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Obituaries for Nov. 14, 2019; Virginia McKenzie, Charlie Sue Hardin, James Teague, Bill Little, Gail Brown, Rocky McDowell, Tony Purter

Virginia McKenzie


Virginia Belle Cochran McKenzie was born January 21, 1936 in Pickens County Georgia (Talking Rock) and died October 28, 2019, Sedgwick County, Kansas (Park City/Wichita)

“Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong” - These oft sung words were favorites of beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, and neighbor…our “Ginger.”

Born at home in Pickens County, Georgia, the fourth of five daughters (Amalee, Lillian, Ruth, and Edith) born to Luther Dunn Cochran, and Clara Ophelia Cochran, nee` Young. “Ginger,” or “Ginny,” would be the name family and friends endearingly called Virginia. Curious, outgoing, articulate, capable, musical, athletic, studious, fashionable and artistic, Ginger’s innate giftings were recognized, developed, enjoyed, and awarded during her first 18 years by family, friends, neighbors, teachers, and coaches. 

Immediately after graduating high school, Ginger moved to join family in Atlanta to pursue a career position that would challenge and reward, while concurrently nurturing the hope of pursuing a degree in journalism. Ginger’s efforts resulted in the position of executive assistant to the president of Coastal States Life Insurance Company. She would retain this position for the next eight years—through her marriage, the birth of her first child, culminating with the birth of her second child, when she dedicated herself to being a full-time wife and mother. Over the next 40 years, Ginger’s working/educational life would consist of several executive assistant positions; pursuing a degree in psychiatric nursing; obtaining a real estate license, and ownership of several entrepreneurial ventures.

In the summer of 1976, Ginger married William “Bill” Martin McKenzie, a British “Renaissance Man,” serving as Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Navy, which necessitated a move across the Atlantic for seven years of travel, adventure, and a complete cultural re-orientation in the context of life in England and Scotland. In the summer of 1983, Bill retired from the Royal Navy, and Bill and Ginger crossed the Atlantic together to make their home in Panama City Beach, Florida, where Ginger’s two older sisters owned homes. For the next 20 years, Ginger would serve as booking agent, bookkeeper and administrative assistant to Captain Bill’s charter fishing boat business, and as owners of McKenzie Marine Maintenance.

During these years, Ginger and Bill were parents to two daughters, Traci Thomas (William) McConnell (Celeste, TX), and Torri Thomas (Charles) DeLong (Wichita, KS). They became proud grandparents to six, John Austin (Katherine) Ramey (Kansas, OK), Chelsea McConnell (Richard) Crawford (Orange Beach, AL), William Christian (Sarah) McConnell (Boerne, TX), Charles Ethan (Lauren) DeLong (Denver, CO), Rachel DeLong (Abel) Parra (Denver, CO), and Wendell Elliot DeLong (Wichita, KS), and ultimately, great-grandparents to 10, (Elijah, Judah, Canaan, Carly, Eva, and Joy Ramey; Caileigh and Catherine Crawford, and Sophia and Isabella Parra). Their growing family enjoyed many years of memories made in the lagoon across from their home, excursions to Shell Island, and St. Andrews State Park, Captain Anderson’s Dolphin Cruises, fishing trips hosted by Papaw “Captain” Bill, dinners at The Mariner Restaurant, and all this peppered by the antics of their three beloved dogs, and a number of delightful neighbors.

Ginger acknowledged her need of a savior at the age of 13, and received Jesus Christ as her Lord, Savior, and Redeemer. Her love for the truth of the Word of God, was apparent to all who knew her. Ginger spent many hours with family and friends, sharing aspects of her deepening relationship with Jesus Christ in whom she trusted to complete the work He began in her, and enable her to finish her race well, with exceeding joy. Her last responses were in thanksgiving to her Shepherd who had faithfully carried her and loved her to the end.

Ginger is survived by her husband; one sister (Edith Powell of Fort Worth, TX); her daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren; numerous beloved nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.


Charlie Sue Hardin


Charlie Sue Meeks Hardin, 97, of Lilburn passed away Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at Windsor Lodge Assisted Living. She was born July 16, 1922 to Charles Clarence and Nellie Jane Meeks in Homer, Georgia.

Sue was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Walter Cicero Hardin. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Susan and John Woodall of Cumming; grandchildren, Amanda and Brian Sutton of Cumming, Laurie Beth Woodall McMillan of Jasper; and great-grandson, Tyler of Jasper.  

The funeral service was  held at 12 p.m., Sunday, November 10, 2019 at the Chapel of Roper Funeral Home. A private family graveside service followed at Eternal Hills Memory Gardens in Snellville, Georgia.   Sue's favorite color was blue so to honor her, the family asked for everyone attending the funeral to wear blue.

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

Online condolences may be made at


James Teague


Reverend James Thomas "Tommy" Teague, 64, of Talking Rock passed away Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta.  He was born February 21, 1955 to Joseph Erman Teague, Sr. and Agnes Victoria Teague in Tate, Georgia.

He is survived by his wife, Norma Teague of Talking Rock; son and daughter-in-law, Joe and Bethsadia Fernandez of Talking Rock; grandchildren, Jason Fernandez, Haley Fernandez, Ava Fernandez; great-grandchild, Katelynn Fernandez; sisters and brother-in-law, Vickie and Don Waters of Calhoun, Linda Henderson of Ellijay; and great-nephew, Tyler Henderson.

Funeral services were  held at 2 p.m., Saturday, November 9, 2019 at Ball Creek Baptist Church with Reverend Robby Lusk, Reverend Frank Ray, Reverend Jason Hancock, and Reverend Moss Fountain officiating.   Interment followed in the Hopewell Baptist Church Cemetery.  Pallbearers were  be Jason Fernandez, Larry Teague, Wayne Tippens, Steve Imbriano, Jabe Jones, and Bo Page.

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

Online condolences may be made at


Bill Little


William H. “Bill” Little passed away on November 6, 2019 at the age of 75 after an extended battle with cancer.  He was a native of Jasper, GA and has lived in Murfreesboro for the past 41 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Halmon and Lemma Little; brother Brady Little and sister Dorothy “Dot” Parker.  He is survived by his wife Ruby McKenzie Little; daughter, Michelle Ayers, husband Jim and daughter Hannah; son, Sean Little, wife Taunya and daughter Brittany; daughter Christy Little and her daughter Victoria Moulton; daughter April Westbrooks, husband Sam and their children Grace, Walker, and Ruby; great-granddaughter Aubrey Spradlin; sisters, Mary Bigham and Patricia Champion; and many nieces and nephews.

Bill graduated from Georgia Tech University with an Industrial Engineering degree.  In 1965 he took a position as an engineer with Imperial Redding Corporation in Anniston, Alabama.  After working there for a year and a half he took a position at Colonial Corporation with locations in Woodbury, TN, and New York City.  Here he spent 26 years rising to the position of president and CEO.  After retiring from Colonial in 1994, Bill took a job as a consultant with MAST Industries out of Andover, MA. and was later promoted to executive vice president of Sourcing for the Western Hemisphere and was also a member of the executive committee. While at MAST Bill focused on opening offices and establishing businesses in many places all over the world. During his career he helped many poverty-stricken countries gain businesses and improve their incomes. Bill was a world traveler and the last business he established was in Capetown, South Africa which in turn became his favorite place he visited.

Bill was a longtime member of North Boulevard Church of Christ. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend and his generosity and kind spirit will be greatly missed by those who knew him. 

Visitation with the family will be held at Woodfin Memorial Chapel on Saturday, November 16 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Funeral services will follow at 1 p.m. Officiating the service will be Jim Chilton and David Young.  Jim Ayers, Bryan Hardwick, Sean Little, Dennis Rockwell, Scott Taylor, and Sam Westbrooks will serve as pallbearers.  Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, Murfreesboro Inner City Ministries, or the charity of your choice in memory of Mr. William H. Little.

An online guestbook is available at 615-893-5151


Gail Brown

April 8, 1956 - November 11, 2019


Mrs. Gail Wehunt Brown, 63 of Tate, passed away Monday, November 11, 2019 at her residence.

Mrs. Brown is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Angie and Dub Allen of Talking Rock; brothers and sisters-in-law, Jimmy and Ann Wehunt of Dahlonega, Tommy and Connie Wehunt of Jasper; granddaughters, Brooke Allen, Brandi Price and Audry Allen; great-grandchildren, Logan Mathis and Eli Mathis.

Visitation is Wednesday, November 13, from 8 until the funeral hour.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, November 13, 2019 in the Chapel of Cagle Funeral Home, with Rev. Huey Holloway and Rev. Jimmy Wehunt officiating.

Interment will be at Sunrise Memorial Gardens, immediately following the funeral service. Pallbearers will be Jeff Wehunt, Kendall Wehunt, Keith Gilbert, Kyle Gilbert, Scotty Jordan and Jerry Walker.

Cagle Funeral Home is honored to serve the Brown family.


Rocky McDowell


Mr. Rocky McDowell, 40, of Talking Rock, passed away Monday, November 11, 2019 at his residence.

Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday, November 14, 2019 at the Sosebee Memorial Chapel with Rev. Larry Kelley and Rev. Greg Long officiating.  

Interment will follow in Sunrise Memorial Gardens Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Wednesday, November 13th from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Thursday, November 14th from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Rocky worked in sales with Covenant Plumbing Supply and was a volunteer firefighter for Hinton. He loved people and spending time with his family and friends.

He is survived by his wife, Miranda McDowell; children, Whitney McDowell (Louis Johnson), Colby McDowell, Ashton McDowell and Hadley McDowell; parents, Rickey and Shirley McDowell; grandchildren, Zylar Gleason, Claudia Johnson and Wyatt Johnson; siblings, Fonda Wiley (Jason), Shannon McDowell, Jada Hitt-McDowell and Raymond Carlile (Wendy); father-in-law, Randy Jones; numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.

Sosebee Funeral Home, Canton, GA is honored to serve the family.  770-479-2131


Tony Purter

March 17, 1963 - November 8, 2019


Tony Lamont Purter passed away Friday, November 8, 2019.

He was born March 17, 1963 to Loveless and Emma Purter Mullins in Tate, Ga. He is survived by his brothers, Michael Purter of Senoia and Fredrick Purter of Atlanta; step-brother, Hank Meacham of New York; his aunts and uncles, Virginia Pye, Vivian Chatman, Sandra Pye-Thomas, April Pye, Jim Pye and Dr. Leon Pye and a host of cousins.

Tony loved sports, especially football. He played in high school and always cheered for the Falcons and the Dawgs.

He was very loved and will be missed.

Visitation will be on Saturday, November 16th from 10 a.m. until the funeral at 11 a.m. at Atlanta West Pentecostal Church, 2960 Skyview Drive, Lithia Springs, Ga. Burial will follow at Lake Forest Memorial Park in Jasper. 


Masonic Resolution on the Death of Brother Steve Alton Kirk

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

Whereas, on October 17, 2019 it was the will of the Grand Architect of Heaven and Earth to call from Labor to Refreshment our beloved Brother Steve Alton Kirk 

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 be published in the Pickens County Progress.

Respectfully submitted:

Waynes Helsby W.M.

Danny Fink S.W.

A.J. Bray J.W.

Bryan Bray J.W.

Bryan Reece Treasurer

Keith Hales Secretary

Wayne Erickson Chaplain

Nathan Wade S.D.

Gary Boyles J.D.

Tim McFarland S.S.

Joe Wright J.S.

Earl Gaskins Tyler


Card of Thanks

The daughters of Ann Floyd Stanfield would like to thank everyone for their love and support during the loss of our Mother. Thank you to everyone that visited, called, sent a card, a note by text, Messenger or email; for the beautiful flowers and wonderful food made with love; whispered a prayer or made a donation to Cross Roads Baptist Church. 

Our hearts were full from all of the outpouring of support during our time of sorrow. We loved hearing all the stories about Mother that so many of you shared with us. Mother was loved by so many and she loved all of you.

A special thanks to the staff of Wildwood Nursing Center, the staff of Roper Funeral Home, the singers, piano player Michael Morris, Reverend Buck Parker, Reverend Nathan Smith, Reverend Grant Wade, the pallbearers: Zach Stanfield, Cory Eubanks, Kyle Eubanks, Eli Eubanks, Dan Mosley, Marty Mosley, the Honorary Pallbearers: Jim Floyd and Gary Eaton.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Christy Eubanks and Terri Semig.