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Obituaries for March 11, 2021; Mary Ann Clayton, Clarence Phillips, Bill Wells, Jerry Hawkins Jr., Betty Wilson, J.J. Girard

Mary Ann Clayton

Mary Ann Cleveland Clayton, the eldest child of the late Nancy and Frank Craven and who was born in Commerce, GA on April 30, 1938, passed away in Jasper, GA on March 4, 2021. 

Mary Ann married Bron Cleveland in 1960 and had three sons, Kevin Cleveland, Galen Chandler, and David Cleveland. After their divorce, she met and married the commercial and journalistic photographer Al Clayton in 1974.  

She graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in Art, specializing in fiber art. She was an award winning artist working in various media including fiber, clay, paint, and mixed media while raising her blended family which include her sons and Al’s daughters Jennie and Hope Clayton. Mary Ann worked with her husband Al as a stylist in his commercial photography business. Using her great interest in art and food, she also began to work as a freelance food stylist and set designer for various agencies in Atlanta and other locations in the Southeast. In 1992 and 1993, she authored two humorous cookbooks which were intended as spoofs of the “gourmet” mania but were also meant to be thought-provoking looks at cultural food prejudices. Mary Ann tested recipes for the Atlanta Journal Constitution food editors and contributed to food columns appearing in the newspaper, including the AJC column, “5:30 Challenge”.  

After her retirement as a food stylist, she and Al moved to Jasper in the north Georgia mountains. Mary Ann has had such a tremendous influence on so many of her friends and followers. She led a team that produced art shows at Sharptop Arts Association for several years featuring artists from all over the South. The association had wonderful receptions that brought the community together and offered great social events and art appreciation to Jasper and the surrounding area. She also chaired the Marble Festival Fine Arts competition for several years, bringing in artists from all over the southeast where the art was viewed by the community, judged and awarded prizes. For many of the youth of Pickens County this competition was their only experience in seeing high end art. The Children's Choice award found families viewing and discussing art together. It connected the people of Pickens County to art in a lasting way, helping the entire community economically and spiritually. In her continuing love of food, she served as the leader of a culinary group that started a supper club where she taught club members how to improvise and to have fun preparing delicious gourmet food. She was a big part of planning and participating in the First Friday events to help bring an elevated social scene to Jasper.  Mary Ann was a very talented artist, and foodie and brought a tremendous influence to all that surrounded her.  

Mary Ann was preceded in death by her husband, Al.  She is survived by her family of children, Kevin (Kelli), Galen (Patty), David (Michelle), Jennie and Hope.  Her grandchildren include Olivia and Veronica Chandler; Clayton, Joe (Madison), Jack (Alex), and Ben (Ingrid) Nedza, and her great grandson Jayce Nedza. 

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to either Georgia Mountains Hospice,  or the Food Pantry of CARES for Pickens County,  An event commemorating Mary Ann’s life will be held in the near future.

Care and trust placed with In Their Honor of Jasper Funeral and Cremations. 706-253-5069


Clarence Phillips

U.S. Veteran

Clarence Wyman Phillips, 72, of Jasper, Georgia gained his angel wings and entered heaven on February 23rd, 2021 after a long battle with vascular dementia.

Wyman was born on November 24th, 1948 in Atlanta, Georgia, to parents Billy Phillips and Ruth Adams. He grew up in Kelleytown, Georgia.

He was a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran. After he got out of the service, he married Hazel Hicks on April 19th, 1968 and had three children, Tammy, Angela and Courtney. He worked in law enforcement in Henry County for several years, he then worked as a finance manager for a car dealership and retired from this profession.

Wyman loved spending time with his family. He was a proud father and grandfather. He also enjoyed fishing, playing his guitar, taking trips to the beach and going to Gatlinburg. He will be greatly missed by many.

He is survived by his wife, Hazel Hicks Phillips; daughter, Angela Phillips; Daughter and son-in-law, Courtney and Matthew Keheley; Brother & sister-in-law, Colin & Carol Phillips; Brother, Gary Phillips; Sister, Sheila Phillips Wright. Grandchildren: Zach and Ashley Praytor, Tyler Ross, Christopher Henderson, Joey Hicks, Maddie Roberts, and Noah Henderson. Great Grandchildren: Braylyn & Zander Praytor, Hazy Keheley, Elly, Tinley and Logan Roberts. Several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. 

He is preceded in death by his parents, Billy and Ruth Phillips. And his daughter, Tammy Lynn Phillips. May he rest in peace.

The family would like to give special thanks to Homestead Hospice and Assured Hospice Inpatient Center for taking such good care of Wyman in his final days. 

Service will be held Saturday, March 13th at 2 p.m. at In Their Honor of Jasper. Family will receive visitors, family and friends 1 hour prior to the service. Wyman will be laid to rest at Georgia National Cemetery, located in Canton, Georgia; the date to be announced at a later time.     

In Their Honor of Jasper is in charge of arrangements. 481 Noah Drive, Jasper, GA 30143


Bill Wells

U.S. Veteran


William (Bill) Wesley Wells, Sr., 83, of Dacula, GA, passed away March 4, 2021 after a brief illness.

He was born in New Albany, MS, in 1937 to James Swain Wells, a postal clerk, and Mary Lou Wells, a homemaker. Bill spent his formative years between North Mississippi with his mother and Chicago with his father, traveling by train from New Albany to Chicago at 8-years old by himself.

He was inducted into the Army in 1955 and became a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne stationed at Fort Bragg, NC.

He joined the ministry in 1965 and became an ordained minister in the Methodist Church, serving his first charge of five churches in and around Dumas, MS. In 1967, he moved the family to Georgia and received a master?s degree in Divinity from Emory University. He served as pastor at multiple United Methodist churches in Free Home, GA, Grayson, GA and Dacula from which he retired. He also served as Associate Pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Milledgeville, GA and served as a Chaplin at Central State Hospital. Upon retirement from the ministry, he served as a family and mental health counselor and trainer of counselors.

He is survived by children, Bill Wells, Jr. and wife Patricia of Lawrenceville, GA, Carole L. Wells of Dacula and Robert A. Wells of Lawrenceville; former spouse Dorothy S. Wells of Lawrenceville and former spouse Pamela K. Wells of Ellijay, GA and her son Kyle Raque also of Ellijay.

Bill is survived by grandchildren, William Brantley Wells and wife Christen of Alpharetta, GA, Samantha Elizabeth Wells of Sandy Springs, GA and Sarah Ashley Wells of Winder, GA. Great grandchildren Kameron, William and Quinlan.

He is preceded in death by sisters Carolyn Anne Wells Shepard of Lewisville, TX, and Mary Wilda Wells Medley of Dallas, TX and brother James Mitchell Wells of Norfolk, VA,

The funeral for William Wesley Wells, Jr. was held Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 2 p.m. at the Chapel at Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 300 Simonton Rd, SW, Lawrenceville, GA 30046. Please sign the online guest register at 


Jerry Hawkins Jr.

May 20, 1955 - March 7, 2021

Jerry Eugene Hawkins Jr., 65, of Canton, Georgia passed away Sunday, March 7, 2021 at Piedmont Mountainside Hospital in Jasper.  He was born May 20, 1955 to Jerry Eugene Hawkins, Sr. and Dolly Brown Hawkins in Atlanta, Georgia.

Jerry is survived by his wife, Louise Hawkins of Canton; mother, Dolly Hawkins of Jasper; daughters and sons-in-law, Stephanie and Brandon Griffin of Talapoosa, Sabrina and Austin Turney of Fairmount; son, Stephen Hawkins of Talking Rock; step-daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and Bob Riley of Jasper; step-son and daughter-in-law, Philip and Stacy Mullins of Jasper; step-daughter, Hannah Mullins of Metter; stepson and daughter-in-law, Miles and Krista Phillips of Jasper; step-daughter, Rebecca Jones of New Orleans, Louisiana; sisters and brothers-in-law, Sherry and David Martin of Jasper, Bonnie and Mike Rohner of Canton; sister, Robin Sisson of Jasper; 17 grandchildren; and 6 great-grandchildren.  Several nieces, nephews, and other relatives also survive.

A Celebration of Life will be held.

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

Online condolences may be made at


Betty Wilson


Betty Wilson, 88, of Rydal, GA passed away Sunday, March 7, 2021 at Townsend Park Health and Rehab. 

Funeral services are scheduled for 3 p.m., on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, from the Rowland Springs Baptist Church with Rev. Wesley Morris officiating. Interment will follow at Rowland Springs Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 1:30 to 3 p.m.,  Wednesday, March 10, 2021, at Rowland Springs Baptist Church.

She was preceded in death by her parents,  Walter and Roxie Crowe; brother,  Hoyt Crowe

Survivors include her son, Mike Morris; daughter, Linda Underwood; brothers, Jim "Shorty" (Shirley) Crowe,  Bill (Betty) Crowe; grandchildren, Jennifer (Jeremy) Ray, Wesley (Rebecca) Morris, John (Dana) Underwood, Wendy Moon; great-grandchildren, Peyton, Presley, Emily, Elijah, Silas, Luke, Austin and several nieces, nephews, cousins, family and other friends also survive.  

South Canton Funeral Home, dedicated to the families we serve, 770-479-3377. Online condolences may be made to the family at


J.J. Girard

October 9, 1957 - March 4, 2021

Mr. James "J.J." Girard, 63, of Tate, passed away Thursday, March 4, 2021 at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital.

J.J. is survived by his wife, Phyllis Girard of Tate; son and daughter-in-law, Tyler & Ashley Girard of Talking Rock; daughters and sons-in-law, Brandi & Chris Couch of Jasper, and Haley & Jeremy Mullinax of Jasper; four grandchildren, Peyton Couch, Parker Couch, Ella Girard, and Landon Mullinax; brother and sister-in-law, Brady & Gayle Girard of Adairsville; sisters and brother-in-law, Mary Alice & Jackie Byers of Ball Ground, Gilda Moss of Talking Rock, and Vivian King of Canton; mother-in-law, June Thacker; brother-in-law, Mack Thacker; brother and sister-in-law, Chad & Amy Thacker; several nieces and nephews.

A private family service and entombment will be held at Sunrise Memorial Gardens Chapel Mausoleum, with Rev. Jeremy Mullinax and Rev. Daryl Bailey officiating.

Pallbearers: Peyton Couch, Chris Couch, Tyler Girard, Zach Thacker, and Scott Ray. Honorary Pallbearers: David Cagle, Luke Wigington, and Buck Blackwell.

The family accepted flowers, but prefer donations to The American Diabetes Association.

Cagle Funeral Home is honored to serve the Girard family. We are deeply saddened to lose one of our own, a dedicated employee for many years, and a good friend. J.J. will be greatly missed.