Obituaries June 27, 2011

By NEMS Daily Journal

John Robin Christian
MANTACHIE – John Robin Christian, 85, died June 25, 2011, at Sunshine Nursing Home in Pontotoc, after an extended illness. He was born July 10, 1925, to Virge and Addie Christian. He grew up in Itawamba County and graduated from Itawamba Agricultural High School and was named Mr. I.A.H.S. in 1947. He served in the U.S. Navy during WWII and was a member of the American Legion Post 51.
He was a member of New Hope Baptist Church in Mantachie for more than 60 years, where he served as Adult Sunday School Teacher. He was ordained a Deacon in 1961. He served faithfully until his health declined. He retired as a rural mail carrier in 1986. In his retirement days, he was an avid Crappie fisherman and was fondly known as a “Jack of all Trades” by family members.
He lived his life to the fullest, always giving God the glory and praise for being with him until the end. He left a testimony of faithfulness to his family and to his church. His love and steadfastness to God’s word blessed the lives of all who knew him, and it will continue to impact their lives for years to come. He was faithful to God, and he was a faithful husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Izette Christian of Mantachie; a son, Don Christian and his wife, Pat of Tupelo; a daughter, Glenda Hill and her husband, Danny of Batesville; five grandchildren, Tracy Holland and her husband, Eric of Fulton, Stacy Credille and her husband, Randy of Belmont, Sonya Kisner and her husband, Clay of Oxford, Carrie Bruce and her husband, Casey of Shannon and Justin Hill and his wife, Tawanna of Batesville; nine great-grandchildren; two sisters, Vona Curlis of Fort Meyer’s Beach, Fla. and Deanna Hiatt of Belevidere, Ill.; and a number of nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Jimmy Christian; a sister, Bertie Mae Smith; and a great-grandson, Christian Keith Credille.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 28, 2011, at the McNeece-Morris Funeral Home Chapel in Mantachie with Bro. Castor Buse, Bro. Loyd Minor and Bro. Scott Johnson officiating. Burial will be in Walton Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be David Clayton, Art Corward, Johnny Easterling, Johnny Harmon, Matthew Rock and Cary Simmons.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today, June 27, 2011, at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to New Hope Baptist Church, 591 New Hope Church Rd., Mantachie, MS 38855 or to The Walton Cemetery Fund, c/o William Tee Moord, 3805 Walton Cemetery Rd., Mantachie, MS 38855.

Johnnie Bray
OKOLONA – Johnnie Bray, 77, died suddenly Thursday, June 23, 2011 at Golden Living Center in Amory. She was born December 20, 1933 in Kennedy, AL to Raymond Allen and Addine Hankins Stevens. She lived in Okolona for 10 years before moving to Houston in 2003. Johnnie was a member of Okolona Christian Church of Okolona. She was the owner/operator of Johnnies beauty shop in Alvin, Texas. She enjoyed needlepoint, drinking coffee, watching Westerns and collecting dishes and ceramic birds.
Services are 3 PM Monday, June 27, 2011 at Holland Funeral Directors, Okolona Chapel with Rev. Kevin Crestman officiating. Burial will follow in Lee Memorial Park.
She is survived by her daughter; Cathy King (Kim) of Canton, Michigan, god daughter; Leigh Ann Graves of Okolona, three brothers; Earl Stevens (Lazette) of Amory, Fred Stevens (Childa) of Okolona and Mark Stevens (Sharon) of Houston, MS, a sister in law; Jeanette Stevens of Vanvleet, a brother in law; Gary Reed of Fulton, two aunts; Eloise Parker of Okolona and Margie Owings of Demopolis, AL, an uncle; Charles Hankins and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents, two sons, Jeffrey Bray and Steven Bray, a brother, Harold Stevens and 2 sisters, Betty Reed and Mary Beth McCharen.
Pallbearers are Dean Stevens, Ashley Stevens, Andy Stevens, John Taylor Stevens, Bryan Bray, Paul Thomas, Walter Henry and Dennis Dunn. Honorary pallbearer is Payne Graves. 
Memorials May be made to Okolona Christian Church c/o Barbara Homan, 112 North Gatlin Street, Okolona, MS 38860.
Condolences may be emailed to

Buddy Ramage
TUPELO – Martis Donald “Buddy” Ramage, Sr., 78, died Saturday, June 25, 2011 at the North Miss. Medical Center in Tupelo after an extended illness. Buddy was born in the Eureka Community east of Nettleton, Miss. On December 8, l932 to Thomas Henderson Ramage and Florence Westmoreland Ramage. He graduated from Nettleton High School in l951 where he was a standout athelete. After a stint in the U.S. Army with service during the Korean War and honorably discharging as a Corporal, he later attended Itawamba Community College and received his Bachelors Degree in Education from Mississippi State University in l957 and his Masters Degree in Counseling from MSU in l961. Mr. Ramage spent over 44 years as a teacher and administrator in the public school systems of Mississippi. His first teaching job was at Okolona High School where he taught math. He taught at his alma mater, Nettleton High School where he taught science, math and social studies and coached football and basketball including being named Coach of the Year in the former Tombigbee Conference in l963. In l964, he was named principal of Nettleton Elementary School. In l971, he became affiliated with the Lee County Schools, had a 3 year stint working with blind students at Itawamba Community College and retired from the Lee County Schools as an Administrator and Director of Federal Programs on December 31, 1995. In retirement, Buddy continued to be active in Church and community affairs. He was past president of the Northeast MS Kidney Foundation, Past President of the Lee County Teachers Association and served many years as a Board Member of Tombigbee Electric Power Association. He was a lifetime member of the First Christian Church of Nettleton but long affiliated with the First Christian Church of Tupelo. He was a 32 degree Scottish Rite Mason affiliated with Nettleton Lodge #454. Buddy enjoyed life, his many friends and was devoted to his family. He loved the political arena, was a devoted Mississippian and a patriotic American. Despite receiving a degree from his beloved Mississippi State University, he had a lifetime affinity with the coaches at Ole Miss and was a loyal Rebel sports fan. His contributions to the field of education are legendary and will long be remembered.
A celebration of his life will be at 3 PM Today (Mon. June 27, 2011) at the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors with Rev. Ray Morton officiating. Rep. Steve Holland will deliver the eulogy. A military salute will follow with private entombment in the Chapel of Faith Mausoleum at Lee Memorial Park. Visitation will be from 2 PM-service time today.
Holland Funeral Directors is entrusted with arrangements. 
Survivors include his wife of 56 years , Helen Estes Ramage, to whom he married Oct. 1, l954 .a son, Martis D. “Marty” Ramage, Jr. of Tupelo. A brother, Dr. James Wesley Ramage (Nette) of Northport, Al. A sister in law: Doris Dismuke Ramage of Tupelo. A brother in law: Bobby Estes (Janie) of Tupelo. Nieces and nephews: Gyl Estes, Deborah Ramage Palmer, Angi Ramage, Jimmy Ramage, Randy Ramage, Beth Ramage Snider, Debbie Estes Wiggins and Linda Estes Williams; His caregivers, Jan Holt and Shelia Roden; a host of friends.  He was predeceased by his parents, brothers, Thomas Ottis Ramage and Charles Bruce Ramage. A brother in law: James Holder “Pete” Estes (Mary, deceased).
Pallbearers will be Carroll Pettigrew, Glyn Hester, Mike Scott, Randy Ramage, Brad Riley, Chris Riley, James Allen Malone, Darrell Rankin, Jimmy Ramage and Kyle Ramage. Honorary pallbearers will be Bobby Griffin, Doyle Ray, Adrian Thompson, George Putnam and Jerry McKee.
Memorials may be made to the First Christian Church, 1590 McCullough Blvd., Tupelo, MS. 38801 or Itawamba Community College, 602 Hill Drive, Fulton, MS. 38843. Condolences may be e mailed to

Billie Henry Fowlkes
AMORY – Billie Henry Fowlkes, 91, known as “Daddy Bill” to family and friends, was born October 14, 1919, in the Becker Community of Monroe County, Mississippi, the tenth of eleven children of the late John Thomas and Maggie Lou Templeton Fowlkes and the grandchild of the late Richard Henry and Sarah Jane Chism Fowlkes. He was the family’s last surviving member of his generation. His early interest and documentation of his family genealogy greatly assisted later family researchers. 
He graduated from Becker High School and then from Mississippi State University in 1941 with a degree in horticulture. A lifelong supporter of Mississippi State, Mr. Fowlkes was honored in 2005 by the renaming of the auditorium of The Colvard Student Union to “Fowlkes Auditorium.”
With the outbreak of World War II, Mr. Fowlkes, in January of 1942, was sent to The US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. and then to the USS Prairie State in New York, N.Y., where he completed the V-7 officer training program. His first assignment was the minesweeper USS Chenango, patrolling the New York harbor. Mr. Fowlkes was soon promoted to command the transport ship USS APC-14, and for the duration of the war, served in the South Pacific, where his primary duty was training and delivering, under cover of darkness, forward reconnaissance personnel to Japanese occupied islands. After the war, he was reassigned to the USS Prairie State as an instructor. Many Mississippians have heard Mr. Fowlkes’ first hand accounts of his World War II experiences during his talks to schools, civic clubs, and historical groups.
On November 25, 1944, Mr. Fowlkes married Natalie Addison Traxler at her parent’s home in McComb, Miss. After their wedding, they returned to New York, where he continued serving as an instructor on the USS Prairie State. His wife preceded him in death in 1996, after 51 years of marriage.
Mr. Fowlkes returned to Mississippi in 1946, serving briefly as the groundskeeper for Mississippi State College for Women in Columbus. Soon, he was called back to Monroe County where he became the second Executive Director of the Amory Chamber of Commerce. In 1947, Mr. Fowlkes and his brother, Tom bought the Pan Am (now BP) gasoline distribution business for the area, which he ran until his retirement in 2006, after 58 years and 1 day on the job. Well known as a businessman, Mr. Fowlkes through the years owned or was partner in Tupelo Farm Equipment, City Tire of Tupelo, and Fowlkes Ford of Amory.
Mr. Fowlkes served on the Tombigbee Valley Water Management District from 1965-1976, being Chairman from 1973-1976, where his work in Washington with the Mississippi Congressional Delegation was instrumental in the approval and construction of the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway.
For more than 30 years, Mr. Fowlkes served as Monroe County’s Juvenile Referee, where he guided many of the area’s youth to becoming productive citizens. Additionally, he served as a mentor for many of the leaders in the area, including US Senator Roger Wicker, MS Senator Hob Bryan, and Former Mayor Larry Otis of Tupelo.
For his untiring community service, Mr. Fowlkes was honored in 2006 by the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce as Community Service Citizen of the Year and was Amory’s Citizen of the Year in 1995.
Mr. Fowlkes was inducted as a member of the Amory Rotary Club in 1941. He served as Rotary International District Governor in 1992-1993 and was honored as a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow. During his Rotary service, Mr. Fowlkes developed lasting friendships that continue to this day with other District Governors, John Bennett and Dean Wingo.
Additionally, Mr. Fowlkes was a member of the J.A. Mayfield Lodge of the Masons and the Amory Chapter of the Eastern Star and was inducted as a Knight of the York Cross of Honor in 2000. A Master Mason, Mr. Fowlkes, having served as Master of J.A. Mayfield #165 Lodge and head of all the York Rite bodies, held the highest degree in York Rite Masonry, the KYCH degree. He attained distinction in the craft only achieved by exemplary Masons. He additionally served as Worthy Patron of Amory Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star.
In 2009, he was initiated into the Beta Tau Chapter of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity at Mississippi State University, where his grandson Brad Garrison, also a Fraternity member, performed the initiation ceremony.
A long time member of the First Baptist Church of Amory, he served as a Deacon, Sunday School Director, and Building Committee Chairman, being successful in the construction of a new Sanctuary, Activities Building, and ABC Building during his tenure.
Survivors include three daughters, Peggy Holmes of Amory, Betty Sue Garrison (Jim) of Easley, S.C., and Patsy Fowlkes (Steve Brandon) of Chattanooga, Tenn.; five grandchildren and step-grandchildren, Brad Garrison (Lindsay) of Madison, Wis., Hank Holmes (Britton) of Huntsville, Ala., Brian Garrison of Cincinnati, Ohio, Warren Brandon (Kelly) of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Amy Waggoner (Neal) of Little Rock, Ark.; and three great-granddaughters, Ella and Emory Brandon of Chattanooga, Tenn. and Kate Waggoner of Little Rock, Ark; plus friend, John Hussey (Kay) of Corinth, Miss.; and caregivers, Diane Hicks and Faye Smith.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 28, at First Baptist Church. A Graveside Service, with Masonic Rites, will follow in Masonic Cemetery. 
Pallbearers will be Brian Reed, Larry Coggin, John Hussey, Dick and David Millender, Sam Gibson, Carter Dobbs Jr., Steve Stockton, Gene Haney, J.B. Markham, Senator Hob Bryan, Hobdy Bryan and Larry Goudelock. 
Honorary pallbearers will be the Rotary Club of Amory 3836, District 6800, former employees of Fowlkes and Fowlkes and the Monroe County Youth Court Staff.
Memorials may be given to Sanctuary Hospice House, P.O. Box 2177, Tupelo, MS 38803, Bill Monaghan Ministries, 404 4th St. S., Amory, MS 38821, or Greenbrier Cemetery, Inc., c/o Mrs. Gloria Herring, 50187 South Harmony Rd., Amory, MS 38821.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at

Louise Hardy Diggs
TUPELO – Louise Hardy Diggs, 86, left her earthly home on Saturday, June 25, 2011 while residing at Golden Living Retirement Center in Tupelo.    Mrs. Diggs was born in Prentiss Co., Baldwyn to the late Troy Hardy and Lillie Mae Melton Hardy.  She lived most all her adult life in Lee County where she was employed for years as a seamstress with Blue Bell Manufacturing Co. and retired with Delta/Rockwell Manufacturing.  She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Shannon.  Mrs. Diggs loved her family and her grandchildren who affectionately knew her as Mamaw.  She enjoyed sewing and made many of her children’s clothes, needlework, crocheting, quilting and working jigsaw puzzles. 
Services will be at 11 AM Today at the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors with Bro. Robert Allen officiating. Private family burial will follow in Lee Memorial Park. Visitation will be from 10 am – service time today at the Tupelo Chapel.
Holland Funeral Directors is entrusted with all arrangements.
Survivors include her three children: Brenda Kyle (Jerry) of Shannon, Joe Diggs (Charlotte) of Plantersville and Mitchell Diggs (Tammy) of Oxford. Her grandchildren: Tonya Carter, Brian Swindol, Bill Diggs, Carter Diggs, Michelle Weeks and Melinda Ownby. 8 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild. 2 brothers:  Bill Hardy of Baldwyn and James Hardy of Tupelo. A sister: Edith Carlock of Guntown. She was preceded in death by her husbands: Banks Diggs who died in l972 and Duel Turner who died in 2005; a brother, Ellis Hardy in 2009; and a grandson: Carey Kyle in 2000. 
Memorials may be made to Community Hospice at Darlington Oaks. P.O. Box  333, Sherman, MS. 38856.

Clifton Mitchell
IUKA – Clifton Allen Mitchell, 63, died Friday, June 24, 2011, at his home. Born May 10, 1948, he was educated at Easom High School and Jackson State University. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, earning a National Defense Service Medal, a Vietnam Service Medal and a Vietnam Campaign Medal. He was a member of First Missionary Baptist Church.
Services will be at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Jones Chapel CME Church in Iuka with the Rev. Anita Keith officiating. Burial will be in Corinth National Cemetery. Grayson Funeral Services is in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include two sisters, Lena Mitchell and Elizabeth May, both of Iuka; and one brother, Earl Mitchell Sr.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jordan Mitchell Sr. and Elizabeth Mitchell; five brothers, Jordan Mitchell Jr., Will M. Mitchell, Osborne Mitchell Sr., Mose W. Mitchell and Richard H. Mitchell; and two sisters, Blanche Mitchell and Frankye Mitchell.
Visitation will be one hour prior to services Tuesday at the church.

In Friday’s (June 24, 2011) obituary edition, Annie Turner’s father was listed as William Dykes. He was not her father.

Mary Gullick
NEW ALBANY – Mary Ann Gullick, 65, died Saturday, June 25, 2011, at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. Mary Ann Gullick was born on Sept. 10, 1945, in Union County, the daughter of Thomas Nathaniel and Etta Virginia Bedford. She was a life long resident of Union County, the widow of Elton Gullick and a member of Neely Baptist Church. Mrs. Gullick was retired from Irwin B. Schwabe shirt factory, and she had worked as a C.N.A. at Graceland Care Center. Her passion was giving care to others and bestowing her love on her family.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Glenfield Funeral Home with Bro. Jason Howell officiating. Burial will be in Wilkins Cemetery. Glenfield Funeral Home of New Albany is in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include two daughters, Cathy Kidd “Steve” of New Albany and Lottie Robinson “Rick” of Savannah, Tenn.; two sons, Tim Gullick “Sonia” and James Gullick “Joann,” both of Myrtle; 10 grandchildren, Brandi Cooper “Kevin,” April Pannell, Brandon Pannell, Steven Gullick, Timbo Gullick, Katelin Wright, Kelsey Wright, Peyton Robinson, Frankie Robinson and Chelsea Robinson; and four great-grandchildren, Eli Pannell, Kaegan Pannell, Reed Cooper and JonCollier Kidd.
Honorary pallbearers will be her grandsons.
Visitation will be from 5 to 9 p.m. today at the funeral home.

Millie Miller
HAMILTON – Millie Miller, 85, died Sunday, June 26, 2011, at the Aberdeen Care Center. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Tisdale-Lann Memorial Funeral Home in Aberdeen.

Kenneth Chilcoat
FULTON – Kenneth Chilcoat, 73, died Sunday, June 26, 2011, at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Senter Funeral Home.

Annie Bell Hadley
BELDEN – Annie Bell Fears Hadley died Sunday, June 26, 2011, at Sanctuary Hospice House. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by N.L. Jones Funeral Directors.
April South
FULTON – April Craig South, 35, died suddenly Saturday, June 25, 2011, at her home. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by McNeece-Morris Funeral Home of Fulton.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a fund that will be established in her honor.

Leonila Pardo
PONTOTOC – Leonila Pardo, 80, died June 23, 2011, at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Tutor Memorial Funeral Home of Pontotoc.
Visitation will be from 6 to 10 p.m. today at the funeral home in Pontotoc.

Steve Barnes
TUPELO – Steve Barnes, 50, died Sunday, June 26, 2011, at North Mississippi Medical Center after a brief illness. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Waters Funeral Home.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home.

Fred Hargrove
WEST POINT – Fred E. Hargrove, 60, died Saturday, June 25, 2011, at his home in West Point. Fred Eugene Hargrove was born April 21, 1951, in Memphis, Tenn. to Lois Elizabeth Carpenter Hargrove and Andrew Harold Hargrove. Fred was a Lumber Inspector for Seitz Lumber Company for 14 years and also a truck driver.
Mr. Hargrove was a member of First Baptist Church and a Veteran of the U.S. Army, having served during the Vietnam War. He was a loving family man. Fred Eugene Hargrove married Deborah Kesler Hargrove on June 26, 1976, in Abbeville.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Calvert Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Dale Funderburg officiating and the Rev. Roy Myers assisting. Burial will be in Memorial Garden Cemetery of West Point. Calvert Funeral Home of West Point is in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include his wife, Debbie Hargrove; two sons, Jason E. Hargrove and Jimmy Hargrove (Valerie); two grandchildren, Tristen Hargrove and Eason Hargrove; his mother, Lois Hargrove, all of West Point; and one brother, Bob Hargrove (Betty) of Huntsville, Ala.
Pallbearers will be Ed McDonald, John Pepper, Randy Irby, James Flippen, George Pearson and Walter Strankman.
Honorary pallbearers will be Tommy Allen, Robert Holt, Gilbert Sanders, Jimmy Cissom and the Robert Smith Sunday School Class at First Baptist Church.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 794, West Point, MS 39773.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home.
Friends may leave a memory message at

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