Marjorie Lucille Dunning Etheridge

Published 6:07pm Friday, February 22, 2013

Mrs. Marjorie Lucille Dunning Etheridge, “Miss Jackie,” 88, of Demopolis, formerly of Linden, passed away on Feb. 20 at Marengo County Nursing Home. Funeral services were held at O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 3 p.m. with the Rev. Brooks Barkley officiating. Burial was at Linden Memorial Park.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Russell C. Etheridge, and her parents, Robert Elmer Dunning and Lucille Nored Dunning.

She is survived by one son, Larry Russell (Judy) Etheridge of Linden; one daughter, Linda (Buddy) Beshears of Demopolis; two grandchildren, Amy Beshears White and Blake Beshears, both of Demopolis; two great-grandchildren, Clay White and Katelyn Beshears, both of Demopolis; brother, Robert N. (Bob) Dunning of Linden; two nieces, Lynn Dunning of Linden and Robin (Rudy) Parker of Thomaston; one nephew, Bobby (Mary) Dunning of Demopolis; two great-nieces, Carson Parker of Thomaston and Beth Dunning of Demopolis; and one great-nephew, Woods Parker of Thomaston.

Active pallbearers were Rudy Parker, Bobby Dunning, Michael Walters, Stanley Walters, Mike Henderson and Mike Baker.

Honorary pallbearers were the staff and caregivers at Old Town Home in Linden, the Marengo Nursing Home and Dr. Judy Travis.

She was born Marjorie Lucille Dunning in Dixons Mills on Oct. 10, 1924, but her father called her “Jack” as he had expected a boy. The “ie” was then added and she became known to everyone as “Jackie”. She was indeed a “jack” of all trades! In 1953, she opened Kiddie Kollege Kindergarten in Linden with seven children. She then became known affectionately as “Miss Jackie.”

She had dozens of children graduates whom she dearly loved and adored. She took pride in meeting them as adults years later, and she had the biggest smile for them when they made a special effort to say “hello” or to visit. She could still recall many of their names even when residing in the Old Town Home and Marengo Nursing Home in Linden.

In 1962, she and Russell became proprietors of the Diane Theater in Linden during the era when Elvis Presley was the King of Rock N Roll and the number one box office draw in small towns. Quite a few children and teenagers during those days can recall getting a free ticket or a coke and bag of popcorn when they were a little short of the thirty-five cent ticket or the ten cent popcorn and coke price. She later sold the kindergarten and the theater to pursue a new adventurous career.

Her hobby and fondness for old furniture developed into a small antique shop where she bought, sold, and traded antiques and met and made many additional friends.

Her home was always filled with an array of antiques. She would frequently say, “I have enjoyed those long enough, now it is time for someone else to enjoy them,” and sell or trade them and redecorate her home with a different antique collection.

As time and years went by, Miss Jackie and Mr. Russell felt the need to move to Demopolis to be nearer to needed medical facilities and lived in the house on Walnut Street next door to St. Leo’s Catholic Church.

In no time, the house became “that cottage with all the beautiful flowers” as she lovingly lent it her personality and made it “home.”

She so enjoyed her new home, new neighbors and new friends, and could sometimes be found partaking of fun and fellowship next door at St. Leo’s.

She remained there after Mr. Russell’s passing and until it was necessary for her to move back to Linden to the Old Town Home Assisted Living facility, and later to the Marengo Nursing Home.

Miss Jackie delighted in visiting with her numerous friends and neighbors, and loved to share her knowledge of antiques or flower cuttings for them to enjoy.

Many gardens began with cuttings she shared with others. She had a green thumb for flowers and maintained a yard full of colorful, showy and blooming flowers wherever she lived. Quite noticeably, she was known for her seasonal holiday spirit with bright and colorful lawn decorations, and Christmas was her favorite decorating time of the year. Miss Jackie was giving and generous and always willing to share her knowledge of flowers and antiques with anyone who asked. She is now adding to Heaven’s beautiful garden and she will be missed dearly.

Condolences may be offered at www.obryantchapelfh.com.

Arrangements by O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Linden.

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