Mary Southern

WEST POINT – Mary Helen Hollis Southern, 92, died Friday, July 5, 2013, at Dugan Memorial Home in West Point. She was born Sept. 24, 1920, in Chickasaw County to Clara Mae Kilgo Hollis and Thomas Dewitt Hollis.

As a young woman, she moved to West Point, where she spent the rest of her life. In 1939, She married William Vernon Southern Jr., who preceded her in death in 2012. A member of Calvary Baptist Church, she was a gifted seamstress and gardener. She loved a family gathering for any occasion.

Graveside services will be 3 p.m. Sunday, July 7, at Greenwood Cemetery in West Point with Dr. James Towery officiating. Robinson Funeral Home of West Point is in charge of arrangements.

She is survived by her daughters, Peggy Southern Hawkins (James) of Columbus and Marty Southern Friend of Starkville; son-in-law, Bob Gates (Patricia) of New Albany; grandchildren, Deborah Gates Smith (Mike) of The Woodlands, Texas, Susan Gates Griffin (Don) of Nashville, Tenn., Amy Gates Carroll (Ray) of Collierville, Tenn., Holly Hawkins Nelsen of Fairhope, Ala., Mary Heather Hawkins Gibbs of Hernando, Will Friend (Carrie) of Athens, Ga., and Fleming Friend Rogers (John) of Starkville; sister, Clarice Hollis Silver of Vardaman; and brother, Everett Hollis of San Diego, Calif.; and 18 great-grandchildren.

Along with her husband, she was also preceded in death by her daughter, Patricia Southern Gates; sister, Louise Hollis Calder; and brothers, Elmer Hollis and Carl Hollis.

Memorials may be made to St. Jude’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Friends may leave an online condolence at


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