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Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Mrs. Sarah R. McNamee

Mrs. Sarah Rhea McNamee, longtime resident of the Yum-Yum Community North of Somerville and a person active throughout her life in the civic, cultrual, religious and business activities of Fayette County, died at 10:45 A. M. Monday, February 7, 2005, at the Bolivar General Hospital in Bolivar, Tennessee. She was 93 years of age and had recently moved to a retirement center in Bolivar.

Funeral services were conducted at 2 P. M. Wednesday, February 9th at the Peebles Funeral Chapel in Somerville. The officiating ministers were Rev. Barbara Blackmon-Fortune of the Shiloh United Methodist Church and her niece's husband, Rev. Mike Pilcher, pastor of the Selmer, Tennessee First United Methodist Church. Interment was in the LaGrange Cemetery at LaGrange, Tennessee. Peebles Fayette County Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

A native of Fayette County, Mrs. McNamee was born June 2, 1911, the daughter of the late James Wilson Rhea and the late Mary Lour Cross Rhea, early residents of the Yum-Yum Community area. She attended Fayette County schools, was a graduate of the Fayette County High School in Somerville and continued her education at Lambuth College in Jackson where she obtained her teacher's certificate. She served as a school teacher in the Fayette County public school system as a young person and was married in 1943 to Charles Tyrone McNamee of LaGrange, longtime manager of the Chickasaw Electric Cooperative in Somerville. Mr. McNamee died September 7, 1978.

Mrs. McNamee was active in the operation of the J. S. Rhea Gin Company in the Yum-Yum Community where she served as officer manager before her retirement. She enjoyed rose and flower gardening and was known for her alert mind and her attention to details. Mrs. McNamee remained active throughout her life and continued to maintain her own home and drive her own automobile until her recent illness.

A community minded person for many years, Mrs. McNamee served in positions of leadership in numerous clubs and organizations that benefited Fayette County. She was a charter member and officer of the Fayette County Historical Society and for many years, was a volunteer for the Fayette County Library in Somerville. Mrs. McNamee was an avid reader and a longtime member of the Craddock Book Club.

Known for her love of history and genealogy, Mrs. McNamee served as the Rhea family historian and shared her knowledge of her community and county with many people throughout her life. She was a devoted member of the Shiloh United Methodist Church where she was the a longtime Sunday school teacher. She was the oldest member of her church at the time of her death and also one of the oldest members of her community.
Her family were longtime supporters of the Joyner's Campground Association in Fayette County and she was a faithful participant in campground activities her entire life. She was responsible for writing the history of the campground that was printed and published in recent years.
Mrs. McNamee is survived by two sisters, Betty Rhea Snowden of Somerville, Mary Louise Spengler of Peoria, Arizona and a host of nieces and nephews.

Casketbearers were Dave Rhea, Chad Rhea, Carl Thornton, Jim Snowden, Harry Ozier and Rube Rhea, Jr.

The family requests memorials be directed to the Shiloh United Methodist Church, Joyner's Campground or to the Fayette County Library.


Obituary  prepared  for   the  site by  MARY  KAY  DANCY  SMITH