Obituaries March 16, 2011

By NEMS Daily Journal

Alice Stafford
SMITHVILLE – Alice Gray Knight Stafford, 78, departed to her new eternal home on March 14, 2011, from River Place, Amory. Born on Jan. 21, 1933, in Detroit, Ala., to the late Arnie and Susie Knight, she was one of eight children.
Mrs. Stafford graduated from Smithville High School, Class of 1951, and married Quinton Stafford on Dec. 20, 1952. She worked in the garment industry in Amory and Smithville, drove a school bus, drove the lumber truck for their sawmill business, and completed her working years at Hoods Cleaners, where she did alterations. Mrs. Stafford taught junior class Sunday school for many years at Pearce Chapel Free Will Baptist Church and the young adult Sunday school class at Smithville First Free Will Baptist Church. She also served as president of the Women’s Auxiliary at Smithville First Free Will Baptist Church. In her younger years, Mrs. Stafford was active in the Oak Hill RCDC and held offices in that community club. She was a member of Cross Bound Church, Smithville. She enjoyed listening to Gospel music and reading her Bible. Mrs. Stafford was an avid Lakers NBA fan and defended them to the end of the 54 seasons she was able to cheer for them. She loved her family and will be missed until we can join her.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband; two grandchildren, Angie Renee Stafford and Jessie Cole Stafford; four brothers, R.L., Lloyd “Dick,” E.T. and Dudley Knight; and a sister, Shirley Wood.
She is survived by three children, Patsy (Mike) Shannon, Smithville, Debbie (Andy) Wilson, Amory and Glenn (Donna) Stafford, Corinth; seven grandchildren, April (Richard) McAfee, Smithville, Amanda (Dale) Braddock, Amory, Will (Mitzi) Frederick, Amory, Sarah (Josh) Hatcher, Hatley, Elise (Spencer) Brock, Smithville, and Willie Stafford and Tyler Stafford, Smithville; 11 great-grandchildren, Harley, Daniel, Anna, Taylor, Jaiden, Avery, William Andrew, Lonna, Carter, Ally and Matthew; sisters, Clara Mae King and Dottie Sue Bennett, Amory; and many nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at E.E. Pickle Funeral Home, Smithville with Bro. Scott Nicholson and Tony Wood officiating. Burial will follow in Pearce Chapel Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be John Clingan, Richard Allred, Billy Taylor, Burl Hicks, Mitchell and Matthew Allred and Greg Williams.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home in Smithville.
Memorials may be given to American Cancer Society, c/o Beth May, P.O. Box 269, Amory, MS 38821, Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi, 800 Avery Blvd., Ste. 100, Ridgeland, MS 39157, and the Arthritis Foundation, P.O. Box 96280, Washington, DC 20077-7491.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.eepicklefuneralhome.com.

Jimmy P. Roberts
ZION, Ill. – Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jimmy P. Roberts, formerly of Las Vegas, Nev., passed away Wednesday, March 2, 2011. He was born March 1, 1941, in Amory to Marcelle Roberts and Connie Sigmund Roberts. J.P. was a graduate of the University of Mississippi and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1963. He was stationed at Nellis AFB where he raised his family. He served in Vietnam as an F-4 and F-15 fighter pilot and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross among his commendations. He retired in Las Vegas after 20 years of distinguished service having earned the rank of Lt. Colonel.
Jimmy enjoyed traveling, skiing, flying, photography, boating and his dogs. He was an active skier and skied in Europe, South America and New Zealand. He was an active member of the Las Vegas Ski Club and served on the board of directors. When asked what “JP” meant, he said, “Just Perfect.”
He is survived by his son, Jay Roberts of Amory; grandchildren, Skye Garrison of Las Vegas, Jasmine Roberts of Amory and Mason Roberts of Las Vegas; and his devoted cousin and guardian, Michael G. Kennedy and his wife, Marilyn; and trusted friend, Craig Caples of Las Vegas.
He was preceded in death by his parents and son, Jeffrey, and companion, Angela Thomason.
The family would like to gratefully acknowledge those special ones at the Sheridan Healthcare who cared for and about Jimmy. We would also like to thank STAR Hospice for their loving care and Chaplain Davis for his spiritual support and prayers.
A military service was held on Saturday, March 12, 2011, at 11a.m. in the chapel at Mt. Olivet Memorial Park, where he will rest. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lovell FHCC (VA-North Chicago), Community Affairs, 3001 Greenbay Rd, North Chicago, IL 60064 – please note donation in memory of Lt. Col. J.P. Roberts, USAF (Ret.), or STAR Hospice, 2645 Washington St, Suite 240, Waukegan, IL 60085.
Please sign the online guest book at www.congdonfuneralhome.com.

Joseph Stevens Jr.
WEST POINT – Joseph Joshua “Josh” Stevens Jr., 71, died Monday, March 14, 2011. He was born March 13, 1940, in Mobile, Ala., to the late Joseph J. and Anna Mae “Bootsie” Smith Stevens. He grew up in Macon. He attended Mississippi State University and Millsaps College, graduating in 1962. After earning his juris doctor from the University of Mississippi in 1966, he moved to West Point to practice law with the late Thomas M. Tubb. He served as city attorney for West Point and as president of the Clay County Bar Association. He was past president and a life member of the West Point Rotary Club and a longtime board member of the Clay County Educational Foundation. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the First United Methodist Church in West Point with the Rev. Jeff Shannon officiating. Graveside services will follow at Oddfellow’s Cemetery in Macon. Robinson Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
He is survived by his wife, Lenora Dulin Stevens; his sister, Sylvia Stevens McEachin (John) of Meridian; his children, Joseph Joshua Stevens III (Kristen) of West Point, Thomas Rogers Stevens (Joanna) of Swarthmore, Pa., James Michael Stevens (Sara) of Austin, Texas, Carolyn Stevens Rogers (Chandler) of New Albany, Simon Eli Lasky (Jennifer) of Oxford and Celia Clair Lasky of West Point; grandchildren, Anne Carlsson Stevens, Joseph Joshua Stevens IV, John Willis Stevens, Catherine Reese Neely, William Floyd Neely V, Scarlett Knight Stevens, Audrey Bettina Stevens, Wyatt Everly Stevens; and a number of nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers are Jimmy Bryan, Larry Cooper, Robert Harrell, Willie Johnson, E.C. Jones and Bill Lantz.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Oak Hill Academy or First United Methodist Church of West Point.
Ricky Smith
TROY – James Richard amp”Rickyamp” Smith, 41, died Saturday, March 12, 2011, at his residence in Troy. He was born Sept. 20, 1969, in Pontotoc County. He worked for Babcock amp& Wilcox in West Point for 22 plus years. He was a member of Troy First Baptist Church. He was a member of the Boiler Makers Union Local 903, where he served as a union safety representative. An avid sportsman, he helped coach Upwards basketball, T-ball, and girls softball. He was a member of the Cane Creek Hunting Club and Fox Hunter Association.
Services will be at 11 a.m. today at Memorial Funeral Home Chapel in Houston with Bro. Greg Herndon, Bro. Scott Griffin and Bro. Earl Barron officiating. Burial will be in Eddington Cemetery in Troy. Memorial Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
He is survived by his wife, Christie Jo Colbert Smith of Troy; his two daughters, Jacie Claire Smith and Addison Bailee Smith of Troy; his parents, James David “Jimmy” Smith (Jamie) of Houston and Betty Gail Pettit Smith of Houlka; one brother, David “Bo” Smith (Tabatha) of Mantee; two sisters, Connie Michelle Trammell and Hillary Dawn Cockell (Christopher), both of Houston; his grandparents, Raymond and Marie Pettit of Houlka; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Joe and Patricia Colbert of Tupelo; his grandmother-in-law, Lexie Warren of Troy; a brother-in-law, Chad Colbert (Suzanne) of Brandon; his nieces and nephews, Jordan and Sara Grace Colbert, Hunter Smith and Tyler Kilcrease; several aunts and uncles.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, James “Pop” Smith and “Granny” Mayette Neal Smith.
Pallbearers will be Daryl Love, Daryl Neal, Brad Butler, Earl Smith, Brad Andrews and Joey Wright.
Honorary pallbearers will be the Fox Hunters of Mississippi.
In lieu of flowers, donations will be made to Ricky Smith Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 789 Tupelo, MS 38802.
For online condolences visit www.memorialfuneralhomehouston.com.
Josephine Midkiff
IUKA – Josephine Mae Midkiff died Thursday, March 10, 2011, at the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo after a long illness. She was born March 30, 1933, in Chicago to Laura Cook and Harry (Holly) Midkiff. After graduating from high school, she enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving 20 years in various locations. After retiring from the Navy, she worked for the Currency Exchange in Chicago until moving to Iuka in the mid 1990s to be near family members. A lifelong Episcopalian, she was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Corinth, where she was known as “Miss Jo” by children of the parish. Having grown up in an orphanage she was especially mindful of the needs of children, supporting the children’s Sunday school and providing treats, birthday gifts and financial assistance for college educations. She will be missed by all who knew her.
A memorial Celebration of Life service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Corinth. Interment will be in the church’s Columbarium. A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall. Ludlam Funeral Home of Iuka is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include her sister, Judy Goodman; foster sisters, Mary Clark, Susan Neely and Linda Lenz; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her sisters, Dorothy Slabis, Margaret Zeritis and Mary Helen Morehead; and a brother, John Henry Midkiff.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Corinth.
Jeff Parker
PLANTERSVILLE – Jeff Wayne Parker, 73, died Monday, March 14, 2011, at Baldwyn Nursing Facility after an extended illness. A Lee County native, he was born Aug. 30, 1937, to John Turner and Emma Trevette Rogers Parker. He worked as a roofer for many years. He was a member of the Plantersville Baptist Church and attended Priceville Baptist Church. He enjoyed gardening.
Services will be 1 p.m. Thursday at The Jefferson Street Chapel of W.E. Pegues with Rev. Tim Tutor officiating. Burial will be in Plantersville Cemetery.
Survivors include his wife, Karen Parker of Guntown; his sons, Ray Parker of Tupelo and Josh Parker of Plantersville; his daughter, Kasey Parker of Tupelo; two sisters, Jane White of Tupelo and Margie Martin (Kenneth) of Corinth; a sister-in-law, Doris Parker of Plantersville; his aunt, Robbie Oglesby of Greenville; and four grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and his sons, Jett Parker and Ricky Parker; and two brothers, Bobby and Johnny Parker.
Pallbearers will be David Parker, Matt Parker, Chris Cole, David Breaux, Kevin Mitchell and David Handley.
Honorary pallbearers will be Donnie Richey, Oneal Bailey, Jeff Blanks, Steve Parker, Jack Wuichett, Carl Brandenburg and Harvey Byars.
Visitation will be 5 to 9 p.m. today at the funeral home.
Expressions of sympathy may be left at www.peguesfuneralhome.com.
Dwayne Ewing
COUNCE, Tenn. – Dwayne O. “J.R.” Ewing, 68, died Saturday, March 12, 2011, at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Desoto.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at Cutshall Funeral Home Chapel in Iuka.
An online guestbook can be accessed at www.cutshallfuneralhome.com.
Mary E. Bailey
HOLLY SPRINGS – Mary Ellen Bailey, 99, died Thursday, March 3, 2011, at Trinity Mission Health and Rehab in Holly Springs.
A family service was held on Monday, March 7, at Memorial Park Funeral Home in Memphis.
Survivors include two daughters, Gay Bailey of Water Valley and Fredia Wright (Ronny) of New Albany; three sons, James Bailey (Ruth) of Walnut, Gerald Bailey (Nancy) of Water Valley and Don Bailey of Horn Lake; 12 grandchildren and a host of great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, John F. Bailey; two daughters, Marjorie Sellers and Loyce Stewart; one son, Harold L. Bailey; and three grandchildren, Vickie Sellers, Ken Bailey and James Stewart.
Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society.
Lula B. Johnson
BALDWYN – Lula B. Johnson, 82, died Monday, March 14, 2011, at her daughter’s residence in Baldwyn after an extended illness. She was a homemaker and a member of Camp Creek Baptist Church. She enjoyed spending time with her family.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Waters Funeral Home with Bro. Martin Jacks officiating. Burial will be in the Camp Creek Cemetery.
Survivors include one daughter, Cheryl Nelson (Tom) of Baldwyn; four sons, Quinton Johnson Jr. (Dottie) of West Monroe, La., Larry Johnson (Linda) of Monroe, La., Johnny Johnson (Carol) of Monroe, La., and Mike Johnson (Joan) of Mt. Carmel, Tenn.; one sister, Jean Stanley of Fredericksburg, Va.; 10 grandchildren, Quinton Johnson III, Matthew Johnson, Mark Johnson, Tonya Johnson, Rob Heard Johnson, Jason Johnson, Nathan Johnson, Gregory Johnson, Amanda McMahon and Callie Nelson; and 13 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Quinton Johnson Sr.; her parents, Lucian and Fannie Bryant; two sisters: Mae Rodgers and Sally Martin; and a special niece, Honey Lengel.
Grandsons will serve as pallbearers.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today at Waters Funeral Home in Baldwyn.
Mary O. Anderson
PONTOTOC – Mary O. Anderson, 75, of Furrs community, died Monday, March 14, 2011. at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. She was born Jan. 7, 1936, in Union County to P.D. Baughman and Kattie Mask Baughman. She lived her life in the Pontotoc County area as a dedicated homemaker. She was a member of Furrs Baptist Church.
Services will be at 2 p.m. today at Baldwin-Nowell Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Ben Raper officiating. Burial will follow in Furrs Cemetery.
Survivors include one brother, James L. Baughman of Tupelo; two sisters, Verna Blissard of Houston and Sadie Wages of Tupelo; a host of nieces and nephews; a special nephew, Dwight Wages and special niece and caregiver, Cherry Wages.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, John Charles Anderson; one daughter, Janie L. Anderson Seymore; two brothers, B.A. (Buddy) Baughman and H.E. (Elvis) Baughman; one sister, Lillie Mae Baughman Reeves; and two half sisters, Ludale Strewart and Lavale Bullard.
Pallbearers will be Jeffrey Wages, David Reeves, Brian Baughman, Jerel Baughman, Dwayne Baughman and Eugene Dill. Honorary pallbearers will be Jerry Baughman, Dwight Wages and Dean Wages.
John Tharp Jr.
VARDAMAN – John Wesley Tharp Jr. 37, died Monday, March 14, 2011, at The Med in Memphis. He was born May 11, 1973, in Vardaman to John Tharp Sr. and Florence Harris Tharp. He was an installer for Direct TV and a member of the Army National Guard.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at Fellowship Baptist Church in Houston with Rev. Bobby Brock officiating. Burial with military honors will follow at Enon Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery in Houston. Houston Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include his wife, Connie Bannister Tharp of Vardaman; his son, Chance L. Reed Tharp of Vardaman; his mother, Florence Tharp of Houston; his mother-in-law, Janice Black Watson and Charles Watson of Pontotoc; his father-in-law, Ricky Bannister of Pontotoc; his sisters, Linda Brassfield and Carolyn Urbina, both of Houston; his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Christy and Jason Jaggers, Jason Bannister, Melanie and Steve Young, Elvin Urbina, Justin Bannister Brandy Black, and Charlie and Crystal Watson; his nephews and nieces, Hunter Young, Brody Young, Tiffany Brassfield, Wesley Brassfield, Ashtine Bannister, Nathaniel Bannister, J.T. Tharp Jr., Jasmine Tharp, Andrenna Tharp, Candidad Urbina, Danyelle Black, Peyton Black, Nate Watson and Madison Watson.
He was preceded in death by his father, John Tharp Sr.; his brother, Justin Tharp Sr.; and his stepfather-in-law, Junior L. Black.
Pallbearers are Ricky Harris, Randy Harris, Stephen Harris, J.J. Pendergraph, Chris Pendergraph and Elvin Urbina. Honorary pallbearers will be Cory Gill, Matthew Sullivan and Nicholaus Earp.
Visitation will be from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. today at the funeral home. The body will lie in state at the church one hour prior to service time Thursday.
Friends and family may leave a message on the online register book at houstonfuneralhomems.com.
Cora Deavens
ABERDEEN – Cora Huggins Deavens, 68, died Thursday, March 10, 2011, at the Tender Loving Personal Home in West Point. She was born Feb. 2, 1943, in the Egypt community. She was a 1962 graduate of Fannie Carter High School and a former employee of Indian Creek and Bryan Foods. She was a member of New Hebron M.B. Church and a former member of Zion Spring M.B. Church. She will be remembered most for her kind nature.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at New Hebron M.B. Church. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Williams Memorial of Okolona is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include three daughters, Prinn L. Deavens of Durham, N.C., Nicole Deavens Massey (Myron) of Mobile, Ala., and Regina Deavens of Tallahassee, Fla.; two sisters, Maggie McGaughy of St. Louis, Mo., and Ora Lee Paine of Knoxville, Tenn.; two brothers, Henry Lee Huggins (Nannie) of Okolona and Arzell Huggins (Mable) of West Point.
Visitation will be from 3 to 6 p.m. today at the funeral home and from 1 p.m. to service time Thursday at the church.
Fred Beckett
BRUCE – Frederick E. “Fred” Beckett, 84, died Tuesday, March 15, 2011, at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford. He was born Aug. 14, 1926, in Bruce. He received his master’s degree and his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. He was a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was a retired professor at California Poly-Los Angeles Tech. He attended the First Baptist Church in Bruce. He was a member of the Rotary Club.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Parker Memorial Funeral Home Chapel in Bruce with Dr. Daniel Hathorne officiating. Burial will be in Bruce Cemetery.
Survivors include his wife, Carolyn Causey Beckett of Davis, Calif.; one son, Dr. James Burgess (Ingrid) Beckett of Davis, Calif.; four brothers, Bro. James W. (Sport) Beckett of Bruce, Rev. Billy Joe (Dot) Beckett of Columbus, Bro. Dwayne (Doris) Beckett of Auburn, Ala., and Bro. T.A. (Shirley) Beckett of Bruce; and one sister, Jean Willis of Grenada.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas A. Beckett and Vallie Agness Burgess Beckett; an infant son; and Walter Lewis Beckett.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.
Curley Lee Strong
ABERDEEN – Curley Lee Strong, 83, died Tuesday, March 8, 2011, in Aberdeen.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at Belle Memorial Funeral Home Chapel in Aberdeen. Burial will be in Odd Fellows Rest Cemetery in Aberdeen.
Visitation will be from 3 to 5 p.m. today at the funeral home.
To sign the online registry, visit www.bellememorialfuneralhome.com.
Thomas Richardson
IUKA – Thomas E. Richardson, 74, died Monday, March 14, 2011, at the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Cutshall Funeral Home Chapel in Iuka. Burial will be in Oak Grove Cemetery.
An online guestbook can be accessed at www.cutshallfuneralhome.com.
Willie Lee Coleman
TUPELO – Willie Lee Coleman, 84, died Tuesday, March 15, 2011, at the North Mississippi Medical Center. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Grayson-Porter’s Mortuary.