WATER VALLEY: Maudie R. Carothers Benson, age 56, died October 24, 2007, in Water Valley.
Born June 15, 1951, Mrs. Benson was a daughter of the late Bennett Carothers and Lula B. Hoskins Carothers. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and sister. “If anyone asked her to do something she always said Yes, with a smile,” stated a sister. She loved doing service for her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She professed a hope in Christ at an early age and became a faithful member of Pleasant Green M.B. Church, where she served as a Sunday School and Vacation Bible School Teacher, and the Assistant Sunday School Secretary. She was a member of the Water Valley Community Choir, the Order of Easter Star St. Joseph #8 Chapter. She president of the Usher Board, Sardis District Association, until her health failed. She was also a member of the Prayer’s Ministries at Bayson Chapel. Mrs. Benson was employed at Big Yank Manufacturing for 21 years, during which time she served as president of the Almagated Clothing Union workers. She graduated from Lafayette High School in 1970.
Funeral services were held Monday, October 29, 2007, at two o’clock in the afternoon in Pleasant Green M.B. Church, with Dr. Preston Gleeton, pastor, officiating.
She leaves: her husband, George Benson of Water Valley; two daughters, Arenether D. Benson of Water Valley and Camasha L. Benson of Cleveland; one grandson; four sisters, Mattie Campbell of Water Valley, Annie R. Wray, Alene Carothers of Oxford, and Mae Ison of Abbeville; four brothers, Charles and Willie Carothers of Oxford, Larkuh Willingham of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Kenny Carothers of Atlanta, Georgia.
In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her step-mother, Ester Willingham, and two brothers, Leon Carothers and Aven Carothers.
WATER VALLEY: Brownlow Jackson Crawford, a business owner and entrepreneur whose philanthropic spirit has forever changed the heartbeat of Water Valley, MS as well as other surrounding communities, has died at age 77. Brownie, as he was affectionately called, was born in Sugar Creek, GA on February 18, 1930, to Carl Clifford and Nona Margaret Cobb Crawford, and was the eldest of nine children.
Though not formally educated beyond a high school diploma, Brownie was a self-educated man who read voraciously, listened intently, and had a keen sense of business trends and marketing. Brownie, along with his wife Dorris, sent his younger brothers and sisters to college during the fledgling years of their poultry business, fueling his love for giving and helping others as he and Dorris grew more successful in their business ventures.
Despite his efforts to mask his generosity, the term “anonymous donor” became synonymous with “I bet that’s Brownie.” His innumerable contributions have touched the lives of Yalobusha and Lafayette residents and beyond, notably in the areas affecting youth and children, local and foreign medical missions, sports, education, and those less fortunate who need a helping hand.
Brownie enjoyed recounting the unusual and humorous details of his salvation experience with Christ Jesus, and never hesitated to give God the glory for the many blessings he enjoyed sharing with others.
In addition to his reputation as a generous giver, Brownie was widely reputed as a practical joker with hilarious tales to share. His infectious laugh was magnetic, and his tales grew with each retelling. Brownie was an avid walker, often up and walking in the wee hours of the morning before the rush of the business day compelled him to spend many hours in his Crawford and Associates office near his home.
In an effort to capture Brownie’s life in a few paragraphs, his daughter, Lorri, was asked to offer input. Her modest answer sums up everyone’s incapability to pen his life. “Daddy’s life was bigger than words; his life was action.” Brownie will be tremendously missed by his family, his church, First Baptist of Water Valley, and his countless friends.
A visitation for Brownie Crawford is planned for Tuesday evening, November 6, 2007 from 6 until 8 p.m. at Seven Oaks Funeral Home in Water Valley. The service will take place at First Baptist Church of Water Valley at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 7, 2007 with Dr. Randy Bain and Rev. Raymond Aven officiating. The family will hold a private graveside service at Pinecrest Memorial Gardens in Yalobusha County, MS.
Pallbearers will be Robby Parsons, Richard Shelly, Cam Tyler, Tom Fitts, Sean Carothers, and Wayne Harris. Honorary pallbearers will be Bill Williamson, Snooky Williams, Bob Tyler, Eddie Ray, Arnold Carothers, Eric Weeks, Dr. Joe Walker, Dr. Paul Odom, and Charles Sharp,
The Mechanics Bank Directors, Perry Crawford, Charles Walker, Robert Weaver, Lowell Edwards, Floyd McGehee, Dee Young, and Richard and Lisa Howorth.
Brownie will be tremendously missed by his family, his church, First Baptist of Water Valley, and his countless friends. He is survived by his wife, Dorris Hemphill Crawford of Water Valley; two sons, Len Jackson Crawford of Blue Ridge, GA and Darrell Brownlow Crawford of New York, NY; and one daughter, Lorri C. Williamson of Water Valley, MS; two sisters, Johnnie C. Watkins of McCaysville, GA and Dorric C. Olnick of Blue Ridge, GA; five brothers, Pete Crawford of Mount Juliet, TN, Bob Crawford of Douglas, GA, Gene Crawford of Morganton, GA, Jim Crawford of Tucker GA, and Joe Crawford of Toccoa, GA; five grandchildren, Joeli Williamson of Oxford, MS, Cory Williamson of Water Valley, MS, and Caroline and Abigail Crawford, both of Blue Ridge, GA. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one brother, Jack Crawford of Water Valley, MS.
Memorials may be made to Compassion Ministries, c/o Carroll Crenshaw, 70 CR 386, Water Valley, MS 38965 or to the Northwest Community College Brownlow Jackson Crawford Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 7015, Senatobia, MS 38668.
WATER VALLEY: Debra Kay Sterling Rue, age 45, passed away on October 30, 2007, in Yalobusha General Hospital at Water Valley.
She was born December 1, 1961 in Jonesboro, Arkansas to Malcolm L. and Wanda Gilmore Sterling. Mrs. Rue was an active member of Sylva Rena Baptist Church, Water Valley, where she served as a teacher in Missions Friends and G.A. classes. She was a dedicated Band Boosters Club member and was a familiary sight for many years at the concession stand for Friday night football games. She often accompanied her husband, Bobby, as he drove his 18-wheeler across the United States. They took their son, John, whenever possible to create framily vactions and see the country.
The funeral service was held at one o’clock in the afternoon Friday, November 2, 2007, in Sylva Rena Baptist Church on Highway 32 West in Yalobusha County with Bro. Calvin Miller and Bro. James West officiating. Burial was in Sylva Rena Cemeter, near the church, with Don Simoneaux, Victor Steen, Bill Norris, Richard Walker, Chris Pullen, and Lee Pullen as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers were Bobby Jennings, Alex Sterling, Jimmy Goodson, II, Jimmy Brandstaff, Tim Ritter, and Matthew Stone. Seven Oaks Funeral Home was in charge of the arangements.
She is survived by: her husband, Bobby Rue of Water Valley; one son, John M. Rue of Water Valley; three sisters, Linda Ritter of Jonesboro, Arkansas, Kathy Colbert of Robinsonville, and Tammy Brandstatt of Rush Springs, Oklahoma; one brother, Gary Sterling of Paragould, Arkansas; and a host of nieces, nephews, and good friends.
WATER VALLEY: Mrs. Mamie S. Webb, 97, died Thursday, November 1, 2007.
Born August 10, 1910, in Lafayette County, Mrs. Webb was a daughter of the late Chesley C. Sartor and Annie Thweatt. She was a member of North Main Methodist Church. A homemaker, her husband was the late B. H. Webb, who died in 1982.
The funeral service was held at one o’clock in the afternoon Tuesday, November 6, 2007, in the Henry Chapel of Seven Oaks Funeral Home, with Rev. Carl McClain officiating. Burial was in Oak Hill Cemetery, 412 Blackmur Drive, Water Valley.
She is survived by one son, Paul H. Webb of Water Valley.