Mrs. Esther Stutts
Beloved Heard County citizen, and Mrs. Doris Esther Carter Stutts, age 88 of Franklin, Georgia passed
away at her home on February 25, 2014.
Funeral services for Mrs. Stutts were conducted on Saturday, March 1, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. at the Franklin
First Baptist Church with the Reverends Scott Hannah, Neil Awbrey, Brett Mathews, and Lynn Janney
officiating. Music was provided Mrs. Stutts daughters, Leesa Stutts Cothran and Ginger Gentry Stutts
and friend, Bryan Owensby. Those serving as pallbearers were V. D. Massey, Alvin Ginn, Will Lewis, Greg
Cheeks, Buddy Goodson, and Billy Joe Burden. Honorary pallbearers were Thomas Lipford, Talmadge
Davis, Tom Awbrey, Richard Hightower, Charles Pearce, Danny Sossamon, Ellen Nowicki, Hazel Reeves,
Johnny Adams, Mike Nolley, Lawrence Lipford, George Daniel, Denney Rogers, Lee Boone, John Henry,
Jimmy Boggus, and Tom McCutchen. The interment followed in Heard County Memorial Gardens.
Mrs. Stutts was born in Bickley, Georgia on November 26, 1925, the middle daughter of the late Joshua
Oliver Carter and Mary Gussie Smith Carter. At a very early age she felt a calling to serve others in the
field of medicine. She was a 1947 graduate of the Warren A. Chandler School of Nursing. As a student,
Mrs. Stutts was a WWII Nursing Cadet preparing for overseas nursing of wounded soldiers. The war
ended shortly before she graduated; however, this did not stop her from ministering to the wounded
soldiers and their families. She was awarded a fellowship at Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C.
for her post graduate studies in the field of Psychiatry. It was during this time that she worked diligently
to repair the emotional stability of these brave warriors. After this venture, she moved home to Georgia
and began work as the Operating Room Supervisor at the Upson County Hospital in Thomaston, Georgia.
She was named Director of Nurses after only a short time. While nursing here, she met and married the
love of her life, Tom Stutts. The couple moved to Nashville, Tennessee for Tom to attend and graduate
from Mortuary College. They again returned to Georgia and made their home in Franklin which at the time
had only ninety-eight citizens. They were always proud to bring the population to one hundred! While Tom
took a job at Lewis and Lipford Funeral Home, she went to work at the Heard County Memorial Hospital.
Mr. Tom and Mrs. Esther were active in the community and especially enjoyed being a part of the Franklin
United Methodist Church. After several years, the county began to move forward, and appointed Mrs.
Esther to be the Director of the Heard County Health Department, for which she served for twenty five
years. She was honored to serve on the Heard County Board of Heath, and the Georgia Advisory Board of
Health under Speaker of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich. During her service, “Miss
Esther” earned the love and respect of the people of the county. Even though her responsibilities were
great, she studied hard and became one of the first female funeral directors in the State of Georgia. After
her husband died she retired from the Heard County Health Department and used this second degree to
assist in the running of Tom Stutts and Son Funeral Home. Many will tell you that just to feel her embrace,
or see her sweet smile was comfort to them in their darkest hour. “Our People”, as she lovingly referred
to the citizens of Heard County, were greatly adored by this precious lady. Her main purpose in life was to
serve her Lord and her fellow man. Her eyes were blind to race or social standing. She simply loved and
gave with her whole heart. Anyone that crossed her path would have to say that they were deeply
enriched by knowing her. Being the humble person she was, she would be quick to tell you that you were
the one that had blessed her. In addition to her tremendous work responsibilities, she was also a loving
wife and mother. She was a wonderful cook who could put a five course meal on the table in thirty
minutes. Her life will long be remembered for the great love, compassion, and joy she brought to others.
She is survived by one daughter Leesa Cothran (Bobby); two sons, Tommy Stutts (Ginger), and Joseph
Bledsoe (Gina) all of Franklin, GA.; one sister, Laverne Cobb Martin of Allen TX.; nine grandchildren,
Whitney, John Robert , and Caroline Cothran, Elizabeth, and Katy Stutts, and Hannah, Andrew, Sara Beth,
and John Bledsoe; many adoring nieces and nephews; and a host of wonderful friends.
Other than her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her sister, Eulalia Smith.
Those who wish may leave memorial tributes at www.stuttsfuneralhome.com.
Donations may be made to the, “Esther Stutts Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund”, at Certus Bank in
Franklin, Georgia. It was Mrs. Stutts desire to assist Heard County Students who were interested in the
field of medicine. She had enjoyed seeing students reap the rewards of her scholarship for many years.
The Tom Stutts and Son Funeral Home of Franklin, Georgia were in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Randy Chapman
Mr. Randy Troy Chapman, age 59 of Franklin, Georgia passed away at the Tanner Medical Center in
Carrollton, Georgia on Wednesday, February 26, 2014.
Memorial services were conducted for Mr. Chapman on Sunday, March 2, 2014, at 3:00 P.M. from the Tom
Stutts and Son Funeral Home Chapel with the Reverends Mary Nell Burden, and Larrice Patterson
officiating. Music was provided by Cleveland Rutledge, Jr., and the Ebenezer Church Choir.
Mr. Chapman was born in Franklin, Georgia on August 4, 1954, the son of the late Eunice Faye Capes
Chapman and Elbert Chapman. For many years he was an active member of the Franklin United Methodist
Church and in his later years he enjoyed attending Ridgeway Baptist Church. He was the owner of
Chapman Painting. His work was to the point of being artistry. A house painted by him was done with the
utmost precision. He was a fun loving person who enjoyed being with friends and family. He was a loving
husband and father. He will be missed by all who knew him.
He is survived by his wife, Rita Spurling Chapman of Talladega, AL.; two daughters, Elizabeth Chapman of
Franklin, GA. And Misty Seehafer (Jamie) of Talladega, GA; one step-daughter, Candace Spurling of
Talladega, AL.; two sisters, Renae Chapman (Lee Wydner), and Diane Wesley (Gerald) all of Talladega, AL.;
one brother, Greg Chapman (Debbie) of Talladega, AL. ; two grandchildren Ashlyn and Keeton also of
Talladega, AL.; a number of adoring nieces and nephews; friend and care giver, Teresa Chapman of
Franklin, GA.; and beloved best friend and pet, Paisley.
Other than his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Rodney Chapman, and step-son, D. J.
Those wishing to make memorial tributes may do so at www.stuttsfunerlhome.com.
Tom Stutts & Son Funeral Home of Franklin, Georgia is in charge of arrangements.
Mrs. Virginia Stephens
Mrs. Virginia Bowen Stephens, age 79 of Franklin, Georgia passed away at her home on Tuesday, January
Funeral services for Mrs. Stephens will be conducted on Friday, January 31, 2014, 2:00 P.M. from the Tom
Stutts and Son Funeral Home Chapel with the Reverend Mark Williams officiating. The interment will
follow in the Centralhatchee First Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive guests at the funeral
home on Thursday evening from 6-8 P.M…
Mrs. Stephens was born on February 28, 1934, the daughter of the late Lillie Mae Henson Bowen and
Willie Bowen. She was a member of the Centralhatchee First Baptist Church. Mrs. Virginia and her
husband, Mr. Charlie Stephens were well known and highly respected in Heard County for their
outpouring of love they showered on the many children they fostered in their home. Several of the
children they became so attached to that they adopted them. Their great devotion and care of the
children they served will long be remembered by those they cared for and members of the community.
She was a wonderful mother and will long remain in her loved ones hearts.
She is survived by her son, Charlie Junior Stephens of Franklin, GA.; daughters, Billie Free (Jimmy) of
Franklin, GA., Crystal Atkins (Richard) of FL.; one sister, Christine Harris of Newnan, GA.; five
grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Other than her parents she was preceded in death by her beloved husband and daughter Charles and
Those who wish may write memorial tributes at www.stuttsfuneralhome.com.
The Tom Stutts & Son Funeral Home of Franklin, Georgia is in charge of arrangements.