By NEMS Daily Journal
Mary Vadine McRee
TUPELO – Mary Vadine McRee, 97, died Monday, Aug. 27, 2012, at North Mississippi Medical Center after a short illness. Vadine was a native of Memphis and Millington, Tenn. She was an educator by heart and profession, attaining a Master of Education degree from Memphis State University, teaching elementary school children in Shelby County, Tenn., Brookhaven and Tupelo for 42 years. She, with her family, moved to Tupelo in 1953 where she became an active member of the community, receiving recognition in both education and civic affairs.
She was born June 21, 1915, to the late Stephen and Fannie Russell of Millington. She was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Franklin Williams McRee. Vadine was a member of Calvary Baptist Church where she taught Sunday School in the Senior Adult Department for many years. She was very active in Women’s Missionary Union and Senior Adult Fellowship. She held leadership positions in Delta Kappa Gamma and Retired Teachers (NRTA), and loved and supported Shepherd Center and Sanctuary House. Vadine lived at Traceway for the last three years and the family deeply appreciates the love and care so generously given by all the staff.
Visitation will be at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, with services to follow at 11 a.m. at the Jefferson Street Chapel of W.E. Pegues with Dr. David Eldridge officiating. Graveside services will be at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Big Creek Cemetery in Millington, Tenn.
She is survived by two daughters, Billie Jean Marion and her husband, Michael, of Bozeman Mont., and Mary Frances Wadsworth of Hernando, and one son, Stephen Franklin McRee and his wife, Penny, of Jackson, Tenn.; seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, Michele Walker and son, Marshall, of Pony, Mont., John Marion of Bozeman, Mont., Paul Allen Wadsworth and wife, Debbie, and children, Chandler, Ben and Mollie, Russell Wadsworth and wife, Jeanna, and children, Whitney and Weslyn, William Wadsworth and his wife, Amy and children, Mary Addison, Mac and Elizabeth, all of Hernando, and Stephanie McRee Swims and her husband, Dewey, and children Dewey Nelson and Houston of Jackson, Tenn., and Elizabeth McRee Gilstrap and husband, Alan, and children Carson, Ross and Miller, of Brandon. Survivors also include brother-in-law, John L. McRee, and his daughters, Linda and Celia McRee of Memphis, Tenn.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Velma Fisher, and her brother, Stephen O. Russell.
Pallbearers will be her grandsons.
Memorials may be made to Calvary Baptist Church, P.O. Box 1008, Tupelo, MS 38802-1008 or Shepherd’s Center, 412 E. Main St., Tupelo, MS 38804.
Lester Franklin “Frank” Swords, a retired financial executive and local philanthropist, died Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012, at St. Francis Hospital in Memphis due to complications from brain surgery. He was 69.
Swords was born in Ecru and moved to Memphis to attend Memphis State University, where he earned his Master’s degree in accounting.
He began his accounting career as a cost accountant for Dover Elevator Corporation in Horn Lake and later became Chief Cost Accountant for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Memphis.
In 1972 Frank joined NSA as its first CFO and later became Chief Operating Officer. During his more than 20 years in that capacity, Swords was instrumental in seeing NSA grow from a small Memphis company to a worldwide leader in the Direct Selling Industry, operating in over 25 countries.
After his retirement, Swords pursued his two loves in life, hunting and horses. His world famous Sword Point Percheron Farm was home to more than 50 Percheron draft horses along with a collection of buggies, surreys, stage coaches, wagons and horse-drawn farming vehicles. His participation in countless parades, weddings, field days and other events in the Holly Springs area is legendary.
Throughout his life, Frank was active in professional organizations, civic affairs and charitable endeavors. His generosity and kindness extended far beyond Memphis and Marshall County.
Frank Swords is survived by his wife of 32 years, Vicki Bishop Swords; brother, Phil Swords (Debbie); six daughters, Vicki Jo Swords, Cindy Swords (John), Mandy McMinn (Doug), Amy Mask (Perry), Holly Barker (Kyle) and Leslie Swords; seven grandchildren, Dana Messer, Sterlin McMinn, Josh Mask, Michael McMinn, Juston Mask, Eva Barker and Grayden Barker; and a multitude of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Lester and Mabel Swords.
Visitation will be held today, Aug. 28, from 5 to 9 p.m., and funeral services will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2 p.m., both at Marshall Academy, 100 Academy Drive, Holly Springs, MS 38635.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests any memorials be directed to Marshall Academy or the Church Health Center, 1210 Peabody Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104.
PONTOTOC – Sarah Lee Crouch, 77, died Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, at Sanctuary Hospice House. She was a member Furrs Baptist Church, where she was the treasurer of the Joy Sunday School class, chairman of the hostess committee and a member of the Prime Timers. She was a homemaker and the former treasurer of the Pontotoc Hospital Auxillary.
Services were Monday, Aug. 27, at Furrs Baptist Church with the Rev. Steve Cohea and the Rev. Dan Young officiating. Burial was in the Pontotoc City Cemetery. Browning Funeral Home in Pontotoc was in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include her husband of 56 years, James H. “Buddy” Crouch of Pontotoc; one daughter, Sharon Crouch of Pontotoc; one son, Steve Crouch (Angie) North Pole, Alaska; her mother, Louise Pannell Warren; one sister, Margaret Brown (Carroll) of Pontotoc; and three brothers, Bob Warren (Barbara), Bill Warren (Jeanie) and Ronnie Warren (Barbara), all of Pontotoc.
She was preceded in death by her father, Robert Lee Warren.
Pallbearers were Scott Whitt, Carey McMullan, Michael Weatersby, Ty Priest, Mitchell Malone, Roger Griffin and Dusty Warren. Honorary pallbearers were the Hostess Committee and Joy/Truth Seekers Sunday School Class of Furrs Baptist Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Sanctuary Hospice House, 5159 W. Main St., Tupelo, MS 38801 or to the charity of the donor’s choice.
Condolences may be offered at www.browningpontotoc.com.
NEW ALBANY – Clara Charlene Windham, 77, died Monday, Aug. 27, 2012, at her home in Union County. She was born in Union County, on Dec. 20, 1934, to Buford and Doris Pannell. She was a homemaker and enjoyed fishing. She was a loving sister, aunt and friend. She was a member of Jamison Grove Baptist Church.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Burial will be in Glenfield Memorial Park in New Albany. Glenfield Funeral Home of New Albany is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include a brother, Robert Lee Pannell of New Albany; a sister, Kay Windham (Donald) of New Albany; and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Edward “Buddy” Windham; her parents; and two sisters, Mary Allene Pannell and Cecil Marie Pannell.
HOLLY SPRINGS – Lena B. Payne Howell, 65, died Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, at Alliance Health Care System in Holly Springs.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Strawberry Missionary Baptist Church. Burial will be in Cottrell Memorial Garden in Holly Springs. J.F. Brittenum and Son Funeral Home of Holly Springs is in charge of the arrangements.
Visitation will be from 2 to 7 p.m. today at the funeral home. The body will lie in repose at the church from noon to 12:55 p.m. Wednesday.
ASHLAND – Deborah Joann Pannell, 54, died Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012, at Ashland Health and Rehab in Ashland. She was born Sept. 28, 1957, to Ed James Pannell and Alma Gertrude Turner Pannell.
Services will be at 11 a.m. today at Ripley Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Bill Baker officiating. Burial will be in Criswell Cemetery.
She is survived by three sisters, Mevoline Tennyson (Eugene) of Booneville, Zena Ketchum (Fred), and Stella May Lowery, all of Ripley; five brothers, Johnny Pannell of Baldwyn, Junior Pannell (Deloris), Jerry Pannell and Terry Pannell, all of Ripley, and Jody Pannell (Betty) of Hickory Flat.
She was preceded in death by her parents and two sisters, Christine Gates and Bobbie Jean Clark.
Visitation will be from 10 until 11 a.m. today at Ripley Funeral Home.
To view obituaries online and sign the guestbook, visit www.ripleyfuneral home.com.
HAMILTON – Johnny Yeager, 61, died Monday, Aug. 27, 2012, at Baptist Memorial Funeral Home in Columbus. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced at a later time by Tisdale-Lann Memorial Funeral Home in Aberdeen.
CORINTH – Brenda Louise Dunn, 58, died Monday, Aug. 27, 2012, at Magnolia Regional Health Center.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Magnolia Funeral Home Chapel of Memories. Burial will be in Oaks Hill Cemetery.
Visitation will be from 5 to 9 p.m. today and from noon to service time Wednesday at the funeral home.
Online condolences can be left at www.magnoliafuneralhome.net.
BELMONT – William Floyd Castleberry, 81, died Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012, at Generations of Red Bay. He was a native of Itawamba County. He was a retired maintenance worker for the town of Belmont.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Deaton Funeral Home Chapel in Belmont with Bro. Jerry Ginn officiating. Burial will be in Lindsey Cemetery at Dennis. Deaton Funeral Home of Belmont is in charge of arrangements.
Survivors are two sons, Roger Castleberry (Charlene) of Bartlett, Tenn., and Randy Castleberry (Amy) of Belmont; one sister, Myrtle McCalmon (James) of Marietta; one brother, Jerry Castleberry (Jeanette) of Selmer, Tenn.; sister-in-law, Reba Joy Harris; brother-in-law, Billy Roy Harris (Patsy); three grandchildren, Jessica Thompson (Ryan), Adam Castleberry and Allison Castleberry; three stepgrandchildren, Brent Adkins, Jacob Phillips and Zackery Smith; and four great-grandchildren, Isabell Castleberry, Wyatt Phillips, Amiyah Phillips and Kaleb Osbourne.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Darlene Castleberry; his parents, William Colbert Castleberry and Estelle Stephens Castleberry; and a sister, Willard Moxley.
Pallbearers will be Ryan Thompson, Adam Castleberry, Mike Harris, George Robinson, Zackery Smith and Jacob Phillips.
Visitation will be from 6 to 9 p.m. today at Deaton Funeral Home in Belmont.
Ralph S. Hill
MANTACHIE – Ralph S. Hill, 78, died Monday, Aug. 27, 2012, at the Sanctuary Hospice House. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Lee Memorial Funeral Home.
FALKNER – Kassey Napper, 19, died Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012, in Memphis. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by McBride Funeral Home in Ripley.
Visitation will be from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.
NETTLETON – Talmadge Allen “T.A.” Randolph, 89, died Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012, at Darlington Oaks Community Hospice in Verona after an extended illness. He was born June 6, 1923, in Itawamba County to Allen and Ora Lee Warren Randolph. Formerly of Kirkville, he had lived in Nettleton for the past 67 years. He was an Army veteran, serving in the Army Air Force during World War II. He was a retired machine operator for True Temper Sports in Amory and a member of the Nettleton Pentecostal Church. He enjoyed going fishing, camping and working in his garden.
Services with military honors will be at 2 p.m. today at the Nettleton Pentecostal Church with the Rev. Larry Davis, the Rev. Jason Salisbury and the Rev. Jordan Davis officiating. Burial will be in Jones Chapel Cemetery. Tisdale-Lann Memorial Funeral Home of Nettleton is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include three daughters, Ann Lesley and Faye Minich (Reggie), all of Nettleton, Sherry Jones (Billy) of Amory; four sons, Sammy Randolph, Buster Randolph (Linda), Danny Randolph (Diane) and Mike Randolph (Donna), all of Nettleton; two sisters, Georgia Richardson of Tupelo and Maxine Kennedy of Opelika, Ala.; one daughter-in-law, Brenda Randolph of Nettleton; special friends, Marlin and Wanda Allen of Amory; 23 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Corrine Hester Randolph; his parents; one son, Jimmy Randolph; six sisters, Pearlie Clark, Ruby Nelson, Earnie Sullivan, Verada Mayo, Bessie Hargett and Willie Randolph; and four brothers, Ellis Randolph, Dallas Randolph, Wallace Randolph and Otis “Jr.” Randolph.
Pallbearers will be his grandsons. Honorary pallbearers will be his great-grandsons.
Visitation will continue from 9 a.m. to service time today at the church.
Family and friends may sign the guest registry and leave condolences at www.tisdalelannmemorial.com.
FULTON – Verlon R. Thornton, 86, died Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012, at North Mississippi Medical Center.
He was born April 4, 1926, to John Thomas and Mae Bell Franks Thornton. He was a third degree Mason and a member of Sandy Springs Baptist Church. He enjoyed hunting and fishing. He retired from the Army and from Mueller Brass.
Staff Sgt. Thornton entered the United States Navy in July 1944. In October 1947, he entered the United States Army from Mississippi. He served with the 34th Infantry Regiment, Sasabo, Japan; First and Second Armored Division, Fort Hood, Texas; 514th Transportation Co., 23d Transportation Battalion and 532d Artillery, Korea; 7th Infantry Division, Japan and Korea; Second Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.; 1st Infantry Division, Vietnam; and the 342nd Transportation Co., Germany. He attended the Provost Marshal General Center School at Fort Gordon, Ga., and served at the Navy Air Station in Memphis. In the United States Navy during wartime, he participated in the invasion of Okinawa, while serving on the USS DD 406, and made the landing at Inchon, Korea, while serving in the United States Army. His awards include a Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star and Good Conduct Medal, Third Award.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Senter Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Grover Laird officiating. Burial will be in Sandy Springs Cemetery. Senter Funeral Home of Fulton is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Tamiko Hashimoto Thornton of Fulton; his sons, Tony Thornton (Deborah) of Nashville, Tenn., and Michael Thornton (Diana) of Illinois; his daughters, Diane Aron of Fulton, Bonnie Shumpert of Louisiana and Susan Deshotel (Kerry) of Louisiana; grandchildren, Jordan Shumpert, Brent Thornton, Shawn Aron, Hunter Thornton and Max Thornton; great-grandchild, Nate Shumpert; brother, Ceburn Thornton of Louisiana; and sisters, Ruby Mitchell of Fulton, Lois Owens of Belden, Luna Steward (Junior) of Fulton and Zelma Loague (Joe) of Fulton.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Charlie Thornton.
Pallbearers will be Brent Thornton, Shawn Aron, Hunter Thornton, Max Thornton Jr., J.W. Beasley and Ricky Mitchell.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today and from 7 a.m. to service time Wednesday.
Online condolences can be expressed at www.senterfuneraldirectors.com.
Freeman F. Justice
BOONEVILLE – Freeman F. Justice died Monday, Aug. 27, 2012, at his home in Booneville. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Agnew and Sons Funeral Home of Booneville.
RIPLEY – Margaret Ann “Margie” Besinger, 68, died Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, at her residence in Ripley. She was born Sept. 28, 1943, to David H. Whiteside and Margaret Dick Whiteside. She was a member of Blue Mountain Church of the Lord Jesus Christ and a homemaker.
Services will be at 2 p.m. today at Ripley Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Joe McKnight officiating. Burial will be in Blue Mountain Cemetery.
She is survived by her husband, Paul Besinger of Ripley; two daughters, Stefanie Benson of Tupelo and Paula Childers Little of New Albany; three grandchildren, Chanc Benson and Kiefer Benson, both of Memphis, and Cheyenne Childers of New Albany.
She was preceded in death by her parents; and one grandson, Colte Benson.
Pallbearers will be Chanc Benson, Cleatus Young, Allen Rodgers, Curt Henry, Robert Frazier, Jimmy Boren, Willie Besinger and Franklin Besinger.
To view obituaries online and sign the guestbook, visit www.ripleyfuneral home.com.
Mary G. White
BOONEVILLE – Mary G. White died Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012, at North Mississippi Medical Center after a brief illness. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Grayson’s Funeral Services of Corinth.
MEMPHIS – Jenise Kail Gillespie, 58, died Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, at Sunshine Healthcare in Pontotoc. She was born April 14, 1954, in Memphis. She was a Baptist. She loved her two grandchildren, her toy poodle, Lucky, and the University of Memphis basketball.
A graveside service will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Pontotoc City Cemetery with Bro. David Hamilton officiating. Tutor Memorial Funeral Home of Pontotoc is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include one daughter, Angie Gillespie Moorman (Frankie); one son, Matt Gillespie (Rhonda); one sister, Janice Oberle; and two grandchildren, Bailey and Garrett Moorman.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Carlton and Alice Kail; a sister-Jean Lewis; and a brother, Carlton Kail Jr.
LAMAR – Steven Andrew Allen, 26, died Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. He was born Sept. 5, 1985, in Memphis. He was a member of Slayden Baptist Church and a painter with RBR Enterprise.
Services will be at 4 p.m. Thursday at Slayden Baptist Church with Bro. Rusty Fair and Bro. Jarrett Jamieson officiating. Burial will be in Rice Chapel Cemetery at Lamar. Holly Springs Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include his mother, Sherry Allen, and his father, Johnny Allen, of Lamar; a brother, Johnny Mitchell Allen of Lamar; a niece, Madison Allen, and a nephew, Michael Allen; a cousin, David Hamblin; uncles, James Woody Smith (Debbie) of Mt. Pleasant, Charles Skelton of Holly Springs, Logan Allen (Judy) and Winfred Allen (Marty); aunts, Carolyn Thompson and Mary Cothern (Bennie) of Holly Springs, Virginia Byrd (Lawrence) of Lamar and Patricia Hill (Mike) of Rockport, Texas; and his grandmothers, Barbara Sue Smith and Lavenia Allen.
Visitation will be from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to Slayden Baptist Church.