Mr. Eugene Ray, Jr.

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January 9, 1937 – August 7, 2019


Saturday, August 17, 2019
Lie In State: 9:00 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.
Family Visitation: 11:30 – 1:00 P.M.
Funeral Service: 1:00 P.M.

Fairlane Church of Christ
101 Dow Drive
Shelbyville, Tennessee

Willow Mount Cemetery
Shelbyville, Tennessee

**At the families request, in lieu of flowers, please make a charitable donation to Homeless Shelters of Bedford County and The Boys and Girls Club of Bedford County**

Ray, Eugene, “A Man Who Mattered”, surrounded by family on Wednesday, August 7,2019, laid aside every earthly weight, finishing his race and stepped among that great cloud of witnesses looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith.

As a lifelong native of Bedford County, Shelbyville, TN, born on January 9, 1937, he was educated and served in the community he loved. He was married for 61 years to his high school sweetheart, Olivia Cleveland. His commitment to community and love of people catapulted him to be elected to successfully lead Bedford County as County Mayor for twelve consecutive years. This historical accomplishment was added to the many records he had set as being the first African American to achieve. He served as county commissioner for 28 years, serving as chair while simultaneously serving as County Mayor. Under his mayoral leadership Bedford County received county-wide and state recognition for its prudence as well as its progressive programs focused on the betterment of every citizen. Prior to his mayoral tenure, he was a local Real Estate Broker and retired from the U.S. Air Force Arnold Engineering Development Center as Supervisor of Water Treatment. He served as President of the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce as well as served on numerous boards locally and statewide. He was the recipient of prestigious honors, recognitions and awards including the legacy of the Eugene Ray Little League Baseball Field. His greatest honors lie in the testimonies of so many less fortunate who credit him for making their lives better. He was a member of Bright Temple Church of God in Christ where he served as treasurer for over 40 years.

His transition follows family members: Parents, Eugene Ray, Sr., Robbie Mae Wilson; Grandfather, Will Thompson; Children, Christie Ray, Cedric Ray and Son-in-Law, H. Parks Brame. Celebrating his legacy forever are : Wife, Olivia Ray;Children, Valerie(Charles) Avent, Dr. Kertrina Brame;Grandchildren, Mary Avent, Charles Avent, Jr. ; Brothers; Carey(Anna) Ray, Dr. Bernard (Angela)Ray; Sister, Elaine (Roland)Ray- Radford; Brothers-in-Law, Joe(Evelyn) Cleveland, Donald(Denise) Cleveland; Sisters-in-Law, Joann(Lloyd)Mitchell, Martha Dysart, Era(Jerome)Twyman, Evelyn Thomas and many nephews, nieces, cousins as well as countless devoted friends and supporters.

Ms. Sam Ella James

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October 1, 1926 – August 6, 2019


Friday, August 9, 2019
Public Viewing: 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.
@ Nelson & Sons Chapel Murfressboro
448 East Burton St., Murfreesboro, TN

Saturday, August 10, 2019
Family Visitation: 11:00 A.M.
Funeral Service: 12:00 Noon

Bethel Missionary Baptist Church
762 Holly Grove Rd
Lascassas, Tennessee

Lovvorn Cemetery
Barfield Community
Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Ms. Sam Ella James was born October 1, 1926 on Franklin Road (also known as the Blackman Community) in Murfreesboro, TN. She was the last child born to the late Sam and Emma Clark after four girls. They were looking forward to possibly having a boy. They had decided that he was going to be named after Sam Clark, but after she was born, they named her Sam Ella. She was the baby, known from that day until the day of her homegoing as “Baby Clark.” She transitioned this life after an extended illness on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at her residence.

She was educated in the Rutherford County school system. She was retired from Chromolox. She loved her sisters and they were her best friends. She was very good and competitive at various card and board games. It didn’t matter who she was playing against, other activities she was engaged in, she never lost her competitive edge. She was always full of joy and laughter. She was a very fashionable dresser and was known for wearing nice and elegant hats!

Ms. Sam Ella James was a lifelong member of the Mt Zion Primitive Baptist Church in Murfreesboro. She later started attending and joined Bethel Missionary Baptist Church with her daughter, who was her caregiver.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Joe Willie James; four sisters, Ada Mary Garrett, Emma Sue Roper, Mattie Laura Crouse and Bessie Lou Bowling.

Ms. Sam Ella leaves to cherish her memories three devoted children; Henry James Goodrich, Jr. (Vannessa) of Dallas, TX, Kenneth Lee Goodrich (Dr. Donna) of Huntsville, AL and Sheila Goodrich of Murfreesboro; nine grandchildren, Henry James Goodrich, III (Trae), Abdul Selah Antron Peebles, Daquita Joane’l Goodrich, Daryl K. Mitchell, Jr., William Dejuan Goodrich, Kenneth Lee Goodrich, Jr., Elijah Shaddai Goodrich, Mekelah Sherith Goodrich, A’Jhana Sabrie Johnson; ten great grandchildren; one uncle, Donald Myles of Fort Wayne, IN; very devoted cousin, Roberta Taylor, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Chief Rodney Tirrell Woods

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March 23, 1970 – July 14, 2019


Monday, July 22, 2019
Lie In State: 11:00 A.M
Family Visitation: 12:00 Noon
Funeral Service: 1:00 P.M.

Nelson & Sons Chapel Murfreesboro
448 East Burton Street
Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Evergreen Cemetery
Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Chief Commanding Officer Rodney Tirrell Woods, 49, was born on March 23, 1970 in Rutherford County, Tennessee to Barbara and John Woods Sr. He departed this life on Sunday, July 14, 2019 at James A. Haley Veteran’s Hospital in Tampa Florida.

Rodney was educated in the Rutherford County School System and was a graduate of Riverdale High School. He joined the United States Navy on August 1, 1988 and proudly served his country for 24 years until his retirement on August 1, 2012. He received many medals for his outstanding service. He attended The University of Memphis for 2 years and graduated from Saint Leo University with a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration.

After his retirement, he continued his education, enjoyed spending time with family, friends, cooking and was an avid traveler.

Rodney was preceded in death by his father, John Edward Woods Sr., his grandparents Robert T. Woods Sr., Howard L. Woods, Anna Nora Woods and two uncles.

Rodney leaves behind to celebrate him, his loving mother Barbara A. Woods; son, Terrell Woods; sisters, Diana Woods and Deborah (Maurice) Wright; brothers, John Woods Jr. and Michael Woods; nieces, Daniele (Jerry) Ross, RaKesha King, Savannah and Sydnee Wright; nephews, Taylor Woods, Adrian and Zachery Wright; great-niece, Jayla Ross; great-nephews, Deontae Ross and Dayton David; grandmother, Elizabeth Woods; devoted friend, Marcia Frith; devoted family friend, Henry White; and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends.

Mr. Gregory Bowen

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March 13, 1959 – July 12, 2019

Memorial Service

Thursday, July 25, 2019
Family Visitation: 11:00 A.M.
Memorial Service: 12:00 Noon

Oaklands Park Seventh Day Adventist Church
711 North Maney Avenue
Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Gregory Randall Bowen was born March 13, 1959 in Shelbyville, Tennessee to the late Charles Evans Bowen and Vergie Wade Bowen Batten. He departed this life on July 12, 2019 at Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He attended Bedford County Schools.

He was preceded in death by his father, Charles Evans Bowen; grandfathers, Charlie Bowen and T.D. Wade, Sr.; grandmothers, Pearl Bowen and Charlene Wade.

Greg leaves to cherish his memory, his very loving and devoted mother, Vergie Wade Bowen Batten; children, Olympia Gates of Murfreesboro, TN, Cornelius (Jennifer) Starks of Chattanooga, TN, Kisha Starks, Camille (Jeremy) Adkisson, Daisha (James) Smith of Tullahoma, TN, Patrick Chloe and Charles Bowen of Ireland; brothers, Jeffery Bowen of Nashville, TN, Randy Bowen, Virgil (Regina) Bowen Ernest Bowen of Murfreesboro, TN, Pastor Fred (Denise) Batten, Jr. of Memphis, TN and Dwayne Batten of Murfreesboro, TN; sisters, Revonda Batten of Murfreesboro, TN, Sharon Bowen and Tiara (Thardiner) Elien of Shelbyville, TN; seventeen grandchildren; one great grandchild; devoted friend, Regina Cantrell; uncles, Lee Toy Wade of Nashville, TN, T.D. Wade, Jr. of Lascassas, TN, James (Bettie) Wade of Christiana, TN; aunts, Vinnie Rucker of Bell Buckle, TN, Nancy Gross, Bobbie Wells of Shelbyville, TN and Dorothy (Wilson) Martin of Murfreesboro, TN; and a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, other relatives and friends.