Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

December 28, 2005

Dec. 16, 2005

The Americus Times Recorder

Dennis Wade Banks

AMERICUS -- Mr. Dennis Wade Banks, 45, died at his residence early Thursday morning, Dec. 15, 2005, following several months of declining health. Funeral services will be conducted at 1p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17, in the Friendship Baptist Church with interment services to follow at 3 p.m. in the County Line Baptist Church Cemetery near Unadilla. The Rev. Wendy Joyner will officiate.

Born Dec. 31, 1959, in Fort Worth, Texas, Mr. Banks was a son of Mrs. Cora LaPointe Banks of Americus, who survives, and the late Leonard W. Banks who preceded him in death on May 29, 2003. He was a Machinist Mate, Second Class, U.S. Navy, and retired after 20 years of service. He was a member of the County Line Baptist Church.

The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. today at Hancock Funeral Home. At other times, friends may call at the family residence on Shirley Road.

Survivors include his wife, Elaine Davis Banks of Americus; his mother; three sons, William Brian Mooney and Gavin Wade Banks, both of Americus, and Brandon Michael Banks of Norfolk, Va.; two sisters and brothers-in-law, Linda and Tommy Hagins of Americus; Tammy and Robert Relyea of Fayetteville, N.C.; two brothers and sisters-in-law, Larry and Rhonda Banks of Americus, and Leonard and Diane Banks of Gray; a granddaughter, Kayla Dean Baxter of Norfolk, Va.; and a number of nieces and nephews. A brother, Marc Banks, preceded him in death.

Hancock Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Erik Carnes

RIVERDALE -- The funeral for Mr. Erik Carnes of Riverdale, will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, 2005, at the Bible Way Fellowship Center in Leslie. Burial will follow at the Cooper Cemetery in Americus.

Mr. Erik Dwayne Carnes was born on Nov. 13, 1983 and went to his heavenly home Dec. 9. He was the beloved son of Mrs. Sandra Cooper Carnes of Riverdale and Mr. Wayne Dexter Carnes of Daytona Beach and the endearing brother of Mr. Christopher Cooper Sr. of Riverdale and Mr. Dexter Carnes of Daytona.

Erik was a senior at Florida A&M; University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, where he was a pursuing a degree in biology/pre-medicine. He was an honor student and received numerous honors and awards. He was a member of Professional Black Men Inc. of Tallahassee and a member of the Tallahassee branch of the NAACP.

In 2004, Erik completed a highly successful internship at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, where he conducted medical research. He was the first place winner of 400 entrants for one of his research projects in Orlando. Erik was a participant in the Florida-Georgia Alliance for Minority Participation (FGAMP) where he was a scholarship recipient.

Erik was also a tutorer for the biology department at FAMU. Upon of college, Erik planned to pursue a dual MD/Phd degree. He was a music lover and played in the band in middle and high school as well as college. In high school, he was the percussion section leader and in college he played percussion with the world-renowned "Marching 100" FAMU Band.

A 2001 honor graduate of North Clayton High School in College Park. Erik was a member of BETA Club, Math Club, SECME (Science & Engineering Consortium for Minority Engineers) and the band.

In addition to his parents, Erik was the everlasting light to his grandfather, the Rev. Alphonso Cooper and his grandmother, Mrs. Emma Monts Cooper (deceased) of Americus; grandparents, Mr. Clarence and Mrs. Jeanette Carnes (deceased) of Daytona Beach; aunts, Mrs. Alfordean and Bishop Daniel Kuykendall of Bridgewater, Mass., Ms. Belinda Battle of Americus, Ms. Joyce Carnes of Atlanta, Mrs. Janice and Gregory Ragsdale of Decatur.

Survivors also include: great aunts, Mrs. Bertha Cooper and Mrs. Naomi Harris of Dorchester, Mass.; uncles, Mr. Daryl Cooper of Cape Newenham, Alaska, Mr. Mickey and Linda Rawls of Gainesville, Fla., Mr. Dale and Clara Cooper of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma., Mr. John Alton and Elizabeth Cooper, Mr. Virlynn Cooper and Mr. Ronald Cooper of Americus; a beloved nephew and niece, Master Christopher Cooper Jr. of Americus and Camryn Love Cooper of Jacksonville.

Erik had many loving cousins including Ms. Deloris Cooper of Riverdale, Ms. Anya Lynn Cooper, Ms. Janet Battle of Americus, Ms. Michelle Cooper of Fayetteville, NC, Mr. Patrick Cooper of Johns Island, SC., Mr. Michael Cooper, British Columbia, Canada. Among his many childhood, school and college friends are Mr. Jaymon Kearney, Mr. Tobias Bell, Mr. Ashley Stewart, Mr. Corey Coleman of Atlanta and Mr. Salom Tecle of Jonesboro.

West's Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

Susie Mae Gibson Dowdell

AMERICUS -- Funeral services for Mrs. Susie Mae Gibson Dowdell of 2747 Ga. Highway 280 E., Desoto, who passed on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2005 in the Sumter Regional Hospital, will be held at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 17, 2005 from the Zion Hill Baptist Church. The Rev. J. Nathan Paige will officiate and burial will follow in the church cemetery. The remains will lie at the church one hour prior to the services.

Mrs. Susie Mae Gibson Dowdell was born in Houston County on Oct. 23, 1924 to the parentage of the late Mr. Monroe Gibson and the late Mrs. Sadie Bryant Gibson.

She leaves to mourn her passing, five sons, Mr. John (Retha) Dowdell, Mr. Tommie (Earnestine) Dowdell, Mr. Vann Dowdell, Mr. Cicero (Essie) Dowdell and Mr. Lee (Carol) Dowdell; three daughters, Mrs. Rosa Sutton, Ms. Isabell (Willie) Lucas and Mrs. Rhunette (Bobby) Barthell; 27 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren; and host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends also survive.

Barnum Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. For more information, visit our website at

Marsha Lanell Payne

MACON -- Funeral services for Ms. Marsha Lanell Payne of 205 E. Jefferson St., Americus, who passed on Monday, Dec. 12, 2005, in the Coliseum Medical Center, Macon, will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 17, 2005, at the Shipp Chapel Baptist Church. The Rev. Daniel Clinton will officiate and burial will follow in the Eastview Cemetery. The remains will lie at the church one hour prior to the services.

Ms. Marsha Lanell Payne was born in Sumter County on May 18, 1963 to the parentage of the late Mr. Hilton Payne Sr. and the late Mrs. Alice Jones Payne.

She leaves to mourn her passing two daughters, Ms. Rasheda Payne and Ms. Crystal Payne; four grandchildren, Eric, Christian, Tameria and Alexis; three sisters, Ms. Martha P. Barnum, Ms. Jeanette Payne and Ms. Annette Payne; three brothers, Mr. Bobby (Alice) Payne, Mr. Lonnie Payne and Mr. Hilton (Gloria) Payne Jr.; her step-mother, Ms. Ella Payne; and a host of other relatives and friends also survive.

Barnum Funeral Home will be in charge of arrangements. For more information, visit our website at