Obituaries June 16, 2013

By NEMS Daily Journal

Herman Gray
CORINTH – Herman L. Gray entered eternity on Friday, June 14, 2013. Born July 29, 1932, near Jacinto, to John Elton and Lois Quay Hollandsworth Gray, he attended Mississippi State University and earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting in 1954, graduating with highest honors. He began his career as a Certified Public Accountant with the firm of Arthur Anderson in Houston, Texas, and then Peat, Marwick and Mitchell (now KPMG) in Memphis, Tenn. He and his bride, Janet Davis Gray, moved to Corinth in 1958. Mr. Gray founded the accounting firm of Chism, Jones and Gray and later became partner at the firm, Minor and Moore, which subsequently transitioned to Moore and Gray. Gray helped organized the Northeast Mississippi Chapter of the Mississippi Society of CPAs, serving as its president and going on to serve as President of the state society and as Mississippi delegate to the American Institute of CPAs. Both groups honored him with Public Service Awards.
He lived a life of faith, serving God through his loyalty to the Church and through his service to others. A man of integrity, Herman managed his life and his affairs in the belief that all he had belonged to God. Gratitude was his attitude, and generosity was his practice.
As a long-time member of the Yocona Area Council of Boy Scouts of America, he helped create the Yocona Area Foundation, received the Silver Beaver award in 2000 and was named a lifetime sustaining member in 2012. He particularly enjoyed going to Camp Yocona for the annual meetings.
As a Master Gardener, he conceived the idea of teaching urban children how to garden. He initiated and organized the Corinthian Garden at the Lighthouse, based on the scripture: Paul planted, Apollo watered, but God gave the increase. I Corinthians 3:6.
He served as treasurer for the Habitat for Humanity, seeing that the organization was on firm financial ground and enjoyed doing carpentry on the various houses.
Gray served as President of the Corinth Chamber of Commerce (now the Alliance) and spearheaded plans to build a facility for the organization. He served actively on the United Way Board for many years, receiving numerous awards for his service. The longest-term member of the local Kiwanis Club, since 1959, Gray served in numerous offices and had exemplary attendance because he scheduled his activities around the weekly Kiwanis meeting. Mr. Gray was named the Outstanding Citizen in 2000 by Junior Auxiliary of Corinth.
His particular passion in his profession was estate-planning and money management. He experienced great satisfaction in assisting clients achieve long-term goals through various financial strategies. Many new widows turned to him for counsel and support and he patiently mentored each through the financial stress.
Gray regularly attended local cultural events, particularly supporting his wife’s musical endeavors.
In retirement he was tapped by the Magnolia Hospital Board to serve on the Finance Committee and he took great pleasure in their successful management of financial resources.
The celebration service of the life of Herman Lafayette Gray will be at 4 p.m. Monday, June 17, at First United Methodist Church in Corinth.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Janet Davis Gray; children, Linda (Richard) Wofford, Mary Ellen (Mark) Donaldson and David (Ana Maria) Gray. His eight grandchildren survive him as well, Scott, Kate and Julie Wofford, Rachel, Claire and Mary Grace Donaldson, Jackson and Caroline Gray.
Mr. Gray is preceded in death by his siblings, Reuben, Reba, Floyd and Lloyd; and by his son, Glenn Davis Gray.
Visitation with the family will be 5 to 7 p.m. today at Memorial Funeral Home and 3 to 3:45 p.m. prior to the service on Monday.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, Capital Improvements Fund (901 Fillmore Street, Corinth, MS 38834) or the Glenn Davis Gray Memorial Scholarship (PO Box 2625, Corinth, MS 38835).

Patricia Hill
GUYS, Tenn. – Patricia Lynn Hill, 58, died Saturday, June 15, 2013, at her residence.
Service is at 2 p.m. Monday, June 17 at Magnolia Funeral Home Chapel of Memories. Interment is at Williams Cemetery.
Visitation is 5 to 8 p.m. today and 1 p.m. until service time Monday at the funeral home.
Online condolences can be left at
Manelle Blackwood
CORINTH – Manelle Johnson Blackwood, 87, died Thursday, June 13, 2013, at Magnolia Regional Health Center. She was longtime member of Foote Street Church of Christ. She enjoyed shopping and making candy including her peanut butter fudge which she was famous for. She loved everyone.
Services are set for 11 a.m. Monday, June 17, at Foote Street Church of Christ with Charles Curtis officiating. Burial will be in Ebenezer Cemetery in New Johnsonville, Tenn.
She is survived by her husband, Harold Blackwood of Corinth; sons, George Lang (Cecilia) of Magnolia, Texas, Jeffrey Blackwood (Carol) of Henderson, Tenn., John Blackwood of Lagos, Nigeria, Christopher Lang of Rockville, Ind., and Brant Blackwood (Laura) of Kodiak, Alaska; daughters, Sandra Lang of Rockville, Ind., and Jennifer Holloway (Lew) of Linden, Mich.; brother, Wilford “Bud” Johnson of Corinth; sister, Wanza Johnson Gray of Corinth; 11 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Preceded in death by her parents, Printess and Nelle Johnson; son, Steve Blackwood; brother, Max Johnson; and brother-in-law, C.F. Gray.
Visitation is 4 to 7 p.m. today at Memorial Funeral Home.
Memorials made be made to St. Jude’s Children Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Jimmy Cook
HOUSTON – Jimmy Dale Cook, 65, died Friday, June 14, 2013, at his home in Houston. He was born June 12, 1948, in Vardaman, to Earl Woodrow Cook and Laverne Staten Cook. He was a US Air Force veteran and a retired supervisor at Day Brite. He was a member of Mantee Baptist Church.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Monday, June 17, at Ellzey Memorial Chapel in Vardaman with the Rev. William Carpenter officiating. Burial will follow at Ellzey Cemetery in Vardaman. Houston Funeral Home of Houston is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include his wife, Pam Dobbs Cook of Houston; his son, Jeff (Penny) Cook of Kenosha, Wis.; his stepson, Tyler (Andrea) Wright of Woodland; his sister, Mary Jo Moore of Houston; his brothers, Thomas Guest of Canton, Ronnie (Vickie) Cook of Tremont and Tim Cook of Houston; his granddaughters, Mackenzie Cook and Keeley Wright; and his special friend, Sarah Wright of Woodland.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Woodrow and Lavern Cook.
Pallbearers are Jeff Cook, Tyler Wright, Tim Cook Jr., Jeff Moore, Carson Cook and Cullen Cook.
Visitation 5 to 7 p.m. today at Houston Funeral Home.
Friends and family may sign and leave a message on the online register book at
Margaret Reeves
WREN COMMUNITY – Margaret Tackitt Reeves, 77, died Friday, June 14, 2013, at North Mississippi Medical Center. She was born Feb. 10, 1936, in the Troy Community of Pontotoc Co., to William Leslie and Frances Leona Keith Tackitt. After marrying her husband of 63 years on July 8, 1950, they made their home in the Wren Community where they farmed and she worked many years as a seamstress in area garment plants. She became a master homemaker after retirement and was a longtime active member of the Nettleton Church of Christ. She enjoyed going to church, reading, sewing and cooking for her family.
Services will be at 2 p.m. today at the Nettleton Church of Christ with Ministers Jimmy Bates, Wayne Cox and Jeff Bates officiating. Private burial will follow in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Pontotoc County. Holland Funeral Directors, Nettleton Chapel is entrusted with all arrangements.
Survivors include her husband, Harold Reeves of Wren; two sons, Ricky Reeves (Cheryl) of Mooreville and Curtis Reeves (Sabrina) of Wren; two daughters, Barbara Davis (Scotty) of Tupelo and Jennie Cates (Michael) of Fulton; 11 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; two sisters, Grace Lyons (Bill) of New Albany and Ann Wilson of Wren; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents; and one son, Larry Reeves.
Visitation is 1:30 p.m. until service time today at the church.
Condolences may be emailed to
Memorials may be made to the Nettleton Church of Christ, P. O. Box 97, Nettleton, MS. 38858.
Herbert Friesen
WEST POINT – Herbert Friesen, 84, passed away on Friday, June 14, 2013, at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. He was born Sept. 2, 1928, in Kansas, to Helen Fleming and Bernard K. Friesen. He was a member of the West Point Mennonite Church. He farmed for most of his life and after retiring he started a lawn service business that he and his wife, Nora, ran for many years.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 18, at the West Point Mennonite Church with Minister Mark Koehn, Minister Errol Wedel and Minister Brad Wedel officiating. Robinson Funeral Home in West Point is in charge of arrangements.
He is survived by his wife Nora Friesen of Aberdeen; three daughters, Marilda O’Bryant (Mark) of West Point, Marilyn Nichols (Clyde) of Hiawatha, Kan., and Ronda Wedel (Ryan) of Hesperia, Calif.; one son, Randy Friesen (Hope) of Brooksville; three sisters, Bernettie Loewen (Abe) of Geiger, Ala., Clara Koehn of Livingston, Calif., and Mabel Cryan of Reno, Nev.; and eight grandchildren, Tyson Nichols, Ryan Nichols, Patric Nichols, Dallas O’Bryant, Dakota O’Bryant, Denis Friesen, Stacy Nichols and Alayna Friesen.
His grandsons will serve as pallbearers.
Visitation is 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the West Point Mennonite Church.
Memorials may be made to NMMC-Inpatient Hospice, 830 South Gloster St., Tupelo, MS 38801.
Friends may leave condolences online at

Jesse Miles
BOONEVILLE – Jesse James Miles, 84, died Friday, June 14, 2013, at the Baldwyn Nursing Facility. He was born Aug. 26, 1928, in Booneville, to Archie and Mary Smith Miles. He was a United States Army veteran and he was a Christian. He was a mechanic and bus driver for the Prentiss County School System. He enjoyed going to flea markets, woodworking, welding, fishing, hunting and gardening. His CB radio handle was “Woodchopper.”
Services will be at 3 p.m. today at the Booneville Funeral Home Chapel, with Bro. Tracy Arnold and Bro. David Krech officiating. Burial, with military honors, will be in Fairview Church of God Cemetery.
He is survived by his wife, Lenovia Carter Miles, whom he married on March 19, 1955; three sons, Curtiss Miles (Myrtle), Allen Miles (Lisa), all of Booneville and David Miles (Jenny) of Salisbury, Md.; two daughters, Dorothy Ross (Terry) and Margaret Miles, all of Guntown; three sisters, Catherine Richardson, Frances Owens and Daisy Thomas, all of Booneville; 15 grandchildren; and 27 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Winfred Miles and Troy Miles; three brothers-in-law, Harold Richardson, Bobby Owens and William Thomas; two grandchildren, William Joseph Brown and Lenovia Ann Brown; and a great-grandson, Noah Krech.
Pallbearers are his grandsons, Kevin Miles, Curtiss Miles Jr., Danny Moore, Jeremy Moore, Jabo Miles, Jesse Miles Jr. and Carter Miles.
Memorials may be made to Fairview Church of God Cemetery Fund, c/o Jeanne Belue, 37 CR 2360, Tishomingo, MS 38873.

Edna Phillips
CORINTH – Edna E. Phillips, 92, died Friday, June 14, 2013, at Magnolia Regional.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Corinthian Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Dorothy Washington
HOULKA – Doroty Etoyle Young Washington, 93, died Saturday, June 15, 2013, at the Bruce Community Living Center. She worked at Indianapolis Glove Factory and Riveria Shirt Factory. She was a member of Buckhorn Church of Christ.
Graveside service is at 2 p.m. Monday,June 17, at Buckhorn Cemetery with Clyde Davis officiating. Tutor Memorial Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
She is survived by children, Donald Washington (Pat) of Pontotoc, Linda Davis (Clyde) of Birmingham, Ala., Charles Washington (Rebecca) of Houlka and Ronald Washington (Nancy) of Houlka; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; brothers, Clint Young (Willie Belle), Truman Young (Kathy) and Carl Young (Peggy); and sisters, Kathleen Mary Foster, Willie Belle Dancer (J.F.) and Viola Lucille Wilson.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Barry Windfield Young and Lois Spencer Holley Young; and sisters, Lorene Lois Holley, Lillie Dell Baker and Nelly Loretta Young.
Visitation is 5 to 9 p.m. today at the funeral home.

Nelda Wright
WALNUT – Nelda Joyce Whitehead Wright, 58, died Friday, June 14, 2013, at her residence.
Service is at 10 a.m. Monday, June 17, at McBride Funeral Home Chapel in Ripley. Interment is at Mt. Hebron Baptist Church Cemetery in Walnut.
Visitation is 5 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home.

Martha White
PONTOTOC – Martha Ann White, 72, died Friday, June 14, 2013, at her residence. She was a very loving person, who loved her son and grandchildren. She was always finding something to make you laugh and will be dearly missed by her family and the special people in her life.
Service is at 10 a.m. Monday, June 17, at New Faith Baptist Church with Bro. Nathan Hamilton officiating. Interment is at New Faith Cemetery. Tutors Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
She is survived by her sisters, Mary Adams (Scottie) of Honey Grove, Texas, and Virginia Self (Jerry) of Pontotoc; grandchildren, Megan and Gavin Rodrigues of Blue Mountain; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her son, Joe Rodriguez; mother, Beatrice Spears; father, Houston Spears; and sister, Paula Cox.
Pallbearers are Brandon Bailey, Carl Cox, Jerry Self, Michael Bailey, David Landrup and Donald Franklin.
Visitation is 9:30 to 10 a.m. Monday at the church.

Mary Emerson
BELMONT – Mary Emerson died Friday, June 14, 2013, at her residence. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Deaton Funeral Home in Belmont.

Bobby Pardue
BELMONT – Bobby Pardue, 49, died Saturday, June 15, 2013, in Ripley. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Deaton Funeral Home in Belmont.

Xavier Benson
WATER VALLEY – Xavier Deonta Benson, 21, died Sunday, June 9, 2013, in Oxford.
Service is at 11 a.m. Monday, June 17, at Water Valley Auditorium. Interment is at Pleasant Green Cemetery. Serenity-Martin Funeral Home of Oxford is in charge of arrangements.

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