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.
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.