Obituaries March 11, 2010

By NEMS Daily Journal

James T. Gillespie
PONTOTOC – James T. Gillespie, 89, died Tuesday, March 9, 2010, at the Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo. He was born Aug. 23, 1920. He was a member and deacon of Hebron Baptist Church for many years. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather.
Services will be at 2 p.m. today at Tutor Memorial Funeral Home Chapel in Pontotoc with Bro. Joey Swords officiating. Burial will be in Oak Forest Cemetery.
Survivors include his wife of 68 years, Pauline “Polly” Gillespie; one daughter, Peggy (Billy Ray) Roberts of Pontotoc; two sons, Randy Gillespie of Grenada and Van (Robyn) Gillespie of Pontotoc; four grandchildren, Cathy (Bim) Hardin, Jimmy (Debra) Roberts, Bill (Kristie) Roberts and Nic (Anna) Gillespie, all of Pontotoc; stepgrandchildren, Terry and Billy Moore of Pontotoc, and April Schamberger and Valerie (Dean) Sebring, both of Florida; great-grandchildren, Thomas and Tonya Pennington, Lakan, Whitney and Patrick Roberts, and Chris Pickens, all of Pontotoc; stepgreat-grandchildren, Melissa Moore, Nikki Rowelette, Brandy Tutor, Zoe and Jessica Schamberger, Carter and Riley Sebring, Chris Dobbins, Brandy Jumper, Bridgett Hardin and Austin Hardin; 16 great-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his father, Theron (Blue Eye) Gillespie, and his mother, Agnes Moore.
Pallbearers will be Jimmy Roberts, Bill Roberts, Nic Gillespie, Thomas Pennington, Bim Hardin and Perry Bolton.
Billy Ray Roberts will be an honorary pallbearer.
Visitation will continue from 1 p.m. to service time today.

Elmer Plaxico
BOONEVILLE – Elmer Van Plaxico, 71, died Wednesday, March 10, 2010, at his home after a long illness. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Kesler Funeral Home in Baldwyn.

Clarence Jack
WEST POINT – Clarence Wilbert Jack, 51, died Friday, March 5, 2010, at his home.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Baptist Grove M.B. Church. Burial will be in the New Hope Church Cemetery. Westbrooks Funeral Home of Aberdeen is in charge of the arrangements.
Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday with a wake from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The body will lie in state at the church one hour prior to service time Saturday.
Jimmy Fields
HAMILTON – Jimmy Angelo Fields, 52, died Thursday, March 4, 2010, at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Jackson. He was born Feb. 9, 1958, in Monroe County to Anderson Fields Sr. and Mildred Grear-Fields. He graduated from Hamilton High School in 1978 and attended Itawamba Community College. He was employed at Eljer Plumbingware in Verona and at BASF in Aberdeen. He was a member of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1979 and retired in December 2009 after 30 years of military service. He served in the 223rd Engineering Battalion of the Mississippi National Guard and attained the rank of E-6 Staff Sergeant.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Hamilton High School gym. Pastor Homer Cannon will officiate. Burial with military honors will be in Bethel Cemetery. Belle Memorial Funeral Home of Aberdeen is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include one son, Jonathan Fields of Okolona; the mother of his son, Esther Fields of Okolona; his mother, Mildred Fields of Hamilton; nine sisters, Mary Dobbs, Geraldine Fields, Cassondra Fields and Jettie (James) Scott, all of Hamilton, Nora (Terry) Williams and Clemma (Willie) Howard of Aberdeen, Hazella (James) Calvert of Houston, Mattie (James) Peterson of Clarksville, Tenn., Earnestine (Terry) Metcalf of Prairie; eight brothers, Willie (Carrie) Fields and Milton Fields of Hamilton, Samuel (Melinda) Fields of Tupelo, Jeremiah (Sylvia) Fields and Johnny (Nickie) Fields of Okolona, David (Sonya) Fields of Aberdeen, Anderson (Angela) Fields Jr. of Ridgeland and Roosevelt (Lynne) Shelton of Frankfort, Ky.; eight aunts, four uncles and one great-uncle; and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by father, Anderson Fields Sr.; three sisters, two brothers, one sister-in-law and one nephew.
Members of the military will be pallbearers.
Visitation will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. The body will lie in state at the HHS gym from noon to service time Saturday.

Gene Simmons
MYRTLE – Gene Simmons, 82, died Wednesday, March 10, 2010, at Darlington Oaks Hospice in Verona. He was born Aug. 11, 1927, in Union County to Lloyd and Jamie Pernell Simmons. He was a member of Myrtle Methodist Church, where he taught Sunday School and served on many committees. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather and lived his life for his family and faith. He loved to garden and share with his friends. He worked 27 years at the Greenwood Plantation in Thomasville, Ga., as a hunting guide, and he raised and trained bird dogs.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Myrtle Methodist Church with the Rev. Smith Whiteside, the Rev. Dale Hawthorn and the Rev. Jimmy Criddle officiating. Burial will be in Old Oak Grove Cemetery. United Funeral Service of New Albany is in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include his wife, Jean Simmons of Myrtle; one son, Ronnie Simmons (Linda) of Trezevant, Tenn.; three stepdaughters, Deanna Brown of Belmont, Donna Butler (Johnny) of Houlka and Debbie Criddle (Jimmy) of Tupelo; one brother, Harold Simmons of Bruce; nine stepgrandchildren, Kelly Appleton (Bobby), Dean Davis (Dusty), Taryn Greene, Brayden Greene, Alexis Butler, Caleb Butler, Micah Butler, Ethan Criddle and Landon Criddle; and eight stepgreat-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Marjorie Simmons, and one brother, James Dorsey Simmons.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home. The body will lie in state at Myrtle Methodist Church from 10 a.m. to service time Friday.
For online condolences and guest registry, visit www.unitedfuneralservice.com.

Bernice Hale
ABERDEEN – Bernice Hale, 45, died Friday, March 5, 2010, at Pioneer Community Hospital.
Services will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at Kings Chapel United Methodist Church. Burial will be in Odd Fellows Cemetery. Westbrooks Funeral Home of Aberdeen is in charge of the arrangements.
The body will lie in state at the church one hour prior to service time Saturday.

William Field
TUPELO – William Field died Tuesday, March 9, 2010. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by N.L. Jones & Son Funeral Directors of Tupelo.
Malissie Rainey
TUPELO – Malissie Trice Rainey, 94, died Monday, March 8, 2010, at the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. She was born June 28, 1915, in Lee County to Robert and Dinah Williams Trice. She was a member of the Red Oak Grove M.B. Church and was the church pianist for 38 years.
Service will be at 1 p.m. Friday at Red Oak Grove M.B. Church in Tupelo with the Rev. Charles Cox officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Agnew & Sons Funeral Home of Verona is in charge of arrangement.
Survivors include four sons, D.S. Rainey Jr., Cornelius T. Rainey (Mary), Larry D. Rainey (Cheryl) and the Rev. Billy D. Rainey (Wilma), all of Tupelo; one daughter, Naomi L. Knowles (James) of Guntown; two brothers, Dr. J.Y. Trice of Rosedale and Verdell Trice (Mattie) of Chicago; 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Rev. D.S. Rainey; one son, James Earl Rainey; and four brothers and one sister.
Visitation will be from 3 to 6 p.m. today with the family hour from 6 to 7 today at Red Oak Grove M.B. Church. The body will be placed in the church one hour prior to service.
Family and friends may sign the guest registry at www.agnewandsons.com.

Doris Hanks
ORANGE PARK, Fla. – Doris Ann Hanks, 72, died Tuesday, March 9, 2010. She was born in Shannon and lived in Ellijay, Ga., for over 18 years, moving to Orange Park, Fla., three years ago. She was a retired hospital administrator and credit union business manager.
Services will be at 9:30 a.m. Friday in the Chapel of Hardage-Giddens Rivermead Funeral Home in Orange Park, Fla. Burial will be in Jacksonville National Cemetery.
Survivors include her husband of 33 years, Dr. James W. Hanks (U.S. Army Lt. Col., retired); one son, Robert “Bobby” Thompson (Rhonda); two daughters, Barbara Jacobs (Andrew) and Katherine Hall (Larry); one sister, Jane Warner; nine grandchildren, Bob Thompson, Elizabeth Hall, Becky Thompson, Allen Thompson, Hampton Jacobs, Nikki Gordon, Kelsey Gordon, Tommy Jenkins and Christina Jenkins; two stepdaughters, Debra Gordon (Gary) and Kimberly Easter (Gordon); two stepsons, James and Barry Hanks; and four great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to any animal rescue organization of the donor’s choice.
For online condolences, visit www.mem.com.

Nick Nicholas
IUKA – Charles A. “Nick” Nicholas Jr., 87, formerly of Memphis, died Tuesday, March 9, 2010, at Baptist Memorial Hospital-East in Memphis. He retired as chief photographer after 39 years with the Commercial Appeal, where he was also a cartoonist. He was a member of the Iuka United Methodist Church. He was an Army and Air Force veteran of World War II. He had a love for and was very knowledgeable about classical music. He also enjoyed reading and art.
Visitation will be from 1 p.m. until service time Saturday at the funeral home.
Graveside services will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at Eastport Cemetery in Iuka. The Rev. Jon Kaufman will officiate. Cutshall Funeral Home of Iuka is in charge of the arrangements.
He is survived by two sons, Charles A. Nicholas III and wife, Janice, of Cleveland, Tenn., and Richard Garland Nicholas and wife, Kris, of Germantown, Tenn.; two sisters, Joyce Sweet of Leachville, Ark., and Jean Nolen of Cordova, Tenn.; and two grandchildren, Cristopher Whitney Nicholas and William Andrew Nicholas.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Waldron Nicholas, and a sister, Lynn Clark.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Iuka United Methodist Church.
An online guestbook can be accessed at www.cutshallfuneralhome.com.

Donald Ferrell
SOMERVILLE, Tenn. – Donald Russell Ferrell, 65, formerly of Walnut, died Tuesday, March 9, 2010, at his home in Somerville, Tenn.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Friday at McBride Funeral Home Chapel in Ripley. Burial will be in the Oakland Baptist Church Cemetery in Walnut.
Visitation will be from 12:30 p.m. to service time Friday at the funeral home.
Effie Pharr
BOONEVILLE – Effie Lucille Nicholson Pharr, 95, died Tuesday, March 9, 2010, at Landmark Nursing and Rehab in Booneville. She was a retired nursing assistant at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis. She was a member of Marietta Church of Christ and the Daughters of the Confederacy.
Services will be 3 p.m. Friday at McMillan Funeral Home Chapel with Minister Ronnie Livingston officiating. Burial will be in the Zion Rest Cemetery.
She is survived by two daughters, Mary Rhoades (Roger) of Booneville and Sue Flanders of Pearson, Ga.; one son, Jack Pharr of Cathlamet, Wash.; 10 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren and a host of great-great-grandchildren; one sister-in-law, Edna Pharr of Marietta; and a host of nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by two daughters, Tommie Griffin and Shirley Jeanette Pharr; her parents, T.J. and Lavada Nicholson; two sisters, Sallie Hope Von Roderkechen and Nellie Pauline Googe; and two brothers, Arlis Rex Nicholson and Joseph Wright Nicholson.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today and until service time Friday.

Rev. Thomas Mathis
RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. – The Rev. Thomas Lee “Preacher” Mathis, 76, died Tuesday, March 9, 2010, at his home. He was a graduate of Pentecostal Bible College in Houston, Texas, and a preacher of the United Pentecostal. He was a retired pastor and tractor mechanic at Scott’s Tire & Equipment in Russellville. He attended several tractor and mechanic schools, and helped many farmers over the years with their tractors. A loving husband, father and grandfather, he will be missed by all.
Services will be at 1 p.m. today at the Methodist Church in the Shiloh community near Ripley. Bro. Larry Lovett and Gary Mathis will officiate. Burial will be the church cemetery. Spry Memorial Chapel of Russellville, Ala., is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include his wife, Joyce Mathis; the mother of his sons, Lurley Mae Frost; his sons, Gary Mathis, Steve Mathis; his stepchildren, Nicky Winsted and LaDonna Jones; two grandchildren, Lisa Borden and Brian Mathis; five stepgrandchildren and three great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Owen and Ozader Mathis; a son, Hal Mathis; and a brother, Danny Mathis.
Pallbearers will be family and friends.
The body will lie in state at the church from 11 a.m. to service time today.
To sign the register book and leave condolences, visit www.sprymemorialchapel.com.

Ella Luna
RIPLEY – Ella Odell Luna, 89, died Tuesday, March 9, 2010, at Golden Living Nursing Home in Ripley. She was born March 7, 1921, to Oliver Lee Parrish and Mary Sheed Parrish. She was Southern Baptist. She was a nurses aide at Tippah County Hospital, retiring in 1981.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Ripley Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Michael Baker officiating. Burial will be in Pine Grove Cemetery in Benton County.
Survivors include one daughter, Carolyn Luna of Hickory Flat; one son, Raymond F. Luna of Hickory Flat; three sisters, Maxine Thompson and Viva L. Bostic, both of Hickory Flat, and Shirley Massingill of Ashland; four grandchildren, T.Sgt. Robert C. Luna (Carolyn) of San Antonio, Texas, Joseph M. Luna (Marie) of Ripley, Ransy Luna (Angie) of Caledonia and Endy Luna (Christine) of Ashland; and eight great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond Fray Luna; her parents; three sisters, Dessie Lee, Grace Rhodes and Hurstein Rushing; and one grandchild, Letitia Luna.
Visitation will be from 5 until 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.
To view obituaries and sign the guest book online, visit www.ripleyfuneralhome.com.

Pernie Mae Danley
RED BAY, Ala. – Pernie Mae Danley, 75, died Tuesday, March 9, 2010, at Helen Keller Hospital.
Services will be at 1 p.m. today at Deaton Funeral Home Chapel in Red Bay. Burial will be in Red Bay City Cemetery.
Visitation will continue until service time today at the funeral home.

Abbie Adams
RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. – Abbie Lavee Adams, 93, died Tuesday, March 9, 2010.
Services will be at 2 p.m. today at Spry Memorial Chapel in Russellville. Burial will be in Franklin Memory Gardens.
Visitation will be from noon to service time today at the funeral home.
Teri Coomer
BLUE MOUNTAIN – Twila Mae “Teri” Coomer, 65, died Tuesday, March 9, 2010, at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. She was born March 30, 1944, to Perry Roberson and Mary Etta Brown Roberson McDonald. She was a member of Macedonia “Deentown” Baptist Church. She was a gospel singer for many years, and sang with her husband at the nursing homes and Ripley Channel 19 Television. She was self-employed in the restaurant business.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Ripley Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Kevin Purdon officiating. Burial will be in Hopewell Cemetery in Benton County.
She is survived by her husband, Ronnie Coomer of Blue Mountain; her stepfather, Hayden McDonald; two daughters, Cyndi Smith (Stephen) of Pine Grove and Tina Martin (Dave) of Tremonton, Utah; three sons, Charles McDonald (Lois) of Ashland, George McGrew (Mary) of Canton, Ohio, and Jessy McGrew of Odessa, Texas; 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Pallbearers will be Stephen Smith, Andrew Brown, Steve Brown, Donald Coomer, Cody Hutchison and Paul Howell.
Visitation will be from 5 until 9 p.m. today at the funeral home.
To view obituaries online and sign the guestbook, visit www.ripleyfuneralhome.com.

Dr. Ralph D. Ford
RIPLEY – Dr. Ralph Doyle Ford, 85, died Wednesday, March 10, 2010, at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi. He was born Dec. 2, 1924, to John P. Ford and Verline McAlister Ford. He was a member of Ripley First United Methodist Church. He was a graduate of Tippah-Union High School. He served almost three years in the U.S. Air Force during World War ll.
He attended Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi, and received the Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee in 1952. He served his internship at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis. He moved to Ripley in 1953 and established Ford Medical Clinic on South Main Street and continued the private practice of medicine for 25 years at this clinic and at Tippah County Hospital as active staff member and past Chief of Staff. In 1978, he was appointed Public Health Physician with the Mississippi State Department of Health and continued public health practice until he retired 1993.
He was a member of the American Medical Association, the Mississippi State Medical Association and the North Mississippi Medical Society. He was a 32nd Degree Mason and a Shriner.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Ripley Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Andy Stoddard officiating. Burial will be in Tippah Memorial Garden.
Survivors include his wife, Cyreal Ford of Ripley; one son, David Ford (Amanda) of Ripley; one grandchild, Parker Manning Ford of Ripley; two sisters, Ann Ford Barkley and Ruth Ford Robbins, both of New Albany.
He was preceded in death by one son, Dwight Jay Ford; his parents; and three brothers, John S. Ford, William Clifford Ford and Walter B. “T Model” Ford.
Pallbearers will be Dr. Tommy Barkley, Johnny Robbins, Michael Robbins, Johnny Ford, Steve McCollum, Michael Ford and Bill Ford. Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Charles Elliott, Dr. Troy Cappleman, Dr. Horton Taylor, Dr. Gerald Waldon, Dr. Dwalia South and Dr. Tommy Simpson.
Visitation will be from 5 until 8 p.m. today at the funeral home.
To view obituaries and sign the guestbook online, visit www.ripleyfuneralhome.com.

Zula M. White
OKOLONA – Zula M. White died Wednesday, March 10, 2010, at the Shearer-Richardson Nursing Home in Okolona. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Williams Memorial Funeral Home of Okolona.

Darlene G. Jones
VERONA – Darlene G. Jones died Wednesday, March 10, 2010. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by N.L. Jones & Son Funeral Directors of Tupelo.

Teresa A. McKenzie
RIPLEY – Teresa A. McKenzie, 48, died Friday, Feb. 26, 2010. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Foster and Son Funeral Home of Ripley.
KO Holley
TIPLERSVILLE – Marion D. “KO” Holley, 75, died Wednesday, March 10, 2010, at his residence in Tiplersville. He was born May 11, 1934, to Farley Holley and Zettie C. Skinner Holley. He was a member of Ebenezer United Methodist Church. He was a farmer and a factory worker.
Services will be at 4 p.m. Friday at Ripley Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Jay Biedenharn officiating. Burial will be in Ebenezer Cemetery.
He is survived by his wife, Maxine Carroll Holley of Tiplersville; one son, Mitchell Newby (Wendy) of Tiplersville; one brother, James Holley of Corinth; two grandchildren, Easton Newby and Graydon Newby; five nieces, Shelia Jackson of Tiplersville, Cathy Strachan, Nell Hines, Judy Hines and Vanice Hines; two nephews, Billy Hines of Tiplersville and David Holley.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and two sisters, Lois Crum and Willard Hines.
Visitation will be from 5 until 8 p.m. today at the funeral home.
Pallbearers will be Roy Carroll, Ronnie Hall, Benny Carroll, Jackis Rutherford, Randy Waldon and Dusty Waldon.
To view obituaries online and sign the guest book, visit www.ripleyfuneralhome.com.

Joey Raper
MANTACHIE – Joey Raper, 39, died Wednesday, March 10, 2010, at the Oktibbeha County Hospital after a brief illness. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by McNeece-Morris Funeral Home in Mantachie. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Tonya Davis
BOONEVILLE – Tonya Lynn Davis, 33, died Tuesday, March 9, 2010, at her home. She was a member of Gaston Baptist Church. She was loved by all who knew her. She loved her music and singing on karaoke. She collected pens, her favorite color being purple. She enjoyed spending time with her family and going to The Workshop with her friends. She loved camping and playing with her dog, Brodie.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Friday at the McMillan Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Matt Brown officiating. Burial will be in Gaston Cemetery.
She is survived by her parents, Terry and Jeanette McCoy Davis; her sister, Kelsey Davis; her grandmothers, Christine McCoy and Cleo Davis; several aunts, uncles and cousins; and her best friend, Amy Lauderdale.
She was preceded in death by her brother, Terry Brian Davis; her grandfathers, William “Bill” McCoy and William H. Davis; her cousin, Matt McCoy; and two uncles, Joey Hinton and James “Shorty” Strickland.
Pallbearers will be Chad Lauderdale, Cory Voyles, Pat Strickland, Bruce Padgett, Clay Voyles and Blake Thornton. Honorary pallbearers will be Wesley Bullard, Shea Padgett, Jeff Olsen, Petey Strickland and Scotty Davis.
Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and until service time on Friday.
Condolences may be left at www.mcmillanfuneralhome.com.

Beatrice Murdock
WEST POINT – Beatrice B. Murdock, 87, died Sunday, March 7, 2010, at Darlington Oaks in Verona.
Services will be at noon Friday at Pleasant Plain M.B. Church. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Carter’s Mortuary Services of West Point is in charge of the arrangements.
Visitation will be from 3 to 6 p.m. today at the funeral home.