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Ruby Rice

Ruby Rice, known to all as “Granny”, passed away on November 27, 2016 following a long illness. Born into a large family on January 13th, 1945 she was a lifelong resident of the Stone Mountain area. A graduate of Stone Mountain High School, Ruby married her childhood sweetheart, Ray Rice, on June 9, 1961. Their love endured the remaining 56 years of her life.  After 30 years of service, Ruby retired as Food Service Manager at Annistown Elementary in Gwinnet County, returning for an additional six years to make sure the children of the school had the nutrition they needed. Ruby was a devote Christian attending Flat Shoals Primitive Baptist Church in Stockbridge. Outside of work her main interest in life was the grandchildren whom she doted over at every opportunity with food, care, and baseball lessons. Ruby’s loving nature made her a favorite of all the grandchildren.

Ruby’s interests outside of family were gardening, cooking, and hummingbirds. She spent many hours in what she referred to as her “Flower Farm.” Comfortable with the outdoors, she once trained a wild hawk to come when she called.

Ruby is survived by loving husband Thomas Raymond Rice, Jr.; daughter Jeannie Collins and husband Ron and their children Cassidy and Thomas of Atlanta; daughter Rhonda Spence and husband William and their children Ryan Parson (Jennifer), Miranda Bacon (Matt), Kristine Spence, Dudley Spence, Stewart Spence, and great grandchildren Kyleigh Hicks, Brantly Hicks, and Turner Murphy of Madison, GA; brother John Chandler of Tampa, Fla., sister Carolyn Puig (Joseph) of Tampa, Fla; sister Patsy Swint (Marvin) of Tampa, Fla.; sister Janie Hare (Fred) of Tampa Fla; sister Mary Ann Clark of Jefferson; brother Thomas Chandler of Jefferson;  brother David Chandler of Conyers.

Visitation was at Wages & Sons in Stone Mountain on Monday, November 28th from 5 p.m.  until 7 p.m. Funeral Services were held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Wages & Sons Stone Mountain Chapel, Interment followed in the Melwood Cemetery

Deacon Willie “Punch” Lowe

Willie Lowe, known as “Punch” was born February 25, 1959 in Rutledge to the late Willie Alonzo Lowe Sr. and Mary Sue Lowe. He was a member of the graduating Class of 1976 at Morgan County High School. He was an active and faithful member in the church where he was a deacon.

On November 12, 2016 Willie “Punch” Lowe Jr. went home with no more pain or tears. He leaves behind his wife Tammy Elder Lowe; his children Adam, Tywone, Dwayne, Latisha, Kenneth, Shanice, Tiana and Alice; one niece he raised in his home, Malaysia; grandchildren Adam J., Torianna, Kourtney, Jarien, Jarrious, Dreshawna, JaQuallious, Paisley, Payden and one great grandchild. Punch loved all his children and grandchildren but the two that made him feel like he was on top of the world were Dreshawna and Paisley. He called Paisley “DoCat”. He also leaves his brothers James (Imogene) Hall, Odell (Rose) Hall, Clifford (Angela) Lowe; his sisters Willie Jean (Larry) Garrett. Sheila (Anthony) Burns and Marie (Mike) Campbell. In addition to his siblings who preceded him in death sisters, Ruby Nell, Gloria, and Christine and a brother Artis; mother-in-law Annie Maud Smith, sisters-in-law in which he loved as his own sisters, Angeline (Henry) Davis, Lucretia (Brodie) Williams, Lisa Dolvin, Janice (Willie) Sims, Connie Bryce and the late Monica Gibbs; brothers-in-law Victor (Janice) Smith, Rickey (Kisha) Dolvin, Rodney Smith, Bobby Gibbs, Lamar Johenkin and Daryl Turk. He also leaves a host of nieces, nephews and aunts and a very special family member Becky Laborn, Brenda Hall and a very devoted friend Coleman Taylor.

The funeral for Deacon Lowe was held November 19 at 2 p.m. at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Rutledge. Interment was in Macedonia Cemetery                            

Watts Funeral Services of Union Point was in charge of arrangements.

The family of the late Willie “Punch” Alonzo owe Jr. would like to extend our deepest gratitude for your prayers, visits, calls and other expressions of love during the loss of our love one.

Jon Appleton

Jon Appleton died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, November 27, 2016.

Jon was born on August 9, 1934 in Louisville, Kentucky. As an only child, he grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. Jon attended Samford University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in 1955. Jon was led into the ministry early in his life following his father’s footsteps. He attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky graduating in 1959. He later went to Auburn University for his Master of Art in 1968, and in 1976 was recognized with an honorary doctorate from Judson College.

On August 19, 1956, Jon married his beloved sweetheart, Virginia Bell Appleton and became a part of the large Joe Bell family. He quickly formed close relationships with each member of the family becoming a son, a brother and a cousin in his newly extended family. Nephew Jon Appleton Massey became like a son to him in his older years.

From 1953 through 1961 Jon had several pastoral positions in Kentucky and in Gadsden, Alabama. He was the Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Opelika, Alabama from 1961 until 1968.

Jon next was the Director of the Department of Campus Ministry for the Alabama Baptist State Executive Board from 1968 until 1975. He proceeded from here to Athens, Georgia where he was the Pastor of the First Baptist Church from 1976 until his retirement on April 15, 1999.

After retirement Jon remained busy as the Executive Director for the Classic Charities Inc. in Athens.

He was an Adjunct Professor with Mercer University Studies Abroad Program through which he was a guest lecturer at the South Wales Baptist College, University of Wales, Cardiff, Wales in 2001. Jon was a also a member of the Institute of Animal Care and Use Committee with the University of Georgia; he also served on the Board of Directors at St. Mary’s Health Care System in Athens. He was the Moderator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Georgia from 1997-1998.

He was on the Advisory Council for the McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University from 1996-2002. Jon continued to fill the pulpit in several different churches.

Jon loved to play golf, read, study and travel. He spent a great deal of time in Highlands, North Carolina working in his rose garden and helping his wife in her shop.

Jon was preceeded in death by his mother and father, Kate and Zack Appleton. He is survived by his wife, the love of his life, Virginia Bell Appleton and his daughter and son-in-law, Catherine and Jack Peay of Highlands, North Carolina.

He also has his sisters-in-law, Carolyn Massey, Joy Stephenson, Margaret Robinson and brother-in-law, Robert Bell.

Jon was a unique man; he had charisma that was mesmerizing, an open heart touching thousands of people throughout his life. Those who are fortunate enough to have known him and his love have received a most special gift. Jon lived life to its fullest and will be greatly missed, but he has left a footprint on this earth that will certainly be remembered and cherished indefinitely, a legacy.

In lieu of flowers please make donations to the First Baptist Church of Athens, Georgia.

The family had a visitation at the Joe Bell family home at 1071 Seven Islands Road, Buckhead, Georgia on Tuesday, November 29 from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

The Memorial Service was held on Wednesday, November 30, at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Athens, Georgia.

Online condolences may be offered at

Stacy Leighann Jenkins

Stacy Leighann Jenkins, 45 of Madison, died November 19, 2016.  Stacy was the daughter of Charlie Jenkins and Gail Callahan.  She is survived by her parents, as well as two children, Chasiti Herrick and Aron Herrick. Her grandchildren are Jacob  and Jimmy Harwood and Jaxen Herrick.  Stacy leaves siblings: Marie Roland, Bridgett Callahan, Patricia McCullough, Robin Patton, David Callahan, Morgan Jenkins and Melissa Beal.

The family received friends on Wednesday, November 23 from 1-3 p.m.

The funeral service was held at 3 p.m. in the chapel of A.E. Carter Funeral Home.

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