Obituaries May 12, 2010

By NEMS Daily Journal

Herschel Cranford Jr.
BATESVILLE – Herschel Marion Cranford Jr., 62, died Thursday, May 6, 2010, in Batesville.
A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Friday in the Chapel of Waller Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Friday at Waller Funeral Home.
To leave an online condolence, visit the website at
Marvin A. Prather
RIPLEY – Marvin A. Prather, 56, died Monday, May 10, 2010, at the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. He was born May 25, 1953, in Tippah County to Arnie Lee and Annie Mildred Prather. He was a member of Berea M.B. Church, where he was a former assistant superintendent, youth Sunday School teacher and choir member. He was employed at Blue Bell Inc., Benchcraft and Blue Mountain Production until becoming disabled. He was an avid car detailer who enjoyed his work.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Friday at Foster & Son Funeral Home Chapel in Ripley. Dr. Willie Ray Hill Sr. will officiate. Burial will be in White Oak Cemetery in Ripley.
Survivors include his wife, Inethey; three daughters, Phoenix Prather, Jasmine Prather and Jennifer (Antwon) Guyton; five grandchildren; nine siblings, Lee A. Prather and Etta B. Williams of St. Louis, Miller Naylor of Ripley, George Phillip (Carolyn)Prather of Tiplersville, James (Mollie) Prather of Ripley, Arvenell (Joyce) Prather of St. Louis, Ardeltru Dixon of Cleveland, Marilyn (James) Colyer of Ripley, Lavern Prather of Frankfurt, Germany; a sister-in-law, Laura Prather of Vicksburg; his mother-in-law, Effie Martin; and five brothers-in-law.
Visitation will begin at noon Thursday at the funeral home with a wake from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday. The body will lie in state at the funeral home one hour prior to service time Friday.
June Wroten
NEW ALBANY – Nettie June McCurry Wroten, 76, died Tuesday, May 11, 2010, at Magnolia Place in New Albany. She was born Jan. 20, 1935, in New Albany to Samuel Calvin McCurry and Mary Doris Griffin McCurry. She was a retired teacher for Myrtle School and a member of the Union County Retired Educational Personnel. She was a member of the New Albany Presbyterian Church.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at United Funeral Service Chapel with the Rev. Bill Everett officiating. Burial will be in the New Albany City Cemetery.
She is survived by a sister, Mary Anne Coleman; two nieces, Roye Ann Morris and Rene’; Jones; two stepsons, Bo Wroten and Brent Wroten; and 10 nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Bobby Wroten.
Visitation will be from 3 to 6 p.m. today at the funeral home.
For online condolences visit
Thomas N. Elder
MUNFORD, Tenn. – Thomas N. Elder, 103, formerly of Corinth, died Monday, May 10, 2010, at his home.
Services will be at 1 p.m. today at Memorial Funeral Home Chapel in Corinth. Burial will be in Forrest Memorial Park.
Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to service time today.
Lisa Palladino
TUPELO – Lisa Shouse Palladino, 47, died Monday, May 10, 2010, at the home of her sister after a long illness. She was born Nov. 29, 1962, in Lexington, Ky., to Charles D. Shouse and Mary Elizabeth O’Bryan Shouse. She married David Palladino in Lexington on May 28, 1988. She was a loving wife and mother and was devoted to her family and friends. She dedicated her life to the care of children and worked as a pre-school teacher at First United Methodist Church for many years. She was a member of St. James Catholic Church, where she had been a member of the choir, CCD teacher and nursery coordinator.
Mass of the Resurrection will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at St. James Catholic Church with Father Tom Lalor and Father Henry Shelton officiating. Burial will be in Tupelo Memorial Gardens. Holland Funeral Directors, Tupelo Chapel, is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include her husband, David Palladino; two sons, Nolan and Andrew, and daughter, Lauren, all of the home; sisters, Susan Johnson (Billy) of Tupelo, Janet Ray (Jerry) of Lexington, Ky., Leah Ann Kokinda (Joe) of Richmond, Ky.; brothers, David Shouse (Melanie) of Lexington, Ky., and Michael Shouse (Pam) of Mt. Sterling, Ky.; nieces, Allison Johnson of Tupelo, Melanie Henderson (Brian) of Gulf Shores, Rosie Kokinda of Richmond, Ky.; nephews, Bryan M. Johnson (Julie) of Birmingham, Ala., and Andy Kokinda of Richmond, Ky.; and one great-nephew, Wren Henry Emory-Johnson of Birmingham.
She was preceded in death by her parents; and an infant son, Benjamin Patrick.
Pallbearers will be Billy Johnson, Bryan Johnson, Joe Kokinda, Jerry Ray, Ricky Steinman and Greg Weatherford. Honorary pallbearers are the THS cross country team and the Knights of Columbus from St. James.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at St. James with a Prayer Service at 8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the Lisa Palladino Benefit Fund Acct. c/o Susan Johnson, 1917 Allyson Dr., Tupelo, MS. 38801 or at any BancorpSouth location for the education of the children.
Expressions of love and concern may be e-mailed to
James Townsend
NETTLETON – James Townsend died Sunday, May 9, 2010, in Aberdeen. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Williams Memorial Funeral Home of Okolona.
Odle Davis
IUKA – Odle Davis, 70, died Sunday, May 9, 2010, at his residence.
Services will be at 1 p.m. today at Hubbard Salem Community Church. Burial will follow in Hubbard Salem Cemetery. Cutshall Funeral Home of Iuka is in charge of the arrangements.
The body will lie in state at the church from 10 a.m. to service time today.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Hubbard Salem Cemetery Fund.
An online guestbook can be accessed at
Murphy Watson
PALMETTO – James Murphy Watson, 70, died Friday, May 7, 2010, at his residence in Englewood, Fla., where he had lived the last two years. He was born in Webster County on Oct. 16, l939, the son of the late Thomas and Irene Looney Watson. He graduated from Eupora High School in l957, received his B.A. degree in science education from Mississippi State University and later received his M.A. in science education from the University of Mississippi. He married the former Bennie Coggin in Amory on July 1, l961. He was a public school educator, science teacher and administrator for over 37 years. He began his teaching career teaching at New Hope High School in Columbus for seven years where he was junior and senior class sponsor and helped design and furnish their science lab. He began teaching biology and chemistry at Tupelo High School in l967 and retired from there in l993. After retirement, he spent three years as supervisor of the Tupelo Public Schools Transportation System and drove a school bus. He was a quiet man and exceptional teacher whose powerful influence on school children, especially troubled kids, was significant and enduring. He made special contributions to the peaceful integration of the Tupelo Public Schools in the late 60’s. Later in life, he retired to the farm in the Palmetto community where he was a master gardener and started Papa’s Rainbow Farm, which drew crowds from near and far to pet the more than 100 animals he cared for and loved. He was a member of the Verona First Baptist Church for over 40 years and a former Sunday school teacher and choir member.
Services will be at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors with Dr. Chris Aldridge and Bro. Randy Wood officiating. A graveside service will follow at 5:30 p.m. in the Watson family plot at Calvary Baptist Church Cemetery near Eupora.
Survivors include his wife, Bennie Coggin Watson of Englewood, Fla.; his son, Jim Watson (Brenda) of Sturgis; two daughters, Susan Watson of Southaven and Stacy Watson Hopper of Punta Gorda, Fla.; five grandchildren, Taylor, Reid and Gray Watson of Sturgis, and Tyler and Bethany Hopper of Punta Gorda, Fla.; two godgrandchildren, Kelly and Karen Mills of Mantachie; one godgreat-grandchild, Colin Mills of Mantachie; two brothers, Ed Watson of Round Rock, Texas, and Charles Watson (Carnell) of Tupelo; one sister, Sue Boatman (Clarence) of Eupora; one sister-in-law, Vera Watson of Verona; and 14 nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Will Watson; a granddaughter, Sydney Watson; his in-laws, Carl and Rebecca Coggin; and a brother-in-law, Paul Coggin.
Pallbearers will be J.C. Hardy, Bill Russell, Floyd Steven, Robert Majers, Clay Wages and his grandsons, Taylor Watson, Reid Watson and Tyler Hopper. Honorary pallbearers will be Ray Wages, Gray Watson and Bethany Hopper; and the l963 Class of New Hope High School.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today and from 1 p.m. to service time Thursday.
Memorials may be made to the Touched By an Angel Ministries, P.O. Box 2611, Tupelo, MS 38803.
Ernest Gray Flora Jr.
MACON – Ernest Gray Flora Jr., a prominent businessman and preservationist in Noxubee County for over 50 years, passed away at his home in Macon on Monday, May 10, 2010, after a lengthy illness.
He was born in Shuqualak on Jan. 14, 1932, to Ernest Gray Flora Sr. and Lilla Jenkins Flora. He was a graduate of Shuqualak High School and also graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business. While at the University he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity. He served in the United States Army before returning to Noxubee County, where he joined the staff of the Bank of Macon (now Citizens National Bank, of which he was a past Director). He later opened Flora Insurance agency and was also a partner in Shuqualak Lumber Company.
One of Mr. Gray’s special interests was preservation. He was a longtime President of the Noxubee County Historical Society. Under his direction, The Society was honored with the first-ever Frank Everett Award from the Mississippi Historical Society in 1998. He was instrumental in the purchase and renovation of the former Hightower’s service station, guiding the restoration efforts that resulted in turning the facility into the award-winning Macon Welcome Center in 2007. He also served as the longtime Chairman of the Noxubee County Library and was the driving force behind the restoration of the historical old Noxubee County Jail building, which in 1998 became the home of the Noxubee County Library in Macon .
He was a strong advocate and supporter of children and education. He served on the Central Academy Board of Directors for several years and also served as President of the Board. He was also on the Board of Directors of Palmer Home for Children, where he served as Board President.
He was also very involved in community service. For many years, he was an active member and former President of Macon Rotary Club and was a Paul Harris Fellow. He was also active with the Noxubee County Soil and Water Conservation District, the American Cancer Society, and the American Red Cross. He was a Director on the Noxubee County Chamber of Commerce and was twice honored by them as Man of the Year. He was the first King of the Macon Junior Auxiliary Charity Ball. Mr. Flora was also presented with the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Medal of Honor in 1991. In 2005, he was honored by Blue Cross Blue Shield with the Ageless Wonder Award for Community Development.
He was an Elder Emeritus of the Macon Presbyterian Church and was past Moderator of the Mississippi Valley Presbytery.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Macon Presbyterian Church with a private graveside service following at Shuqualak Cemetery near Shuqualak. Rev. Phillip Palmertree will officiate. Cockrell Funeral Home of Macon is in charge of the arrangements.
He is survived by his wife, Norma Bradshaw Flora of Macon; two children, E. Gray Flora III and his wife, Laurie, and Norma Flora Cox and her husband, John; six grandchildren, Gray Flora IV, Kennedy Flora, Lilla Flora, Callie Cox, Katherine Cox and Bonney Cox; one sister, Mrs. Sam Hynes of Shreveport, La.; several nieces and nephews; and his cousin, Mrs. Frank (Jane) Riley of Tupelo.
Pallbearers will be Keith Winchester, Bill Bell, Richard Schimmel, Walter Riddell, Jay Chancellor, Jay Clark, Wayne Outz and Richard McCann.
Visitation will be at the Flora residence, located at 100 N. Wayne Street in Macon, from 6 until 8 p.m. today.
Memorials may be made to Macon Presbyterian Church, c/o Arthur Varner, 10901 Hwy. 145, Macon, MS 39341; Palmer Home for Children, P.O. Box 746, Columbus, MS 39703; Noxubee County Historical Society, c/o Anderson Thomas, 108 N. Jefferson Street, Macon, MS 39341; or Central Academy, P.O. Box 231, Macon, MS 39341.
Ronald Hays
OXFORD – Ronald Eugene Hays, 84, died Tuesday, May 11, 2010, at his home near Oxford.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Coleman Funeral Home is in charge of local arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the Cemetery Statuary Fund, Anchor Baptist Church, 1009 Hwy. 7 S., Water Valley, MS 38965.
J.T. Rush
NEW ALBANY – J.T. Rush, 77, died Tuesday, May 11, 2010, at his home. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by United Funeral Service. Visitation will be from 5 to 9 p.m. today at the funeral home.
Doris Davis
SHANNON – Doris Davis, 84, died Saturday, May 8, 2010, at her home. She was born Feb. 11, 1926, in Chickasaw County to Charlie “Gunnie” and Essie Mae Bean. She was a homemaker and had retired from the Executive Inn in Tupelo. She was a member of the Wesley Chapel Methodist Church. She enjoyed sewing, quilting, flowers and gardening.
Services will be 1 p.m. Friday at Lee Memorial Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Sidney Evans officiating. Burial will be in Lee Memorial Park.
Survivors include three daughters, Barbara Davis Bruce of Rockford, Ill., Bettye Davis of Tupelo and Effie Davis (J. Mack) Robertson of Jackson, Tenn.; four sons, Eugene (Rosa) Davis Jr., Rinnie Davis, Tommy (Sharon) Davis, all of Shannon, and Rickey Davis of Tupelo; two sisters, Lovell (Roosevelt) Hobson of Milwaukee, Wis., and Rae M. Hamilton Hobson of Houlka; 11 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
Pallbearers will be Ron Davis, Rondregus Davis, Chavaka Davis, Tavaras Davis, DeVon Davis and Robert Hogan.
Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday.
For online condolences and guest registry, visit
Ernie Mahler
BALDWYN – Earnest “Ernie” Mahler, 66, died Monday, May 10, 2010, at his residence in the Carrollville community. He was born Dec. 24, 1943, in Newark, N.J. He was a carpenter for Master Craft Builders. He was an Air Force veteran and a member of the East Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Waters Funeral Home with Bro. Rex Bullock and Bro. David Boyd officiating. Burial will be in the Prentiss Memorial Gardens.
Survivors include his wife, Martha Ricks Mahler of Baldwyn; one daughter, Rhonda Mahler; one son, Edward Mahler of Baldwyn; brothers, Rob Mahler of Ventura, Calif., Ed Mahler (Patricia) of Elk Grove, Calif.; sisters, Sue Starr of Thousand Oaks, Calif., Emily Aeshliman (Ollie) of Upland, Calif.; grandchildren, Danielle Mahler, Morgan Fishwick, Tyler Mahler, Travis Mahler and Kolten Chandler; in-laws, Linda Mahler, Nicki Burns, Bob (Debbie) Ricks, John (Helen) Ricks, Lloyd (Joan) Ricks; and a host of nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father, Herbert Mahler, and two brothers, Herb and Howard Mahler.
Pallbearers will be Kenneth Mahler, Bo Ricks, Ken Ricks, Evan Ricks, Allan Ricks and George Fishwick. Honorary pallbearers and Claude Stilwell and Mark Stilwell.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Waters Funeral Home in Baldwyn.
J.C. Buchanan
OKOLONA – J.C. Buchanan died Tuesday, May 11, 2010, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Williams Memorial Funeral Home of Okolona.
Margie Hodges
TUPELO – Margie R. Perkins Hodges died Monday, May 10, 2010, at the Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Agnew and Sons Funeral Home of Verona.

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