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Special to the Enquirer Patricia Tyree

Obituaries August 5-12

Jo Shipp Smith 

Dillard, Ga. 

Jo Shipp Smith, age 81, of Dillard, Ga., passed away Aug. 5. 

Jo was born the daughter of Mr. Phocian Shipp and Lela Vandiver Shipp Jan. 11, 1938. She attended Morgan County High School in Alabama and Jacksonville State University. She was an avid University of Alabama football fan. Roll Tide! She also loved the Atlanta Braves and watched every game – 162 a year. 

In her professional life, she operated the Silver Sands Restaurant in Destin, Fla., for 25 years. Because of her faith in Jesus, Jo is now fully restored in heaven. She was a member of the Mountain City Methodist Church and lived with her husband in the Dillard community for 15 years. 

She was preceded in death by her parents; one brother, Ferrell Shipp; and three sisters, Ruby Mae Reed, Erlene Hobby and Jeri Wiedman. 

Her survivors include her loving husband of 40 years, Thomas Smith, of Dillard, Ga.; her son, Thomas Craig Cole (Kimberly), of Freeport, Fla.; daughters, Jennifer Cole Knight (David), of Atlanta, Ga., and Mary Evangeline Barnett, of Orlando, Fla.; stepdaughter Michelle Johnson of Jacksonville, Fla.; sister Patsy Kinney of Jacksonville, Fla.; grandchildren Joe Knight (Sarah), Lila Knight, Charlie Barnett, Jake Barnett, Sam Barnett, Benton Cole and Gavin Johnson; and great-grandchildren Shepherd Knight and Lewis Knight. 

A funeral was held Aug. 9 at 11 a.m. at the Mountain City United Methodist Church with the Rev. Dr. Karen Frank and David Knight officiating. Memorial donations can be made in Jo’s memory to Mountain City Methodist Church. Beck Funeral Home, in Clayton, Ga., is in charge of the arrangements. If there are any questions, call 706-782-9599. An online Memorial Register Book is available at 


Patricia Jean Kirby Tyree 


Patricia Jean Kirby Tyree went to be with her Lord and Savior Aug. 6. She joined in glory with her son, James Groves; her daughter, Becky Burney; her husband, Travis Tyree; sisters, Sandra McLeod and Andrea Kirby; and her parents, Mildred and Grady Kirby. 

She is survived by her children, Vicky Grissom (Amos), Bob Groves, Suzie Ables, Michael Groves (Christy) and Rosemary Peek (Michael); son-in-love Steven Burney; brother Charles Kirby (Debbie); 13 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; and 20 great-great-grandchildren. 

She was born Dec. 11, 1933 in Hartselle and accepted Christ early in life. Better known as Patsy, she attended and graduated from Athens Bible School in 1951. She married Robert Groves and traveled the world, raising her children, as a military spouse. After Robert’s death, Pat married Travis Tyree and spent many years wintering in Hialeah, Fla., and summering in Alabama. She enjoyed traveling, especially to visit her children all over the United States, as well as Paris, France, and Ireland. 

She was an avid reader and always enjoyed doing ceramics and yard sales. She was a member of Deer Springs Baptist Church, the VFW and the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary. She had a special fondness for genealogy and volunteered with the Morgan County Genealogical Society for more than 20 years. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her. 

Funeral services were held Aug. 9 at 3 p.m. in the Peck Funeral Home Chapel. Brother Greg Alred officiated, and Peck Funeral Home directed. Burial was in the Oak Ridge Cemetery at Oak Ridge Methodist Church. Matthew Grissom, Nathan Grissom, Nick Groves, Trevor Peek, Corey Williams and Kyle Grissom served as pallbearers. 


Cecil Vernon Johnson 

Irving, Texas 

Funeral service for Cecil Vernon Johnson, 87, was Aug. 9 at 11 a.m. at Peck Funeral Home Chapel with Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was in Mt. Zion Cemetery (Vinemont). 

Mr. Johnson died Aug. 5 at his residence. He was born April 13, 1932, in Morgan County to Buel Lawson Johnson and Mabel Irene Wood. He was self-employed in the heating and air conditioning business. He loved to fly and enjoyed his coffee and his smokes. He never met a stranger and often gave his HVAC services to those who could not afford it. 

Survivors include two daughters, Laura Jean Dotson (Ed) and Cecilie Ann Johnson; two grandchildren, Justin Dotson and Nathan Dotson; a half-sister, Diane Johnson; and niece and nephew, Jennifer Grindle and Derek Watts. 


Ray Murphy 


Funeral service for Ray Murphy, 76, were Aug. 12 at 11 a.m. at Peck Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Steve Barber and Bro. Stanley Reeves officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial was in Moss Chapel Cemetery. 

Mr. Murphy passed away Aug. 9 at his residence. He was born March 31, 1943, in Morgan County to James Carl Murphy and Goldie Lucille Lemley Murphy. He was employed by North Alabama Glass Company as an auto glass mechanic prior to his retirement. 

Preceding him in death were his parents; a brother, Donald Murphy; and two sisters, Carolyn Forman and Doyce Maxwell. 

Survivors include his wife, Louise Murphy; three sons, Mike Murphy, Jason Murphy (Dee Dee) and Jeremy Murphy (Regina); one daughter, Amanda Williams (Rick); three sisters, Kathy Taylor (Howard), Vickey Eaton (James Bomar) and Judy Dunn (Pat); 10 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. 


Ernest Morris 


Graveside funeral service and interment for Ernest Morris, 81, were Aug. 12 at 5:30 p.m. at Jones Cemetery, Falkville, with Bro. Aaron Warnick officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. 

Mr. Morris died Aug. 9 at his residence. He was born Jan. 18, 1938, in Morgan County to Roy Morris and Florence Thelma Murphy Morris. He was a minister and a teacher for Albright Business College prior to his retirement. 

He was preceded in death by his parents. Survivors include one brother, Frank Morris, Falkville; two sisters, Katherine Ray Russell, Falkville, and Jo Helen Wilson, Cullman; and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews. 

Nephews will be pallbearers.

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