William Curtis McPeake, age 93, of Mt. Juliet, TN, died February 20, 2021.
A veteran five string banjo player and recording artist, Curtis is originally from a small town of Scotts Hill in west Tennessee. He was born in October 9, 1927 and was the son of the late, William Albert McPeake and Addie Gertrude Flowers McPeake. He spent his boyhood years on the farm. He first started getting into music at the age of six or seven. His father bought him his first guitar in 1936. In the forties, he was playing steel guitar with “The Rhodes Brothers” and had a weekly radio broadcast over WTJS Radio in Jackson, Tennessee. Around 1950, during the Korean War, is when he really switched to the banjo full time. One of the first groups that Curtis started was “Curtis McPeake and the Rocky Valley Boys” which aired six days a week over WDXL in Lexington, Tennessee.
It was around 1952 or 1953 when he first met Earl Scruggs, and even appeared on some of the “Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs” TV shows. Around Christmas 1955, Earl Scruggs was seriously injured in an automobile accident and Curtis was called to stand in for him with Lester Flatt. This was considered by Curtis to become one of his first big breaks into the music field. He continued on many occasions to fill in for Earl up until 1968 just before Lester & Earl went through their break-up in early 1969.
He obtained his first recording contract with ABC Paramount in 1961 and has recorded for several other companies throughout his career.
Curtis played with Bill Monroe for about two years, during the time when Bill played Carnegie Hall in November 1961. Curtis also recorded some eighteen classic songs with Bill. After leaving Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, he joined Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper and worked throughout 1963 with them.
After this stint, Curtis signed on with WSM as a staff musician and played the Grand Old Opry for several years. He became the only banjo player to ever be a member of the Grand Old Opry house band and he was also an in-demand session musician.
During 1969, Curtis met Danny Davis and was invited to join him with the “Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass” and toured around the world with them until 1987. Later he took charge of a group called the “Natchez Grass” which shortly changed its name to “Natchez Express”.
Curtis has worked throughout his career with several major artists including George Jones and Melba Montgomery.
He was the 2010 recipient of the Uncle Dave Macon Days Trailblazer Award and the 2018 recipient of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Distinguished Achievement Award.
Curtis has also been involved with the music industry as a collector of fine vintage banjo’s and various acoustic instruments and is in constant demand in authenticating and appraising fine vintage banjo’s and various instruments.
He was a 50 year member of the American Federation of Musicians, a 50 year member of the Masons and a 50 year member of Al Menah Shrine Temple.
In addition to his parents, Curtis was preceded in death by his sister, Alma McPeake in 1933 and his brother, Hoover McPeake in 2019.
He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Wilma Dean Western McPeake; daughter Towanna McPeake-Coward; son-n-law – Wayne T. Coward and granddaughters, Connor Michelle Coward and Carson Elayna Coward.
Funeral services will be conducted 11 a.m. Thursday, February 25, 2021 at Bond Memorial Chapel, 1098 Weston Drive, Mt. Juliet, TN with Bro. Danny Tomlinson officiating. Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Wednesday and one hour prior to service time Thursday. For those who plan to attend, please wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines. The service will be live streamed on the Bond Memorial Chapel Facebook page. Additional funeral services will be conducted 11 a.m. Saturday, February 27, 2021 at Pafford Funeral Home, 10145 Hwy 100, Scotts Hill, TN. Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Friday and one hour prior to service time Saturday. Interment will follow at Crowell Chapel Cemetery in Middleburg, TN.
Arrangements by Bond Memorial Chapel, N. Mt. Juliet Road and Weston Drive, Mt. Juliet, TN. (615) 773-2663. www.bondmemorial.com
and Pafford Funeral Home, 10145 Hwy. 100 Scotts Hill, TN. (731) 549-3151 www.paffordfuneralhome.com
Mr. Robert Lewis Smith was born July 29, 1931, in the Centerville Community of Wilson County.
Growing up, he was a paper boy delivering the Lebanon Democrat and the Nashville Tennessean. After graduation, he entered the United States Air Force, where he was a licensed aircraft mechanic, and was in charge of the flight line. Serving in Vietnam and Korea, he retired after twenty years. He was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service. He then went to work at the Nut Tree in Vacaville, California, where he was the maintenance supervisor for seventeen years. He then went to work at Explosive Technology where he worked two and a half years. Mr. Smith never met a stranger, always willing to help anyone. He was very talented and able to fix anything. He was a plumber, electrician, and wood worker. He was preceded in death by his mother, Bettye Lee Smith Kendrick.
Mr. Smith, age 89 of Lebanon passed away February 15, 2021, at his home.
He is survived by his wife of seventy one years, Nellie Hollis Smith; several nieces and nephews.
There will be a crypt side service with military honors at the Wilson County Memorial Gardens Mausoleum with Bro. Kevin Medlin officiating at a later date.
Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home of Lebanon (615) 444-2142 www.ligonbobo.com
Hiram “Pete” Belcher — age 85 of Lebanon passed away on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
He was preceded in death by parents, Ernest and Virgie Drennon Belcher Sr.; wife of 42 years, Mary Lou Love Belcher; wife, Ruth Belcher; brother, Ernest Belcher Jr.; and sister, Lupe Chandler.
He is survived by daughter, Donna (Wes) Stone; sister, Dot Sircy of Lafayette; brother, Wayne (Darnell) Belcher of Mt. Juliet; grandchildren, Corey Steakley and Julia Carr (Jake) Byrd; and great-grandchildren Sadie Lynn Steakley, Mary Grace and Annie James Byrd.
Mr. Belcher was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church and a truck driver with McDowell Contractors and Long Foundation and Drilling. He was a wonderful caregiver to his wives and dedicated to his job. He exemplified meekness and humility and always had a kind and gentle answer for everyone.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at Immanuel Baptist Church from 12 p.m. — 2 p.m. with funeral services to follow at 2 p.m. Bro. Donald Owens will officiate. Private family graveside services will follow. Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.
Partlow Funeral Chapel is in care of arrangements. 615-444-7007 www.partlowchapel.com
Thelma Jean Stringer Gentry Lange- age 82 passed away Friday February 19, 2021 in Creekside at Three Rivers Assisted Living in Murfreesboro, Tn. surrounded by her loving family.
She is preceded in death by her parents, John Stringer & Dorothy Thomas Stringer; brothers, Charles Stringer, Jimmy Stringer & Lewis Stringer; husband & father of her son, Noel Edward Gentry Sr.; & second husband, Fredrick Lange.
Survived by her son, Noel Edward “Eddie” Gentry Jr. & his wife Kelly; grandson & U.S. Navy Petty Officer, Trey Gentry; brother, Arnold Ray Stringer & his wife Patricia; sisters, Brenda Stringer & Martha Cezeski; and special friend, Mabel Yarber. She was a member of Berea Church of Christ, a Line Leader with Toshiba , and owned Cakes By Thelma.
Visitation was held on Tuesday February 23rd, 12 noon until 2:00 p.m. in the Christian Life Chapel, 105 Holloway Drive, Lebanon, TN 37087. Funeral services followed at the church at 2:00 p.m. Chaplain Allen Milton Stanley Sr. officiated the service. Interment was held in the Wilson Co. Memorial Gardens. Family & friends served as active pallbearers.
Partlow Funeral Chapel (615) 444-7007 obituary line (615) 444-7700. www.partlowchapel.com
John F. Williams, born September 7, 1941, passed away on February 18, 2021 at home surrounded by his loving family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John C. Williams, Edna Hutchings and Tom Hutchings.
He is survived by his sister, Nina Seay; brother, Tommy Hutchings; daughter, Diane Averitte; son, Johnny Williams; daughter, Susie (David) Clay; grandchildren, John (Candra) Averitte, Jason Averitte, Chris (Cristina) Bowhannan, Hunter Williams, Fisher Williams, Jessica Clay, and Zowie Williams; great-grandchildren, Meredith Averitte and Bane Averitte; nephew, Caleb (Regan) Seay and family; and niece, Shanna (Brian) Seay and family.
Mr. Williams was a brick mason for 45 years. He enjoyed his farm, caring for his many animals, and gardening every year. He was always a loving Dad and Papa to his family.
“We will always carry your memory in our hearts.”
Memorial service will be private for the family. A special thank you to Kindred Hospice. Online condolences may be made to the family at oaklawnmemorial.com
Scott Michael Rowe, age 58 of Gallatin, passed away Friday, February 19, 2021.
Funeral Service will be Thursday, February 25th at 2:00 p.m. in the chapel of Family Heritage Funeral Home, with Pastor Doug Varnado officiating. Visitation will be Thursday, February 25th from 1:00 p.m. until time of service at 2:00 p.m. Interment will follow the service at Sumner Memorial Gardens, with family and friends serving as pallbearers.
Mr. Rowe was born September 14, 1962 in South Bend, Indiana. He is preceded in death by father, Ronald Lee Rowe. Mr. Rowe is survived by wife of 30 years, Lori Langworthy Rowe of Gallatin; daughter, Michelle Acosta (Gabriel) of Miramar Beach, FL; son, Timothy Rowe (Stacey) of Lowell, MI; mother, Janice Ault Rowe of Muskegon, MI; sister, Melissa Rowe of Wyoming, MI; and 8 grandchildren, Adrian Acosta, Hannah Acosta, Adam Acosta, Arren Acosta, Kassandra Morgan, Halie Morgan, Alexander Rowe, and Natalie Rowe.
Online condolences may be submitted at familyheritagefh.com. Family Heritage Funeral Home has been honored to assist the family.
Mary Frances Parker, age 95 of Gallatin, passed away Thursday, February 18, 2021.
Graveside Service will be Wednesday, February 24th at 3:00 p.m. at Sumner Memorial Gardens, with Dr. Travis Fleming officiating. Visitation was Tuesday, February 23rd from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Family Heritage Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to Gallatin First Baptist Church Homebound Ministry, P.O. Box 369, Gallatin, TN 37066 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959.
Mrs. Parker was born December 20, 1925 in Lebanon to the late John Wayne Maynard and Tabbie Burton Maynard. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by husband, William N. Parker; brothers, Jerry Maynard and Sam Maynard; and sisters, Louise Forkum and Margaret Maynard. She is survived by sons, Kerry B. Parker (Judy) of Gallatin and Bobby Parker (Lynne) of Knoxville; daughters, Cynthia O’Neal of Gallatin and Reta Ward (Don) of Hendersonville; brother, Joe Maynard (Phyllis) of Lebanon; sisters, Kathryn Billingsly of Citrus Springs, FL and Josephine Barry (Jim) of Lebanon; 4 grandchildren, Justin O’Neal, Lauren Searcy (Josh), Celena Ward (Jordan), and Ryan Ward, and 4 great grandchildren, Jazzlyn Stephens, Kairee Covington, Olivia Searcy, and Hayden Searcy.
Mary was an LPN for many years, and at the age of 54, she received her RN degree from the University of Tennessee, with Honors. She enjoyed being a nurse and caring for others. The family would like to thank caregivers, Barbara Bowers and Cindy Jenkins. Online condolences may be submitted at familyheritagefh.com. Family Heritage Funeral Home has been honored to assist the family.
Bettie Turner Graham, of Beavercreek, Ohio, was born and raised in Lebanon, Tennessee.
The daughter of Van New Turner and Nancy Moore Turner, sister to Van New Turner, Jr and Anne Turner Overton. She graduated from Lebanon High School and attended Middle Tennessee State University. She passed away peacefully surrounded by family on January 28th, 2021.
She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Glenn, a loving mother to Betsy MacConnell (Chip), Thomas Graham, Kathryn Escue (Brandon), and granddaughter, Danielle MacConnell. She is preceded in death by her granddaughter, Anna MacConnell. She was passionate about the arts being both a singer and performer with the Dayton Opera and symphony chorus and the Sorg Opera Company. As a painter, Bettie was an original member of the Beavercreek Art Association. She was also a long-time instructor at the Beavercreek YMCA and dedicated many years of service to the programs for children and adults in the community. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.
A celebration of her life will be held at a future time. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Bettie’s name can be made to Angels for Anna 8370 Garnet Dr. Centerville, OH 45458 or at https://www.facebook.com/AngelsForAnna or The Wright State University Foundation for the Glenn and Bettie Graham Scholarship Fund online at wright.edu/give/grahamschl.
Donnie H. (Don) Masters, age 88 of Nashville, passed from this life on Monday, February 15, 2021.
He was born July 16, 1932 in Macon County TN to the late Donnie and Lurline Jones Masters. Surviving family includes his loving wife of 61 years, Mary Ann Simpson Masters and daughter Lisa (Mark) Crump of Bowling Green, KY.
Mr. Masters graduated from Trousdale County High School in 1952 and was a MTSU graduate. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean war and was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Security Service in Germany for three years. He retired from the State of Tennessee as a community urban planner after 33 years of service.
He was a faithful member of Brush Hill Cumberland Presbyterian church for over 60 years.
Music was always an important part of Don’s life. He enjoyed singing in the church choir and was a guitarist in The Inglewood Old Time String Band and Nashville Old Time String Band Association (NOTSBA).
Visitation was Sunday, February 21 from 12:00-2:00 pm with the funeral service following at 2:00 pm at Spring Hill Funeral Home, 5110 Gallatin Pike, Nashville TN 37216. Burial was Monday, February 22 at 11:00 am at Green Grove Cemetery in Hartsville, TN.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be placed in his honor to Brush Hill Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Nashville, TN.
Walt Kanyer passed away on February 14, 2021 at age 84.
Graveside Services, with military honors, were 11 a.m. Monday, February 22, 2021 at Cedar Grove Cemetery.
Walter S. Kanyer was born in Belleville IL to Dorothy Petzoldt and Walter S. Kanyer Sr. He served in the United States Army for 5 years and the Coast Guard for 17 years. After retiring from the military, he worked as an auto salesman. He loved being outdoors, camping and travelling.
Mr. Kanyer is survived by his wife of 45 years, Nita Kanyer, children Denise Kanyer, Dorothy Fuente, and Walter S. Kanyer, Jr., step-son Jay Forbes, four grandchildren, and numerous cousins. He is preceded in death by father Walter Kanyer, mother Dorothy Lind and step-father Barney Lind.
Sellars Funeral Home, Lebanon TN 615.444.9393.
Amy Richardson Woody, age 65 of Mt. Juliet passed away February 15, 2021.
Amy was preceded in death by mother, Estelle Walker; and father, Bryant Lee Searcey. She is survived by husband, Joe Woody; children, Amy (Courtney) Wilson, Britany (Michael Bixler) Richardson, Brian Woody, Brittany Ann Woody, Brandy “Patty” (Colton) Martin and Briana Woody; sister, Tena Searcey; brothers, Mike Searcey and Dennis Searcey; stepsister, Brenda (Gene) Madden; best friend, Mary Case; and grandchildren, Tristan Cavender, Chance Wilson, Harleigh Bixler, Choleigh Bixler, Ellie Woody, Kaden Hill, Elijah Martin and Amadeo Martin.
Funeral service was held Monday, February 22nd at 11:00 am at Sellars Funeral Home at Mt. Juliet with Bro. Mike Wamble officiating. Interment followed the service at Vivrett, Graves, Brown & Estes Family Cemetery at Breeden’s Orchard on Beckwith Road in Mt. Juliet. Visitation with the family was Sunday, February 21st from 4-8 pm and Monday, February 22nd from 10:00 am until time of service.
Arrangements by Sellars Funeral Home at Mt. Juliet, 2229 N. Mt. Juliet Road, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122, 615-758-5459, obituary line 615-758-8818, www.sellarsfuneralservices.com
Judy May Kerr Jennings, Stryker, Ohio, passed away February 11, 2021.
Judy was born on September 16, 1949 in Wilson County, TN to the late Albert K. and Victoria M. (Hardin) Kerr. She married Richard Palmer Jennings I in 1964, and he preceded her in death in 2014. Judy loved to cook and sing. Her biggest joy was her family and loved loving on her grand babies.
Judy is survived by her daughter, Kim Hancock, daughter, Stacy (Henry) Stamps; son, Richard “Bubba” (Felicia) Jennings; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; one sister, Kathy (Kerr) Leftrick; numerous nieces and nephews and multiple granddogs. She is preceded in death by her husband, parents, grandson, Andrew (Andy) Stamps; sister, Tammy (Kerr) Gray; sister, Brenda (Kerr) Jennings and son-in-law, Mark Hancock.
Judy’s wishes were to be buried next to the love of her life, Richard, in Bethlehem Cemetery in Lebanon, Tennessee. She will be laid to rest there in a private graveside ceremony. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the benevolence of the family.
Partlow Funeral Chapel in Lebanon, TN will be handling the arrangements. 615-444-7007 www.partlowchapel.com
Mrs. Peggy Hall Hemontolor, age 73, of Lebanon, passed away Saturday, February 13, 2021, at the Alive Hospice Residence in Murfreesboro.
Graveside services for Mrs. Hemontolor were 2:00 P.M. Sunday, February 21, 2021, at Cedar Grove Cemetery, with Bro. Donald Owens officiating. Family friend Chris Whited played and sang. There was no public visitation prior to the graveside service.
Born July 26, 1947, in Wilson County, she is the daughter of the late Ray M. and Lucille Bell Hall. She was a 1965 graduate of Lebanon High School and attended Middle Tennessee State University. She grew up in Cedar Grove Baptist Church, later moving her membership to Cedar Creek Baptist Church and last to Immanuel Baptist Church. She was very active in all these churches, where she played piano and organ, taught Sunday School, worked with the youth and bus ministry, and sang in the choir. She played and sang for numerous weddings and funeral services of friends and loved ones. She retired from the Lebanon Special School District where she had served as the HR Director. She was also a co-owner of former The Teacher’s Aide. She enjoyed reading and creative writing, and had a great appreciation for art, having become an avid researcher and collector in recent years. She was also a talented seamstress and enjoyed trying her hand at all kinds of crafts. She always made time to talk to a friend in need or to share a kind word. She was a devoted wife and mother, and took great pride in caring for her family, from canning the fruits and vegetables from the garden every year, to hemming and sewing, or playing ball in the backyard. Her greatest joy came from spending time with her family, especially her four grandsons. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of fifty years, Terry Lee Hemontolor, who retired from the Lebanon Post Office and worked as a farmer and cut and sold hay and timber for many years, on October 22, 2017; sister, Wilma Wright; and brothers-in-law, W.G. Ferrell, Don Martin, and Eugene Graves; and niece, Karen Elizabeth Graves White.
She is survived by two children, Greg (Medana) Hemontolor and Melani (David) Brooks; four grandsons, Evan (Alexandria) Hemontolor, Grayson Hemontolor, Adam Brooks, and John Brooks; sister, Joan Ferrell; brother, Tommy (Mary) Hall; brother-in-law, James Wright; sisters-in-law, Valerie Martin, Jeraldine Graves, and Isabel Hall; special cousin, Judy Nokes Smith, several cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Pallbearers are her grandsons and nephews.
We understand with COVID and the weather, there will be those who are unable to attend the service. Please know we respect your choices and appreciate your thoughts and prayers.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to Dr. Christie Green, and the nurses and staff members of St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital; and the staff of Alive Hospice Residence in Murfreesboro. The family would also like to thank Dr. Brian Engelhardt, Dr. Justin Hewlett, and Dr. Cecelia Theobald of Vanderbilt Medical Center, for their care throughout her illness in these recent years.
Memorials may be made to the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home, 1310 Franklin Road, Brentwood, TN 37027.
Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home of Lebanon (615) 444-2142 www.ligonbobo.com
Sam Belcher, of Lebanon TN, passed away on February 10, 2021 at age 85.
No public services are scheduled at this time.
Sam Belcher was born in Lebanon TN to Jennie Heflin and Oscar Belcher. He served in the United States Navy before becoming a barber and working at Pop’s Barbershop for many years. He loved keeping his clients looking good and hearing all about their lives. Outside of the barber shop, he enjoyed working with wood. He was a member of Bethlehem United Methodist.
Mr. Belcher is survived by his wife of 56 years, Bettie Gann Belcher, daughters Beth Ferguson and Samantha (John) Knox, grandchildren Ali Conrad and Case Conrad, sister Nina Morris, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by parents Oscar and Jennie Belcher and siblings Virginia Howard and Perry Belcher.
Sellars Funeral Home, Lebanon TN, 615.444.9393.