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Obituaries for July 5, 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Randolph Alexander (Ray) Ashley, Jr., former Tennessee State Attorney General and one of the regal lions of Tennessee's legal community, died Monday afternoon in Memphis, surrounded by his family. He was 84.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 9, at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Dyersburg, Tennessee with the Rev. Joe T. Porter officiating. The family will receive visitors following the service. Curry Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Ashley is survived by his wife of 58 years, the former Betty Sue Volz; a sister, Mary Ashley Bickford of Roanoke, Va.; two daughters, Jane Hill (Mark) and Anne Craig Bobo (Kirk); and five grandsons, Estes Folk, Winston Folk, Alexander Folk, Barret Folk and Holman Moores. He was preceded in death by a brother, Barret, and a son, Randy.

A native of Dyersburg, Mr. Ashley practiced law in his hometown beginning in 1952 when he joined the family law firm founded by his father in 1903, now known as Ashley, Ashley and Arnold. From 1974-6 he served as Tennessee Attorney General.

Mr. Ashley was awarded a football scholarship to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he played and lettered one year before he was drafted into the U.S. Army Air Corps. After his discharge in 1947 he attended Southwestern College (now Rhodes College) where he graduated before entering law school at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Mr. Ashley was known for mentoring young lawyers and encouraging their interests in consumer affairs and the environment, among other areas. His focus throughout his life was always helping others and he instilled this quality in those young lawyers with whom he came in contact.

The attorney general's office under his leadership was instrumental in halting the Tennessee Valley Authority's planned Hartsville nuclear plant upriver of Nashville and the Atomic Energy Commission's proposed Clinch River Breeder Reactor, both on environmental grounds. The office also was instrumental in reforming the Tennessee Claims Commission to make it more consumer-friendly.

An avid reader and swimmer, Mr. Ashley also was interested in civic affairs and politics. He was a co-founder and co-owner of Dyersburg's first commercial television station. Ray Ashley lived a life of great accomplishment though he always said his greatest accomplishment was convincing Betty to be his wife. His wife, daughters and grandsons were the joy and pride of his life.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorials be directed to Matthew 25:40, Inc., 432 West Court St., Dyersburg, TN 38024 or McIver's Grant Public Library, 204 North Mill St., Dyersburg, TN 38024 or the donor's choice.


Arthur Lewis Jordan, Sr., 91, of Dyersburg, died Monday, July 2, 2012 at Dyersburg Regional Medical Center.

He was a retired accountant for Forcum Lannom, member and Deacon at First Baptist Church of Dyersburg and a U.S. Army Veteran of WWII and Korean War.

Graveside services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Fairview Cemetery with the Rev. Jerry Mitchell officiating. Dyersburg Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

The family will receive visitors from 9-9:45 a.m. Wednesday at Dyersburg Funeral Home.

Survivors include his daughter, Linda Owens and husband, Edmond, of Troy; two sons, Arthur Jordan, Jr. of Manassas, VA and Walter Jordan of Memphis; thirteen grandchildren; and a host of loving great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Elois Johnson Jordan; a daughter, Dianne Lemons; and his parents, Leonard and Anna Belle Black Jordan.

Pallbearers will be Tab Holcomb, Jeremy Hinson, Alex McBride, Brandon King, Bob Eubanks and Cody Jordan.

The family requests that memorials be directed to Dyersburg First Baptist Church Building Fund or to a charity of donor's choice.

Online condolences may be sent to our website at www.dyersburgfuneralhome.net


Willie Montgomery, 73, of Dyersburg, died Monday, July 2, 2012 at Dyersburg Manor Nursing Center.

Willie Montgomery was born Jan. 19, 1939 in Alamo to Hattie M. Pullom Montgomery and Mike Montgomery.

Funeral services will be held Friday, July 6, 2012 at noon at Salter's Chapel AME Church located at 1016 Scott St. in Dyersburg. Family will receive friends Friday from 11 a.m. to noon at the church. The Rev. George Turks, pastor, and the Rev. Cecil Maddox will be officiating services. Burial will be in Hudson Grove Cemetery in Friendship.

Survivors include his wife, Rev. Beunnie Montgomery of Dyersburg, TN; a son, Bobby Glen Travis of Dyersburg, TN; a daughter, Glenda Pickett of Dyersburg, TN; his mother, Ms. Hattie Pullom Montgomery of Alamo, TN; sisters, Cleopatra Alexander of Alamo, TN and Ida Elaine Sorrell of Jackson, TN; a brother, Richard Montgomery of Ripley, TN; six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his father, Mike Montgomery and brothers, Deacie Montgomery and Frank Thomas Montgomery. H.H. Hudson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


James "Tee" Willis, of Newbern, died Wednesday at Dyersburg Regional Medical Center. Funeral arrangements will be announced by Johnson-Williams Funeral Home.