By Joe Rutherford/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Margaret J. DeMoville, a nationally prominent leader and officer in the Daughters of the American Revolution and a civic activist in both Okolona and Tupelo for more than 30 years, died Sunday morning at her residence following a lengthy illness.
She had been diagnosed with cancer earlier in 2013.
DeMoville, 64, born in Tupelo, was reared on her family’s farm south of Okolona and retained close personal and business ties in Chickasaw County her whole life.
Tupelo Mayor Jack Reed Jr., a longtime friend, described DeMoville as a “uniquely exuberant example of the Tupelo spirit.”
She had been extensively involved in organizing and promoting observances in Tupelo involving national holidays, major events in observance of American history, community activities and leadership in the First Presbyterian Church, where she was a ruling elder and Sunday School teacher.
Reed said DeMoville was “sincerely dedicated to the history of the community and the region. She most recently had been very excited about the Chickasaw Nation and its re-engagement in its ancestral homeland here in Northeast Mississippi.”
DeMoville was widely known for her local, state and national involvement with the Daughters of the American Revolution, a nationwide heritage society. She had served as vice president general of the DAR national society and traveled extensively across the country promoting its programs and causes.
DeMoville maintained substantial farming interests that had been in her family for many generations in Chickasaw and Monroe counties. She also was chair of the board of the Bank of Okolona.
Bank of Okolona President John Herrod said Monday that DeMoville “was very much a hands-on chairman when she needed to be. When something needed to get done, she would get it done.”
Herrod said DeMoville had become chair in 1998 and served until her death.
“We will miss her at the bank, and I will miss her personally,” Herrod commented.
She also was active in leadership of the local and state chapters of the Children of the American Revolution (C.A.R.), past president of the Colonial Dames and past president of the United States Daughters of 1812.
She was a member of the Tupelo Garden Club, the Tupelo Junior Auxiliary, the Mutual Culture Club, the Fortnightly Musicale, the North Mississippi Medical Center Auxiliary, and the Art Society.
Her longtime friend, Frances Brasfield, said DeMoville’s long service led to her becoming an honorary member of the garden club and a life member of the Junior Auxiliary.
Ann Kay, a former president of Fortnightly Musicale, said DeMoville also had served as president and remained active in raising money for music scholarships for students who were affiliated in the federated music club festivals, one of Fortnightly’s main programs.
“She was a wonderful, happy person, and she will be greatly missed by many people,” Kay said.
Funeral services will be at 3 p.m. Wednesday at First Presbyterian Church, 400 Jefferson Street. The Rev. Dr. Thomas P. Groome III will officiate.
Holland Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements (A full obituary is published elsewhere on this page)