Obituaries March 25, 2013

By NEMS Daily Journal

Wilma Hooker
WEST POINT – Wilma McCarver Gray Hooker, daughter of the late Gus Whitlow Gray and Keron McCarver Gray, passed away March 22, 2013, in West Point. She was born Oct. 5, 1921, on a farm in Pontotoc County. In 1939, Wilma Gray graduated from high school in Ecru, where she was chosen Most Beautiful. She married Aron Haywood Hooker of Thaxton, on June 10, 1939, and they were married for over 38 years, only being separated by his service during World War II. They shared a love for their church, their family and their friends. Mrs. Hooker was a tireless, fun, generous, involved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Her time and talents were always devoted to the activities of her family. She loved to spend her time cooking and gardening and she will be remembered as one who always warmly welcomed family and friends to her home. Mrs. Hooker affectionately became known as Mema when she became a grandmother. She had a gift for making each of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren believe that they were her favorite. She was an active member of First Baptist Church of West Point, working with Girls’ Auxiliary, Baptist Training Union and Vacation Bible School. She was a lifelong member of the Order of the Eastern Star, serving as Worthy Matron. The sentiments of her grandchildren were best expressed as one wrote, “Our beloved Mema passed away, and although we are really sad and already miss her dearly, it’s comforting to know she lived a long, full life, filled with joy, hope, love and family. Mema is reunited with our Pepa, and for that we rejoice. We will always cherish the good times we had with her and we are so thankful for the many wonderful years we shared together. No matter where we go and no matter what we do, Mema will always be with us, for we are Mema’s children.”
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at First Baptist Church in West Point with burial in West Point Memorial Garden Cemetery. Calvert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Mrs. Hooker is survived by her children, Dr. Phillip Aron Hooker and wife, Carol of West Point, Elizabeth Gray Hooker Herron and husband, Charles of Meridian and Wilma Jane Hooker Maxwell of Germantown, Tenn.; by grandchildren, Dr. Phillip Aron Hooker Jr. and wife, Miranda, of Oxford, Andrew Haywood Hooker of Franklin, Tenn., Shelley Grace Hooker Hemphill of Thompson’s Station, Tenn., Andrew Newton Rayburn of Oxford, Thomas McCarver Rayburn of Jackson, Shelby Hooker Rayburn of Oxford, Suzanne Patton Herron Helveston and husband, Campbell of Meridian, Elizabeth Ann Herron of Birmingham, Ala., Elizabeth Drayton Maxwell Hutton of St. Louis, Mo., and Katherine Gray Maxwell of Chicago, Ill.; and great-grandchildren, Preston and Anna Hooker, Robert Hemphill Jr., Hart Rayburn, Patton and Collins Helveston, and Hannah, Abby, and Marie Hutton.
Preceding her in death were her husband, Aron Haywood Hooker; parents, Mr. and Mrs. Gus Whitlow Gray; sisters, Hilda Gray Tedford, Joyce Gray Baker, Betty Jean Gray and Jamie Keron Gray; and brothers, Harvey Gray and her twin, William Gray.
Pallbearers will be the grandsons and great-grandsons.
Visitation is 4 to 6 p.m. today at Calvert Funeral Home in West Point.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, P O Box 704, West Point, MS 39773 or to Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi, 800 Avery Blvd, Suite 100, Ridgeland, MS 39157.
Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at

Lorine Reid
DENNIS – Gracie Lorine Reid, 85, died Saturday, March 23, 2013, at Tishomingo Manor in Iuka. She was born in Belmont to John Houston and Velma Castleberry Pharr. She was retired from Golden Manufacturing after 28 years.
Services will be at 11 a.m. today at Deaton Funeral Home Chapel in Belmont with Bro. Donnie Wooten and Bro. Roger Wood officiating. Burial will be in Lindsey Cemetery in Belmont.
Survivors are her son, Jimmy Reid of Dennis; two grandchildren, Donald Reid (Trish) of Jackson and Tracy Mathieu (Shane) of Dennis; three great-grandchildren, Bailee, Garret Reid and Samantha Stacy; and one brother, Billy Pharr (Jot) of Tishomingo.
She was preceded in death by her husband, O.D. Reid; her parents; one sister, Lurie Pruitt; and one brother, Rayburn Pharr.
Pallbearers will be Jimmy Wooten, Scotty Wooten, Danny Pharr, Timmy Pate and Jimmy Harris.
Visitation will be until service time today.

Frankie Hobson
HOULKA – Frankie Hobson, 92, died Saturday, March 23, 2013, at her residence in Houlka. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Kenneth I. Roberson Funeral Home of Pontotoc.

William Foster
AMORY – William D. Foster, 77, died Saturday, March 23, 2013, at Gilmore Memorial Regional Hospital in Amory. Arrangement are incomplete and will be announced later by E.E. Pickle Funeral Home in Amory.
Visitation is 5 to 8 p.m. today at Nettleton Penticostal Church.
Memories and condolences may be shared at

William Washington
HOLLY SPRINGS – William Earl Washington, 54, died Saturday, March 23, 2013, at his residence. Serenity Funeral Home of Holly Springs is in charge of arrangements.

Lawrence Nicholson
HICKORY FLAT – Lawrence Nicholson, 81, died Saturday, March 23, 2013, at Graceland Nursing Home in New Albany. He was born Feb. 13, 1932, to Harvey and Mary Thompson Nicholson in Marchall County. He was a U.S. Army Veteran. He was an auto mechanic and a member of Flat Rock Baptist Church.
Service is at 2 p.m. today at Flat Rock Baptist Church with Bro. Randy Buse and Bro. Gary Yates officiating. Burial is at Bethel Cemetery in Hickory Flat. Holly Springs Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
He is survived by his wife, Lee Thompson Nicholson of Hickory Flat; son, Harold (April) Nicholson of Hickory Flat; brother, Raymond Nicholson of North Carolina; and grandchildren, Kayla Nicholson, Lesa Nicholson and Alex Nicholson.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and son, Harvey Nicholson.

Pauline Woodard
PITTSBORO – Pauline Woodard, 90, died Sunday,March 24, 2013, at her home. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Belle Memorial Funeral Home in Bruce.

Willene Thomas
NEW ALBANY – Willene Thomas died Sunday, March 24, 2013, at her residence. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by United Funeral Service in New Albany.
Bobby Briscoe
TUPELO – Bobby Gene Briscoe, 76, died Friday, March 22, 2013, at North Mississippi Medical Center. He was born Sept. 19, 1936, in Lafayette County to Francis Eugene Briscoe and Sarah Anderson Briscoe. He graduated from Taylor High School and in 1959, received his degree in agriculture from Mississippi State University. He married his sweetheart, Barbara Ferrell, on Sept. 6, 1959, in Panola County. He joined the Mississippi National Guard and began a lifelong commitment to and love of farming the land of Lafayette County. His entrepreneurial path included Riverside Chemical Company/Cook Industries. He was founder and owner of Briscoe Construction Company, a company he owned until his death. His trademark carpentry/building skills are evident all over North Mississippi, where he constructed hundreds of homes, especially FmHA housing through the USDA. In later years, his specialty was construction of USDA county and regional headquarters facilities. He was a church and community leader. He and Barbara joined Harrisburg Baptist Church in 1963. He loved his Church family and served actively as a former deacon, active in his Sunday school class, as a consultant to building and real estate projects and as a faithful Monday morning offering counter for many years. He was a former president of the Northeast Mississippi Home Builders, a director of First South Farm Credit Association, formerly a member of the Exchange Club and was former Cattleman of the Year in Lafayette Co. Aside from his love and devotion to his family, he enjoyed good conversation, sharing his jovial personality and exercising. He will best be remembered as a steward of the Briscoe family landholdings in Lafayette County which he often rode and walked over with consummate respect and joy for God’s creation and its produce.
A service celebrating his life will be held at 11 a.m. today at Harrisburg Baptist Church in Tupelo with Dr. Forrest Sheffield, the Rev. David Langerfeld and the Rev. David Smith officiating. Burial is at Clear Creek Cemetery. Holland Funeral Directors are entrusted with arrangements.
Survivors include his wife of over 53 years, Barbara Ferrell Briscoe of Tupelo; two sons, Paul Briscoe (Martha) and John Briscoe (Dana), all of Oxford; his daughter, Michelle McCauley (Dr. Robert McAuley) of Tupelo; eight grandchildren who affectionately called him Daddy Bob, Joshua Briscoe, Bradley Briscoe, Shelby Briscoe, Rob McAuley, Sarah Grace Briscoe, Ferrell McAuley, Mabrey Briscoe and Brooke McAuley; and special cousins, Mike Anderson, Mike Briscoe and Bill Anderson, all of Oxford.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and sister, Ouida Briscoe Capers.
Pallbearers will be grandsons, Joshua, Bradley, Rob and Charlie Greer, Joe Kilgo and Tony Stephens. Honorary pallbearers will be Phil Poe, Hamilton Smith, Murray Coward, Jimmy Mounce, Freddy Moore, Frank Brinkley, Wilson Long, Charles Twitty and members of the Duncan/Moore Sunday School Class at Harrisburg.
Visitation is 10 a.m. until service time today at the church. Additional visitation will be 3 to 4 p.m. today at Clear Creek Baptist Church in Oxford with burial to follow.
Memorials may be made to Harrisburg Baptist Church Building Fund, 4685 Cliff Gookin Blvd., Tupelo, MS 38801 or to Clear Creek Baptist Church, 50 CR 313, Oxford, MS 38655.
Condolences may be emailed to
Annie Cheek
CHESTERVILLE – Annie Ruth Cheek, 85, died Saturday, March 23, 2013, at her home. She was born July 3, 1927, in Pontotoc County to Hunter and Maude Elsie Duke Pound. She worked in the claims department for the Illinois Central Railroad for over 20 years. She was an avid quilter, dancer and a member of the Railroad Bowling Team. She was also a long time member of Chesterville Baptist Church.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Chesterville Baptist Church with the Rev. Sammy Coker officiating. Burial will be in Chesterville Cemetery. W.E. Pegues Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include her husband, Dan Williams of Chesterville; two sons, James Cheek (Bonnie) of Chesterville and John Cheek Jr. of Merrillville, Ind.; six grandchildren, Christina Cheek of Tupelo, Courtney Cheek of Jacksonville, Fla., Sean Cheek (Nicole) of Auburndale, Fla., Bryan Cheek (Melissa) of Schererville, Ind., Aaron Cheek of Crown Point, Ind., and Michael Cheek of Chicago, Ill.; and four great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers, Jim Pounds, Robert and Charles Brazil; and one sister, Marie Brazil.
Pallbearers will be George Shelton, Paul Coker, Randy Copeland, Jason Rush, Dwight and Allen Simmons. Honorary pallbearers will be Elon East, Robbie Brazil, Tony Lute, Brandon Chaney and Pat Malone.
Visitation will be one hour prior to services.
Expressions of sympathy may be left at

Elbert Moore
JUMPERTOWN – Elbert G. Moore, 70, died Saturday, March 23, 2013, at his home. He was born Sept. 11, 1942, to Sevier and Ruby Moore. He was the owner of Moore’s Trucking Company.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at McMillan Funeral Home with Bro. William Copeland officiating. Burial will be in Jumpertown Cemetery.
He is survived by one son, Larry (Sherry) Moore of Jumpertown; two sisters, Betty Ann Calvery and Brenda Whisenant, both of Booneville; four brothers, Junior Moore and Robert Moore, both of Jumpertown, Will Moore of Mount Pleasant and Jimmy Moore of Booneville; three grandchildren, Barrett (Tabitha) Moore, Christopher (Kandace) Moore and Amanda Moore; five great-grandchildren; a special friend for 12 years, Diane Ledbetter and her children, Wendy Green of Booneville, Chris (Amy) Green of Jumpertown, Kelly (Derek) Stevenson of Blackland and Jema (Brandon) Nunley of Booneville and her ten grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by one son, Donny Moore; his parents; and one brother, Paul Moore.
Visitation is 5 to 9 p.m. today and until service time Tuesday at the funeral home.
Condolences may be left at
Lee Holsman Sr.
BOONEVILLE – Lee Roy Holsman, 88, died Saturday, March 23, 2013, at Magnolia Regional Health Center in Corinth. He was born January 8, 1925, to Alvin and Ida Holsman. He was retired from the United States Postal Service. He liked mechanical work, camping and also dreamed of building his own motor home someday. He studied the Bible and was moved to symbolize his dedication to his God, Jehovah on July 15, 1954. For the past six years, he has been a member of the Corinth congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and has enjoyed helping others learn what the Bible teaches.
Memorial services will be at 5 p.m. today at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Corinth. McMillian Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
He is survived by his loving wife of 31 years, Bernice Pauline Holsman; his children, Sherry, Mary, Lee Jr. and Kelly; his three stepsons, Ronnie, Todd and Jessie; 14 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

Mary Wiley
BYHALIA – Mary Sue Cox Maxey Wiley, 96, went to be with her Lord Saturday, March 23, 2013, at Trinity Mission of Great Oaks in Byhalia. She was born Oct. 29, 1916, in New Albany. She was a graduate of New Albany High School. After the death of her husband, Samuel Lewis Maxey, she was employed at Irwin Shirt Manufacturing for several years. She married James Clifton “J.C.” Wiley on Feb. 22, 1957, and moved from New Albany to Iuka where she lived until 2006. In Iuka, she worked for the Iuka Shirt Company. In her later life, she lived in Wesley Manor in Hernando and Trinity Mission Health and Rehab of Greater Oaks in Byahlia. She was an active member of Glenfield Baptist Church of New Albany where she taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School and sang duets with her son, Wayne. Upon moving to Iuka, she became an active member of Iuka Baptist Church.
Service is at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Cutshall Funeral Home Chapel in Iuka with the Rev. Dr. P.J. Scott officiating. Burial is in Glenfield Cemetery in New Albany.
She is survived by three sons, Jimmie Franklin Maxey (Carol) of Meridian, Idaho, Willie Terry Maxey (Susan) of Olive Branch and Rayborn Ranson Maxey (Judy) of Bullhead City, Ariz.; one daughter, Patricia Wiley Thomas (Tommy) of Booneville; one daughter-in-law, Barbara Harris Maxey; 15 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; her adopted daughter, Monica Kirby (Ray) of Nesbit; and many loved nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Elis Frank “E.F.” Cox and Nancy Elizabeth “Nanny” Cox; her husbands, Samuel Lewis Maxey and James Clifton “J.C” Wiley; her son, Lewis Wayne Maxey; her brothers, William David Cox and Stanley Cox; and her sister, Marcelle Murrah.
Pallbearers will be Jeff Maxey, Tracey Maxey, Stacey Maxey, Patrick Maxey, Jeremy Maxey and Larry Ollar.
Visitation is noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Cox-Maxey Music Fund and First Baptist Church in New Albany; to the Murrah Music Fund at Iuka Baptist Church; to the Wayne and Barbara Maxey Music Fund at Temple Baptist Church in Olive Branch; or to the Judy Johnson Maxey Music Fund in Pontotoc.
An online guestbook can be accessed at

Tristan Stafford
PONTOTOC – Tristan David Stafford, 17, passed away Sunday, March 24, 2013, due to an automobile accident. He was born to Richard and Natalie Stafford in Tupelo. He was a Christian and a member of Charity Baptist Church in Pontotoc. He was a Junior at Pontotoc High School. He was loved by his large family and many friends.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Charity Baptist Church with Bro. Kerry Nelson officiating. Baldwin Nowell Funeral Home of Pontotoc is in charge of arrangements.
He is survived by his parents; his brother, Richard David Stafford Jr.; and grandparents, Wayne and Dorothy Cox.
He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Howard and Ruby Stafford and Billy Joe Berry.
Visitation is 11 a.m. until service time Tuesday at Charity Baptist Church.

Laverne Vance
HOULKA – Sarah Laverne Vance, 93, died Sunday, March 24, 2013, at her home in Houlka. She was born Aug. 11, 1919, in Newton County, to Grover Cleveland Vance and Emma Priscilla Massengale Vance. She was a homemaker and a member of Pearson Chapel.
Services are at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Houston Funeral Home with the Rev. Scott Samuell officiating. Burial will follow at Wesley Chapel Cemetery in Houston.
Survivors include her daughters, Scottie Gann (Sonny) of Houston and Carol Barefield (Larry Wayne Sr.) of Houlka; her son, Jerry Wayne Vance (Martha) of Houlka; her sister, Bernice Belk of Moss Point; her grandchildren, Shane Gann, Dawn Davis, Darrin Vance, Shonda Clayton, Grant King, Serena Kilgore, Larry Barefield Jr. and Jeff Barefield; her great-grandchildren, Vance Gann, Danielle Tunnell, Blaize Gann, Preston Smith, Garett Vance, Emma Grace Kilgore, Lillie Vance, Rena Claire Kilgore, Brittany Clayton, Calleigh Davis, Brittney Samuell, Jacob Samuell and Jess Barefield; and three great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Farris Neuman Vance; her parents; and her brothers, Alton Vance, Delmas Johnson Vance and Ray Vance.
Visitation is 5 to 7 p.m. today at Houston Funeral Home.
Friends and family may sign and leave a message on the register book at

Pearl Alexander
MANTACHIE – Barbera Pearl Kincade Alexander, 72, died Saturday, March 23, 2013, at her residence. “Miss” Pearl was born on April 9, 1940, in Pontotoc County, to James Franklin and Anna Raines Kincade. A master homemaker, she was best known as a caregiver for her children and grandchildren. She was of the Pentecostal faith and loved gospel music, especially southern gospel. She married James Robert Alexander on March 5, l955, and he died Dec. 1, 2010.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors with Bro. Billy Adams officiating. Burial will follow in the Priceville Cemetery.
Survivors include her two daughters, Diane Jackson (Tommy) and Angie Johnson (Darren); son, James Alexander, all of Mantachie; four grandchildren, Matthew Jackson, Kacy, Karley and Kaley Johnson; four sisters, Marie Snodgrass, Martha Weggengel (Ted), Mary Ann Grubich and Carolyn Snoe (Leon), all of Kansas; and three brothers, Bill Kincade (Peggy), Charles Kincade (Cheryl) and James Kincade (Janice), all of Kansas.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and two children, Ruby Fay Alexander and Kathy Wilson.
Pallbearers will be Eddie Alexander, Bobby Berryman, Matthew Wilson, Robert Smith, Joel McAllister and Pat Thompson.
Visitation is 5 to 8 p.m. today at Holland-Tupelo Chapel.
Condolences may be e mailed to

Tommy Bethay Sr.
TUPELO – Tommy Dale Bethay Sr., 66, died Friday, March 22, 2013, at the North Mississippi Medical Center. He was born July 23, 1946, in Tupelo, to Johnnie Chesley and Vivian Pennington Bethay. Throughout his life he worked several jobs, including Lee Communications, Tupelo Police Department and retiring as a respiratory therapist. He loved domestic animals and was a member of East Heights Baptist Church.
A memorial service will be held at a later date by W.E. Pegues Funeral Directors.
Survivors include one son, Tommy Bethay Jr. of Tupelo; two brothers, Danny Bethay of Unity and Donald Bethay of Oxford; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Memorials may be made to the Tupelo Lee Humane Society 2400 S Gloster St, Tupelo, MS 38801.
Expressions of sympathy may be left at

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