Bethesda News: Staff helps push Franklin Elementary School to head of class

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Joyce Smith, Columnist

Thought for the week: If you feel a personal pity party coming on, slow down and start counting your blessings. If you fill your heart with gratitude, there is simply no room left for complaints. 

Hopefully, you’ve heard about Franklin Elementary School being one of two Tennessee schools selected 2019 National ESEA Distinguished Schools thanks to the extraordinary success of its students.  

The Tennessee Department of Education also named Franklin Elementary School a 2019 Reward School. The staff is to be congratulated on these achievements. 

Congratulations to my friend Keith Norwood, who recently retired from UPS after 42 years of service. We wish for him and his wife, Ann, the best of years ahead. (I met him, as well as Ann, through my friend Henrietta Whidby. They attended all of the ice cream suppers and other events in and around the county together.) 

We were so shocked and deeply saddened when we learned of the sudden death of the Rev. Jimmy Miller. He had been the preacher at Ash Hill Cumberland Presbyterian Church for the past 40 years as well as serving Belleview Cumberland Presbyterian Church. 

He died this past Thursday night after a massive heart attack. Funeral services were on Monday at Heritage Funeral Home with burial in Polk Memorial Gardens. Our deepest sympathy is extended to his wife, Carolyn, daughter, Carol, sons, Michael Scott Miller, and Brian James Miller, as well as grandchildren, great-grandchildren and his sister, Ann Raby Young. 

I want to take this opportunity to wish the best of luck to Donna and Andy Willoughby as they are preparing to close the doors at Handy Hardware.  

They still have numerous items on store shelves, with great prices. (I have such great memories of going in there and seeing Andy’s father, Dr. Joseph Willoughby, sitting in the rocking chair and greeting customers.)  

They will still be there for several more weeks, so stop by to see them, Tuesdays through Saturdays. 

Have you missed hearing a certain voice on WAKM-AM 950? I surely have. That voice is none other than Hudson Alexander. I thought he was on vacation until I was told that he had left the station for his full-time work with our county. Hudson, I hope you will consider going back to the station. You are missed! 

Russell and I recently enjoyed having as our guests Trudy and Robert Leonard (Bob) Abbott, from Nashville. Bob and Russell were school classmates, from first grade through high school at Boonshill High School, in Lincoln County.  

Bob and Russell talk each day and Russell had told him about Bethesda Market having delicious catfish, with all the sides, on Fridays, so they decided this would be a good day to visit. 

We really enjoyed eating and visiting with them. We learned that Bob had worked with the late Harry Thompson at the Mason Dixie Line, so we invited Elaine, Harry’s wife, to join us for lunch at the market. They, too, enjoyed talking about the past years. 

So many of our friends and family are celebrating birthdays this month. My niece Carol Barnhill will celebrate on Friday. My great nephew, Scott Gillespie, celebrated on Wednesday. Also, on Tuesday of last week, Ruby Perry, mother of DeWayne Perry, celebrated her 95th, Faye Borum, mother of Suzanne Conerly, celebrated her 91st, and Roy Wilhoite, father of Pam Pedrick, celebrated his 88th. Next Tuesday, my great niece, Janie Keenan, will celebrate hers, and on the Jan. 30, my sister-in-law Joyce Watson will celebrate 80 years.  

To all of these, as well as others, we wish you many more years of good health and happiness. 

So many of our family members and friends are still in need of our prayers. Please continue to remember Donnie Cameron, Ray Barrett, Minerva McGee, Marie Jordan, Willie Belle Rittenberry, Billie King, Linda Williams, Bob Garner, Betty Marlin, Malcolm and Doty Hazelwood, Judy and Ronnie Pitt, Glenn Burgess, Joyce Liggett, Teresa Locke, Joe Farrar, Jessie and Charlie Bennett, Connie Marlin, Joel Pedrick, David Gilreath, Cleo Cowan, Peggy Neal, Bill Ford and Annie Lee Farrar. 

Our deepest sympathy is extended to the families who have lost loved ones over the past several weeks. Those of whom I have been made aware of are Ann Crowell, Ann Arnold Goodridge, Helen Marlin Paris, Raymond Ragsdale, Debbie Jones, Margaret Jane Hood Chunn, Horace Johnson, Josephine Rose Reed, Kevin Scott Fischer, Martin “Marty” Caufield, Elizabeth “Jean” Bell, mother of Susie Biederman, Ed Baugh, Richard Harold Nielson, Imogene Ross, Susan Conley, Leon Johnson, J.P. Fly, Willie Crafton, James Wayne Heithcock and “Shotgun” Andrews.

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