Obituaries, Nov. 14, 2012

Ralph Harold Tate
HARTSELLE, Ala. – Ralph Harold Tate, 69, died Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He was born Oct. 1, 1943, in Monroe County to Ausie Ralph Tate and Lillie Mae Easter Tate. He graduated from Hatley High School, Itawamba Community College and received a B.S. from Mississippi State University, and a double masters from UNA. He was a chorus teacher for Brewer High School for 26 years. He was a minister of music for over 40 years at numerous churches throughout Mississippi and Alabama. He was an avid supporter of the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Atlanta Braves. He was a member and minister of music at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartselle.
Services were at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartselle, with Rev. Steve Hunt, Rev. Ralph Henderson, Rev. Lynn Harvel, and Rev. A. Ray Lee officiating. Peck Funeral Home of Hartselle was in charge of the arrangements. Burial was in Pickle Cemetery in Greenwood Springs on Sunday, Nov. 11, at 2 p.m.
Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Rheda Murff Tate, Decatur, Ala.; two sons, Tim Tate, (Brooke), Mammoth Spring, Ark., and Chris Tate, (Gina), Decatur, Ala.; one daughter, Angela Hunt, (Steve), Warrior, Ala.; one brother, Dennis Tate, of Sipsy Fork community; three sisters, his twin, Carol Powell, (Kenny), Amory, Shirley Bowen, Aberdeen, and Joyce Berryhill, Greenwood Springs; six grandchildren, Mackenzie, Taylor, David, Jonathan, Lillie and Anna.
He was preceded in death by his parents.

Van Wells
HAMILTON – Van Buren Wells Jr., 64, died Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, at Trinity Select Care in Birmingham, Ala. He was born Sept. 27, 1948, to Van Buren Wells Sr. and Mary Viola Graham Wells in Aberdeen. He was a lifelong resident of Monroe County. He graduated from Hamilton High School and attended Itawamba Community College. He retired after 34 years at Kerr McGee as supervisor. He was the owner of Hamilton Market and a member of Hamilton Presbyterian Church.
Services were at 11 a.m. Nov. 8 in the Tisdale-Lann Memorial Chapel in Aberdeen with Bro. Robert Moore officiating. Burial was in Center Hill Cemetery.
Survivors include his wife, Pat Williams Wells of Hamilton; three daughters, Lisa Savage (Mike), Lori Pritchett (Anthony) and Tina Cockerham (Glenn West), all of Hamilton; one sister, Mary Carolyn Cockerham (Frank) of Hamilton; eight grandchildren, Tori, Nathan, Shelby, Graham, Blake, Drew, Camryn and Lexy; two great-grandchildren, Braylie and Reese.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Pallbearers were Nathan Cockerham, Graham Pritchett, Blake Pritchett, Sammie Fields, Tracey Fields and Donnie Fields. Honorary pallbearers were J.W. Sprayberry, Donny Yarborough and Frank Cockerham.
Contributions may be made to Palmer Home for Children, P.O. Box 746, Columbus, MS 39703.
You can sign the register and send condolences online

Frederick Sykes
ABERDEEN – Frederick Jerome Sykes, 53, died Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, at his home. He coached a ladies softball team named The Family in Aberdeen. He loved the L.A. Lakers basketball team and watching soap operas.
Services were at 1 p.m. Nov. 10 at Pilgrim Rest M.B. Church in Aberdeen. Pastor James A. Cook officiated. Burial was in Oddfellows Rest Cemetery in Aberdeen. Belle Memorial Funeral Home of Aberdeen was in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include two daughters, Alecia Reed-Owens of Madison and Markeisha Hoskins of Aberdeen; two brothers, Maurice Edmond (Sharon) and Larry Sykes of Anbach, Germany.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Ora L. Sykes, and nephew, Marcus Edmond.
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Fannie Sacus
ABERDEEN – Fannie Mae Clay Sacus, 91, died Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, at Pioneer Community Hospital in Aberdeen. She was a member of Kings Chapel United Methodist Church, where she taught Sunday school. She was a member of Southside Ladies Social Club and a teacher in the old church school.
Services were at 2 p.m. Nov. 11 at Kings Chapel United Methodist Church in Aberdeen with Bishop Eugene Sacus officiating. Burial was in Oddfellows Rest Cemetery in Aberdeen. Belle Memorial Funeral Home of Aberdeen was in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include two sons, Bobby G. Sacus of Ridgeland and Aberdeen, and Bishop Eugene Sacus of Aberdeen; three daughters, Mary Lee Sacus, Annie B, Sacus and Ethel Lee Wilson, all of Aberdeen; one brother, Will Clay of Aberdeen; one sister, James Anna Johnson of West Point; 17 grandchildren; 33 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.
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Pat Leech
SMITHVILLE – Patrick Kelly “Pat” Leech, 48, died on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. Born on May 18, 1964, in Amory, he was a son of Patti Burgess Leech and the late K.D. “Penny” Leech Jr. He was a graduate of Smithville High School, Class of 1981, and attended ICC. He was a rigging foreman, doing contract work across the U.S., in the Middle East, and West Africa and was a skilled metal worker. He attended Smithville United Methodist Church. He was a former Mason of Smithville Lodge 548. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting, water sports, fishing, trapping and hand-grappling. He also enjoyed gardening, cooking, grilling and listening to CCR.
He is survived by his daughter, Samantha Leech of Smithville; his sons, Jordan Leech of South Padre Island, Texas, and Justin Basse of Pryor, Okla.; sisters, Laura Lee Mauldin of Pensacola, Fla., and Carol Ann Stanley of Meridian; brothers, K.D. “Dal” Leech III (Vickie) of Perry, Ga., Col. J.R. “Jim” Leech (Vanessa) of Vicksburg, and Jon Leech (Crystalyn) of Smithville; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by a brother, Joe B. Leech Sr.
A celebration of life memorial service was at 3 p.m. Nov. 11 at Smithville United Methodist Church with Bro. Sammy Washburn and Bro. Charles Coggins officiating. E.E. Pickle Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.
Honorary pallbearers were David Moffett, Dave Moffett, Andy Coker, John Coker, Robert Coker and Joe Murphy.
At the family’s request, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Smithville United Methodist Church, c/o Caroline Barnes, 60027 Gap Road, Smithville, MS 38870.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at

Calvin Barnes
ABERDEEN – Calvin Ruble Barnes, 82, died Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, at the Baptist Memorial Hospital in Columbus. He was born March 15, 1930, in Aberdeen, to Kager Barnes and Mary Smitherman Barnes. He lived in Winthrop Harbor, Ill., and worked at the V.A. Medical Center as an operations foreman in north Chicago, retiring after 35 years. He had lived in Aberdeen for the last 28 years. He was in the United States Army and was a veteran of the Korean Conflict. He was a Deacon and Elder of the Aberdeen First Presbyterian Church. He loved spending time with his family, enjoyed fishing and playing lead guitar.
Services were at 11 a.m. Nov. 12 at the Tisdale-Lann Memorial Chapel in Aberdeen with the Rev. Wayne Bruchey and the Rev. Sandra Sisson officiating. Burial was in New Hope Cemetery.
He is survived by his wife, Joanne Esp Barnes of Aberdeen; two daughters, Rhonda Dale Barnes (Mike) Roberts of Paddock Lake, Wis., and Kimberly Anne Williams (Jeffery) of Belle Chasse, La.; three sons, Jeffrey Wade Barnes (Joanne) of Pleasant Prairie, Wis., Christopher Calvin Barnes (Laura) of Milan, Tenn., and Matthew Victor Barnes (Katharine) of Huntsville, Ala.; four sisters, Elsie Griffin of Round Rock, Texas, Edna Long of Okolona, Delores Moore (Jimmy) of Okolona and Mary Gillentine (Roger) of Aberdeen; two brothers, Ernest Barnes (Brenda) of Baldwyn and Kenneth Barnes (Rachel) of Aberdeen; 13 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Dennis Ray Barnes; two brothers, Johnnie Barnes and Douglas Barnes; and one sister, Anna Jean Hodnett.
Pallbearers were family.
An online guest registry and condolences may be accessed at

Mary Lequia
AMORY – Mary Ann Lequia, 66, died on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, at Care Center of Aberdeen. She was born on Sept. 22, 1946, in Iron Mountain, Mich., to Catherine Lequia and the late Leo J. Lequia. She attended school and grew up in Michigan. Living most of her life in Amory, she attended Christian Chapel Church of Christ. She was an active participant in the Region III program. She was often described as being a very fun-loving and affectionate person, with a great sense of humor, who loved making new friends. She enjoyed arts and crafts, attending church functions, and singings. She cherished time spent with her family and made great friends with all of those who cared for her in her last years.
A celebration of life service was at 2 p.m. Nov. 12  at E.E. Pickle Funeral Home Chapel, with Bro. David Highland officiating. Burial followed in Haughton Memorial Park.
She is survived by her daughters, Sue Lynn Johnson and Shirley Gross of Janesville, Wis.; granddaughter, Winter Angel Gross; nieces and nephews, George Johnson (Tanya), John Johnson (Jana), Fran Coleman (Brent), Kenny Johnson (Mary Ann), Denna Abbott (Michial), Scot Hurley (Jill) and Dewayne Hurley (Lori); and a host of great nieces and nephews.
In addition to her father, she is preceded in death by her sisters, Toni Kozlowitz and Theresa Hurley.
Pallbearers were Harold Johnson, Brent Coleman, Scot Hurley, Dewayne Hurley, Josh Hurley, Cayson Coleman and Lee Kozlowitz.
Memories and condolences may be shared with her family at

Ed Mattox
AMORY – Edward N. “Ed” Mattox, 82, died on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. He was born on Jan. 8, 1930, in Fort Madison, Iowa, to Earl and Beatrice Simmons Mattox. He was a graduate of Sacred Heart Catholic School in Fort Madison, Iowa. Living in the Chicago area for 48 years, he was the safety instructor and former driver for Pace Bus. On April 20, 1974, he married Carolyn Thomas. Moving to Amory in April 1993, Mattox worked at River Birch for seven years, retired as a janitor with Hatley Schools in 2005 and went back to River Birch to work. He was of the Catholic faith and was passionate about helping others. Very outgoing and a happy person, he enjoyed fishing, golfing, dancing with his wife, mowing lawns, working in his shop and listening to country and Western music.
He is survived by his wife, Carolyn T. Mattox of Amory; sons, Steve of Chicago, Ill., Craig of Las Vegas, Nev., Don of Chicago, Ill., and Rick of Phoenix, Ariz.; sisters, Iris, Sandra, Cee Cee and Betty, all of Fort Madison, Iowa; grandchildren, Josh, Eddie, Douglas, Brian and Ricky; and several nieces and nephews.
At the family’s request, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to a charity of choice.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at


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