Obituaries: Mrs. Martha “Jane” Chapman, Walter “Mean Gene” Cranford, Leonard William “Crop” Crawford, RaeAnn Sue Puryear Stanley, Mrs. Patricia “Sue” Vis, Mrs. Carolyn Carter Wilkerson.

Obituaries: Mrs. Martha “Jane” Chapman, Walter “Mean Gene” Cranford, Leonard William “Crop” Crawford, RaeAnn Sue Puryear Stanley, Mrs. Patricia “Sue” Vis, Mrs. Carolyn Carter Wilkerson.

Myrtle Hill in Rome.


Mrs. Carolyn Carter Wilkerson, age 78, of Lindale, GA passed away on Saturday, September 25, 2021, at a local hospital.

Mrs. Wilkerson was born in Floyd County on October 3, 1942, daughter of the late Grady Hilliard and the late Virginia DeHart Hilliard. For several years, she has been employed at several restaurants and nursing homes. She attended the Silver Creek Baptist Church. In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by a brother, Robert (Bob) Hilliard, and by her late husbands, James Carter and George Wilkerson.

Survivors include a daughter, Cindy Carter (Liz Massey), Silver Creek, GA; a son, Randy Carter (Tonya Rose), Lindale, GA; 2 sisters, Diane Fulton (Edward), Lindale, GA and Jeanette Hilliard, Rome, GA; a brother, Gene Hilliard (Edna), Lindale, GA;  her sister-in-law, Gwynne Hilliard; 5 grandchildren, Tara Nicole Carter Fergoda, Jessica Bailey MacMillan, Wesley Zac Carter, Dayton Chance Carter, and Samantha Carter; several great grandchildren, nieces and nephews; a special friend, Elizabeth Massey, Silver Creek, GA.

A graveside service will be held at 2pm on Sunday, October 3, 2021, at Rome Memorial Park.  The Rev. Bob Jarrett will officiate.

The family will receive friends at Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, South Chapel, on Sunday from 12:30pm until 1:30pm.

Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, South Chapel, has charge of the funeral arrangements.

Mrs. Patricia “Sue” Vis, age 75, of Norman, OK, passed away on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, at her daughter’s residence in Rome, GA, surrounded by her loving family.  Patricia passed away from complications related to Alzheimer’s and was in hospice care for nine months prior to her death where she died peacefully in her sleep.  Patricia came to stay with her daughter in September 2018, and during the last three years has fought Alzheimer’s, battled and won against breast cancer, and survived Covid in 2020.

Patricia was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, daughter of the late Robert and Hazel Rigsby.  She leaves behind her book collection and her husband, Raymond Vis, who shared 40 years of marriage.  She was an LPN and work most of her 34 years at Norman Regional Hospital on the cancer floor, but retired working in the nursery where she got to love on the babies.

Survivors include her and Ray’s combined nine children, Sheila Moody, Denise Brown, Judith Brown, Juanita “Susie” Brown (partner Mary Stusek), Danny “Charlie” Brown, Jr (wife Yildiz), Daniel “Dan” Vis (wife Vi), David Vis, Richard Vis (wife Olivia), and Jamie Ashcraft (husband Jesse); her grandchildren, Steven Moody, Lance Moody, Kevin Taylor, Andy Taylor, Natalee Johnson, Devin Robinson, Richard Ray (wife Betsy), Jeremy Ray (wife Casey), Becca Sund (husband Josiah), Rachel Vis, Tiffany Vis, Lilly Vis, Grant Vis, Blake Vis, Cody Henderson, Zachary Henderson, Jesse Ashcraft Jr., and Johnathan Ashcraft; her 27 great grandchildren; her brother, Ronnie Rigsby (wife Lenora); brothers-in-law, Carl Tascier and Okey McCarty, and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brothers, Roy Rigsby and Wesley Rigsby; and her sisters, Mary Tascier and Patsy “Diane” Rigsby.

In accordance with her wishes, Patricia will be cremated.  There will be a Celebration of Life service held at Tuttle Fairview Cemetery, 1001 E. Rock Creek Road, Tuttle, OK, in November where her ashes will rest with her mother, father and sister.  In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Mercy Care Rome or Tapestry Hospice of NW Georgia, in honor of Patricia.

Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, Oaknoll Chapel, makes this announcement for the family.

On September 30, 2021, the Crawford family lost their hero, Leonard William “Crop” Crawford, to a brief illness.  He was surrounded by family and friends in his last moments.

Crop will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 55 years, Alice “E” Crawford; his daughter, Lynn Holbrooks; his son, Mike Crawford (Kim); his two granddaughters, Amber and Anna; his three great grandchildren, Brently, Macey, and Preston; his sister, Bobbie Fisher; his brother, Larry Crawford; as well as other family and friends.

Crop was predeceased by his father, Ralph Oscar Crawford, and his mother, Ruth Catherine Roberts Carroll.

Crop was born on February 20, 1945, in Rome, Georgia and lived in Shannon for the past 45 years.  He was a veteran of the U. S. Marine Corps.  He worked for several years at Klopman Mills and later retired from Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital.  He has pastored the Church of God of Prophecy in Lindale and in Shannon for many years.  His style of speaking to his congregations felt more like a conversation by the fireplace, and he loved to tell everyone around him of his faith in God.

He met his wife “E” in 1966 and they have been inseparable ever since.  A true love story, they were rarely apart and an inspiration to their family.  He was a devoted father and a true friend to anyone who knew him.

Crop also enjoyed a variety of interest, including his time as a guest columnist with the Rome News Tribune, traveling, sitting on his porch watching the birds, song writing, and singing as he played his guitar.  When he would disappear on any given morning, everyone knew he was headed on a ride through the mountains.

The family wishes to send a special thank you to the ICU staff at Floyd Medical Center for their care and compassion.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, October 4, 2021, at 2pm in the Chapel at Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, South Chapel, with the Rev. John Huffman and Dr. H. E. Cardin officiating.  Interment will follow in Rome Memorial Park.

The family will receive friends at Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, South Chapel, on Monday from 11:30am until 1:45pm.  Masks are requested at both the visitation and service.

Mrs. Martha “Jane” Chapman, age 81, of Rome, passed away on Thursday, September 30, 2021, in a local hospital.

Mrs. Chapman was born in Rome, Georgia on April 12, 1940, daughter of the late Curtis Reece and the late Sarah Dougherty Reece.  She was a graduate of Model High School, was a member of the Georgia Mountain Music Club, and was of the Baptist Faith. In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by her husband, Claude Chapman, and by a son, Michael Chapman.

Survivors include 2 daughters, Amelia Lynn McCain (Charles Jeff), Rome, and Tammy Matney, Rome; a son, Curtis Chapman (Andreia), Rome; a daughter-in-law, Buffy Chapman, Gulf Shores, AL; special daughter, Christie Hill (Jerry), Rome; 8 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 11am on Tuesday, October 5, 2021, in the Chapel at Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, South Chapel.  The Rev. Tommy Freeman will officiate.

The family will receive friends at Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, South Chapel, on Sunday, October 3, 2021, from 5pm until 7pm.

Pallbearers are asked to assemble at Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, South Chapel, at 10:30am on Tuesday and include, Josh Williams, Zack Miller, Larry Blanchard, Jr., Brandon Cook, DeWayne Matney, Jerry Hill, and J.R. Chapman.

Walter “Mean Gene” Cranford, born January 12, 1935, completed a life filled with love, friendship, and family and went to be with his heavenly father on the morning of September 30, 2021. He was surrounded by those he loved the most – his family.

Gene spent his 86 years making friends, building memories and loving his growing family.

One of the great loves of Gene’s life was sports. A football, baseball and track star at Rome High, Gene was recruited to play college football by The University of Georgia, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Arkansas, Florida State and UT Chattanooga. A knee injury ended his college football career, at which point his passion turned to coaching football, baseball and basketball at Elm Street Grammar School and the Boys Club of Rome. He made a positive impact on thousands of boys’ lives during his 40-plus year coaching career.

Gene, along with other high school football stars dating back to the 1950s, were recognized and honored in 2009 with “The Night of Champions” which included a parade down Broad Street, and announcements of the honorees as they stood on the 50 yard line of the football field at Barron Stadium. He was happiest on the football field, a baseball diamond, basketball court or fishing. However, the best thing to come out of his passion for sports were the lifelong friendships that developed from them, many of which were important friendships from boyhood to the end of his life.

Gene was affectionally known to his grandchildren and great grandchildren as “Baw Paw”, the name coined by his first grandchild Corey, because he couldn’t say Papaw. Over the years and as Gene’s family grew, his passion for sports carried over in how he connected and contributed to his children and grandchildren’s lives. As his grandchildren grew up, he was a fixture at all of their sporting and musical events, cheering them on and even coaching their teams. His love for sports was only surpassed by his love for Jesus, his family, and animals.

Gene, honorably discharged from the Army, also gave 36 years of service to the United States Postal Service and an additional 20 years of service to the Sheriff’s Department after retiring from the Post Office. His work not only provided for his family but was how he ensured his family was making memories and traditions. His summers were spent with his family on the beautiful beaches of Daytona Beach, Florida, a coastal town that captured his heart.

Central to so many of Gene’s happiest memories was his beloved cabins on Lake Weiss in Cedar Bluff, Alabama. Built by hand by Gene, his son Greg and his father, Alton “AC” Cranford, the lake house was a fixture for countless 4th of July parties, fishing trips, and sunset family dinners picked right out of his blue-ribbon worthy garden that he planted and nurtured.

Gene was naturally charismatic, charming and funny. His ability to connect and create deep friendships allowed him the opportunity to not only impact those that loved him but the community of Rome, Georgia at large. One would be hard pressed to mention his name without hearing a humorous story or a cherished memory or tradition that involved Gene Cranford.

Gene was a deeply devoted Christian and committed to enriching the lives of children and protecting animals. While he was affectionately nicknamed “Mean Gene” by those that loved him the most, in reality “Gentle Gene” would better capture his essence and heart.

Gene is survived by his children, Greg Cranford (Cheri) of Nashville, Tennessee and Tara Nolan of Rome, Georgia, his grandchildren, Corey Nolan, Russell Nolan (Griffin), Nick Nolan, Ashlyn Jones (Daniel), and Hunter Cranford. He also leaves behind four great-grandchildren, Branch, Benji, Kaya, and Asher Nolan. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dot Cranford (1989) and Alton “AC” Cranford (1981), and his son-in-law, Jeff Nolan (2015).

Funeral services will be held on Sunday, October 3, 2021, at 4pm at Fellowship Baptist Church with the Rev. Brady Fortenberry officiating.  Graveside service will be held on Monday, October 4, 2021, at 11am at Oaknoll Memorial Gardens.

The family will receive friends at Fellowship Baptist Church on Sunday from 2pm until the service time.

In Lieu of flowers, please send tax deductible donations to “Misfit Haven Animal Rescue” or “Rome Floyd Humane Society” in Gene Cranford’s Name.

Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, Oaknoll Chapel, has charge of the arrangements.


RaeAnn Sue Puryear Stanley, age 58, of Armuchee passed away Thursday September 30, 2021at a local hospital.

RaeAnn was born on March 18, 1963 in Peoria Illinois, to Thonn Puryear and the late Patty Jo Fonner Puryear. She was a member of Armuchee Baptist Church.

Survivors include her sons: Alfred Eric Stanley, of Armuchee, Mike Thonn, of Adairsville; grandchildren: Mike T. Thonn, Jr., Laken Stanley, Zoey Stanley, Belle Stanley; father: Thonn Puryear; sister: Damen (Rita) Puryear.

Graveside and interment services will be held at 1:00 PM on Monday October 4, 2021 at Armuchee Baptist Church Cemetery with Rev. Randy Ellis officiating.

Parnick Jennings Sr.’s Good Shepherd Funeral Home has charge of arrangements.

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