Obituaries June 20, 2011

By NEMS Daily Journal

Dr. James Edward Booth
Dr. James Edward Booth passed away at the University Medical Center in Jackson on June 17, 2011, at age 86, after a triumphant and distinguished life.
Dr. Booth was born in Choctaw Co. on April 25, 1925, the son of Sara Tabitha Chandler and Jim Charlie Booth. He was born as the sun was coming up in their old family home and his mother always said it was the prettiest sunrise she had ever seen.   
He graduated from Eupora High School in 1943, and was drafted into the Army. He served in the European Theater as an infantry rifleman and machine gunner of the Third Platoon, Co, A, 62nd Infantry Battalion, 14th Armored Division. He served under General Sandy Patch and General George S. Patton in the invasion of France and Germany during the Battle of the Bulge. He made two return trips to Europe in 1970 and 1995, retracing his battle routes and found his fox holes in the forests and other nostalgic points.
Dr. Booth attended Clark College for two years and graduated cum laude from Mississippi College at Clinton in 1950 with a B.S. degree. At both Clark College and Mississippi College, he was the pianist for the Baptist Student Union. Dr. Booth was majoring in English and music, planning to coach basketball and teach English. He was setting the grading curve in the premedical zoology class. He decided if he could set the curve, he could be a doctor too! After that, he never looked back. Medicine has afforded him the opportunity to serve mankind, save lives, and bring healing to thousands of individuals.
In 1952, he was accepted at what was then the two year medical school of the University of Mississippi on the Oxford campus before the medical school was built in Jackson. He was then accepted at the University of Alabama Medical School in Birmingham and received the M.D. degree in 1954. He served a rotating internship at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
Dr. Booth began general practice in July, 1955, in Eupora, when he and Dr. B.H. Putman purchased Curry Clinic from Inez Curry upon the death of Dr. Hugh H. Curry. Dr. Putman left Eupora shortly afterward; Dr. Booth did general practice for seven years in Eupora and operated a 30 bed clinic hospital.
Dr. Booth, along with local and county officials and attorneys, was instrumental in passing petitions and getting approval for building and financing of the hospital in Eupora. He closed his clinic and hospital and transferred his patients by ambulance to the new hospital June 1, 1962.
In July of 1962, Dr. Booth was accepted for a four year general surgery residency at the University of Mississippi in Jackson where he was chief resident in 1965-1966 and studied under the world renowned surgeon, Dr. James D. Hardy. Dr.Booth scrubbed with Dr. Hardy on the world’s first adrenal and auto immune kidney transplant from flank to groin. In preparation for the world’s first human heart transplant, Dr. Booth provided testing with dogs in the lab.
Dr. Booth had the opportunity to work with and study under some of the leading doctors in the U.S.: Dr. Arthur Guyton, author of “Textbook of Medical Physiology” used by medical students around the world; Dr. Arthur Derian, orthopedic surgeon; Dr. Curtis Artz, who was distinguished for treating burns in World War II.
After passing the qualifying oral and written examinations, making the third highest grade on the oral exams East of the Mississippi, he became a diplomat of the American Board of Surgery. He was a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons. He held memberships in the Southeastern Surgical Congress, American Medical Association, Mississippi State Medical Association and North Central Medical Society.
Dr. Booth met the love of his life, Mattelyn Reed, when he came to Eupora to practice in 1955. He made house calls to see her grandparents and bought a house “up the street” from her parents. Mattelyn was a piano student and had recently given a graduate piano recital. Dr. Booth invited her up to his house to play his new piano-organ. Mattelyn was enrolled at Millsaps College and borrowed a medical book from Dr. Booth when she was writing a term paper in zoology. The rest is history!
Dr. Booth was very civic minded. He was a very active member of the Eupora Rotary Club, where he was a past president and recipient of the Rotarian of the Year award. He was a member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was the past president of the Mississippi Chapter of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge. In 2006, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Webster Co. In 2005, he was the Biology Alumnus of the year for Mississippi College. In 2003, he received the Woodmen of the World’s Outstanding Citizenship Award. He was a devout Christian, church member, choir member, and lifetime deacon. One of his passions was genealogy. He contributed to the Webster County History Book, Choctaw County History Book, and the Jennings Family History Book. He had a vast knowledge of the history of most families in Choctaw and Webster Counties. He always said there were never two families who were not connected some way!
Dr. Booth and Mattelyn made sure that their children met Jesus at an early age. They instilled in them the love of music and singing. The Booth Family sang and performed music programs all over the state.
He was not only a good man, but a great one, decent, kind, gentle mannered, possessing humility. He was soft spoken which defined his personality. He had an easy going demeanor with gentle bed-side manners and treated all individuals with dignity and respect. He had an incredible wit and a quick laugh. He adhered to a high moral standard, uncompromising faith, and a sense of character, a gentleman and physician without parallel. The people of Eupora, Webster, and surrounding counties are much richer for having received his surgical skills and medical knowledge, and the poorer for his passing from us.
Survivors are his wife, Mattelyn Reed Booth; his children, Gwendolyn Childs Booth Wilson ( Randy ), Anne Reed Booth Ross ( Henry ), Judith Lee Booth Buys (Mark), Tabitha Caroline Booth Browder (Thomas) and James Edward Booth Jr. (Rachel); grandchildren, Arey Caroline Childs Wilson, Herman Henry Ross III, John Williams Ross, Catherine Elizabeth Ross, Mark Talbot Buys Jr., Anne Elizabeth Buys, Benjamin Booth Buys, Reed Washburn Buys, James Edward Booth III and Emma Kathryn Booth; a sister, Ruth Booth Rowlen; brothers, Glenn Harold Booth, Thomas Marion Booth and Homer Lee Booth; and numerous cousins.
The family would like to thank Dr. Everette McKibben, Dr. Jack Huffman, the Neuroscience ICU unit at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Gilbert’s Home Health Agency, Stacy Bradford and Willie Reed, manager of Pryor Funeral Home.

Willa S. Smith
TUPELO – Willa Searcy Smith, 75, died Saturday, June 18, 2011, at The Sanctuary Hospice House after a lengthy illness. A native of Belmont, she was born March 10, 1936, to Troy and Inez Hicks Searcy. She worked most of her life in the retail apparel industry and as an interior design consultant. She was blessed with a wonderful gift that allowed her to achieve elegance in both. She was a devoted friend willing to help others in any way. She was a charter member of the Salvation Army Auxiliary and had served as President of the Tupelo Symphony League, where she made many valuable contributions. She was an active member of Calvary Baptist Church.
Services will be 2 p.m. Tuesday at The Jefferson Street Chapel of W.E. Pegues with Dr. David Eldridge officiating. Burial will be in Tupelo Memorial Park. 
Survivors include her husband of 56 years, Darrell Smith; one daughter Donna McNeece (Jesse) of Tupelo; grandchildren, Reed Hawkins (Amber) of Loxley, Ala., James Hawkins, Avery McNeece, Taylor McNeece and Jill McNeece, all of Tupelo; one great-grandson, Caden Hawkins; two brothers, Charles Ray Searcy (Mary Lynn) of Belmont and Bob Searcy (Debbie) of Livonia, Mich.; one brother-in-law, John W. Smith (Delores) of Tupelo; six nieces and nephews; six great-nieces and nephews; a special friend and caregiver, Roslyn McCoy (Charlie); and numerous friends in Christ.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Pallbearers will be Tommy Brooks, Bill Langston, Mickey Holliman, Ed Neely, Benton Hilburn and Gray Megginson.
Visitation will be 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home.
If desired, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in her honor, to The Sanctuary Hospice House, P.O. Box 2177, Tupelo, MS 38802.
Expressions of sympathy may be left at

Madine McWhirter
PONTOTOC – Madine McWhirter, 89, died Saturday, June 18, 2011, at Sunshine Health Care. She was a member of Gershorm Baptist Church, and she retired from Indiana Glove Factory. She enjoyed spending time and cooking for her family and friends. She also loved her flowers and garden.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Browning Funeral Home Chapel in Pontotoc with the Rev. Donnie Finley and the Rev. Tommy Tackitt officiating. Burial will be in the Gershorm/Williams Cemetery. Browning Funeral Home of Pontotoc is in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include her children, Noel McWhirter (Angela), Sam McWhirter (Frankie), Van McWhirter (Wanda), all of Pontotoc, Jackie Caldwell (Mack) of New Albany, Janie Koon (Mike) of Pontotoc and Tammy Holladay of Myrtle; one sister, Celestine Weaver; two brothers, Joe Sansing and Bill Sansing (Katherine); 10 grandchildren, Tammy Pearson, Scott Roye, Misty Dobbs, Tiffany Hollingsworth, Chris Daugherty, Nicole Daugherty, Stephen Jenkins, Kelli Koon, Kayla Koon and Cody Holladay; and 11 great-grandchildren, Hannah Roye, Gatlin Roye, Mary Marie Pearson, Andrew Pearson, Emma Kate Dobbs, Allie Grace Dobbs, Daelan Hollingsworth, Serenity Hollingsworth, Luke Daugherty, Kyan Jenkins and Carter Jenkins.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Clealon C. Sansing and Verla Hinton Sansing; her husband of 70 years, Robert L. “Junior” McWhirter Jr.; one sister, Ouida Maharrey; and three brothers, Luther Sansing, Bobby Sansing and Jim Sansing.
Pallbearers will be Jerry Weaver, Richard Chrestman, Bobby Chrestman, Merle Chrestman, Sherrill Weeks and Mike Stutsy.
Visitation will be from 5 to 9 p.m. today and from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.
Condolences may be offered

Annie Turner
NEW ALBANY – Annie Turner died June 19, 2011, at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Serenity Funeral Home of New Albany.

Willie V. Hunsucker
POTTS CAMP – Willie Virginia Hunsucker, 75, died June 17, 2011, at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis. She was born on June 12, 1936, in Potts Camp to Osie Estelle King and Gedya Morgan King. She attended Potts Camp First Baptist Church, and she was a caregiver.
Services will be at 10 a.m. today at Potts Camp Baptist Church with Bro. Paul Jacks officiating. Burial will be in Potts Camp Cemetery. Holly Springs Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include one son, Kevin Hunsucker of Potts Camp; two daughters, Virginia Ann Allen of Potts Camp and Sandra Gaillard of Booneville; one brother, Robert H. King of Potts Camp; two sisters, Mildred Marbury and Anne Edlin, both of Potts Camp; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; beloved friend, Candy Potts of Saltillo; and many nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association.

Charles Welch
BALDWYN – Charles Welch died June 15, 2011, at North Mississippi Medical Center. Charles S. Welch was born Feb. 16, 1952, to Mr. Walter and Julia B. Welch.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Ruben Chapel CME Church with the Rev. Henry L. Damon Sr. officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. N.L. Jones Funeral Directors in charge of arrangements.
Survivors includes one son, Tylar Stewart (Anna) of Baldwyn; one daughter, Nickie Prather (Edward) of Booneville; a long time companion of 18 years, Janice Tyes of Baldwyn; five sisters; three brothers; one aunt; eight grandchildren; two special nieces; and a host of nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Willie L. Welch; and one son, Charles J. Welch.
Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. today at Rubens Chapel CME Church in Baldwyn. The body will lie in state one hour prior to service time Tuesday.
An online guestbook can be accessed at

Evelyn Barton
NEW ALBANY – Evelyn Andrews Barton, 79, died Saturday, June 18, 2011, at her home. She was born in New Albany on Dec. 14, 1931, to Burdette Andrews and Ethel Wise Andrews. She was a retired bookkeeper from Van Atkins Dept. Store. She was a member of New Harmony Baptist Church.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at United Funeral Service Chapel with Bro. Charlie Ransier officiating. Burial will be in New Harmony Cemetery. United Funeral Service is in charge of the arrangements.
She is survived by two sons, Ronnie Barton and Darryl Barton, both of New Albany; two sisters, Hazel Swords of Springfield, Va. and Joyce Rakestraw of New Albany; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; one sister, Lynda Moss; and two brothers, Wade and Parker Andrews.
Her pallbearers will be Mark Ozbirn, Dave Gault, Benjamin Hopper, Robin Whitten, Terry Pitts and Rickey Gaines.
Visitation will be from 5 to 9 p.m. today at the funeral home.

Bobby Talent
BRUCE – Bobby Fred Talent, 71, died June 18, 2011, at his home. He was a retired logger.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Tutor Memorial Funeral Home in Pontotoc with Bro. Robert Earl Alexander officiating. Burial will be Rocky Mount Cemetery. Tutor Memorial Funeral Home of Pontotoc is in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include his children, Paulette Tharp of Thaxton, Freddie Talent of Bentley and Marty Talent of Thaxton; two brothers, Joe Talent and Terry Talent, both of Bruce; four sisters, Barbara Dunlap of Bruce, Shelia McCain of Sarepta, Joan Ratliff of Bruce and Kay Newton of Bessemer, Ala.; three grandchildren, Nicole Reeves of Ecru, Leslie Messer of Pinedale and Amanda Talent of Okolona; and seven great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his son, Billy Talent of Pittsboro; and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Talent.
Pallbearers will be Levi Reeves, Brandon Messer, Scott Talent, Bobby Wright, Travis Riser and Joe McCain.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. today and from 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

Lizzie McDonald
NEW ALBANY – Elizabeth “Lizzie” Mayo McDonald, 88, died Saturday, June 18, 2011, at her home. She was born Feb. 25, 1923, in Union County to R.C. Mayo and Mary Crumpton Mayo. She was a member of Martin Baptist Church. She loved babysitting and loved listening to gospel music. She loved everyone, especially her family and her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She loved family time together and working in the garden and flower beds She also loved all her animals.
Services will be at 2 p.m. today at Martin Baptist Church with Bro. Andy Russell and Bro. Larry Harrison officiating. Burial will be in Martin Cemetery. United Funeral Service is in charge of arrangements.
She is survived by three daughters, Betty Haynes (Curtis), Judy Potts (Wayne) and Brenda Kidd (Jerry), all of New Albany; two sons, Billy G. McDonald and James B. “Bear” McDonald (Shelia), both of New Albany; two sisters, Lillian Hampton of Blue Springs and Christine Hester of New Albany; 10 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, O.B. “Buck ” McDonald; five brothers, Bill, Carl, Fred, Gene and Waymon Mayo; and two sisters, Marie Rogers and Ruth McDonald.
Pallbearers will be Anthony McDonald, Randy Potts, Adam Massengill, Jeff Morris, Austin Swords and Charles Potts.
The body will lie in state at the church from noon until service time today.

J.L. Chandler
BALDWYN – J.L. Chandler died Sunday, June 19, 2011, at the North Mississippi Medical Center. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by N.L. Jones Funeral Directors.

Larry Loden
TUPELO – Larry Thomas Loden, 58, died Thursday, June 16, 2011 at North Mississippi Medical Center after a three year illness. Larry was born in Tupelo on January 16, 1953 to Glen C. Loden and Velda Mae Wilburn Loden. He grew up in Itawamba Co., graduated from Itawamba Agricultural High School in 1971. He completed his Associate Degree in Nursing at Itawamba Community College in 1977, his Bachelors Degree in Nursing from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1981and earned his Masters of Science Degree from Mississippi University for Women in 1985. His lifelong profession was that of a Registered Nurse and a Nursing Professor. He worked as a Nurse at North Miss. Medical Center from 1977-1983 and continued until 1998 as a part time Home Health Nurse specializing in geriatrics. In 1983, he began his 28 year career as a Professor of Nursing at Itawamba Community College just retiring in May, 2011. He received the ICC Meritorious Achievement Award in 2006 for his many years of dedicated, devoted service to the College. Professor Loden was a member of the Mississippi Nurse’s Association, was Treasurer of the Mississippi Organization for Associate Degree Nursing from 2008-2010, was a National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc. Site Visitor and on the Board of Directors of the Mississippi State Board of Nursing. He was beloved by his many students over the years and highly respected by fellow faculty members and Administration. Larry’s most cherished role was that of husband, father and devoted and faithful member of Harrisburg Baptist Church in Tupelo. He and his wife, Cherith Sheffield Loden, were parents to four young children, Maria, Dallas, Jordan and Makayla. At Harrisburg, he was an ordained Deacon, Choir Member and worked as a College and Career Sunday School teacher. Additionally, he had a passion for missions going on many mission trips and actively participating in Evangelism Explosion. He was an avid Mississippi State University sports fan and missed few MSU Bulldog Baseball games. Larry was loved, admired and respected not only by all his family members but by all who came to know him in life. He was truly a godly, Christian man who loved the Lord Jesus with all his heart.
His life celebration will be at 2 p.m. today, June 20, 2011, at Harrisburg Baptist Church in Tupelo with Bro. David Langerfeld and Bro. David Smith officiating. Burial will follow in Tupelo Memorial Park. Visitation is from 1 p.m.-service time today at the Church. Holland Funeral Directors is entrusted with arrangements.
Survivors include his wife, Cherith Sheffield Loden of Tupelo, to whom he married June 26, 1999; his four children, Maria, Dallas, Jordan and Makayla Loden, all of the home; two brothers, Aaron Loden (Diane) of Fulton and William Loden of Memphis, Tenn; a sister, Margaret Loden Spigner of Fulton; Father-in-law, Dr. Forrest Sheffield (Patsy) of Tupelo; brother in law: Nathan Sheffield (Leah) all of Tupelo; and stepsister-in-law, Jan Haas of Jackson, Tenn; step brother-in-law, Dr. Brent Bozeman of Senatobia; and his Grandmother-in-law, Faye Cook of Ada Okla.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Glen Allen Loden; his mother-in-law, Susanne Sheffield; two sisters-in-law, Susan Sheffield Loden and Kay Oswalt Loden; a brother-in-law, Glendon Spigner.
Pallbearers will be Roger Beachum, Terry Black, Bryan Tanner, Hamilton Smith, Wallace Crumby, Jim Beachum, Larry Chittom, Mike Ferris, and Dr. Bert Duncan.
Condolences may be e-mailed to
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Loden Children’s Educational Fund, c/o Renasant Bank, 209 Troy St., Tupelo, MS. 38804 or any Renasant Bank Branch.

May Wilkins
GOLDEN – May Wilkins, 92, died Saturday, June 18, 2011, at the Red Bay Hospital. She was born in Winston County, Ala. to Brady Columbus and Pearlie Ann Waldrep.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Deaton Funeral Home Chapel in Red Bay with Bro. Jonathan Wilkins officiating. Burial will be in Mt. Zion Cemetery. Deaton Funeral Home of Red Bay is in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include five children, Ronnie Wilkins of Fulton, Mary Owens (Dave) of Moulton, Ala., Sherry Rockwell (Vernon) of Golden, Ricky Richard Wilkins (Jennifer) of Collinsville, Ala. and Randy Wilkins (Ann) of Red Bay; 14 grandchildren, Jeff Wilkins, Leon Wilkins, John Wilkins, Catherine Ramirez, Jonathan Owens, Vicki Weclowski, Chris Rockwell, Rebecca McLain, Ellissa Rockwell, Christina Leath, Shelia Wilkins, Kimberly Wilkins, Angela Grace and Adam Wilkins; 29 great-grandchildren; eight great-great-grandchildren; three sisters, Louise Nyguen, Tavie Nix and Wanda Houk; and one brother, Colin Waldrep.
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Janice Wilkins; two grandchildren, Richard Rockwell and Stephen Owens; one brother, Dorsel Waldrep; and one sister, Hazel Benson.
Pallbearers will be her great-grandsons, Seth Rockwell, Tyler Weclowski, Laudrey Cody, Jacob Cody, Tyler Rockwell, Michael Ramirez, Jordan McLain, Matthew Payne and Michael Payne.
Visitation will be from 6 to 9 p.m. today and until service time Tuesday at the funeral home in Red Bay.
Mack Shell
TUPELO – Mack Shell, 46, died Friday, June 17, 2011, at North Mississippi Medical Center. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by N.L. Jones Funeral Directors.

Bill Farris
CORINTH – Bill F. Farris, 82, died Saturday, June 18, 2011, at Magnolia Regional Health Center. Mr. Farris was a member of First Baptist Church. He was a Veteran of the United States Army, serving during the Korean Conflict. Mr. Farris was a graduate of Corinth High School, Northeast Mississippi Junior College, and Florence State, now known as UNA. He received his Masters of Education from Mississippi State University. He was a high school coach and administrator at Corinth High School, New Albany High School, Columbus Lee High School and Heritage Academy. Mr. Farris coached the 1956 undefeated state championship baseball team at Corinth High School.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at McPeters Inc. Funeral Directors Chapel with Bro. Dennis Smith officiating. Visitation will be from noon until 2 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. Burial will be in Henry Cemetery. McPeters Inc. Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Julie Farris of Corinth; three sons, Kent Farris (Joye) of Booneville, Hank Farris (Vivian) of Clinton and Doug Farris (Missy) of Muscle Shoals, Ala.; and six grandchildren, Keaton, David, Katie, Hannah, Brett and Ti Farris.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry Clay and Petty Flanigan Farris; and two brothers, Vernon Farris and Kenneth “Curly” Farris.
Pallbearers will be Keaton Farris, David Farris, Brett Farris, Ti Farris, Cooper Farris and Russ Johnson.
Honorary pallbearers will be the 1955 senior football players, managers and coaches of Corinth High School.
Condolences may be made to

Catherine Brown
BLUE MOUNTAIN – Catherine Brown, 57, died Sunday, June 19, 2011, at North Mississippi Medical Center. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Serenity Funeral Home of New Albany.

Ruth Lehman
SALTILLO – Ruth Lehman died Sunday, June 19, 2011, at her home in the Natchez Trace Villas, near Saltillo. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Holland Funeral Directors.

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