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Obituaries: January 2007


Churches mourn 27-year-old killed in Iraq Micah Gifford enlisted in the Army after hearing stories of beheadings and kidnappings in Iraq.
“Micah said, ‘I have to do something. I have to help out,’” his father, Dale Gifford, told the Auburn (Calif.) Journal. Micah Gifford, 27, died Dec. 7 after an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit while on patrol in Baghdad.
He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska.
“His sense of justice was so deep,” said his father, minister for the Skyline church in Auburn. “He was not there to do anything other than help the Iraqis.”
Micah Gifford, the youngest of three sons, grew up in Redding, Calif., and earned a bachelor’s from Harding University, Searcy, Ark., in 2002. He was a defensive lineman and linebacker on Harding’s football team.
On his profile page at MySpace.com, Micah Gifford wrote, “Don’t pray that I come home soon. Pray that the people that are causing us to stay out there can see the light and change their ways without harm coming to them first.”
Survivors include his parents, two brothers, his grandmothers, two aunts and an uncle. A memorial service is scheduled Jan. 20 in Searcy.
Virgil Beckett
Virgil Miles Beckett, 86, died Dec. 11 in Searcy, Ark. He was a registrar at Harding University in Searcy for 30 years and a member of the College church. He was preceded in death by two brothers and two sisters. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Wanice.
Andrew Brady
Andrew Harrell Brady, 33, died Dec. 3 after suffering a brain aneurysm. For 12 years he was a math teacher and assistant coach for the girls basketball team at Central Arkansas Christian Schools in North Little Rock, Ark. Survivors include his parents, a sister, two grandmothers and a grandfather.

Betty Knight

Betty Knight, 78, died Nov. 28 in Lewiston, Idaho. She was a member of the Lewiston church, where she taught Bible classes. She was preceded in death by a sister and five brothers. Survivors include her husband, James, a son, two daughters, nine grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and two sisters.
Cindy Owen
Cynthia Terrell Owen, 42, died Nov. 10. Her husband of 17 years, Kevin, is minister for the Montgomery church, Albuquerque, N.M. She taught women’s classes at church, led retreats and spoke at college lectue programs. Survivors include her husband, three sons, her
parents, a brother and a grandmother.
Glen Oxford
Glen L. Oxford, 91, died Dec. 5 in Goshen, Ark. He was an elder of the Center Street church, Fayetteville, Ark. He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen. Survivors include a daughter, two sons, three grandsons and one great-granddaughter.
Beverly Presley
Beverly Sharyer Presley, 60, died Dec. 6 in Dallas from complications of breast cancer. She launched the Meadowview School in Mesquite, Texas, for children with learning difficulties. She was an active member of the Saturn Road church in Garland, Texas. Survivors include her husband, Ray, her mother, a daughter, a son and one grandchild.
William Turner
William Glen Turner, 83, of Pensacola, Fla., died Nov. 30. He was a song leader for churches in the Pensacola area and a member of the Gateway church.
Survivors include his wife, Faye, a son, a brother, two sisters, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Janie Williams
Janie Beatrice Williams, 100, died Nov. 12. She grew up in Montgomery, Ala., and was a member of the Franklin Road church in Pontiac, Mich.
She was preceded in death by eight siblings and six children. Survivors include three sons, a daughter, about 50 grandchildren, 100 great-grandchildren and 37 great-great grandchildren.
Jan. 1, 2007

Filed under: Obituaries Staff Reports

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