughter, Sophia; sister, Louise Peters (Jim); and many nephews and nieces.

His heart was always with his friends and loved ones.  Walter was bigger than life, a true gentlemen and will be sadly missed.  

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Georgia Mountains Hospice.  (70 Caring Way; PO Box 580; Jasper, Georgia  30143;; 706-253-4100)

The family will receive friends at Roper Funeral Home, Thursday, August 1, 2019 from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. followed by a memorial service at 3 p.m.  Roland Nelson, Chaplain from Georgia Mountains Hospice, will be officiating.  

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