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Obituaries - 4/9/24


Betty Jean Thompson 

Clay County resident and native Betty Jean Thompson Webb, age 91, of the Pea Ridge Community was born on October 22, 1932 and passed from this life on March 27, 2024.

Betty was a daughter of the late Domer and Flossie Thompson. She married Jesse Webb, who survives, on August 2, 1952. She worked for over 30 years at Clay Apparel and OshKosh B'Gosh, where she retired. She attended Rock Springs Church of Christ her entire life. She loved gardening, flowers and being outdoors.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents, sister and brother-in-law Wilma and Edward Sherrell, brother and sister-in-law Earl and Mae Thompson, and nephew Harold Sherrell.

Surviving relatives Include: her husband, daughter, Debra Webb Akers, of McMinnville, TN, son and daughter-in-law, James Marshall and Linda Webb of Mt Juliet, TN, three granddaughters Jessica Akers of McMinnville, TN, Lesley Akers (Chris) of Dunlap, TN, and Jamie Webb of Spring Hill, TN, sister June Thompson of Cookeville, TN, several nieces and nephews, and extended family.

Funeral services were held Saturday, March 30, at Upton-Hay Funeral Home in Celina with Jim Blankenship to officiate. Interment followed at Thompson-Webb Cemetery in Pea Ridge. 

Upton Hays Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Esta Faye Watson

Funeral Services for Mrs. Esta Faye Watson, were held, Friday, March 29, 2024, in the Chapel of Upton-Hay Funeral Home with Craig Ogletree and Kenny Westmoreland officiating and interment followed in the Ashlock Cemetery. Friends and family served as Pallbearers.

Mrs. Esta Faye Watson, age 80, of Celina, TN passed away on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, at Celina Health and Rehabilitation Center.

She was born on Wednesday, April 28, 1943, to the late Ralph and Lucy (Watson) Jenkins. 

In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by her son, Tony Faye Watson; brothers, Andrew, JD, and Ralph Jenkins; sisters, Mattie Lee Walden and Gail Watson; special nephew, Mark Allon Jenkins.

Esta Faye was a factory worker, as most all people were back then. Some may say she should have gone into the health care field, based on how she cared for others. She was a true care giver by definition.

Surviving relatives include: her spouse Johnnie “Clint” Watson; sons and daughters-in-law, Larry and Shaye Watson and Gary and Brenda Watson; daughter and son-in-law, Monica and Zane Hayes; grandchildren, Josh (Terrell) Watson, Matayea Watson, Kayte Watson, Keshia Watson, Maggie (Austin) Frank, Keely Watson, Zoe Hayes, and Carson Hayes; great-grandchildren, Abbie and Rylan Watson, Saban and Saige Roach, Brixxon Watson and Kolson Frank; sister, Elizabeth “Eb” Boles; special nephew, Corey Paul Watson and children Logan, Laynee, and Linkoln; special niece, Trista (Steve) Thompson and daughter Kenlee; great-niece, Eliza Jenkins; as well as a host of friends and neighbors that will mourn her passing

The Upton-Hay Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Wanda Faye Crowder 

Wanda Faye Crowder was born November 18, 1938 in Boles, Kentucky and she passed away at Celina Health and Rehab on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 at the age of 85.

 Wanda was the daughter of Lester Guard Kendal and Annie Florence Burnett Kendall.  She was a member of the Church of Christ. She was a business owner, with her late husband Johnny Radford Crowder, here in Celina where they owned and ran Crowder’s Fashion, Crowder’s Video Store, and Rummage Store.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Johnny Radford Crowder, and son Terry Neal Crowder.

Surviving relatives include: her son, Timothy Crowder of Celina; grandchildren: Paige (Jonathan Chaffin) Crowder of Cookeville, TN, Trae (Katie) Crowder of Burbank, CA; great grandchildren: Bishop Crowder and Benton Crowder of Burbank, CA; Charlee Chaffin and Jude Chaffin of Cookeville, TN.

The family has chosen cremation at this time. Visitation was held on Saturday, April 6, 2024, from 2 pm until 4 pm. Memorial Service was held  on Saturday, April 6, 2024, at 4 pm in the chapel of Clay County Funeral Home in Celina, TN.

Clay County Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Velma C. Short

Velma C. Short was born December 12, 1943, in Pine Top, KY, and she passed away at her residence in Celina, TN, on April 2, 2024 at the age of 80.

Velma was the daughter of James Arbor Cook and Betha Ambergy Cook. She worked as an LPN.

Mrs. Short was preceded in death by her parents, husband Bennie Ray Short; son Bennie Wayne Short; brothers Charles Ray Cook and Kenneth Daryl Cook.  She was a member of the Neely Crossroads Church of Christ.

Surviving relatives include: her sister: Emelene Roach Celina, TN; brothers: Winfred Cook of Burkesville, Ky and Wesley Cook of Celina, TN; several nieces and nephews also survive.

Visitation was held on Thursday, April 4, 2024, from 4 to 8 pm and again on Friday, April 5, 2024, from 8AM until time of service at 1PM in the chapel of Clay County Funeral Home. Funeral services was conducted at 1 pm on Friday, April 5, 2024, in the Chapel of Clay County Funeral Home.  Burial was followed in the Rich and Short Cemetery with Brother Gary Kilman.

Clay County Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Dr. Elijah Morgan Dudney 

Dr. Elijah Morgan Dudney of Gainesboro, age 94, passed away on March 30, 2024. He was a retired physician and a member of the Gainesboro Church of Christ.

Dr. Dudney was born at home in the Free State community of Jackson County on November 12, 1929, the only child of Mark and Sally Dudney. He graduated from Jackson County Central High School as Valedictorian at age sixteen in 1946. He attended Tennessee Polytechnic Institute from 1946-1949, then entered medical school at the University of Tennessee at Memphis. He obtained his M.D. in 1952 and entered the civilian internship program in the U.S. Air Force, interning at Nashville General Hospital.

Dr. Dudney attended the School of Aviation Medicine at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas and qualified as a flight surgeon. Assigned to Washington National Airport, his duties included taking care of VIP personnel entering and leaving the United States, including the Presidential flight crews. While on active duty in Washington, Dr. Dudney served as a White House Aide to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, acting as an escort for social and state functions at the White House. After completing active duty, he began a surgical residency at Baroness Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, serving as chief surgical resident in his final year. In 1959, Dr. Dudney returned to 

Gainesboro and began his private practice of medicine and surgery, continuing his military service as a reservist and retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1973. He served as Jackson County’s Medical Examiner for many years.

Dr. Dudney loved Jackson County and welcoming friends to his home in the Free State community. He was an avid University of Tennessee football fan and enjoyed working outside to relax. Above all, he loved his family. He retired from private practice in 1997. The Tennessee Hospital Association honored him with its Meritorious Service Award in 1994. In 2018, he received the College of Medicine Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Dr. Dudney took great pride in being a “country doctor” and exemplified the Hippocratic Oath. One story relates his attitude toward his patients. A man who had an outdoor labor job came to his office during the summer. Concerned that he smelled bad, the patient apologized that he didn’t have time to take a shower before the appointment. Dr. Dudney replied, “When I can’t take care of a working man, that’s when I need to quit.” 

Dr. Dudney was preceded in death by his loving wife of 57 years, Janey Dudney; and his parents, Mark and Sally Dudney. Survivors include daughters Dr. Tina Dudney (husband Mike) and Jane Morgan Dudney Roberts (husband Jeff); and son Mark Dudney (wife Laurajane). Dr. Dudney had four grandchildren: Hannah Claire McCormack, Sarah Jane Dudney, John Morgan Dudney and Rachel Katharine Dudney.

Anderson Upper Cumberland Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. The family will receive visitors from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Friday, April 12, 2024; and will celebrate his life with a memorial service in the chapel at 11:00 am on Saturday, April 13. Mark Dudney will officiate the service. Dr. Dudney chose cremation, and the family will hold a private interment later at the Dudney family cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to either the beautification fund at the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce or the Share to Care Foundation, which benefits Jackson County youth and teachers. Donations may be made by contacting the business office Anderson Upper Cumberland Funeral Home.

Anderson Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.