OBITUARIES



If there appears to be a disagreement among family
members about information to appear in an obituary,
The Blount Countian reserves the right to decline to
publish any of it. The newspaper takes pride in not
charging for publishing obituaries except for those of
persons without direct connection to this county, and
those requested to be published as submitted but not following

the newspaper’s style.

DREW THOMAS COLLIER, 95, of Cleveland, died March 26, 2010, at Golden Living Center. He was an educator who influenced many young people while serving as a teacher, principal, coach, bus driver, assistant superintendent, and Blount County federal coordinator of education. He was a member of Cleveland Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher.

He belonged to educational organizations NEA, AEA, and BCEA, and also worked as a truck farmer who gave away much of his produce. Born in Etowah County, he was the son of the late Charles Wesley and Ola Richardson Collier. Also predeceasing him were wife Lois Lawrence Collier; brothers R.D. Collier and Dr. James Collier; sisters Lois Williams and Lorraine Voyles; granddaughter Tonya Hallman; great-grandson Wesley Hallman.

Surviving are wife Norma Gilliland Collier; daughter Dianne (Mark) Holland; brother-in-law Charles (Imogene) Gilliland; sisters Faye Campbell and Evelyn (Harold) Gregg; grandchildren Holly (Rob) Cole, Charles (Terri) Hallman, Andy (Sandi) Holland, and Brad (Joette) Holland; great-grandchildren, Drew and Drake Cole, Ben Hallman, Morgan and Mallorie Holland, Cyndal, Maycee, and Ally Holland.

Rick Dill and Stuart Collier officiated services Monday, March 29, at 2 p.m. at Cleveland First Baptist. Burial followed at Cleveland Cemetery with Blount County Cleveland Funeral Home directing.

THOMAS FORTSON JR., 76, of Oneonta, died March 22, 2010, at Trinity Medical Center in Birmingham. A Blount native, he was retired after 38 years as owner/operator of Eastside Moving Company and had owned and operated Eastside Cafe for 45 years. He was the son of the late Thomas Sr. and Jessie Dakota Morris Fortson. Brothers Jack and Don Fortson and sister Jeannette Fortson Liddick also predeceased him.

Surviving are wife Celia Chavez Fortson, daughter April Fortson (Tim) Robertson and son Tommy Fortson, all of Oneonta; grandchildren Cody Fountain, Clay Fountain, Samantha Robertson, Bailee Robertson, and Marlee Robertson; sisters Lucy (Marvin) Hazelrig and Mary Hazelrig, both of Cleveland; brother Darril (Lynn) Fortson of North Carolina.

Ennis Stone officiated services Thursday, March 25, at 11 a.m. at Hendrix Missionary Baptist Church. Interment followed at Blount Memory Gardens with Lemley Chapel directing.

RAYMOND “R.L.” HILBURN, 77, of Tampa, Fla., formerly of Altoona, died March 17, 2010, at his residence. A Baptist, he was predeceased by parents Herbert Raily and Millie Smith Hilburn; first wife Geneva Hillburn; grandson John Raily Hilburn Jr.; great-granddaughter Maulia Hilburn.

Surviving are wife Joyce Ann Thomas Hilburn; sons Raymond Douglas Hilburn of Altoona and John Raily (Tammy) Hilburn Sr. of Tampa; daughters Patsy Ruth Lively and Millicent Leona Stewart, both of Gadsden; stepchildren Robert Macy of Riverview, Fla., and Gayle Ann Zamudlo of Tampa; 19 grandchildren; seven greatgrandchildren; sisters Lucillie Lawson of Mississippi, Inez Fore and Nettie Fore, both of Altoona; adopted sister Groshe Arthaud.

Gerald Dewees officiated services Sunday, March 21, at 1 p.m. in Salem Baptist Church in the Moody’s Chapel community. Lemley Chapel directed. Pallbearers were Justin Hilburn, Michael Hilburn, Derick Hilburn, Gary Hilburn, Chris Hilburn, and James Hilburn. Honorary pallbearers were Ruben Carrilo, Migul Carrilo (M. Key), and Steven Smallwood.

FRANKLIN DELANO HILL, 70, of Oneonta, died March 21, 2010, in Birmingham. Born in Blount County, he was the son of the late William and Pearl Vanderver Hill. He was an electrician, a member of Mission Grove Missionary Baptist Church, and an evangelist in the Missionary Baptist faith. Predeceasing him in addition to his parents were stepson James Leonard Jr., four half-brothers, and a half-sister.

Surviving are son Jason Craig Hill of Birmingham; sisters Willie Pearl Payne and Lillye Faye Mobley, both of Straight Mountain; grandson Alex Leonard of Nixon Chapel; special friend Joyce Bellew.

Van Wray officiated services Tuesday, March 23, at noon at Lemley Chapel. Interment followed at Hopewell Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery. Pallbearers were Jason Cataldo, David Hassell, Alford Holcombe, Charles Holcombe, Dale Earwood, and Charles Shumon.

BARBARA JEAN SARGENT-HURN, 62, of Oneonta, died March 22, 2010, after a brief illness and subsequent renal failure. She is survived by her children Karen Hurn-Clarke, Ken, Laura, and Mick Hurn; grandchildren Robynn, Andrew, and Ashley Clarke; mother Marion Sargent; siblings Richie Sargent, Ginny Warburton, and Don Sargent; and dear friend Sam Burke Jr. of Oneonta. Her father, Richard “Dick” Sargent, died Jan. 8, 2006, in Mentor, Ohio.

Her daughter says her mother lived a life full of love, art, and seeking the beauty in all things. A graduate of WV State College with honors, she spent years of her life teaching art, music, and science. Born in Ohio, she raised her children in West Virginia and then moved to North Carolina. Ever active in her faith, she touched the lives of many in the communities where she lived and developed wonderful lasting friendships. Her children celebrate her life in remembrance of the life lessons, beauty, and gentle guidance she always offered. An avid animal lover, Barbara could often be found feeding the neighborhood cats and was known to bake her delectable goodies for loved ones and friends.

Services will be held at Calvary Episcopal Church, 1002 Park Avenue, Oneonta, on April 9 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and at St. Andrew’s Church, 7989 Little Mountain Road, Mentor, Ohio, on April 23 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, local chapters of the American Red Cross, or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

WILBUR EUGENE “GENE” STORY, of Locust Fork, had a brother-in-law Roger Angellottii and two adopted brothers Nick (Maybelle) Blackbear and Lou White Eagle whose names were inadvertently omitted from information furnished for the obituary published March 17, 2010. Mr. Story died March 13, 2010, at his residence.

MARK WHITE, 85, of Oneonta, died March 19, 2010, at St. Vincent’s Blount in Oneonta. Born in Talladega County, he was the son of the late Mark and Mattie Edmanson White. He served with the U.S. Army during World War II, was retired as produce manager for A&P Grocery, and attended Worship Center Church of God in Oneonta. Predeceasing him besides his parents were wife Sarah Harwood White; son Mark White III; four brothers; two sisters.

Surviving are daughter Bivia (Donald) Diggs of Straight Mountain; grandchildren Patrick (Catina) Diggs of Trussville; Rebekah Huie of Beckley, West Va.; great-grandsons Jake, Will, Dawson, and Corbin.

Patrick Diggs officiated graveside memorial services Saturday, March 27, at 4 p.m. at Oak Hill Cemetery. Lemley Chapel directed.

ORA BELL WOODS, 82, of Owens Crossroads, formerly of Blountsville, died March 23, 2010, at Huntsville Hospital, leaving 67 living descendants. An Alabama native, she was the daughter of the late Andrew J. and Essie Mae Sweatt Walker and the widow of George W. Woods, who died Feb. 21, 2002. A member of Roswell Creek Baptist Church, she was also predeceased by brothers Dalton Walker, Tubby Walker, and Alvin Walker and sisters Olan Elrod and Ethel Henderson.

Surviving are sons George (Jeretta) Woods of Blountsville and Terry Woods of Summit; daughters Dorothy (Charles) Atchley of Huntsville, Jewerll D. Buck of Owens Crossroads, Sherry Craig of Georgia, Pamela (Mike) Hyatt and Donna (Sean) Mulhorn, both of Cleveland; sister Annie Mae Yates; 17 grandchildren; 38 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren.

Clatus NeSmith officiated services March 26 at 2 p.m. at Roswell Creek Baptist Church. Burial was at Roswell Creek Cemetery with Blountsville Funeral Home directing. Pallbearers were Adam Hyatt, Andrew Buck, Justin Buck, Jeremey Buck, Caleb Talley, Matthew Talley, Jeff Atchley, and Jacob Atchley.