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Juanita Valerie 'Val' Williams

Published: 09/06/2013

Juanita Valerie 'Val' Williams, age 61, of Upper Deerfield Township, New Jersey, passed away peacefully at her home on August 10, 2013, with her "Hun" Greg Dowdy by her side following a brief bout with cancer.

Born in Morristown, TN on October 9, 1951, she was the daughter of the late Vole Mathis and Faye Moore Mathis of Hartford.

She attended Grassy Fork Elementary School and graduated from Cosby High School in 1970.

She will be remembered as the youngest of the famous dancing "Mathis Sisters," who once performed at the Grand Ole Opry and on numerous Knoxville television programs, including The Cas Walker Show, Bonnie Lou & Buster, and Mary Starr, and at numerous Ramp Festivals. A highlight of their dancing career occurred when they performed for former President Harry Truman at Carson Springs before his appearance at the Ramp Festival.

She moved to New Jersey shortly after her high school graduation and earned her cosmetology license. Val had owned and operated Val's Southern Style Hair Salon in Upper Deerfield Township for 40 years and was a member of the National Cosmetology Association.

She is survived by her beloved daughter, April M. Shirley and her husband Jason of Oneonta, AL; two sisters Joanne Rhodes and her husband Edward of Dandridge, TN and Deane Galbreath of Hartford, TN; her fiancé, Greg Dowdy of Upper Deerfield Township, NJ and her two granddaughters, who were the joys of her life: Makenna Shirley and Jorja Shirley, uncle and aunt Tunney and Alyce Moore of Newport; aunt and uncle Betty Jean and Clell King of Pigeon Forge, and aunts Grace Mathis of Cosby and Betty Moore of Hartford, as well as many, many other family members and friends.

Funeral services were held at Padgett Funeral Home, 1107 State Hwy. 77, Upper Deerfield Township, NJ, on Friday, August 16, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. with the Rev. Bob Ponchot officiating. Visitation was held the previous evening.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made in Val's memory to the charity of one's choice.

Written condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website:

Arrangements by Padgett Funeral Home

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