Obituaries Nov. 22, 2009

Willie Mae Whitworth
FULTON – Willie Mae Whitworth, 91, died Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009, at the Golden Living Center in Winfield, Ala. She was born Aug. 16, 1918, to Thomas and Ophelia Summerford Whitworth. She lived in Fulton most of her life, before moving to Winfield to be closer to her family after losing her eyesight. She worked in garment sewing plants. She enjoyed traveling and being with her family and was a member of Trinity Baptist Church.
Services will be at 2 p.m. today at the McNeece-Morris Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Don Baggett officiating. Burial will be in Itawamba Memorial Gardens.
Survivors include one niece, Martha Estes Farrar; one great-niece, Karen Martine (John); one great-nephew, Jeff Farrar (Teresa), all of Winfield; two great-nephews; and numerous cousins and other family members.
Pallbearers will be Marty Davis, Marc Davis, Michael Davis and Hugh Davis.
Visitation will be from noon to service time at the funeral home.
Ouida Hamilton
ECRU – Catherine Ouida Bush Hamilton, 91, died Friday, Nov. 20, 2009.
Better known as “Mrs. Ouida,” she was born Sept. 18, 1918, in Greenwood to Flonnie Arant and Albert Jasper Bush Sr. At an early age, she professed her faith in the Lord. She was a living legacy of faith as a beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
She received her bachelor’s degree in math and science from “The W” and began her teaching career in Randolph where she met her future husband, J. Brooks Hamilton, whom she later married on May 30, 1941. She taught high school mathematics at Ecru High School until her children were born, at which time she and her husband established Hamilton Manufacturing Company. After her husband’s death on Nov. 20, 1969, she went to Mississippi State University where she received her master’s degree in special education. She helped Margaret Woods pioneer the special education program in Pontotoc County at Beckham School for special needs children and later taught special education at North Pontotoc. After retiring, she stayed involved with the local school system as a volunteer while privately tutoring children and teens for many years in her home. She was known as a gifted and inspiring teacher who cared deeply for the well-being of her students and their families.
She led Pontotoc County Southern Baptists in receiving training in Christian education and the discipling of others. She spent several summers at Gulfshore Baptist Assembly in Mississippi as a youth counselor and chaperoned additional youth groups to Ridgecrest and Glorietta Baptist Conference Center in New Mexico. Known as a teacher of God’s Word, she was a cherished Sunday school teacher at Ecru Baptist Church for over 50 years and at Church Street Personal Care Home in Ecru for 13 years. In addition, she had the privilege of beginning the Bible Drills program and was also instrumental in beginning Woman’s Missionary Union work at Ecru Baptist Church.
She enjoyed being involved in mission work with her family throughout Mississippi, across the nation, and internationally in Korea, Honduras and Belize. She spent her days ministering to and loving others through visiting shut-ins, teaching about missions, volunteering at the local food pantry, and participating in other local ministries.
Survivors include her daughter, Elise Cornwell; her son, Bush Hamilton (Jannie), all of Ecru; six grandchildren, Ney Gore and fiance Melissa Arnold of Dallas, Texas, Amy Davis (Jason) of Spring Hill, Tenn., Brooks Hamilton (Brandy), Abigail McMillen (Justin), Amber Hamilton and Rebecca Cornwell, all of Ecru; and great-grandchildren, Katie Brooke Hamilton, Allie Grace Hamilton and Hayden Cade Hamilton, all of Ecru; sisters, Mary Turner of Sunflower and Virginia Foresman of Denver, Colo.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, J. Brooks Hamilton; her sisters Blanche Jones and Dorothy Stewart; and her brother, Albert Bush Jr.
Pallbearers will be Ney Gore, Brooks Hamilton, John Bailey, Jimmy Farris, Rex Mooney and Shawn Moore. Honorary pallbearers will be Justin McMillen and Waymon Bigham.
Services will be at 2 p.m. today at Ecru Baptist Church with visitation from 1 to 1:45 p.m.

Mary Wilds
OXFORD – Mary Rose Mitchener Wilds, 86, died Friday, Nov. 20, 2009, at Azalea Gardens in Oxford.
Born in Sumner, she was a homemaker and the widow of Dr. Murphey Candler Wilds. She was a member of First Presbyterian Church where she was a ruling elder. She was a graduate of Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Va., and Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, Va. She was active in the Christmas Store and was very supportive as a minister’s wife in churches in North Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas.
Funeral services will be Tuesday at 11a .m. at First Presbyterian Church with Rev. John Semmes, Rev. David R. Freeman and Rev. Jonathan Scanlon officiating. The graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. in Woodlawn Cemetery in Sumner. Visitation will be Monday from 4-6 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church. Waller Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include two sons, Scott Wilds and his partner, Martin Bodtmann of Philadelphia, Pa., and Mitch Wilds and his spouse, Ferne Winborne of Louisburg, N.C.; one brother, Frank M. Mitchener Jr. of Sumner; and two grandchildren, Alex Hughes Wilds and Sarah Rose Winborne Wilds, both of Louisburg.
The family has asked that expressions of sympathy or memorial contributions in Mrs. Wilds’ memory be made to First Presbyterian Church, 924 Van Buren Ave., Oxford MS 38655 or Sumner Presbyterian Church, 701 Walnut St., Sumner MS 38957-9716.
Brenda C. White
TUPELO – Brenda Carolyn Cunningham White, 59, died Friday, Nov. 20, 2009, at Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo after a brief illness. She was born in Charleston in Tallahatchie County on Feb. 6, 1950, to the late Benjamin P. and Mary Belle Jones Cunningham.
She had lived all her life in Mississippi including Charleston, Greenwood, Vicksburg and other towns before moving to Tupelo 15 years ago. She was a Pentecostal by faith and had worked several years as a waitress in the family restaurant and spent the last years of her life caring for and sitting with the elderly. She loved all animals especially her cat, Harley, traveling, music of all kinds and styles and being with her family and many friends.
Services will be at 3 p.m. today at the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors with Mr. Donnie Hamblin officiating. Private burial will follow in the Starks-Gentry Cemetery near Blue Springs. Visitation will be from noon-service time today at the Tupelo Chapel.
Survivors include her nieces, Mary Ann Hitt (Eddie) of Blue Springs and Stephanie Mayben of Mooreville; her nephew, Mike Best of Tupelo; two aunts, Frances Nanney and Helen Williams, both of Tupelo; five great-nieces, Courtney, Lauren and Brianna Mayben and Carley and Kirsten Hitt; a half-sister, Floy Cunningham McCoy of Southaven; and many cousins and a great host of friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; an infant son, Kerry Van Hughes Jr.; a sister, Patrice Clarty; a brother, Stanley Wayne Cunningham; and a half-brother, Gerald Cunningham.
Pallbearers will be her close friends.
Condolences may be e-mailed to Memorials may be made to Sanctuary Hospice House, P.O. Box 2177, Tupelo MS 38803.

Carl Roberts
RIPLEY – James Carl Roberts, 68, died Friday, Nov. 20, 2009, at Tippah County Hospital in Ripley. He was born Nov. 6, 1941, to the late Willie Carl Roberts and Maebelle Smith Roberts. He was a member of Dumas Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher. He worked at Foot-Carress until they closed with over 20 years of service, and was a former alderman for the town of Dumas.
Services will be at 2 p.m. today at Ripley Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Randy Hurt and Bro. Bill Baker officiating. Burial will be in Mt. Zion Methodist Church Cemetery in Union County.
Survivors include two daughters, Kimberly Houston of Falkner and Jean Childers (Tim) of Ripley; one sister, Billie Brown (Gerald) of New Albany; two brothers, Ottis Roberts of Summerville, Tenn., and Tommy Roberts of Keownville; and four grandchildren, April Marie Hopper and Roy David Hopper of Falkner, and MiKayla Childers and Austin Childers of Ripley.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Edith Marie Roberts; his parents; and one sister, Jean Bullock.
Pallbearers will be Roy Hopper, Tyler Pannell, Kelly Roberts, Greg Brown, Monty Owens and Tim Childers. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Dumas Baptist Church Adult Men’s Sunday School Class.
To view obituaries and sign the online guestbook, visit

Gurtiss Lamb
AMORY – Gurtiss A. Lamb, 82, died Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009, at the Gilmore Memorial Regional Medical Center in Amory. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by E.E. Pickle Funeral Home of Amory.

Douglas Barnes
GUNTOWN – Douglas Barnes 83, died Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009, at the Sanctuary Hospice House. Arrangements are incomplete will be announced later by Waters Funeral Home of Baldwyn. Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday.

Estella A. Hancock
TISHOMINGO – Estella A. Hancock, 73, died Friday, Nov. 20, 2009. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Nov. 28 at Spirit and Truth Church in Burnsville. Ludlam Funeral Home of Iuka is in charge of arrangements.
Rev. Dr. Robert Jones
CHICAGO – The Rev. Dr. Robert Vernard Jones died Monday in Chicago. He was born June 12, 1962, to Lucy Jones and Robert Martin. He received his education at Englewood High School in Chicago. He received a bachelor’s degree in math from the University of Illinois-Champaign; his master’s degree in theology from Southern Illinois University; and his doctorate from North Park College of Theology. He was a Mason and a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He was baptized at Union Missionary Baptist Church at an early age. He was called into the ministry in 1996. During his time in ministry, he was an associate pastor at Rising Star Church in Tupelo. He later became senior pastor at Jerusalem M.B. Church at Nettleton. After that, he was the senior pastor of the Second Baptist M.B. Church in Pontotoc. He was well versed in speech and had a strong and powerful prayer connection with God. He was a giving, caring and loving person and especially loved his family.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Christ Temple Baptist Church in Markham, Ill. Burial will be in Washington Cemetery in Homewood, Ill. W.W. Holt Funeral Home of Harvey, Ill., is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include his children, Robert Jr. (Mother Tamara), Joshua and Miranda (Mother Marilyn), and Joy (Mother Tanya); brothers, Winston Mike Jones, Willie Jones and James Jones; nephews, Antonne, Charles, Chris and James; nieces, Navy, Tasha and Charlene; great-nieces Ozema and Tylasia; and great-nephews, Mike, Tay and Jovan.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Ozema; nephews Mark and Mike; and grandparents, Rev. Dr. James Wilson and Annie Wilson.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of the Rev. Jones may be sent in care of Mavis Prude, P.O. Box 594, Verona MS 38879.

William Brewer
HATLEY – William Albert Brewer, 61, died Friday, Nov. 20, 2009, at his residence. He was born Oct. 7, 1948, to Floyd Edward Brewer and Cora Willis Orr Brewer in Aberdeen. He was a lifelong resident of Monroe County. He was a veteran and served three tours of duty in Vietnam. He was a Baptist. He was a retired truck driver.
Services will be at 2 p.m. today at the Tisdale-Lann Memorial Chapel with Rev. Jackie Laney and Rev. Chuck Moffett officiating. Burial will be in New Hope Cemetery in Hatley.
Survivors include one daughter, Corelean Brewer of Memphis; one stepdaughter, Billie Anne Young of Columbus; two sons, Israel Brewer of Jasper, Ala., and Brent Brewer of Huntsville, Texas; one sister, Brenda Brewer of Baltimore; three step-grandchildren; and a special friend and caretaker, Nancy Brewer.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Sarah Sandlin; and three brothers, James Brewer, Willis Earl Brewer and Eddie Brewer.
Pallbearers will be Eric White, Matt White, Richie Brewer, Josh Brewer, Rodney Brewer and Bobby Brewer. Honorary pallbearers will be Billy Joe Holloway, Israel Brewer and Mark Linley.
An online register book is at

Melvin Willis
HOUSTON – Melvin Willis, 91, died Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009, at Hope Creek Care Center in East Moline, Ill. He was born Dec. 21, 1917, in Russellville, Ala., to the late Francis Nancy Guthrie and Thomas Burton Willis. He was a parts fabricator in furniture manufacturing. He was a member of Lawson Chapel Church of Christ. On May 20, 1939, he married Maudie Lee Carter Willis in Una, who predeceased him on Aug. 23, 1995.
Funeral services will be Monday at 10 a.m. at Calvert Funeral Home Chapel in West Point with Minister Tommy Lawson officiating. Burial will follow in Pleasant Grove Methodist Cemetery Clay County at Una.
Survivors include three sons, Melvin Lee Willis (Martha) of Moline, Ill., Billy Wayne Willis (Mackie) of Mantee and James Glenn Willis of Houston; four grandchildren, Joanna McGinnis (Bill), David Willis (Stacy), Dr. Danny Willis and Tim Willis (Angie); three great-grandchildren, Andrew McGinnis (Hailey), Amanda McGinnis (Matt) and Sarah Willis; great-great-grandchildren; one sister, Vera Logan of Hamilton; and one brother, Odell Willis of Denver, Colo.
Pallbearers will be Danny Willis, David Willis, Tim Willis, Andrew McGinnis, Hailey McGinnis, Amanda McGinnis, Joanna McGinnis and Sarah Willis.
Memorials may be made to Pleasant Grove Methodist Cemetery, c/o Brenda Henley, 13660 Baker Road, Prairie MS 39756.
Visitation will be today from 3-7 p.m. at Calvert Funeral Home.
Friends may leave a memory message at
J.T. Miller
FULTON – J.T. Miller, 75, died Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009, at The Meadows. He was born July 6, 1934, in Itawamba County. He was a member of the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. He was employed by the Itawamba County School System. He was a true friend and was known for his hard work and willingness to help others. He loved dancing and will be missed by all his dancing buddies at Young at Heart in Tupelo and Country Oldies in Sheffield, Ala.
Services will be at 2 p.m. on Monday at Senter Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Grover Laird, Bro. Ashley Pettus and Teresa McNeece officiating. Burial will be in Mt. Pleasant Baptist Cemetery.
Survivors include two daughters, Shelia Carnathan (Mike) of Mantachie and Lisa Moore (Delvin) of Killen, Ala.; five grandchildren, Jeremy Wood (Shannon) of Mooreville, Thomas Wood (Allison) of Mantachie, April Ferguson (Joseph) of Killen; Tera Johnson (Anthony) of Mantachie, Chase Coleman of Fulton; one step-granddaughter, Leigh Franks (Rodney) of Mantachie; one brother, Chester Miller (Ella) of Tupelo; three sisters, Eulla Mae Johnson, Liz Morrow (Frank) and Ollie Rea Wiygul, all of Fulton; 14 great-grandchildren, Tyler, Haylee and Cassidy Wood, Clayton, Brooke and Carly Wood, Weston, Kasidye and Taylor Ferguson, Lexie and Baylee Rayburn, Macie Johnson, and Laken and John Weston Franks; a special friend and employer, Teresa McNeece; and a host of nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, W.H. and Ethel Mae Tubb Miller; three brothers, Ellie Hue, Bobby and Pete Miller; four sisters, Naomi Wouldridge, Pearl Bolton, Jimmie Mae Miller and Flora Lee Miller; two infant siblings; and a step-grandson, Michael Carnathan.
Pallbearers will be Keith Johnson, Brad Thomas, Billy Williams, Jeff Senter, Doyle Johnson and Ted Johnson. Honorary pallbearers will be William Leech, Bill Wilemon, Bill Devaughn, Bob Robinson and Rabbit Kennedy.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105-1942.
Visitation will be today from 5-8 p.m. and Monday from 8 a.m. until service time.

Cordia Marble
PRAIRIE – Cordia Marble died Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009, at her home. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Williams Memorial of Okolona.

R.C. “Ted” Horn
TUPELO – R.C. “Ted” Horn, 91, died Friday, Nov. 20, 2009, at his home after a brief illness. He was born on Feb. 6, 1918, to William and Beulah Horn in Gleason, Tenn. He was a 1937 graduate of Gleason High School and a graduate of Toller’s Business College. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Houston and served as church treasurer. He started his employment at his uncles’ store, Horn’s Grocery. He also worked in the Gulf Ordnance Plant in Prairie, managed the Ben Franklin store in Houston, Dixie Variety and Gulf States Tile. He and his wife, Ruby, owned and operated the Dixie Diner Café and the Dixie Diner Catering Service. He enjoyed cooking, keeping up his yard, gardening, model trains and spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. He and his wife enjoyed traveling and had visited every state in the Continental United States. He enjoyed giving back to his community and two cities, Houston and Tupelo, have recognized him by naming a day in his honor, the Ted Horn Day. In 2003, he was awarded Caregiver of the Year by NMMC Hospice for his dedicated service in caring for his wife Ruby. He enjoyed giving to those in need. Years ago in his café, a man entered his café with nothing but the clothes on his back and Ted gave him a hot meal and $20. Little did he know how far that $20 would go. That man ended up in Kansas City, Mo., and became known as the Secret Santa who gave over $1 million dollars to people in need.
Services will be at 3 p.m. today at Lee Memorial Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Jimmie Criddle officiating. Entombment will follow in the Chapel of Faith Mausoleum in Lee Memorial Park.
Survivors include one daughter, Sandra Cox (Billy) of the Carolina Community; one son, David Horn (Pat) of Van Vleet; one sister, Joyce Wray of Gleason; five grandchildren, Angie Petro (Emile), Mike Horn and friend Bonnie, Jep Horn (Lisa), Steve Cox (Melissa) and Shannon Carter (Shawn); nine great-grandchildren, two step-great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren and one step-great-great-grandchild; his special friends, Dr. J. Paul White, Rob and Janice Whitten, Bobby and Sue Simmons, Carol Threadgill, Libba Akers, Otis Morris, Ed Harmon and Dottie Patterson; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 64 years, Ruby Lee Horn; three sisters, Magelois Gaston, Vashti Douglas and Dorris Manship; and one infant brother.
Pallbearers will be Mike Horn, Jep Horn, Steve Cox, Jon Horn, Justin Cox, Austin Horn, Zac Cox, Justin Pettit and Dillon Henderson. Honorary pallbearers will be Angie Petro, Emile Petro, Shannon Carter and Shawn Carter.
Visitation will be from 12 p.m. until service time today.
As per Ted’s request, in lieu of flowers memorials may be made to The Salvation Army or given to a person in need.
For online condolences and guest registry, visit

David Pitts
TUPELO – David Preston Pitts, 53, died Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009, at the North Mississippi Medical Center after a brief illness. He was born in West Point on Dec. 15, l955, to J.D. Pitts and Barbara Jean Bramlitt Pitts. He served eight years in the U.S. Army and later served many years in the Mississippi National Guard. A Baptist, he was a machinist and mechanic all his working life. He had lived in the Tupelo area the past 20 years. He enjoyed fishing, reading and watching SEC football on TV. He was a patriotic American who loved his country and family.
Funeral services, with military honors, will be at 2 p.m. on Monday at the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors with Bro. James Gardner officiating. Burial will follow in the Old Chapel “Pettey” Cemetery near Verona. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. today and from noon-service time on Monday.
Survivors include his mother, Barbara Jean Bramlitt Pitts, a resident of Golden Living Nursing Center in Tupelo; two sons: D.J. Pitts and Jerry Pitts of Columbus; one sister, Carol Ann Pitts Childers of Saltillo and Kenneth Pitts of Tupelo; four nephews, Clinton, Stephen and Gene Childers and Ricky Pitts Jr.; two nieces, Dawn Pitts and Kim Pitts; five grandchildren; and several cousins.
He was predeceased by his father, J.D. Pitts; and two brothers, Ricky Pitts and Lamar Pitts.
Pallbearers will be Clinton, Gene, Stephen, Dalton and Triston Childers and Brandon Reynolds.

Drennon D. Davis
AMORY – Drennon D. Davis, 92, died Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by E.E. Pickle Funeral Home of Amory.

NEMS Daily Journal

Click video to hear audio