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Obit – Mrs. Talitha Givens Ballenger

Longtime South Carthage resident, Mrs. Talitha Givens Ballenger, died peacefully at 8:03 a.m. Thursday morning August 3, 2023 at The Waters Health Care in Gallatin where she made her home. Mrs. Ballinger was 90 years of age.

Eld. James Thomas Gibbs officiated at the 1 p.m. Monday afternoon August 7th graveside services and burial followed in the grave between her husband and son in the Garden of Gethsemane at the Smith County Memorial Gardens.

She was one of six children, four daughters and two sons and was born Talitha Eliza Givens in the Buffalo Community on June 14, 1933 the daughter of the late Larkin Chesley “L.C.” Givens who died at the age of 68 on May 23, 1935 and Viora Givens who died at the age of 51 on September 28, 1951.

One of Mr. and Mrs. Ballenger’s two sons, Jeffrey Glen “Jeff” Ballenger, preceded her in death on November 29, 2022 at the age of 63.

The three sisters preceding her in death were Thulie Givens Reece who died January 11, 1981 at the age of 69, Emma Frances Givens Harris who died February 3, 1978 at the age of 80, Nettie Florence Givens Sircy who died April 4, 1986 at the age of 81 and the two brothers, Jasper Daniel Givens who died June 25, 1968 at the age of 75 and James Givens who died December 28, 2017 at the age of 87.

She was united in marriage on September 24, 1955 to Lancaster Community native and South Carthage businessman, Robert Dixon Ballenger, who preceded her in death at the age of 80 on September 24, 1990.

When Mr. and Mrs. Ballenger married in 1955 Mr. Ballinger then was the owner –operator of the Hollywood Café in South Carthage which was located on the lot presently occupied by Citizens Bank.

In 1961 they opened the Dairy Queen in South Carthage which was the first fast food restaurant in Smith County. It was located on their property across from the Café and they operated it until 1969 when they sold it to Mr. and Mts. Kenneth and Evelyn Gibbs Fisher. After opening the Dairy Queen Mr. Ballenger had sold the Hollywood Café to the late Harvey Knight and it was operated by Arlis Gibbs.

Mrs. Ballinger was of the Missionary Baptist faith.

Her only survivors are her son, Robert “Bob” Ballenger of Gallatin and a nephew, David Givens of Hendersonville.


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