NORTHWEST ALABAMIAN
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Last Updated February 27, 2015
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LaVonne Partain Baggett
Born the middle child of Stanley and Ottie Partain of Haleyville on April 20, 1939, LaVonne often admitted to looking out the school window and thinking about running through the cool grass with no shoes on, rather than giving her full attention to her studies.  This whimsical, fun nature would end up being one of her most enduring traits throughout her beautiful life.
As a young girl, LaVonne’s least favorite subject was math, but she excelled at chorus and playing the piano.  As a way to alleviate her shyness, LaVonne joined the Haleyville High School band as a color guard, easily recognizable with her beautiful red hair, light skin and striking blue eyes.
After graduating from high school, she worked as a secretary at Haleyville First Baptist Church, greeting visitors with her warm smile and good nature.  It was here that she met William S. “Bill” Baggett, whom she would fall in love with and then marry in the same church.
After having three children, LaVonne and Bill briefly lived in Coffeeville, Mississippi but soon moved to Rockbridge County, Virginia in the early ‘70s.  It was there that they lived for over 20 years while Bill worked for the U.S. Forest Service.  During these early years, LaVonne worked as a homemaker, but later went to work for the Virginia Department of Health as the WIC clerk in Lexington, Virginia.  Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and living near the historic Natural Bridge, the family often visited the beautiful parkway for picnics, short hikes and, when in season, the blooming of the rhododendron and mountain laurel.
In addition to being a wonderful, supportive mother to her three children, LaVonne became known for her many talents.  Taught by her own Mother, she was a seamstress who never met a piece of fabric or clothing she did not try to hem, customize or repair.  Her green thumb allowed her to have bountiful gardens each year while in Virginia, and she germinated and grew thousands of African violets over the years, often giving them away to her many friends when the window sills in her house became full.  She rarely met a sickly plant that she did not take home with her.  Giving and supporting life, whether it be a plant or a fellow person, either healthy or sick, was truly one of LaVonne’s greatest gifts.
She and her husband spent many hours devoted to their children by serving as Girl/Cub Scout leaders, RA/GA leaders at church, band booster officers, 4-H leaders and Sunday school teachers.  It is safe to say that they never missed a performance, contest or game that involved one of their children.
LaVonne knew her way around the kitchen, making an estimated 55,000+ homemade biscuits for her family throughout her years.  She also baked and decorated elaborate, delicious cakes and sweet treats as a small side business for several years in Haleyville later in life.
She loved to tell stories from her childhood and her children’s childhoods which could often bring tears of both sadness and laughter to the eyes of those who listened, in the same sitting.
LaVonne never met a stranger during her life and travels.  All it took for her was a contagious smile on her part towards anyone - in an elevator, store check-out line or rest stop - and just after a few minutes of talking it would seem as if they’d known each other for many years.  Spreading her love, laughter and good nature was just one more way she blessed those she touched while here on Earth.
In addition to rarely meeting a stranger, LaVonne could bend or lend an ear depending on the situation.  Her children’s friends would often come by to visit her after school for a piece of cake and a talk, even if her children were not at home.
After her husband left to be with the Lord in 1999, LaVonne took on new travel adventures by flying for her first time.  Since then, she flew to the Cayman Islands twice, along with two trips to Maui.  LaVonne also enjoyed a cruise to Alaska and the Caribbean with her daughter’s mother-in-law Rosa, whom she was very close to, and two trips to Las Vegas with her sister, son and Mother.  She also flew numerous times back and forth to Northern Virginia  to visit her family, while living in Alabama.
With the sadness that accompanied the passing of Bill, much happiness soon filled her heart with the birth of her first grandchild, Carolyn, in 2002, born to Krista and her husband Ryan.  That little blessing immediately ruled LaVonne’s heart, with her often referring to Carolyn as “her little angel.”  A few years later, LaVonne’s son Stephen and his wife Judy blessed LaVonne with another grandchild, Slater, in 2006, and then Evan, in 2012.  As with most grandparents, the love she had for her three grandchildren was immense and never-ending.  Just being in the room with them, LaVonne would quickly revert back to being a child herself, playing with them and filling the room with laughter, hugs, smiles and silly games.
LaVonne believed that laughter was the true medicine that kept her healthy and vibrant, and her family believed this as they witnessed it firsthand with her beautiful smile and endless hours of laughter.  Family members would often find her in the kitchen dancing to her favorite songs from years gone by, like “Blueberry Hill,” “Rock Around the Clock,” “Islands in the Stream” and “Volcano” (by Jimmy Buffett.)
On Feb. 4, LaVonne had a serious fall that resulted in brain trauma after recently moving to Richmond, Virginia.  After two weeks of battling for her life she passed over peacefully with her three children by her side on Feb. 19, 2015.  She was a self-professed lifelong teenager at heart whose beautiful soul and comforting good nature will truly be missed by all those who knew her.  The legacy and life lessons that both she and her husband gave to their children and grandchildren will continue to live on.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Stanley and Ollie Partain; brother Ken Partain and husband Bill Baggett.  She is survived by daughter Krista and husband Ryan; granddaughter Carolyn; son Stephen and wife Judy; grandsons Slater and Evan; son Mark and sister, Sara McJunkin.
Facts about LaVonne:

•  Favorite quote was “I am too blessed to be depressed;”
•  Favorite colors:  purple, blue and green;
•  Favorite TV shows:  Family Feud (with Steve Harvey), Dancing with the Stars, The Carol Burnett Show and I Love Lucy;
•  Grandchildren’s nickname for her:  “Doe-Dee;”
•  Favorite team:  Auburn Tigers (alma mater of husband;)
•  Favorite season of the year:  spring;
•  Favorite food:  chicken fingers.

Funeral services are scheduled for Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, at 11 a.m. at Pinkard Funeral Home in Haleyville, with visitation from 10-11 a.m.  Burial will be in Winston Memorial Cemetery.  The family requests donations be made to the American Cancer Society in the name of LaVonne Baggett, in lieu of flowers.
You may leave an online condolence at www.pinkardfh.com.

Ouida “Jean” Jones
Ouida “Jean” Jones, 89, of Haleyville, passed away Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015.  Her funeral service was held Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at Pinkard Funeral Home in Haleyville.  Bro. Billy Brasher officiated the service.  Burial followed in Union Grove Cemetery on County Highway 62 in Haleyville.
Jean was a member of Union Grove Congregation-al Church and a retired bus driver for the Marion County Board of Education.
She was preceded in death by her parents, William Columbus Hamilton and Julia Mahalia Whitworth Hamilton; husband, Manuel Jones; brother, Orville Hamilton and son, Rodney Jones.
She is survived by her children, Danny Jones, Jackie Jones and Jimmy Jones; grandchildren, Derek (Jessica) Jones and Jesika J. (Clay) Cockrell; step-grandson, Shane (Tanya) Burleson; great-grandchildren, Alexis Jones, Autumn Jones, Brookleigh Cockrell and Carter Cockrell and step-great-grandson, Noah Burleson.
You may leave online condolences at www.pinkardfh.com.


Maggie Jean Garrett
Maggie Jean Garrett, 79, of Russellville, passed away Monday, Feb. 16, 2015.  Her funeral service was held Friday, Feb. 20, 2015.  Pinkard Funeral Home - Russellville


Barbara Long Dawson
Barbara Long Dawson, 68, of Haleyville, passed away Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015.  Her funeral service was held Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, at Pinkard Funeral Home in Haleyville.  Dr. Mike Adams officiated the service.  Burial followed in Winston Memorial Cemetery.
Barbara was the daughter of the late Mastin and Ellen Ellis.  She was a member of First Baptist Church in Haleyville.  She loved participating in and leading Bible study.  She was a retired second grade teacher at Haleyville Elementary School and a member of Delta Kappa Gamma.  Painting with the PALETTE PALS was a favorite hobby of hers.  Her dedication to her family, and service to others through prayer, was a direct reflection of her Christian faith.
She is survived by her husband, Bob Dawson;  children, Kim (Bobby) Long Robertson, Haleyville, Michelle Dawson, Houston, Texas and Max Dawson, Birmingham; brother, Tommy (Sue) Ellis, Pontotoc, Mississippi; grandchildren, Drake and Meredith Robertson, both of Haleyville and a host of other family members and friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Baptist Church in Haleyville or First United Methodist Church Playground Fund in Haleyville.
You may leave condolences online at www.pinkardfh.com.
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