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Obits for the week of Dec. 18, 2008

WILBURN ETHERN SCHOFIELD

SCHOFIELD, Mr. Wilburn Ethern, 77, a resident of Luverne went to his Heavenly home Wednesday, December 10, 2008. Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Friday, December 12, 2008 at the Luverne First Baptist Church with Rev. Donnie Burns officiating. Interment followed in the Emmaus Cemetery with Turner Funeral Home of Luverne directing. Active pallbearers were Mr. Wilburn’s Sunday School Class. Mr. Schofield was preceded in death by his parents, Theo and Mattie Schofield. Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Doris Walker Schofield; a daughter, Wanda (Tim) Willis of Dothan; two grandchildren, Jennifer (Michael) Warren and Will (Anna) Willis, both of Dothan; four great-grandchildren, Clara Marie and David Warren and Aubrey and Reese Willis, all of Dothan; sister, Nell (Jack) Armstrong of Montgomery; brother, Mervin (Evelyn) Schofield of Luverne; and several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Mr. Schofield was loved by many and was a Christian who attended the Luverne First Baptist Church, where he was an active member and deacon. He was also a Marine Corp veteran and retired as an ALFA agent. Many people in the area knew him as an early morning walker through warm, cold or rain-falling weather.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorial donations be made to the Luverne First Baptist Church or to a charity of one’s choice.

ELNA GRACE KELLEY

KELLEY, Elna Grace (Pete) age 83, a resident of Honoraville, Ala. ( Spring Creek Community), died Thursday, December 11, 2008. Funeral services were held Saturday, December 13, 2008 at 11 a.m. at Spring Creek Baptist Church with Reverend Allen Winn officiating. Interment followed in the Spring Creek Baptist Cemetery with Harrison Funeral Home directing. Survivors include: several nieces and nephews as well as numerous great and great- great-nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Elna (Pete) was preceded in death by 11 brothers and sisters.

She will be dearly missed by her family, her church family and her many friends.

A visitation was held Friday evening from 6 until 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

MERWIN JONES DAVIS

DAVIS, Mr. Merwin Jones, 91, a resident of Luverne died Friday, December 12, 2008. Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Sunday, December 14, 2008 at the Luverne First Baptist Church with Rev. Donnie Burns, Rev. Frank Lowery and Rev. W.O. Sanders officiating. Interment followed in the Rutledge Cemetery with Turner Funeral Home of Luverne directing.

Mr. Davis was preceded in death by a wife, Betty Davis; three sisters, Edna Phillips, Marie Porter and Zell Corley; and three brothers, Elmo Davis, Ford Davis and Orin Davis. Survivors include his wife, Julia Hughes Davis; four children, Barbara (Dan) Clevenger of Shelbyville, TN, Kenneth (Barbara) Davis of Pensacola, FL, Louise (Johnny) Flanders of Woodstock, GA, and Danny (Teresa) Davis of Clinton, MS; eight grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren. Active pallbearers were Brad Davis, Judd Davis, Kevin Wallace, Mitch Davis, Eddie Phillips and James Corley. Jonathan Flanders served as an honorary pallbearer.

M. J. (Bubba) Davis, 91, went home to be with the Lord December 12, 2008. M. J. was born in Glenwood, Alabama, October 30, 1917. He married Elizabeth (Betty) Bailey of Rutledge, Alabama, in 1936. M. J. went to work on an off-shore oil rig in south Louisiana in 1939 just before the outbreak of World War II. After the war, he was transferred to Talco, Texas, where he worked for Texaco Oil Company from 1947-1961. During his time in Talco, M. J. was ordained deacon at Calvary Baptist Church, and was very active in church and community affairs. He also served as a school board member for several years.

M. J. and Betty moved to Columbia, Mississippi, in 1961, where he became the Texaco production supervisor for the southern half of the state. During his time in Columbia, he served as a deacon for the First Baptist Church, and also taught Sunday School classes at the Columbia Training School for many years. In addition, he served as president of the Columbia Exchange Club for several years.

M. J. and Betty were married over 62 years when she passed away at the age of 79. They had four children: Barbara and Dan Clevenger of Shelbyville, Tennessee, Kenneth and Barbara Davis of Pensacola, Florida, Louise and Johnny Flanders of Atlanta, Georgia, and Danny and Teresa Davis of Clinton, Mississippi. M. J. had eight grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.

He married Julia Wilkes of Goshen, Alabama, in 1999. They had been married nine years at the time of his death. M. J. was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Luverne where he served as a deacon. He also participated in the Gideon International Organization. He was a member of the Crenshaw County Shrine Club, and he joined the Rotary Club in 1983. In 2002, he was honored with the Paul Harris Fellow Award.

M. J.’s faith in the Lord Jesus Christ was paramount in his life and he loved sharing his faith with others. He had a gift for making friends and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

FREDRICK A. RAUPACH

RAUPACH, Mr. Fredrick A. “Pete”, 32, a resident of Montgomery, AL died Friday, December 12, 2008. Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. on Monday, December 15, 2008 from Turner Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Johnny Jones officiating. Interment followed in Rutledge Cemetery with Turner Funeral Home of Luverne directing.

Mr. Raupach was preceded in death by his father, Harry E. Raupach. He is survived by his two children, Briana Lynn Raupach and Allen Kyle Raupach; his mother, Eva Mae Raupach; four sisters, Catherine (Ronald) Beasley, Carol Lee Raupach, Robbie Gwin, and Charlotte (Charles) Spurlin; one brother, Gary (Michelle) Raupach; and a number of nieces and nephews. The family received friends at the funeral home Sunday evening from 6 – 8 p.m.

DEBORIA YOW

WHETSTINE

WHETSTINE, Mrs. Deboria Yow, 51, a resident of Lapine, Ala., died Sunday, December 14, 2008. Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at the Chapel of Turner Funeral Home with Rev. Joe Leverette officiating and Turner Funeral Home of Luverne directing.

Mrs. Whetstine was preceded in death by her parents, Samuel and Rosie Yow; three sisters, Frances Yow, Ethel Yow and Judy Metzler; and four brothers, Raymond, Richard, Charles and Sammy Yow. Survivors include her husband of 27 years, Craig Whetstine; two sons, Roger (Melissa) Whetstine and Timothy (Latisha) Whetstine; four grandchildren, Elizabeth Ashworth, Madison Lancer, Mya Whetstine and Axel Ramirez; two sisters, Catherine “Jane” (Bobby) Rathburn and Diane (Joe) Montiforte; and one brother, Glen (Lou Ann) Yow. The family received friends at the funeral home Tuesday from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Deboria never met a stranger.

VERNON FRANKS

FRANKS, Mr. Vernon “Buck”, 69, a resident of Rutledge, Ala., died Sunday, December 14, 2008. Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at the Centenary Assembly of God Church with Rev. Robert Carter and Lamar Gibson officiating. Interment followed in the church cemetery with Turner Funeral Home of Luverne directing.

Mr. Franks was preceded in death by his son, Christopher V. Franks; parents, Jake and Belle Franks; and four brothers and three sisters. Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Syble McGough Franks; three daughters, Denice (Michael) Smith, Bobbie (Ricky) Simmons and Angela Williams; five grandchildren, Timothy Franks, Andrew Smith, Ethan Smith, James Richard Simmons and Shelby Simmons; two sisters, Juanita “Bob” Strickland and Geneva Swann; and three sisters-in-law, Cleo Franks, Gwen Franks and Jackie Franks.