Obituaries Dec. 20, 2009

Rubye Harden
FULTON – Rubye Jane Smith Harden, 94, died Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009, at the Traceway Green Houses in Tupelo. She was the founder of the first public library in Itawamba County, building the facility and collection form scratch over several years because she believed access to books was a path to progress and empowerment. She was the widow of former Itawamba County Times editor and publisher, the late Delmus C. Harden. Together with her husband, she was an owner of the Itawamba County Times in Fulton.
Born June 3, 1915, in Lafayette County on Como Route 1, “Miss Rubye” taught in Itawamba County schools for more than 30 years retiring in 1976, as a librarian at Fulton Junior High. She graduated from Ole Miss on her 20th birthday in 1935. Planning and building the library for Itawamba County was the completing of her master’s thesis in Library Science which she received in 1965, from Ole Miss. She and her husband were both active members of First Baptist Church in Fulton for many years where she also started a library and served as church librarian for many years.
An active competitive contract bridge player, she was a life master and regularly played in tournaments throughout the mid south.
She is survived by two daughters, Rubye Del Harden of Tupelo and Rosa Lee Harden of San Francisco. Both daughters followed their father into the family newspaper business and later owned and operated several newspapers of their own. Rubye Del Harden is a businesswoman active in civic and community affairs in Tupelo and is married to Roy Jaeger. Rosa Lee Harden is an Episcopal Priest in San Francisco, CA, and is married to Kevin Jones. In addition to her daughters, she leaves her sons-in-law, Roy Jaeger and Kevin Jones; two grandchildren, Bradley Harden Jones and his wife, Nada Abul Fattou Jones of Dunlap, Tenn and Barbara Jane (B.J.) Harden Jones and her husband, Aaron Maret of Asheville, North Carolina. She also leaves two great granchildren, Logan D. Jones and Asher Jones Maret. She also leaves one nephew, D.R. Ingram and his wife, Linda of Water Valley
Visitation will be today at Senter Funeral Home in Fulton from 5 until 8 p.m. The funeral, which will be conducted by the Rev. Paul Stevens, will be at Senter Funeral Home at 2 p.m. on Monday. Burial will be in the Itawamba Memorial Gardens.
Pallbearers will be Kevin Jones, Roy Jaeger, Bradley Jones and Aaron Maret.
Donations in her memory can be made both to Itawamba County Library and to Harden House, an Itawamba County home for Girls, named in memory of Delmus Harden

William Sparks
TUPELO – William Fain “Wick” Sparks departed this life on Friday December 18, 2009, after a brief illness and stay at Sanctuary Hospice House leaving behind his loving family and a host of friends. Wick was born to Kitty Lee Fain Sparks and Owen L Sparks in Verona, Mississippi on March 13th, 1926, sharing the same birth date with his brother who was seven years older.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Robert Owen Sparks.
Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Eleanor Brunson Sparks; his son and business partner, John Owen Sparks and his wife, Dr. Michelle Baragona; his son, William David Sparks and his wife, Christina Canty Sparks; his grandson, William Matthew Sparks; his cousins; and nieces and nephews.
Lifelong residents of Lee County, the Sparks family lived in Verona until moving to Tupelo in 1931. Wick often recounted his family’sexperience during a significant event in Tupelo’s history; The 1936Tupelo tornado. Wick’s father took the family to the Water and Light Department, where he was Superintendent, to take shelter from the approaching storm. As the tornado ripped the roof off the building, Wick’s father took action and cut the electrical power, saving many homes from destruction.
Wick graduated from Tupelo High School and Mississippi State University. He developed a love for music and the clarinet in theTupelo High School band. He continued his musical career playing inthe MSU marching band. He joined the United States Air Force during college and served in the Air Force reserves working for the Air Force Academy. He retired with the rank of Major.
Wick was married for 54 years to Eleanor Brunson of Elba, Alabama. Hewas a member of First United Methodist Church in Tupelo. He was active in many music organizations serving as interim Director of Music at First United Methodist Church and the choir director at First Presbyterian Church. Wick successfully owned and operated Sparks Printing Company for 53 years, originally starting the business as S & M printers in 1956.
Wick was an active member of the Tupelo community. He was a member ofthe Tupelo Rotary club for over 40 years. He also coached football and baseball teams in the Tupelo Park and recreation system. Wick was an accomplished musician. He was an original founding member of the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra where he played the clarinet for over 35 years. He served as the Executive Director on the symphony board. In addition to being a gifted musician, he performed in community theatre productions, musical productions and barbershop groups. Wick continued to pursue his life-long love of music by forming various bands and ensembles. His love of music will be his legacy. Wick will be greatly missed by his loving family and friends.
Services will be 1:30 p.m. Monday at the First United Methodist Church with Rev. Andy Ray and Tommy Baragona of Booneville officiating. Burial will be in Lee Memorial Park. W. E. Pegues Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.
Pallbearers will be Owen Sparks, David Sparks, David East, Andrew Fox Jr., Steve Hickman, and John Day.
Honorary pallbearers will be Calvin White, Dan Williams, John Vaughn, Eugene Alexander, Dr. Matt Wesson, and Andrew Fox Sr.
Visitation will be 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home on Jefferson Street. Prior to the ceremony at the church, there will be a visitation available in the Gathering Room from 12:30 p.m. until service time.
Memorials may be made to the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra Endowment Fund, P. O. Box 474, Tupelo, MS 38802. The “Wick Sparks Memorial Clarinet Chair” will be established to his memory and will become a permanent part of the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra Endowment Fund.
Expressions of sympathy may be made at www.peguesfuneralhome.com.

Conrad Bishop
BOONEVILLE – Conrad Wardell Bishop, 78, died Friday, Dec. 18, 2009, at Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo. He was born May 4, 1931, in Biggersville, to Joe and Cora Carpenter Bishop. He was a U.S. Army veteran and a retired machine operator for Wolverine Tube. He attended the First Free Will Baptist Church and the House of Prayer. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, sports, computer games, and most of all, being with his family.
Services will be at 2 p.m. today at the Booneville Funeral Home Chapel, with Bro. Benny McKinney and Bro. David Baker officiating. Burial will be in Booneville Cemetery.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Annie Cox Bishop; three sons, Marty Bishop (Deb), Tim Bishop (Jan), all of Booneville, and John Bishop (Leah) of Baldwyn; a sister, Bessie Beik of Buchanan, Mich.; ten grandchildren, Sally Bishop of Jackson, Stacey Adams, T.J. Bishop, T.D. Bishop, John Kyle Bishop, all of Booneville, Ava-Claire Bishop, Savannah Roberts, both of Baldwyn, Chris Kitchens, Chad Kitchens, and Shane Kitchens, all of Booneville; seven great-grandchildren, Jake Bishop, Haley Bishop, Benji Adams, Jeffery Adams, all of Booneville, Anna-Lynn Bishop of Jackson, Alice Kitchens, and Michael Kitchens, both of Booneville; a sister-in-law, Ellen Penna (Hoyle) of Orlando, Fla., and a brother-in-law, Billy Wayne Cox (Juanita) of Minneapolis, Minn.; and a host of nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Joe Frank Bishop, Preston Bishop, and Clarence Bishop; and a sister, Mable Trentham.
Honorary pallbearers will be his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Lelia Smith
CLARKSDALE – Lelia Estelle Smith, 96, died Dec. 18, 2009, at Greenbough Nursing Center. She was a homemaker. She graduated from Caledonia High School and attended MSCW. She was a member of Lyon United Methodist Church.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Monday at Meredith-Nowell Funeral Home in Clarksdale. Burial will be at 3 p.m. in the New Albany Cemetery.
Survivors include one daughter, Dottie (Charles) Brisco; one son, Donald (Juanita) Smith, all of Rena Lara; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Harry Smith.
Visitation is from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be sent to Lyon United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 177, Lyon, MS, 38645
George Ware
OKOLONA – George Clifton Ware, 72, died Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009, at the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. He was a life-long resident of Chickasaw County. He was the son of L.B. and Lula B. Ware. He loved animals. He also loved to fish and hunt.
Services will be at 3 p.m. today at Sunrise Church of God of Prophecy in Okolona with the Rev. John Anderson and the Bishop Willie B. Ware Jr officiating. Burial will be in the Union M.B. Church Cemetery in Shannon. Kenneth I. Roberson Funeral Home of Pontotoc is in charge of the arrangements.
He is survived by one son, Stevie Ware of Okolona; one daughter, Connie Bogan of Shannon; and two grandchildren.

Michael Hill Jr.
TUPELO – Michael Dewayne Hill Jr. infant son of Michael Hill, Sr. and Ulanda Young died Thursday, Dec. 18, 2009, at the North Mississippi Medical Center Women’s Hospital. Graveside services will be 3 p.m. today at Pontotoc City Cemetery. Kenneth I. Roberson Funeral Home of Pontotoc is in charge of the arrangements.
He is survived by his parents; one brother, Amare Young; three sisters, Alaysia Young, Avaonnia Hill and Zemyaiah Hill; his maternal grandmother, Jacque McKenzie; his paternal grandparents, Mary Hill (Lee Brownlee), Albert and Renee Bean of Pontotoc; his maternal great-grandmother, Vera Nell Young; his paternal great-grandparents, Jimmy Hill and Lester and Pearlean Davis; his maternal great-great-grandmother, Cordie Givhan.

Georgia Leigh Millender
ABERDEEN – Georgia Leigh Millender, 48, died at her residence in Aberdeen. She was born Jan. 25, 1961, to Thomas Edward Millender and Doris Fulgham in Starkville. She was a life long resident of Aberdeen. She graduated from MS University for Women. She was a Registered Nurse and worked as Administrative Director of Medical Review Services for Baptist Memorial – Golden Triangle Hospital in Columbus. She was a member of St. Mark Methodist Church in Aberdeen.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Monday in the Tisdale-Lann Memorial Chapel in Aberdeen with the Chaplin Steve Brown and the Rev. Sue McGrew officiating. Burial will be in Oddfellows Rest Cemetery.
Survivors include her parents, Thomas Edward Millender and Doris Fulgham Millender of Aberdeen; three sisters, Lynn Hanson and husband, Mike of Columbus, Lisa Soplata and husband, Wally of Collierville, Tenn. and Leslie Tucker and husband, Bruce of Tupelo; one niece, Avery Soplata; and six nephews, Matthew Hanson, Blake Hanson, Jacob Hanson, Austin Soplata, Josh Tucker and Luke Tucker;
Pallbearers will be Matthew Hanson, Blake Hanson, Jacob Hanson, Austin Soplata, Josh Tucker and Luke Tucker.
Visitation will be from 12:30 p.m. until service time Monday at the funeral home.
Donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association or the Baptist Memorial – Golden Triangle Hospital Hospice. To sign the register and send condolences, visit online at www.tisdalelannmemorial.com.

Annie O’Barr
OKOLONA – Annie Kate Earnest O’Barr, 93, died Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009, at Shearer-Richardson Nursing Home in Okolona. She was born on Oct. 16, 1916, to Andy Earnest and Annie Witt Earnest. She was a native of Egypt, Miss. She was a homemaker and a member of Arbor Grove Baptist Church.
Services will be at 2 p.m. today at Holland Funeral Home in Okolona with Bro. Tommy Tackett officiating. Burial will be in the Macedonia Cemetery in Enon. Southern Funeral Home of Houston is in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include three daughters, Faye Packett of Marion, North Carolina, Mary Ann Irby of Troy and Ople Henry of Okolona; 10 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; 16 great-great-grandchildren; and a special nephew, Henry Doss of Amory.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Jessie O’Barr who passed away in 1992; and five children
Pallbearers will be her grandsons, Rod Irby, Ken Henry, Danny Owen, Nicky Owen, Wayne Kilgo and Jason Owen.
To sign the online registry, visit www.southernfuneralchapel.webs.com.

Helen Settlemires
WALNUT – Helen F. Settlemires, 73, died Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009, at her residence. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Memorial Funeral Home in Corinth.

Mable Greenaway
FULTON – Mable Inez Greenaway, 96, died Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009, at the Sanctuary Hospice House. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Senter Funeral Home in Fulton.
Vertie Mae Wicker
MOOREVILLE – Vertie Mae Wicker, 70, died Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009, at her residence after an extended illness. She was born Nov. 17, 1939, in Marked Tree, Ark., to Martin Hillard and Hattie Pearl Sharp Carney. She grew up in Hardin County, Tenn., and moved to Mooreville in 1963. She was married to Roy Wicker who died Sept. 18, 1985. She was retired from Allsteel. She enjoyed going to yard sales and spending time with her grandkids. She loved her dog, Bob. She lived for her family.
Services will be at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at The Jefferson Street Chapel of W.E. Pegues with the Rev. Ronnie Martin officiating. Graveside services will be 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Pisgah Cemetery near Michie, Tenn.
Survivors include two daughters, Tammy L. Wilson (Boyce) and Melissa A. Hulsey (Lee); one son, Danny W. Wicker (Lori); one stepson, Ronnie Wicker; her sister-in-law, Margaret Farley; six grandchildren, John Griffin, Candace and Craig Wilson, B.J. and Jesse White, and Whitney Hill; two great-grandsons, Brandon Cooley and Darrin Griffin; one great-granddaughter, Cadence Griffin; special friends here, Elwanda McDonald, Shirley Dye and Linda Hogue; special friends back home, Maudie, Faye and Jean; and a special cousin, Jeanette Bowden.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Roy A. Wicker; and two half brothers, Clinton and Cliff Carney.
Pallbearers will be Tim Wicker, Tommy Wicker, Bill Parmely, Leon Hulsey, G.W. Dye and Norman Reed.
Visitation will be from 3 to 9 p.m. today at the funeral home.
Expressions of sympathy may be left at www.peguesfuneralhome.com.

Carl Scott
BOONEVILLE – Carl Scott, 88, died Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009, at the Mississippi State Veterans Home in Oxford. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by McMillan Funeral Home in Booneville.

Eva Puckett
VINA, Ala. – Eva D. Puckett, 83, died Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009, at the Russellville Hospital. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Deaton Funeral Home in Red Bay, Ala.

Billy Mack Jenkins
RED BAY, ALA. – Billy Mack Jenkins, 64, died Friday, Dec. 18, 2009, at his residence. He was born March 24, 1945, in Alabama to Grady Hobson and Mattie Cockrell Jenkins. He was a carpenter and construction worker for 45 years. He was a member of Calvary Family Worship Center for about 30 years.
Services will be at 2 p.m. on Monday at Calvary Family Worship Center with Bro. Gene Cooley officiating. Burial will be in Red Bay City Cemetery. Deaton Funeral Home in Red Bay, AL will be in charge of arrangements.
He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Peggy Jenkins of Red Bay, Ala.; two children, Guy Wayne Jenkins (Tina) of Golden. and Donna Roberts (Scott) of Red Bay; four grandchildren, Brooklyn Jenkins, Kristin Roberts, Alicia Roberts and Lori Roberts; and two sisters,Joan Fleming of Columbus and Frances Davis (Curtis) of Florida.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and one brother, Grady Eugene Jenkins.
Pallbearers will be Darrell Underwood, Larry Ivy, George Jordan, Chris Hall, Steve Reese and Phillip Collins.
Visitation will be from 5 to 9 p.m. today at Deaton Funeral Home in Red Bay. The body will lie in state at the church from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday.

Inez Medley
IUKA – Inez Elizabeth Cutshall Medley, 96, died Friday, Dec. 18, 2009, at Parkway Medical Center in Knoxville, Tenn.
Graveside services will be at 2 p.m. Monday at Oak Grove Cemetery in Iuka. Cutshall Funeral Home of Iuka is in charge of arrangements.

Carrie Moody-Graves
ASHLAND – Carrie Lee Moody-Graves, 98, died Friday, Dec. 18, 2009, at Trinity Mission Nursing Home in Byhalia. She was born Jan. 30, 1911, in Ashland. She was a homemaker and a member of Beech Hill Church of Christ. Her two favorite things were gardening and cooking for others.
Services will be at 3 p.m. today at Beech Hill Church of Christ in Ashland with minister King McCarver officiating. Burial will be in Beech Hill Cemetery in Ashland. McBride Funeral Home in Ripley is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include two sons, John H. Graves and wife, Nell of Olive Branch and Larry G. Graves and wife, Loretta of Tupelo; six grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and seven great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Hugh F. Graves; her parents, Bulen and Tula Moody; five brothers, Rob, Richard, Joe, Howard and Morris Moody; and one great-grandson, Jonathan Graves.
Visitation will be from 2 to 3 p.m. today at the church.
Memorials may be sent to Beech Hill Chuch of Christ, 6077 Hwy. 4W, Ripley, MS 38663. To view and sign online guestbook, visit www.mcbridefuneralhome.com.

Gena Searcy Kitchen
TENNESSE – Gena Searcy Kitchen, 54, died Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009, at Methodist Hospital in Germantown after a sudden illness. A Greenville native, she was born October 29, 1955, to David and Jean Searcy. She was a 1973 graduate of Tupelo High School. She graduated from University of Mississippi with a Bachelor’s of Art degree. She then attended MSCW with a degree in fine arts. She held the ASID designation. She was a member of First United Methodist Church.
She was a very active volunteer in the Tupelo area volunteering with the Celebration Village and Sanctuary Hospice House. She was a former board member of The Tupelo Artist Guild, volunteered with the Gardner-Simmons House and she was a member of the Qwatney 2005 Memphis in May World Barbeque Champions. She traveled extensively and loved animals, especially her puppies, Roz, Ziggy, Tanner and Sneaky Pete.
Services will be 2 p.m. Monday at The Jefferson Street Chapel of W. E. Pegues with Rev. Raigan Miskelly officiating. Burial will be in Tupelo Memorial Park.
Survivors include her husband, John Kitchen, of Counce, Tenn.; one sister, Georgiann Searcy Leonard (Steve) of McKinney, Texas; one step-daughter, Melissa Mayfield (Jay) of Cordova, Tenn.; two step-sons, Monty Kitchen (Caprice) of Brentwood, Tenn. and Jeremy Kitchen of Memphis; two nephews, Davis and Drew Leonard of McKinney.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Pallbearers will be Monty Kitchen, James Weir, Jeff Little, Don Sparks, Dick Ballard, Steve Leonard and Jack Cooper.
Honorary pallbearers will be Jeremy Kitchen, Dr. Peeler Lacy, Kirk Caldwell, Dale Gibson and Kelly Holcomb.
Visitation will be 10 a.m. until service time Monday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to ASPCA, 424 E. 92nd Street, New York, NY 10128-6804 and The Tupelo Artist Guild, PO Box 786, Tupelo, MS 38802.
Expressions of sympathy may be left at www.peguesfuneralhome.com.
Julie Bowen
SALTILLO – Julie Therese Bowen, 29, died Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009, at her residence after a sudden illness. She was born on Nov. 29, 1980, to William G. “Bill” Bowen and Nancy Antonitis Bowen. Julie was a lifelong Lee Countian and a member of St. James Catholic Church. She graduated from Saltillo High School in 1999, where she was first chair trumpet and president of the band. She attended Itawamba Community College and Mississippi State University where she was a member of their marching bands. Julie loved the color purple and all things purple. She was an avid reader and enjoyed all animals, especially strays. She was very attached to her many pen pals she met nationwide through the Internet.
Services will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. James Catholic Church with Father Tim Lalor and Father Henry Shelton officiating. Interment will follow in Pontotoc Memorial Gardens. Holland Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.
She is survived by her parents, Bill and Nancy Bowen of Saltillo; one sister; Katie Bowen of Biloxi; one brother, Kenneth Bowen of Saltillo; her grandparents, Ken and Theresa Antonitis of Tupelo; and her uncle, Bill Antonitis (Rita) of Evergreen Park, Ill.
She is preceded in death by her grandparents, Henry and Zelma Bowen of Pontotoc; and one uncle, Sonny Bowen.
Pallbearers and Honorary pallbearers are fellow band members from the Saltillo, ICC and MSU Marching Bands.
Visitation will be from 4 to7 p.m. Monday at the Tupelo Chapel with a Prayer service to follow at 7p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society, P.O. Box 1185 Tupelo, MS 38802 or the St. James Catholic Church Library Fund, P.O. Box 734, Tupelo, MS. 38802.

Donna Newcomb
OKOLONA – Donna Lynn Ross Newcomb, 41, died Friday, Dec. 18, 2009, at Baptist Hospital in Oxford after a brief illness. She was born on Jan. 9, 1968, in Memphis to the late Emmett and Melberlene Brown Ross. Donna was a member of Richmond Pentecostal Church. She was a homemaker and enjoyed playing with her grandkids.
Services will be 2 p.m. today at the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors with the Rev. Danny Finney officiating. A private burial will follow in the Union Grove Church of God of Prophecy Cemetery near Mooreville.
Survivors include her son, James Anthony Newcomb of Okolona; two daughters, Tonya McMillen (Chris) of Marietta and Raquel Cheree Newcomb of Mooreville; her fiance, Richard Pena of Okolona; four brothers, Ervin Ross and Ricky Ross, both of Okolona, Ronnie Ross (JoNell)of Saltillo and Terry Ross (Doroty) of Guntown; three sisters, Janelle Ross Joshlin and Cheryl Whitfield (Kenny), both of Okolona and Wanda Grimes (Elden) of Mooreville; and two grandchildren, Gracie Alexis McMillen and Christopher Haiden McMillen, both of Marietta.
Pallbearers will be Michael McMillen, Blake Harlow, Jerry Loyd and John McMillen.
Visitation will be from noon until service time on Sunday at the Tupelo Chapel.

Mary Christian
TUPELO – Mary Glen Christian, 73, died Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009, at her home in Tupelo. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Holland Funeral Directors of Tupelo.

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