Mildred Avonne Wortham, daughter of the late Clarice L. “Judd” and Mildred Owen Wortham, passed away December 15, 2021. Avonne, a life-long educator, was a dedicated member of the community, devoting her time to her work, church, community theatre, and most significantly her family. An active member of Oak Grove Baptist church since childhood, Avonne most recently taught the Welcome Class, a class she started over 40 years ago. She also spent twenty-four years directing Children’s Church alongside her sister, Linda, in addition to many years in the children’s Sunday School department. A 1964 graduate of Byars-Hall High School and a 1968 graduate of Union University, Avonne later went on to obtain her Masters of Fine Arts in theatre from Memphis State University in 1971. After college, Avonne spent time in New York at NBC studios but soon returned to West Tennessee as a full-time faculty member at Dyersburg State Community College, where she taught part-time for years to come. Known best in the region for the countless hours she gave to youth and children in the community through community theatre, Avonne was also recognized at the state level where she served on the Tennessee Performing Arts Council Board of Directors. A retired teacher from Covington High School, Miss Wortham, as she was called by multiple generations, impacted countless students through her lifetime, but no one was more impacted by her than her family. A devoted Christian, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend, Avonne leaves two nieces, Terri (Greg) Howard Tacker of Selmer, TN and Kate Howard of Hattiesburg, MS, a brother-in-law, Ronnie Howard, and the pride and joy of her life, a great nephew and niece, Huston Howard Tacker & Cathryne Elizabeth Tacker of Selmer. In addition to her parents, Avonne was preceded in death by her two sisters, Linda Wortham and Melba Wortham Howard.
Funeral services will be held in the Maley-Yarbrough Chapel (due to weather) at 2pm on Sunday, December 19th; a visitation will be from 12:00pm-2:00pm prior to the service. A private family burial will follow in Covington Memorial Gardens.
The family requests memorials be sent to Oak Grove Baptist Church, 4048 Hwy 59 West, Covington, TN or McNairy Central High School Choir c/o Sarah Lemons, 493 High School Rd, Selmer, TN 38375.