Obituaries August 20, 2010

By NEMS Daily Journal

Houston Pannell
BLUE SPRINGS – Levi Houston Pannell, 87, died Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010, at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. He was born Nov. 7, 1922, in Union County to John Lee and Leila Cox Pannell. He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II. He was a farmer, a former member of Union County School Board for 18 years and a founding director of Town Creek Water Shed. He was a member of Ellistown Baptist Church.
Services will be 2 p.m. Saturday at Ellistown Baptist Church with Rev. Mike Powell and Dr. Tommy Vinson officiating. Burial will be in Ellistown Cemetery. United Funeral Service of New Albany is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Sue Floyd Pannell; his daughter, Carolyn Grubbs (Jimmy); two sons, Mike Pannell (Anita) and David Pannell (Lynn), all of Blue Springs; two sisters, Inez Pannell and Jeanette Bullock, both of New Albany; 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by two sisters, Irene Reed and Mildred Sheffield, and three brothers, Guy Pannell, Charlie Pannell and Dove Pannell.
Pallbearers will be John Ed Pannell, Johnny Bullock, Paul Reed, Bruce McNeely, William Pannell and Danny Pannell. Honorary pallbearers will be John D. Adams, Ronald Roberts, Bobby Rogers and Bob Clark.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home. The body will lie in state at the church from 1 p.m. to service time Saturday.
In honor of Mr. Pannell’s service to his country, United Funeral Service will fly the U.S. Army flag during the visitation and service.
For online condolences and guest registry, visit www.unitedfuneralservice.com.
Lester Neal Jr.
TUPELO – Lester Lee “Sonny” Neal Jr., 67, died Sunday, Aug. 15, 2010, at the Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo. He was born Sept. 17, 1942, to Beatrice Bracy and Lester Neal Sr. He lived in Dorsey for 27 years and in Michigan for a time. He was a deacon at Miracle Life Ministry.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Shammah Church of God in Christ with the Rev. Gregory Bolden officiating. Burial will be in the Verona Community Cemetery. Williams Memorial of Okolona is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include the mother of his children, Betty Neal of Tupelo; two daughters, Cassandra Copeland (Rodney) and Makesha Hoskins (Gary), all of Tupelo; one son, Marcus Neal of Tupelo; two sisters, Barbara Goolsby of Palmetto and Marlenia Prince of Tupelo; two brothers, Tommy Barr (Linda) of Haver Hill, Mass., and James Bracy of Tupelo; eight grandchildren, three great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his father, Lester Neal Sr.; his grandparents; and a sister, Rosemary Sullivan.
Visitation will be at the church from 2 to 6 p.m. today and from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Robert Barlow
OXFORD – Robert L. Barlow, 76, died Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010, at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in Oxford. Born in Memphis, TN, Mr. Barlow served as a private in the United States Army. He was a retired salesman with United Insurance. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and everything outdoors. He loved to work outside on his plants, flowers beds and his farm.
Services will be at 2 p.m. today in the Chapel of Waller Funeral Home with Rev. Travis Montgomery officiating. Burial will follow in Forrest Memorial Park in Batesville.
Survivors include his wife, Helen Jo Earnest Barlow of Oxford; three stepdaughters, Karen Hoseney (Rick) of Como, Beverly Earnest of Sardis and Debbie Holden (John) of Como; three stepgrandchildren, Kathy Hoseney and Robbie Hoseney, both of Como, and Richie Hoseney (Anna) of Tahlequah, Okla.; one niece, Lynn Glaze of Pineville, La.; and two nephews, Robert Barlow II and Richard Barlow, both of Pineville, La.
In honor of Mr. Barlow’s service to his country, the flag of the United States Army will be flown at Waller Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1942.
Visit www.wallerfuneralhome.com for the online registry.
Pauline Ames
JACKSON, Tenn. – Pauline English Ames, 101, died Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010, at her home in the Jackson, Tenn., area, where she had lived for the last several years. She joined the First Presbyterian Church in 1941 and later served as an elder and honorary life member of the St. Andrew Presbyterian Women of the Church, She was a longtime proud member of the Holly Springs Garden Club and the Thursday Club. In the early 1950’s she worked as a secretary for the Holly Springs School and later for the U.S. Forestry Service. Her dedication to church and family was an inspiration to all.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Sunday at Montrose on Salem Avenue in Holly Springs. Arrington Funeral Directors is in charge of the arrangements.
She is survived by her son, Charles T. Ames III and his wife, Marilynn, of Jackson, Tenn.; her grandchildren, Paige Ames of London, U.K., Paula Ligon (John) of Franklin, Tenn., Charles T. Ames IV of Jackson, Tenn., and Anna Finkenzeller (Stefan) of Seattle, Wash.; her great-grandchildren, Margaret Ligon, Catherine Ligon, Henry Ames Finkenzeller and Vera Finkenzeller; her sister, Margaret English Williams of Madison; her cousin, Amel C. Peterson of Memphis.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Lt. Col. Charles T. Ames of Holly Springs.
Memorials may be directed to the First Presbyterian Church, 164 S. Memphis St., Holly Springs, MS 38635.
John Sanders
HOLLY SPRINGS – John Louis “Bozo” Sanders, 65, died Monday, Aug. 16, 2010, at his home in Holly Springs.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Providence M.B. Church in Holly Springs. Burial will be in Cottrell Memorial Garden. J.F. Brittenum and Son Funeral Home of Holly Springs is in charge of the arrangements.
Visitation will be from 2 to 6 p.m. today at the funeral home. The body will lie in state at the church from 10 to 10:55 a.m. Saturday.
Pearlie Norwood
HOLLY SPRINGS – Pearlie Jean Reaves Norwood, 55, died Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010, at her home in Holly Springs.
Services will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Luke Church of God in Christ of Ashland. Burial will be in the church cemetery. J.F. Brittenum and Son Funeral Home of Holly Springs is in charge of the arrangements.
Visitation will be from 2 to 6 p.m. today at the funeral home. The body will lie in state at the church from 1:30 to 2:25 p.m. Saturday at the church.
Magnolia Smith
CHICAGO – Magnolia Faulkner Smith, 60, formerly of Holly Springs, died Monday, Aug. 16, 2010, in Chicago.
Services will be at noon Saturday at Smith Grove M.B. Church in Holly Springs. Burial will be in the church cemetery. J.F. Brittenum and Son Funeral Home of Holly Springs is in charge of the arrangements.
Visitation will be from 2 to 6 p.m. today at the funeral home. The body will lie in state at the church from 11 to 11:55 a.m. Saturday.
Sara Dichiara
WEST POINT – Sara Dichiara died Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010, at the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Robinson Funeral Home of West Point.
William Johnson
FULTON – William Arthur Johnson, 45, died Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010.
A memorial service will be at 4 p.m. Saturday at Senter Funeral Home Chapel in Fulton. Teresa Hawkins will deliver the eulogy.
Visitation will be from 3 p.m. to service time Saturday.
Leigh Anne Ward
JACKSON – Leigh Anne Ward died Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010, at University Hospital from injuries received in a motor vehicle accident on River Thames Road. She was born on Dec. 12, 1974, in Jackson to Dr. Frazier and Bobbie Gooch Ward. She graduated from Jackson Academy in 1993, where she was elected to Who’s Who Among American High School Students. She received a Leadership Scholarship to attend Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C., graduating in 1997. While at Converse, she was in the Crescent Honor Society, counselor to freshmen during her junior year and served in elected offices in the student body. She later received a master’s degree from Belhaven University in 2000.
Ms. Ward was a teacher at Madison Ridgeland Academy for 12 years. She enjoyed working with the children, each of whom was special to her. She was a member of the Jackson Junior League and enjoyed participating in many projects benefitting the community. She was an avid doll collector and enjoyed her beautiful collection of Miss Noah dolls, Lady Anne dolls, Members of British Royal Family dolls and others. She was a member of Broadmoor Baptist Church and taught the 5-year-old Life Group in Sunday School. She will be remembered for her kindness and her caring and genuine concern for others. She truly lived her Christian beliefs.
Services will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the Worship Center of Broadmoor Baptist Church. Burial will be at Parkway Memorial Cemetery on Highland Colony Parkway in Ridgeland. Wright amp& Ferguson Funeral Home of Jackson is in charge of the arrangements.
She is survived by her parents, Dr. Frazier and Bobbie Gooch Ward; her grandmother, Elva Potts Gooch; an aunt, Linda Gooch Thompson; and three cousins.
She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Wallace V. Gooch, and Elbert F. and LaVern Griffith Ward.
Visitation will be at Broadmoor Baptist Church from 5 to 8 p.m. today and from 9:30 a.m. to service time Saturday.
Memorials may be given to Broadmoor Baptist Church building fund or to Keystone Fund for special projects of the Jackson Junior League.
Alvin Denley
CALHOUN CITY – Alvin Denley, 72, died Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010, at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in Oxford. He was a retired receiving supervisor for Kellwood and a member of Big Creek Baptist Church. An avid hunter and fisherman, he loved the outdoors and gardening.
Services will be at 2 p.m. today at Pryor Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Jimmy Vance, the Rev. Dax Summerhill and the Rev. John Warren officiating. Burial will be in Chapel Hill Cemetery at Big Creek.
Survivors include his wife, Carolyn Denley of Calhoun City; one daughter, Laura (Dan) Griffith of Amory; four sons, Gilbert A. (Glenda) Denley Jr. of Calhoun City, Garry (Cindy) Denley of Horn Lake, Michael (Laurie) Denley and Heath Denley, both of Big Creek; three sisters, Bobbie Poe of Big Creek, Glenda Boatner of Memphis and Judy Nabors of Calhoun City; eight grandchildren, Chris (Beth) Denley, Coley (Heather) Denley, Jonathan (Machele) Denley, Jordan Denley, Lauren Denley, Jon Garrett Denley, Sydney Griffith and Reese Griffith; three great-grandchildren, Hudson Denley, Ainsley Denley and Hadley Denley.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Douglas Denley and Jewel Wall Denley, and a brother, Billy Denley.
Pallbearers will be Jonathan Denley, Jordan Denley, Chris Denley, Coley Denley, Jody Doler and Joel Denley.
James H. Miller
TUPELO – James H. Miller, 75, died Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010, at the Sanctuary Hospice House after an extended illness. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by W.E. Pegues Funeral Directors. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.
Melissa Humphres
RED BAY, Ala. – Melissa Davidson Humphres, 43, died Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010, at the Red Bay Hospital.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Deaton Funeral Home Chapel in Red Bay.
Visitation will be from 6 to 9 p.m. today and until service time Saturday at Deaton Funeral Home in Red Bay.
Anna Cissom
RIPLEY – Anna Cissom, 80, died Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010, at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Ripley Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 5 to 9 p.m. today at the funeral home.
J.C. Norris
FULTON – John C. “J.C.” Norris, 64, died Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010, at his home in Fulton. He was born Dec. 20, 1945, in Lee County to Henry Clinton Norris and Louise Ray Massey. A native of Lee County, he had lived in Fulton for the past 29 years. He was a retired truck driver and a member of Palestine Baptist Church. He enjoyed working in his yard and being with his grandchildren.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Chapel of Tisdale-Lann Memorial Funeral Home in Nettleton with Bro. Tommy Whaley officiating. Burial will be in Unity Presbyterian Cemetery near Plantersville.
Survivors include two daughters, Penny Norris Kessler of the home and Susan Norris Newcomb of Pearl; three sisters, Helen Hall of Corinth, Margaret Hall (Richard) of Nettleton and Mary Hall (Doug) of Plantersville; two brothers, Henry Norris Jr. (Mable) of Edmonds, Wash., and Troy Norris (Juanita) of Nettleton; three grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Yvonne Norris.
Pallbearers will be William Kessler, John Smith, John Justice, Clint Hall, Jason Martin and Billy Gray.
Honorary pallbearers will be Debbie Martin, Casper Newcomb, Brook Corona, Christopher Enlow and Conner Enlow.
Visitation will be from 5 to 9 p.m. today at the funeral home.
Family and friends may sign the guest registry online at www.tisdalelannmemorial.com.
James F. Smith
BELDEN – James Franklin Smith, 76, died Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010, at the North Mississippi Medical Center after an extended illness.Visitation will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday only at the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors. The family requests that family and friends bring food to the funeral home from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday for a noon meal. Holland Funeral Directors, Tupelo Chapel, is in charge of the arrangements.
Willie J. Miller
VERONA – Willie J. Miller, 75, died Friday, Aug. 13, 2010, at the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. He was born Dec. 30 1934, in Monroe County to James and Albirta Jones Miller. He was a lifelong member of Poplar Springs CME Church, a member of the Trustee Board and the Male Choir, “The Ball of Fire.” After 25 years, he retired from the Frisco amp& Burlington Northern Railroad.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Poplar Spring CME Church with the Rev. Dr. Clementine Mays officiating. Burial will be in the Lee Memorial Park in Verona. Agnew amp& Sons Funeral Home of Verona is in charge of arrangements.
He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Sally Miller of Verona; one son, Willie Miller Jr., and one daughter, Willita Miller, both of St. Louis: three stepchildren, Thurston (Doris) McGlun and William McGlun, both of Verona, and Katherine Karriem of Tupelo; nine grandchildren, six great-grandchildren; three brothers, Elmer Miller, Roy Lee (Lavern) Miller and Ozzie (Lera) Miller; two sisters, Earnestine (Henry) Pippin and Marria (Billy) Sellers: two aunts, Juanita Thomas of Nashville and Letha Mae Thornton; two sisters-in-law, Essie (J.C) Golden and Ola Mae Pruitt; one brother in-law, William Pruitt.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a son, Dominic Miller.
Visitation will be from 1 to 5 p.m. today with a family hour from 5 to 6 p.m. today at the funeral home. The body will not be placed in the church one hour prior to service time.
The family and friends may sign the guestbook at www.agnewandsons.com.
Curlye Hayes
MEMPHIS – Curlye Evelyn Hayes died Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010, at her home after a long illness. She was born Oct. 9, 1922, in Eads, Tenn., to James and Belle Bone Walsh. She joined First Baptist Church in Eads at an early age. She later joined St. James AME Church in Memphis, where she was active in the choir and other organizations. She was a graduate of Woodstock High School. She worked for RCA and retired from Memphis/Shelby County Public Library and Information Center, where she worked on the Bookmobile. She married William M. Hayes in Olive Branch on Nov. 28, 1947. They had five daughters.
Services will be at 11 a.m. today at St. James AME Church in Memphis with Dr. Maurice A. Johnson officiating. Burial will be in the Veterans Cemetery. N.L. Jones amp& Son Funeral Directors is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include her husband of nearly 63 years, William M. Hayes; four daughters, Gwendolyn (Fennell) Smith, Joyce (Robert) Payne, Terri Michele Hayes and Charlotte (Darnell) Wade; one sister, Artressa Walsh Malone; 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; a host of nieces and nephews; and a devoted caregiver whom she loved like a daughter, Debra Sparks.
She was preceded in death by her parents and one daughter, Wilma Jean Hayes.
Richard E. Nightingale
WEST POINT – Richard E. Nightingale, 63, died Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn. He was born in Chickasha, Okla., to Menno Nightingale and Florence Nightingale. He was an owner of a trucking company and a member of the West Point Mennonite Church.
Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at the West Point Mennonite Church with Errol Wedel, Mark Koehn and Brad Wedel officiating. Burial will follow in West Point Memorial Gardens. Robinson Funeral Home of West Point is in charge of the arrangements.
He is survived by his mother, Florence Nightingale of Montezuma, Kan.; his wife, Judy Nightingale of West Point; four children, Tyson (Wendy) Nightingale, Jody Nightingale, Tamara (Aaron) Koehn and Roxanne (Arlen) Toews, all of West Point; four brothers, Kenneth (Margaret) Nightingale of Columbus, Dennis (Marlene) Nightingale of Stover, Mo., Robert (Judine) Nightingale of Barron, Wis., and James (Charlotte) Nightingale of Chickasha, Okla.; two sisters, Lucille (Jim) Hyber of Hillman, Minn., and Nadine (Marvin) Friesen of Barron, Wis.; one sister-in-law, Faith Nightingale of Twin Falls, Idaho; eight grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his father, Menno Nightingale, and his brother, Elden Nightingale.
Pallbearers include Mike Nightingale, Bryan Nightingale, Darrell Frieson, Michael Nightingale, Matt Nightingale, Vance Dirks and Rod Koehn.
Visitation will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. today at Robinson Funeral Home and from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at West Point Mennonite Church.
Linda Hanna
SHANNON – Linda Adams Hanna, 59, died Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010, at the Cedar Ridge Apartments in Shannon after a long illness. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Tisdale-Lann Memorial Funeral Home in Nettleton.
Lanny Phillips
OXFORD – Lanny Eugene Phillips, 58, died Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010, at his home near Oxford.
Visitation will be from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at Coleman Funeral Home in Oxford. Services will follow at 2 p.m. at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to the Old Union Cemetery Fund, c/o Ricky Thomas, 552 Hwy. 314, Oxford, MS 38655.

William Holloway
WINTER PARK, Fla. – William Larry Holloway, 72, died Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010, in Winter Park, Fla. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by E.E. Pickle Funeral Home of Amory.
Buddy Hood
FULTON – Robert G. “Buddy” Hood, 69, died Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010, at Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo. He was born Jan. 27, 1941, to Oliver Dennis and Susan Jewell Reeves Hood. He was a member of Trinity Baptist Church, where he was active in youth ministries and as a youth leader. He was employed at Aamp&E Thread Co. for more than 30 years. He was co-chairman for the Northeast Mississippi Crimestoppers. He enjoyed real estate projects, but his greatest enjoyment was his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Senter Funeral Home Chapel with Dr. Don Baggett officiating. His former classmate Jimmy Dale Loden, IAHS Class of 1959, will deliver the eulogy. Burial will be in Itawamba Memorial Garden.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Parker Hood of Fulton; five daughters, Rhonda Swider (Frank) of Oxford, Allison Miller (Nathan) of Golden, Melissa Cox (Steve) of Nettleton, Tammy Gresham (Brad Caudill) of Sheffield, Ala., and Gail Jones of Sherman; one son, Richard “Ricky” Hood (Donnett) of Fulton; grandchildren, Lashanda Wingo (Joey), Bradley Miller, Kalynn Warren (Hunter), Leigh Anne Miller, Justin Cox, Zac Cox, Allyssa Cox, Madison Swider, Ken Swider, Savannah Hood and Mary Elizabeth Hood; great-grandchildren, Hayden and Jace Wingo; one brother, Elsie Hood of Fulton; special friends, his brother-in-law, Jimmy Parker, Cami Barrett, Barbie Hillhouse and Amanda Lindsey.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Dessie Tucker.
Pallbearers will be Jimmy Wilson, Bill Gary, Carl Summerford, Charles Reeves, Tony Parker and Terry Wilemon.
Honorary pallbearers will be the Sunday School Adult Class No. 7 at Trinity Baptist Church and his classmates at Itawamba Agriculture High School Class of 1959.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today and from 8 a.m. to service time Sunday.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Buddy Hood Foundation, First American National Bank, P.O. Box 99, Fulton, MS 38843.
Thomas Johnson
HOUSTON – Thomas Denton “Sister” Johnson, 68, died Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010, at Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo. He was born March 5, 1942, in Chickasaw County to Claude G. Johnson and Rena Mae Moore Johnson. He was the owner of Johnson Game Room and Family Entertainment Center in Houston.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Houston Funeral Home with Rev. Frank Samples officiating.
Survivors include his wife, Etta Wagers Johnson of Houston; his daughters, Dennia Johnson, and Kathy Voyles and husband, Brandon, all of Houston; his son, Johnny Johnson and wife, Debra, of Houston; his sister, Lucille Martin of Houston; his brothers, Bobby Johnson and wife, Elizabeth, and Harold Daron Johnson and wife, Shirley, all of Houston; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. today at the funeral home.
Friends and family may leave a message on the online register book at www.houstonfuneralhomems.com.
Johnny Powell Jr.
WEST POINT – Johnny Lee Sid Powell Jr., 62, died Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010, at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Columbus.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Strong Hill Missionary Baptist Church in West Point. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Carter’s Mortuary Services will be in charge of the arrangements.
Visitation will be from 3 to 6 p.m. today at the funeral home.
Gertrude Pulliam
PRAIRIE – Gertrude Perry Pulliam, 82, died Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010, at Gilmore Memorial Regional Medical Center in Amory.
Services will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at New Greater St. Mark Outreach Ministry in Prairie. Burial will be in the Pleasant Plain M.B. Church Cemetery. Carter’s Mortuary Services of West Point is in charge of the arrangements.
Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. today at the funeral home.
Bernice Cook
BLUE MOUNTAIN – Bernice Cook, 80, died Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010, at her home.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Palestine M.B. Church in Blue Mountain. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Serenity Funeral Home of New Albany is in charge of the arrangements.
Visitation will be from 2 to 7 p.m. today with a family hour from 6 to 7 p.m. today.
Harry Maury Wilson III
CLINTON – Harry Maury Wilson III returned to God on Aug. 19, 2010, at home in Clinton. Visitation is 1 p,m, Sunday, Aug. 21, 2010, at Lakewood Funeral Home, Memorial service is 2 p.m. Sunday in the chapel.
Mr. Wilson was born on Oct. 20, 1926, in Mobile, Ala., to Phyllis Feo Jensen Wilson and Harry Maury Wilson, Jr.
After the death of his father, he and his mother moved to Tupelo, which became his home for most of his life. In 1935 Mr. Wilson graduated with honors from Tupelo High School. Mr. Wilson, who was a lifelong scholar, received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Mississippi State and his M.S. in Urban Planning from the University of Mississippi. He was awarded the honor of Tau Beta Phi, the highest academic award given within the Engineering Department. While at Mississippi State he was a proud member of Sigma Chi Fraternity.
His engineering career led him into management with E.I. DuPont de Demours in Nashville, Tenn., and Richmond, Va. In 1960 he returned to Tupelo, where he joined Cook Coggin Engineers as a principal partner and president. Mr. Wilson “made the world a better place in which to live,” working at Cook Coggin Engineers until he was 77.
Mr. Wilson married his childhood sweetheart, Laura Sue Kelly, in 1945. They shared 65 years together and had three children who were their pride and joy. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson were active members of Saint Luke United Methodist Church of Tupelo. Mr. Wilson served as Sunday School teacher of the adult and high school classes, as well as serving as vice chair of the Church Board. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson served as counselors of the Methodist Youth Fellowship for many years.
Mr. Wilson was a lover and supporter of the arts. He was a master carver and woodworker, cartoonist and artist. A lover of music and a talented musician, he surrounded himself and those he loved with all genres of music and theatre. He loved words and their origins, and often spoke in puns, and rarely was seen without a crossword puzzle in his hand. Hours before he passed away, he completed the New York Times crossword puzzle.
In 2004, Mr. Wilson was named a Life Fellow of the American Council of Engineering Companies, an elite group of engineers who have made significant contributions to the engineering profession through their experience, knowledge and networking abilities. The Committee of Fellows is a group of Fellows selected by the Fellow Membership to voice their opinions and implement the goals and objectives of the College of Fellows.
Survivors include his wife, Laura Sue Kelly Wilson; three children, Harry Maury Wilson IV, Leigh Wilson Curtis (John) and John Kelly Wilson (Christy). Nine grandchildren, Harry Maury Wilson V (Angi), Lee Matthew Wilson, David Phillip Curtis (Alicia), Patricia Lauren Curtis, Jensen McLeese Curtis, Jacob Dale Wilson, Bess Wilson Laporte (Nick), Coleman Parker Wilson and Christian Kelly Wilson; and four great-grandchildren, Ashton Camille Wilson, Harry Maury Wilson VI, Addison Leigh Curtis and Leah Nicole Laporte.
Memorials may be sent to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, 26 Broadway, 14th floor, New York, NY 10004 or to the Gideons International, P.O. Box 140800, Nashville, TN 37214-0800.