LILLIAN BUTTS WRIGHT

LILLIAN BUTTS WRIGHT

1936 – 2021

Loved, Respected, and Adored

Lillian Butts Wright, a gentle, sweet-spoken woman whose love for her Baptist church was exceeded only by her love for her family, passed peacefully into the loving arms of Jesus at her home in Milledgeville, GA—her children at her side. Lillian transitioned from earth to Heaven to sit at the right hand of Jesus on Saturday, November 27, 2021. She was 85.

Although her siblings called their sister Lillian, only her daddy called her Sugar. The name suited her to perfection as Lillian was genuinely one of the sweetest people on earth.

Born November 11, 1936, in Baldwin County, GA, Lillian was the youngest of eleven children of Lila Macklin Butts (1896-1978) and Tullie Butts, Sr. (1892-1977), both native residents of Hancock County. While Tullie worked, Lila cared for their expanding brood. Times were hard, but the church-going family remained close all their lives. Lillian, especially, learned that caring for others was the finest expression of love.

Determined to care for her children

Lillian married Edward Wright Sr. on December 26th, 1951, and they had three children, Edward in 1953 and Joyce in 1954. The Wrights lived on their paternal grandfather’s 100-acre farm. In 1961, Lillian purchased a home for the young family, located within a block of her mother and father’s home. Marvin came along in 1963.

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JOAN DELORES FIDELER

JOAN DELORES FIDELER

1935 to 2021

(Editor’s Note: The below obituary is a reprint of a Fideler Family tribute posted on the Warner Funeral Home website in Spencer, IA. Subheads and below photos supplied by The Preçis.)
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Loved fashion and design

Joan Delores Clark was born June 25, 1935, in Sioux City, IA, the daughter of Joseph and Sarah Porter Clark.

Joan loved fashion and design her entire life. As a teen, she worked many jobs in order to put cashmere sweaters and poodle skirts on layaway so she always had a fun new wardrobe in the pipeline (she may have complained when her favorite sister, Judy, would “borrow” and wear them first, but secretly she loved sharing everything with Jude).

Joan graduated from Sioux City Heelan High School in 1953. Using her savings, she bought a 1948 Chevrolet Stylemaster, hand-stitched new blue velvet seat covers, and headed west to California. She studied interior design and photography at UCLA. Picnics on the ocean beaches were a favorite she relished again later in life when living in Laguna Woods, CA.

Her spirit of adventure

Joan moved back to Sioux City and worked as a photographer at the Younkers Photography Studio, which provided special photoshoot trips to New York City and North Carolina, further fueling her spirit of adventure.

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CHRISTIANA JOEL UDORO

CHRISTIANA JOEL UDORO

1968 – 2021

A modern-day Mother Teresa

Christiana Joel Udoro—a beloved wife, mother, and LPN whose life and service to God and family reflected many of the same qualities as those of Saint Teresa of Calcutta—passed away from COVID-19, on September 5, 2021, at Piedmont’s Eastside Medical Center, in Snellville, GA. During the three weeks she fought for her life in the ICU, Christiana was joined by her daughter Edidiong “Dee” Udoro, sons Akemini “Dr. AK” Udoro, and Essang “EJ” Udoro.

Krissy, as some called her, battled COVID as a front-line healthcare worker as well as a patient. As her son AK said, “She never ran away from a fight.” She was only 52.

Christiana’s kids describe their mother as their “everything”— their “motivation to get up every day and do better.” She was also the “cool” parent, extremely stylish, and a heavenly cook. At 5-foot-5, dainty and petite, “Darling Baby”, as they called her, was tinier but spunkier than any of her adult children. They considered her their “most prized possession,” their “jewel.” Only problem? She loved to sing and was dreadful at it.

An old soul

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DR. FRANK LENORD CLAYMAN-COOK

DR. FRANK LENORD CLAYMAN-COOK

1942 to 2021

A Rock Star and Three Ph.D.’s

Frank Lenord Clayman-Cook, Ph.D., aka Frank Cook, jazz, blues, and rock-and-roll drummer, manager, record producer, psychoanalyst/psychologist, and professor, passed away peacefully at home in Marina del Rey, CA, on July 9, 2021, close to his beloved wife, Dorothy Clayman-Cook. He was 79.

Having trained with Murray Spivack, Frank became a professional drummer in his mid-teens. He played drums with Canned Heat, Pacific Gas & Electric, Sam Cooke, and Les Brown, the latter touring Vietnam during the war. He also performed with Chet Baker, Charlie Haden, Frank Sinatra, Linda Ronstadt, and many more great artists. A producer at Columbia Records before going out on his own, he collaborated in that capacity with many greats, including Sly Stone, Percy Heath, and Solomon Burke. He also produced in England for several years. Then, at age 37, he left the music business to become a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst. His passion for music, however, never waned.

Los Angeles Character

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ARTHUR “ART” FORTIS

ARTHUR “ART” FORTIS

1945-2021

Athlete, US Army veteran, storyteller, coach, and maniac on the dance floor, Arthur “Art” Fortis—who cherished his family above all—passed away peacefully at his home in Dixon, CA, on Saturday, August 21, 2021, surrounded by his loved ones. He was 76.

Anyone who knew Art was aware of his crazy, uninhibited dance style. A combination of funk-legend James Brown and Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris shaking a linebacker in the hole, he would shake and twist on the dance floor with sweat dripping off his forehead and big grin plastered on his face. If the song Rockin Robin was played, nothing could hold him back. Not only was Art the life of the party, but he was also bigger than life.

Born August 20, 1945, in Woodland, CA, Arthur was raised a Catholic. Like all kids, he had a mischievous streak. When his mom, Hope Fortis, would go to scold him, he would race away. Although she was fast, he was faster. The speed he used to evade his mom evolved at Woodland High School, where he excelled in sports. He was a star football player in the tailback position, despite getting knocked out cold and losing his front teeth in a game. He remembered waking up and wondering why his parents and coach were standing over him.

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