Merlyn Faye Jenkins Ritchie

Merlyn Faye Jenkins Ritchie, also know as Mom, Mimi and Aunt Merlyn, peacefully entered Heaven’s gates on April 2, 2021, surrounded by loved ones.  She was born on October 7, 1944 in Baskin, Louisiana.  She was the oldest of two children born to Claudie and Catherine Jenkins. Merlyn did not allow cancer to define her and fought a valiant fight sharing her faith with others along the way.  

She attended school in Mangham and was a 1962 graduate of Mangham High School.  She began college at Louisiana College the same year where she met her husband and their love story began.  She was married to Carl Ritchie on August 21, 1964, in Jonesville.  They moved to Texas shortly thereafter and settled in LaPorte, Texas in 1965.  Merlyn and Carl were married for 56 years.  

She was preceded in death by her parents Claudie and Catherine Jenkins of Baskin, Louisiana.  She is survived by her two sons, Ricky Ritchie and wife Belinda of LaPorte, Texas; Ron Ritchie and wife Dana of Plano, Texas, five grandchildren, Bodie Ritchie, Iden Ritchie, Delaney Burton Pedigo and husband Paul, Dallas Burton, Trenton Burton.  She is also survived by her sister Jeannie Jenkins Carnes and husband Jim of Dickinson, Texas and nephew Justin Carnes and wife Kristel and five great grandchildren and two great nephews.  

Merlyn was a beacon for family and for her faith.  She was a member of Baskin Baptist Church where for many years she was a member of various committees such Pastor Search Committees, Building Programs, and one of her favorite places to serve was in the Choir   She loved all types of music was a very accomplished pianist and soloist.  The family recalls her sitting at the computer every Saturday night preparing the Sunday bulletin.  Many times she could be found spending extra time praying for those on the prayer list.  Then on Sunday morning she would arrive early at church to print the bulletins and help Carl get coffee ready for Sunday School.  She was truly a servant leader.  

She was a strong, independent individual and always displayed a positive attitude.  A family text group kept her in the loop and she could always be reached by phone or text if you needed her.   She was easy to talk to and her son’s friends were never hesitant to ask her for advice or share details.  

Merlyn loved traveling (when she drove and not Carl) and every summer for approximately 40 years she and Carl spent time in Panama City Beach with family and friends.  She loved going to Branson, Missouri and Mountainview, Arkansas and the Smoky Mountains where they would flea market shop, attend concerts and visit historical parks and museums.  

While in LaPorte, Merlyn worked for LaPorte ISD at Lomax Elementary as Assistant Librarian, and also at College Park Elementary.  She also worked at Texas Rehabilitation Services in Baytown, Texas.  After moving back to Louisiana, she was the Village of Baskin Town Clerk.  If you ever got a speeding ticket in Baskin, you probably talked to or met her!

The family received friends at Visitation on April 3, 2021, from  3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Baskin Baptist Church, Baskin, immediately followed by a Celebration of Life scheduled at 4 p.m. The service was officiated by Rev. Marion Spence, Rev. Brian Rogers and Rev. Jimmy Pitson.  Pallbearers are Brad Banks, Corey Carter, Robert Neal Harwell, Charles McDonald, Bodie Ritchie and Brian Wilson.  

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Baskin Baptist Church “Franklin Graham Shoe Box Ministry”, at P.O. Box 419, Baskin, Louisiana 71219.  

The family would like to express a special thank you to the nursing staff and chaplain at LHC Hospice for their compassion, care and love for Merlyn during her journey from here to her eternal home in heaven.  

“Well done, good and faithful servant”

Doug Albert “Unc” Carroll


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

By Max Ehrmann 1927

The family wishes to formally announce the passing of Doug Albert Carroll , 42, of Gilbert. 

Doug was born to parents Mark Carroll and Delphene Southern , of Gilbert on August 21, 1978. He passed from this life April 4, 2021. His untimely passing was a result of complications that stemmed from a life-long battle with Type 1 diabetes. 

Doug was a graduate of Gilbert High School,( class of 1996) and attended Northeast Louisiana University , (now University of Louisiana at Monroe). 

He is preceded in death by both his fraternal grandparents, Thomas “Earl” Carroll and Ella Mae Turner Carroll , formerly of Gilbert and maternal grandparents, Lonnie Southern , formerly of Andrews, Tx and Barbara Wilson of Forrest Hill, La. 

He is survived by his parents , Delphene Southern and Mark and Janice Carroll , his brother Thomas “Tom” Carroll and wife Tracey , his sister Sandy and husband , Seth Graham , three nephews, Jackson Carroll, and Gabe and Alex Graham , two nieces, Kate Graham and Camryn Carroll, along with a host of other relatives and countless friends whose lives he touched during his time on this earth. 

Doug was a devoted and beloved son , nephew, brother, uncle, and friend to us all. He was a gifted writer and musician , and an avid reader. He was a truly unique individual whose quick wit, sneaky sense of humor , and one of a kind smile will be terribly missed. 

The family requests,  in lieu of flower arrangements , that a donation in his name be made to either the JDRF ( juvenile diabetes research foundation ) or the Franklin Parish Library. 

A casual memorial service will be held Saturday , April 17th at FBC , Gilbert. ( Time to be announced). Anyone who wishes to pay their respects or would like to share a favorite “Doug” experience is encouraged to attend this “Celebration of Life.” 

A separate graveside service will be held at a date TBD at Oakley Cemetery, in Gilbert for immediate family members.

Cherry Ferris Ivy

Graveside services for Cherry Ferris Ivy, 75, of West Monroe will be held in Coax Baptist Church Cemetery on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, at 10 a.m., under the direction of Young's Community Memorial Funeral Home.  Cherry was born July 25, 1945 in Van Nuys, CA, and passed away on April 1, 2021 at Landmark Nursing and Rehab Center in West Monroe.  

She is preceded death by her parents, Cecil Morgan Ferris and Evelyn Ross Ferris; husband, John Terry Ivy Sr.; brother, Kenneth Morgan Ferris; step-son, John Terry Ivy Jr.; and step-daughter, Rhonda Cardin. Survivors left to cherish her memory are sisters, M Dee Ward of Great Falls MT, Marilyn De Feo and husband Angelo, and Sandra Curtis of Cabot AR; brother, Harry Van Ferris of Monroe LA., and a host of step-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, family, and friends.          

Pallbearers  will be Jamie Yates, Edward Ferris, Bennie Ferris, Jason Woodman, Bradley Woodman, and Zach Nolan.

Honorary Pallbearers will be nephews, great-nephews, and grandsons.

Shelia Lynn Johnson

Shelia Lynn Johnson, 65 of Winnsboro, died March 27 at her home. Graveside services were held April 3 at Holly Grove Cemetery in Wisner at 11 a.m. under the direction of Richardson Funeral Home.

Ms. Johnson is survived by two sons: Noah Dewayne Johnson of Baton Rouge and Dallas Johnson of Winnsboro; one sister: Loretta Henderson of Houston; a special cousin: Charlotte Young; one aunt: Barbara Brass, three uncles: Murphy Brass, Larry Brass and Eric Brass and several nieces and nephews.

Mary B. Carpenter

Services for Mary Bryant Carpenter, 88, formerly of Crowville, were held noon April 1, 2021 in the Chapel of Dennard First National Funeral Home, with Dr. Randy Ray officiating internment followed in Crowville Masonic Cemetery. Visitation was 10 until service time at the funeral home. Mary passed away Monday, March 29, 2021, at West Monroe Guest House in West Monroe. She was born May 10, 1932 in Crowville to the union of the late Walter Bryant and late Birtie McQuillin.

Mary, a Seven Day Adventist, and senior companion who sat with many friends, she also loved fishing. 

Mary is preceded in death by her parents, husband Earlon Carpenter; brothers: John Alvie Bryant and Aaron Talmadge Bryant. 

She is survived by her daughter, Joyce Harrison and Huey of Lafayette, LA; two grandchildren, Lori Duhan and Greg of New Iberia, LA, and Lisa Johnson and Lucas of Lafayette, LA, several nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers were, Huey Segura, Steve Bryant, P.J. Johnson, Charles McQuillin.

Online registry/condolences at 

James H. “Jim” Freeman, Sr.

Graveside service for James H. “Jim” Freeman, Sr., 89, of Winnsboro, were held at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 3, 2021 at Providence Cemetery in Winnsboro with Rev. Scott Fletcher officiating, under the direction of Dennard First National Funeral Home.

Jim was born January 26, 1932 in Marion, LA to the union of William Thomas Freeman and Dora Vinson Freeman and entered eternal rest at his residence April 2, 2021 surrounded by his family after a brief illness.

Jimmy was member of the Baptist faith and was a Master Mason in the Grand Lodge of Louisiana; he was a well known and very respected brick layer.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, and his son: James H Freeman, Jr.

Jim is survived by his wife Pauline Johnson Freeman; Daughters: Cathey White (George) of Magnolia, AR and Lisa Ezell of Winnsboro; Grand Children: Amy White Decker (Josh) of Blanding, UT, Jill Ann White of Magnolia, AR, Sarah Paola of Monroe, Matt Freeman (Paige) of Monroe, and Jason Freeman of Winnsboro; Great-Grandchildren: Abby Ann, Maggie Beth, Marley Catherine, Maxwell E., and Phoebe Grace Decker all of Blanding UT, Cara Elizabeth James and Sela Ann Candiana of Magnolia, AR, Hannah Freeman of Monroe, and Blaise, Tanner, and Quinton Freeman of Synder Texas; and a host of nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.

The family has requested donations be made to Shriners Hospital for Children-, or to the organization of your choice.

Online registry/condolences at

Ottice Fowler Hatten

Services for Ottice Fowler Hatten, 90, of Liddieville were held 2 p.m. Monday, April 5, 2021 in the Chapel of Dennard First National Funeral Home; internment followed in Ogden Cemetery, Liddieville, with Rev. Ray Jennings officiating. Visitation was from noon until time of the service; all under the direction of Dennard First National Funeral Home.

Mrs. Ottice was born April 18, 1930 in Winnsboro to the union of William Louis Fowler and Littie Lee Browder Fowler and passed from this life at Legacy Nursing Center in Winnsboro March 30, 2021.

Mrs. Ottice was a member of Boeuf River Baptist Church, Liddieville. She was employed as a seamstress with Winnsboro Garment Factory for most of her working career and also for several years, she was a cook at the Ogden Cafeteria in Liddieville. She worked alongside her husband, Wilson Hatten, on the family farm working cattle, farming and caring for her family.  She loved gardening, canning soup, her flowers and people.

Mrs. Ottice was preceded in death by her parents; stepmom Minnie Hatten Fowler; husband James Wilson Hatten; son James David (Butch) Hatten; brother William Lee Fowler; and sister in-law Annie M. Cannon Fowler.

She is survived by daughter Deborah Hermann (Jerry) of Cincinnati, OH; granddaughters: Christina Grisham (Eric) and Michelle Cooper (Kenneth), all of Cincinnati, OH; daughter in law Shirley Hatten of Liddieville, LA; grandchildren: Alexander Grisham, Aidan Cooper, and MacKenzie Cooper, all of Cincinnati, OH; and numerous other family and friends.

Pallbearers were: Adam Faulk, Ricky Johnston, Ricky Fortenberry, Wayne May, Tommy Ashley, and Lester Acton. Honorary pallbearers were Larry Tarver, George Faulk, Jr. and Richard Wheat.

Online registry/condolences at 

Destiny Faye Nicole Wright

Memorial services for infant Destiny Faye Nicole Wright, of Wisner will be held at a later date under the direction of Young's Funeral Home.

Destiny Wright was born on Friday, February 05, 2021 in Colorado Springs, CO. and passed away Sunday, March 28, 2021 in Clayton.

She was preceded in death by paternal grandparents- Lendon Ellis and Gylia Wright and maternal grandparents- Charles and Jaquline Dunigan

She is survived by mother- Desiree Dunigan of Wisner, father- Danny Wright of Clayton, brother- Kolby Denmon of Crowville, Sister- Emily Wright of Tioga and grandfather- Aundray Evans of Clayton.

To leave an online condolence for the family please visit

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