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Obituaries 08/24/2023

Jackie Lee Ferguson

WATER VALLEY – Jackie Lee Ferguson, age 71, of Water Valley, MS departed this life Sunday, August 13, 2023 in Pensa- cola, FL. He was born March 16, 1952, to the late Lenard Reed and Dorothy (McCluskey) Ferguson.

Jackie was a very kind, hard working man who loved working with his hands. Right after school, Jackie went to work for Emerson Electric in Oxford. Later, he started doing dirt work with his father where they are known for building many of the ponds in the surrounding counties. He was an avid deer hunter and enjoyed spending time enjoying the outdoors. This was also evidenced by his fondness for working in the yard. Jackie also loved wood-working, traveling to the beach or the Smokey mountains, but nothing compared to his love for all of his grand and great grand-children. He will be missed by all that knew him.

Visitation was held Friday, August 18, 2023, in the Gardiner Room at Seven Oaks Funeral Home. The funeral service followed at 11 a.m. with Bro. Gerald Shook officiating. Burial was in Anchor Cemetery.

Jackie is survived by his wife and soul mate, Billie Ferguson; one son, Brad Ferguson (Desha); one daughter, Melissa Ferguson; grandchildren, Caitlin Shobar, LeeAnne McLarty, Peyton Ferguson, Braxton Ferguson; great-grandchildren, Luna Thompson, Preston Shobar; and his siblings, Lynda Sullivan, Donald Ferguson, Kathy Johnson.

Jackie was preceded in death by both of his parents.

Ethelyne Turnage Lingle

ELLIJAY, Ga. – Ethelyne Turnage Lingle departed this life on August 21, 2023. She is survived by her children and sons-in-law, Catherine and Don Bruce, Shelton Lingle, and Ardin and Josh Chastain; her grandchildren, Anna Bruce, Journey Baughman, and Keller Baughman; her brothers and sisters-in-law, Binnie and Jo Turnage and Robert and Mary John Turnage; and several nieces and nephews.

Ethelyne was born on January 8, 1946, in Water Valley to Wade Watkins Turnage and Catherine Baine Turnage. She attended the University of Mississippi, married, and eventually settled in Ellijay, Ga. Ethelyne went on to obtain her Masters and Educational Specialist degrees while working as a teacher in Gilmer County Schools. She began her career at Ellijay Primary, then spent the majority of her career at Oakland Elementary, retiring when the school closed.

She was exceptionally close to her brothers. The love instilled in them by their parents was evident in the way she and her brothers loved each other unconditionally. That legacy of love and faith was mirrored in the strong bond of friendship she maintained with her childhood friends and neighbors, staying in close touch through visits, letters, and Facebook until the day she died.

Our mom loved people well, and expressed that love through writing notes to others (she had beautiful handwriting), crocheting many baby blankets, and serving her community and church family. During her 40 plus years as a member of Ellijay First United Methodist Church, she was a fixture in the choir, women’s fellowship, VBS, and many other outreach ministries.

In her spare time, Ethelyne loved coffee, music, singing, dancing, shopping, coffee, SEC football, PBS Masterpiece Mystery, coffee, and reading Agatha Christie books. She also loved dogs of all sizes and breeds. Her sense of humor was legendary: she loved puns and telling corny jokes.

In 2014, Ethelyne was diagnosed with a degenerative neurological disease that eventually robbed her of her ability to walk, talk, eat, write, and care for herself. She pushed back with everything she had, diligently going to PT, adjusting to a feeding tube, receiving care at home, and finally moving to Wildwood Health Care in Talking Rock to receive the skilled nursing care she needed. Despite challenges and setbacks, she never let the disease rob her of her joy. She maintained her sense of humor in the face of difficult circumstances, often pranking the caregivers and causing mischief. She stayed engaged by sharing her thoughts on a small dry-erase board she kept with her. She loved the staff at Wildwood fiercely, and they loved her and cared for as if she were their own.

The greatest source of her strength was Jesus. Even after Mom was unable to hold her Bible or turn pages, she maintained her morning quiet time with the Lord. Her caregivers would set her up with her Bible and her daily devotional reading, then they would leave her to have her prayer time with the Lord. She loved praying for others.

She often quoted her life verse of Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” She also took hope in the words of a favorite hymn. Anytime she was asked how she was doing, she would respond with a broad smile and say “It is well with my soul.” This unwavering source of her strength allowed her to persevere through difficulty and pain, to meet every challenge with tenacity and unparalleled grace.

Two memorial services are planned: one in Ellijay, Ga., and one in her hometown of Water Valley, Mississippi. Times and dates will be shared when plans are finalized.

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