Obituaries for Tues., Feb. 13, 2018

Published 1:30 am Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Mrs. Edith Ernestine Tatum of Evergreen passed away Sat., Feb, 10, 2018, at her residence. She was 75.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. today, Tues., Feb. 13, 2018, at Olive Branch Baptist church. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to services. The Rev. Herbert Brown will officiate. Music will be by Letitia Brown. Interment will follow in the church cemetery with Cope-Keahey Funeral Home directing. Serving as pallbearers will be Skyler Gibson, Terry Dean, David Tatum, Chip Stacey, Joey Brewton and David Wiggins. Honorary pallbearers will be Wayne House, Allen Pipkins and Tim Collins.

Survivors include her son, Christopher (Robin) Hamrac, Evergreen; daughters, Julia Thomas of Evergreen, Christine (Ricky) Jones of Evergreen, Margaret (Dale) Simmons, of Weaver, and Tracy Shehan of Evergreen; her brother, Cecil (Nita) House, Evergreen; sisters, Velma Fell, Foley; Virgie Collins, Milton, Fla.; Evelyn (Harry) Pipkins, Evergreen; Myrtle Tolbert, Mobile; 13 grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Willis Larry Tatum, and granddaughter, Stephanie Smith.



Emma Gean Richburg Knotts, known as “Gean” or “Dixie” to friends and family, age 81, of 608 Woodhaven Drive in Opp died on Thurs., Feb. 8, 2018, in the local hospital surrounded by family.

She was born in Laurel Hill to her late parents, Emma (Mikel) and William Chester (Brewer) Richburg, where they lived farming – growing vegetables, hogs and chickens, and later grew up in Ft. Walton Beach. It was there she met and married on June 6, 1952, to Sgt./Airman First Class William H. Knotts. As an Air Force family they lived in: Sault Saint Marie, MI; Hampton, VA; Oslo, Norway; Omaha, NE; Smithsburg, MD (for 23 years), and Alexandria, VA (for 22 years) before returning to her southern home in Opp to live the past 14 years.

Mrs. Knotts was a floral designer and manager for more than 25 years as well as a lifetime member of the Air Force Sergeants Association. She was devoted to her family, a competitive bowler, enjoyed dancing, playing cards and working for hours on jigsaw puzzles, gardening and quietly watching butterflies and birds.

Mrs. Knotts is survived by her husband, William “Bill” H. Knotts of Opp; children, Carol A. Ambrose and husband Herbert Ambrose of Saint Cloud, William “Billy” L. Knotts of Opp, Debra J. Chassey and husband Phillip Chassey, III of East Bridgewater, Ma., and Rebecca “Becky” L. Knotts of Bardstown, KY; sister-in-law, Patricia Richburg of Kinston; five grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and 30 nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 4:30-6 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 14, 2018, at Wyatt Funeral Home. Mrs. Knotts’ burial will be held at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., at a later date.

Wyatt Funeral Home in Opp, Ala., is in charge of the arrangements. Those unable to attend may sign the online guestbook at



Mr. Freddy “Joe” Wilkinson, age 68, of Lockhart, passed away Fri., Feb. 9, 2018, at Andalusia Health. He was born March 9, 1949, at the old Lakeside Hospital in Florala. He was an avid Alabama football fan who loved Bear Bryant and watched every single game that he could. He was a lifelong resident of the Florala/Lockhart communities.

He is survived by the love of his life and wife of 31 years, Anita Wilkinson of Lockhart; his daughter, who was his pride and joy, Megan Wilkinson of Lockhart; and his brother, Johnny (Wanda) Wilkinson of Darlington, Fla.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tues., Feb. 13, 2018, at Keahey Funeral Home Chapel of Lockhart (Florala) with the Rev. James Pickron officiating. The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. just prior to the service at Keahey Funeral in Home Chapel, 2871 Alabama Hwy 55, Florala, AL 36442.



Mrs. Lorena Parsons Hayes, 100, formerly of Andalusia, passed away Sun., Feb. 11, 2018, in Tuscaloosa.

Funeral services will be at 2:30 p.m. on Thurs., Feb. 15, from Foreman Funeral Home Chapel with Brother Jay Driver officiating. Her son-in-law, Ralph Plater, will give a special eulogy honoring Mrs. Hayes’ life. Following the chapel service, the interment will be in Magnolia Cemetery. Visitation will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday at Foreman Funeral Home.

She is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, Larry and Geraldine Jones of Tuscaloosa, Gary and Martha Hayes of Andalusia; two daughters and son-in-law, Jean Sowell Smith of Pensacola, Fla., Bonita and Ralph Platner of Kirkwood, N.Y.; her grandchildren, Billy Cooper, Brian Cooper, Shannon Childress, Brandon Smith, Kim Harris, Neil Jones, Ryan Jones, Greg Jones, Chris Platner, Jennifer Platner Crotty, Shann Hayes, and Scott Hayes; 16 great- grandchildren and nine great-great grandchildren.

Mrs. Hayes is preceded in death by husbands; Marcus Sowell and Cleve Jones; a daughter, Faye Cooper; one grandchild, Terry Smith; and two great-grandchildren, Troy Dean and Joshua Cooper.

Pallbearers will be Ryan Jones, Greg Jones, Neil Jones, Dale Childress, Shannon Childress, and Allen Bishop.

Those unable to attend the service, may sign the guest registry online at