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
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
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
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
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
Favorite TV shows: Family Feud (with Steve
Harvey), Dancing with the Stars, The Carol Burnett Show and I Love Lucy;
Grandchildren’s nickname for
Favorite team: Auburn Tigers
(alma mater of husband;)
Favorite season of the year:
Favorite food: chicken
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
Jean was a member of Union Grove Congregation-al
Church and a retired bus driver for the Marion County Board of
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
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
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.