Obituaries August 13, 2011

By NEMS Daily Journal

T.J. Strickland
ELKMONT, Ala. – T.J. Strickland, 74, died Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011.
Services will be 1 p.m. Sunday at Deaton Funeral Home Chapel in Red Bay, Ala. Burial will be in Bonds Cemetery in Russellville, Ala. Deaton Funeral Home of Red Bay is in charge of the arrangements.
Visitation will be 11 1 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.

Lucille Belue
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Lucille Belue, formerly of Iuka, died Friday, Aug. 12, 2011, at the John F. Keever Jr. Solace Center in Asheville, N.C.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Monday at Cutshall Funeral Home Chapel in Iuka. Burial will follow in Oak Grove Cemetery. Cutshall Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Visitation will be from noon to service time Monday at the funeral home.
An online guestbook can be accessed at

Willie Gladney
ABERDEEN – Willie “Gett” Gladney, 60, died Friday, Aug. 12, 2011, at North Mississippi Medical Center. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Williams Memorial of Okolona.

Robert Brownlee
TUPELO – Robert Earl “Red Tap” Brownlee died Monday, Aug. 8, 2011, at his home. He was born March 30, 1951, to Lee M. Brownlee and Josephine Bowen. He accepted Christ at an early age and later joined Faith, Hope and Charity in Plantersville.
Services will be at 3 p.m. today at the Plantersville School Gym with the Rev. Odell Bowen officiating. Burial will be in the New Hebron Cemetery. N.L. Jones and Son Funeral Directors is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include his wife, Kate Brownlee; five sons Jonathan Gill of Pontotoc, Bruce Kohlheim and Robert Brownlee Jr., both of Tupelo, Joseph Kohlheim and Antonio Watkins of the home in Verona; four daughters, Rachel Rogers, Consquela Kohlheim and Camille Kohlheim, all of Tupelo, and Andrea Brownlee of Plantersville; one brother, Ronnie (Ollie) Flakes of Tupelo; one sister, Luella Brownlee of Okolona; 16 grandchildren; several nieces, nephews.
The body will lie in state one hour prior to service time.
To sign the guestbook, visit

Granville Pepper
COLUMBUS – Granville Alfred Pepper, 82, died Friday, Aug. 12, 2011, at Windsor Place Nursing and Rehab in Columbus. He was born Jan. 11, 1929, in Webster County to William George Pepper and Cecile Childs Pepper. He retired from the U.S. Air Force with 20 years of service and a veteran of the Korean War. He worked as a bailiff for Lowndes County. He was a lifetime member of the DAV and the VFW. He was an avid MSU Bulldog fan.
Services will be at 11 a.m. today at Houston Funeral Home in Houston with the Rev. Dwight Brown officiating. Burial with full military honors will follow at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Mantee.
Survivors include his niece, Lynn Pepper Shea of Mantee; a son-in-law, John Sexton of Lebanon, Ohio; two sisters-in-law, Faye Pepper of Mantee and Joan Pepper of Quitman; a nephew, John Robert Pepper and wife, Stephanie, of Flowood; a great-niece, Savanah Leigh Pepper;
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Mary Susi Higgins Pepper; and two brothers, Cecil Pepper and Robert Pepper.
Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. today at the funeral home.
Friends and family may sign the online register at

J.W. Smith
RIPLEY – Johnnie Willard “J.W.” Smith, 89, died Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011, at the Tippah County Hospital Nursing Home in Ripley. He was born Aug. 27, 1921, to Wash and Mary Crawford Smith in Tippah County. He was a veteran of the United States Army, serving during World War II in the South Pacific. He was a faithful member and elder of the New Prospect Presbyterian Church, where he was a Sunday School teacher for 33 years. He was church treasurer and Sunday School superintendent. He was Clerk of the Session for many years and a Gideon since 1976. He also served as zone leader, area coordinator, camp president, church assignment chairman and scripture chairman. He was the owner of Smith’s Barber Shop, where he was a barber since 1951.
Services will be at 11 a.m. today at McBride Funeral Home Chapel in Ripley with Dr. Charles Holland and the Rev. William J. Connolly officiating. Burial will be in New Prospect Presbyterian Church Cemetery. McBride Funeral Home of Ripley is an charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include one daughter, Ann Moore (Marlin) of Ripley; one son, Larry Smith (Debbie) of Denver, Colo.; two grandchildren, Lisa Roseberry (Mark) and Rick Moore (Michelle), both of Ripley; six grandchildren, Haley, Madison, John Austin, Addyston, Harlee and Hunter; one brother, Joe Smith (Maxine) of Ripley; and a special caregiver, Addyston Moore of Ripley.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Rivie Clark Smith; and his parents, three sisters and one brother.
Pallbearers will be Rick Moore, Mark Roseberry, Hunter Swords, John Austin Moore, Jerry Henson, Billy Clark, Al Stroupe and Bonnie Caviness.
Honorary pallbearers will be Mark Bullock, Justin Bullock, and the elders of New Prospect Presbyterian Church.
Visitation will continue from 7 a.m. to service time today at the funeral home.
To view and sign the online guestbook, visit
Memorials may be made to Gideon International, Ripley Gideon Camp, P.O. Box 4, Ripley, MS 38663 or New Prospect Presbyterian Church, 6371 Hwy. 370 E., Ripley, MS 38663.

Harold Wesson
MOOREVILLE – Harold E. Wesson, 84, died Friday, Aug. 12, 2011, at the Sanctuary Hospice House. Visitation will be Sunday at W.E. Pegues Funeral Directors in Saltillo. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later.
Expressions of sympathy may be left at

Katie Ellison
BRUCE – Katie Lee Ellison, 78, died Friday, Aug. 12, 2011, at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in Oxford. She was born Nov. 4, 1932, in Brazil, Miss. She was a homemaker and a member of Banner Baptist Church. She retired from Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford, where she was a care provider and ward clerk.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at Parker Memorial Funeral Home Chapel in Bruce. Dr. Daniel Hathorne will officiate, and the Rev. Forrest Poindexter will assist. Burial will be in Memory Memorial Gardens.
Survivors include one daughter, Brenda Covington (Rodney) of Nesbit; two sons, Fred “Glen” Ellison (Jane) of Calhoun City and Jerry Martin Ellison (Janice) of Pittsboro; four sisters, Louise Watson of Banner, Frances Gentry of Glendora, Peggy Tutor of Pontotoc and Carol Cowsert of Bruce; one brother, Roy Clark of Oxford; three grandchildren, Wendy Rowland of Mantachie, Brad Covington of Nesbit and Hope Anderson of Mathiston; seven great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Fred Young Ellison; her parents, Tobe E. and Bertha Carr Clark; three brothers, Troy, Dwight and Terry Clark; a granddaughter, Dana Brown; and a great-grandson, Dillon Brown.
Pallbearers will be Kevin Anderson, Larry Baker Jr., Tyler Brown, T.J. Clanton, Michael Cook, Brad Covington, Chad Mosley and Casey Rowland.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today.
Online condolences may be left at

Polly Gray
PONTOTOC – Polly Gray, 87, died Friday, Aug, 12, 2011, at Sunshine Health Care in Pontotoc. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Browning Funeral Home in Pontotoc.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home.

Gary Wood
RIPLEY – Gary Wood, 70, died Friday, Aug. 12, 2011, at his daughter’s home at Eads, Tenn. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by McBride Funeral Home of Ripley.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home.

Johnnie Gibson
NETTLETON – Johnnie R. Gibson, 82, died Friday, Aug. 12, 2011, at Aberdeen Care Center after an extended illness. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Tisdale-Lann Memorial Funeral Home in Nettleton.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home.

James L. Freeland
RED BAY, Ala. – James L. “Jim” Freeland, 69, died Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011, after a lengthy illness. He was born March 4, 1942, in Cairo, Ill., to Vernon and Velma Spray Freeland. He was a graduate of Charleston High School in Charleston, Mo., and Cape Girardeau Accounting School. He taught water treatment in Springfield, Mo., in the 1960s. He loved country music and was Conway Twitty’s Fan Club representative for the state of Missouri. He was also a great Elvis Presley fan and did a tribute show for about a year with Bob Russell across the country. He had a country music band in the ’60s. He loved baseball and coached Little League. He was a great St. Louis Cardinals fan and owned an autographed baseball from Stan Musial and an honorary contract signed by August Busch for catching the first baseball hit out of Busch Stadium in St. Louis on April 30, 1967.
Mr. Freeland worked many jobs during his lifetime. He was a campus police on the Tupelo Campus of ICC, retiring after 17 years when his health failed. He was a member of Saucer Creek Church of Christ. He enjoyed preaching as a lay minister wherever he was needed. He preached his first sermon in Jackson, Mo., in 1971. Over the course of 35 years he filled in for ministers at Belmont, Mynot, Pleasant Site and Saucer Creek.
Services will be at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday at Deaton Funeral Home Chapel in Red Bay, Ala., with Bro. Clifton Jarrell Sr., Bro. Chris Johnson and Bro. Johnny Taylor officiating. Burial will be in Saucer Creek Cemetery in Itawamba County. Deaton Funeral Home of Red Bay is in charge of arrangements.
He is survived by his wife, Billie Johnson Freeland of Red Bay.; three sons, James Booth (Shaffy) of Garner, N.C., Jon Freeland Sr. (Robin) of Jefferson City, Mo., and Brad Freeland (Heather) of Belmont; one daughter, Jennifer Freeland Gray (Mike) of Saltillo; a half brother, Dallas Butler of Charleston, Mo.; and nine grandchildren, Jon Jr., Wesley and Ian Freeland, Rebecca and Jay Booth, Elena and Lara Freeland and Micah and Levi Gray.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Donnie Freeland.
Pallbearers will be Bruce Johnson, Joe Davis, Andrew Bush, David Lefford, Mike Gray and Wesley Freeland. Honorary pallbearers will be Pat Spradlin, Don Spradlin and Eddie Prestage.
Visitation will be 5 to 8 p.m. today at Deaton Funeral Home in Red Bay and until service time on Sunday.

Paul H. Griffin
BALDWYN – Paul H. Griffin, 93, died Friday, Aug. 12, 2011, at his residence after an extended illness. He was a graduate of Baldwyn High School. He worked for Reynolds Aluminum during the war. He was owner and operator of Griffin Body Shop and Wrecker Service, Gamp&N Motors, Bamp&M Salvage in Verona and Tri-County Drainage Pipe Co. He was a building contractor and real estate developer. A farmer and member of the Cattleman’s Association, he served on the board of the North Mississippi Regional Water Management District. His favorite hobby was eating ice cream. He was a member of the East Mt. Zion Baptist Church where he served as deacon, treasurer and Sunday School teacher. He was the building contractor for the Parsonage, Sanctuary and the Family Life Center.
Services will be at 3 p.m. Sunday at the East Mt. Zion Baptist Church with Bro. Bill Adams and Bro. Fred Hartley officiating. Burial will be in the East Mt. Zion Cemetery.
Survivors include his wife of 72 years, Mildred Roberts Griffin of Baldwyn; one daughter, Susan McBride (Dr. Jerry) of Baldwyn; one son, Bimbo Griffin (Darlene) of Baldwyn; one sister, Luna Bailey of Baldwyn; a daughter-in-law, Bobbie Griffin of Baldwyn; six grandchildren, Jon Ben Griffin (Rhonda), Josh Griffin, Landis Melicks (Alan), Lillah McBride, Gaston Griffin (Kelly) and Cannan Griffin; six great-grandchildren, Sydney Griffin, Gentry Griffin, Laurie Melicks, Kenton Melicks, Annaka Melicks and Emerson Griffin; and his caregivers, Charlotte Spencer, Mug Henderson and Trida George.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James Harrison and Ollie Waddle Griffin; children, Larry Griffin, Cydell Griffin and Benny Griffin; brothers, Hurshell and Cecil Griffin; sisters, Ruby Griffin, Molly Prentiss, Hazel; Nelson and Correne Bishop.
Pallbearers will be Joe Roberts, Eddie Scott, Jimmy Michael, D.W. Robinson, Stuart Cockrell, Roger Campbell, Johnny Lee and Buck Edge.
Honorary pallbearers will be David “Gube” Hendrix, Ralph Roberts, Terry Dale Roberts, Tim Johnson, George McMullin and employees of Sanctuary Home Hospice.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today at East Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

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