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Obituaries – Aug. 14, 2008

Mary Grace Brewer Begley

COFFEEVILLE – Mary Grace Brewer Begley, passed into heaven on August 9, 2008.  

She was born June 23, 1916 in Coffeeville. With a vibrant smile and the happiest eyes, her life led her from being the maker of pins for grenades during World War II, to a life-long educator from 1945 to 1978.  A wife, mother and a friend, she left her mark on this earth by improving the minds of those she taught, who even returned to see her upon hearing that she was nearing the final stage of her life.

Visitation will be held Thursday, August 14, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Seven Oaks Funeral Home in Water Valley. Services will be held in Henry Chapel of Seven Oaks Funeral Home on Friday, August 15, at 2 p.m. with Dr. John Talbert presiding.  The committal will be in Pilgrim’s Rest Cemetery in Yalobusha County.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Carlos Begley; parents, Henry Harrison and Mary Ellen McCammon Brewer; and two brothers, Robert Wisdom and James Henry Brewer. Survivors include three sons, Carlos Ray Begley, Philip Begley and his wife Marie, and David Wayne Begley; five grandchildren, Philip Eugene Begley, Brian Begley and wife Jennifer, Jim Roy Begley and finance Melissa, Eric Frasier Begley, and Jason Scott Begley and wife Tracy; four great-grandchildren, MacKenzie Elizabeth Begley, Zachary Whitesell, Brennan Begley, and Nathan Begley; two step-great granddaughters, Robin and Ashley; and countless friends and former students.

Van Derlin Harwell

OXFORD – Van Derlin Harwell, age 79, died Saturday, August 9, 2008, at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford.  

    Services were held Tuesday, August 12, in Henry Chapel of Seven Oaks Funeral Home at 10 pm with Rev. Jimmy Sockwell presiding.  The committal was held in the Old Union cemetery in Lafayette County.

    Born July 28, 1929 in Paris, he was a son of Lewis Madline and Sleet Emmaline Harwell. He was a retired, self-employed carpenter and a member of the Old Union Baptist Church in Lafayette County.

    Mr. Harwell is survived by his wife, Hazzle L. Harwell; a daughter, Ronda Lynn Walls (Dave); a son, Randy Lee Harwell; a sister Lona Merle Hodge, all of Water Valley; seven grandchildren, Jeremy Chad Harwel, Joseph White Byrd, Lindsey Leann Byrd, Kimberly Walls, Jessica Walls, and Avonlea Hope Harwell; five great grandchildren, Joseph Allen Britt, Michael Andrew Burrows, Brianna Walls, Kalen Walls, and Layla Brooke Harwell, and a godson,  Michael Taylor all of Water Valley.

    Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by a grandson, Cody Wade Harwell; granddaughter, Leslie Harwell; a sister, Faye Berryhill; and three brothers, Joe Eddie Harwell, Cletus Harwell, and James Lewis Harwell.

Pansy Hopkins

WATER VALLEY – Pansy Hopkins died Thursday, August 7, 2008, at Baptist Memorial Hospital.

Services were held in the Henry Chapel of Seven Oaks Funeral Home on Saturday, August 9. Rev. Bill Forsyth officiated the service and burial followed in Oak Hill Cemetery.

 Mrs. Hopkins was born in Campbell, MO to the late George and Ethel Bess Bedwell.  She served as Deputy Circuit Clerk of Yalobusha County for many years and was a member of Friendship Baptist Church in Water Valley.

Pansy is survived by a daughter, Cheryl Harris and husband Jerry, of Mooreville; a sister, Lucille Williams of Campbell, MO; and two grandchildren, Chris and Kayla Butts of Tupelo, and Mandy Butts and Brian Brazeal of Unity.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Lee Roy Hopkins in 1999, her son, Gary Hopkins, and a brother, John Bedwell.

Louise B. Marion

COFFEEVILLE – Louise B. Marion, age 84, died Tuesday, August 5, 2008, at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford.  

Services were held Saturday, August 9, at noon in Henry Chapel of Seven Oaks Funeral Home. Burial followed in Zion Springs Cemetery in Calhoun County. Rev. Walter Williams officiated.

     Mrs. Marion was born September 15, 1923 in Water Valley. She was a daughter of George and Maude Hoskins and was married to the late Earl Marion. Mrs. Louise was a housewife and a member of the Church of Christ in Coffeeville.

Mrs. Marion is survived by seven daughters, Hazel Lee of Coffeeville, Betty Marion of Coffeeville, Stella Collins of Memphis,, Susie Flemons of Coffeeville, Shirley Malone of Senatobia, Mary Steen of Jackson, and Mattie Sims of Water Valley ; five sons, Robert Marion, James Marion, Tommie Marion, John Marion, and Perry Marion, all of Coffeeville; three sisters, Rebbie Kerr of Water Valley, Chessie Conway of Memphis, and Hazel Crowder of Chicago, IL; a brother, Earnest Hoskins of Grenada; a special sister-in-law, Mattie Armstrong of Coffeeville; 23 grandchildren; a host of great grandchildren; and a host of nieces and nephews.

William Clyde Ray

WATER VALLEY – William Clyde Ray, 93, died in Yalobusha General Hospital August 7, 2008, following a period of declining health.

  Visitation was from 1:30 until 3:00 on Monday afternoon, in First United Methodist Church at Water Valley. The funeral service followed at three o’clock with Rev. Billy Ray Stonestreet officiating. Interment was in Oak Hill Cemetery. National Funeral Home in Grenada was in charge of arrangements.

  Born to J. Spence and Rudell Morris Ray in Union County on August 27, 1914, Mr. Ray grew up there and graduated from New Albany High School. He later settled in Water Valley in 1951, where he operated Ray’s Department Store until 1981. He was a Rotarian for many years, an avid outdoor sportsman, and he enjoyed training beagle hounds and pointers. For many years his passion was Water Valley High School Football. A member of First United Methodist Church of Water Valley, he served as Chairman of the Administative Board.

  Survivors include: his son, Eddie Ray, and wife Pat, of Water Valley; his daughter, Jeanene Tucker of Tupelo; a grandson, Richard Tucker of Tupelo and granddaughters Wendy L. Tucker of Tupelo and Nancy Margaret Ray of Washington, D.C.

  In addition to his parents, Mr. Ray was preceded in death by: his wife of 68 years, Juanita Wilder Ray; three brothers, Owen Ray of Eupora, J. Warren Ray of Water Valley, and LeRoy Ray of Oxford.

  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church in Water Valley.

Alice Smith

CHICAGO, IL. – Alice Smith, age 91, died Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at Roseland Community Hospital in Chicago, Illinois following a lengthy illness.

    Mrs. Smith was an active and faithful member of Smith Chapel Church in Coffeeville for many, many years until failing health caused her to move to Chicago, Illinois to be in the care of her children.  While living in Chicago, she united with True Vine of Holiness Missionary Baptist Church.  She touched the lives of many by being a servant to others and by using her beautiful singing voice to sing praises to God.

    Mrs. Smith’s homegoing celebration was held at Mt. Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Coffeeville with Pastor J. C. Hentz officiating and Eddie Robinson Funeral Directors in charge of services.  Aaron Smith, Ulysus Smith, Brian Haynes, Christopher Haynes, Larry Smith, and Lee Russell Smith served as active pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers were Eldridge Smith, Jr., Elam Hudson, Jabrell Hudson, DeVante Smith, and Lawrence Leigh.

    Mrs. Smith, a retired Motts employee, was born July 10, 1917 in Coffeeville to the late Ethel Britt.  She was the firstborn of four children, all of whom preceded her in death.  

Mrs. Smith was united in holy matrimony to Mr. Eldridge Smith, Sr. who preceded her in death.  During their 48-year marriage, God blessed them to have nine children, in addition to two children from a previous marriage.

Survivors include six sons, Eldridge (Mary) Smith, Jr., Ulysus (Joann) Smith, Russell Smith, Aaron (Ella) Smith, Larry Smith, and Gregory Smith; five daughters Gladys Crawford, Lynn (Elam) Hudson, Ethel (Freddie) Haynes, Lucille McDonald, and Lawrence Leigh; 19 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren; three sisters-in-law, Revia Harris, Clara Smith, and Mae Smith; and a host of nieces, cousins, other relatives and friends.

Geneva B. Toliver

WATER VALLEY: Ms. Geneva B. Toliver, 80, of Water Valley died Monday, August 4, 2008.

  The funeral service was held at one o’clock in the afternoon Friday, August 8, in New Providence M.B. Church, near Water Valley, with Rev. Sidney Towns officiating. Burial was in Old Providence Cemetery, Water Valley. Cooley’s Mortuary, Inc. had charge of arrangements.

  Born August 1, 1928, in Batesville, Ms. Toliver was a daughter of the late Wilton Bishop, Sr. and Myrtle Morgan Bishop. She was a retired teacher and factor worker. Ms. Toliver was a member of New Providence M.B. Church and was a youth Bible teacher. She was a long distance runner and was in the Mississippi State Conference. She was also a board member of Panola County Voters and the Ponola County Cooperative. She was a member of Panola County NAACP Service Association, and was president of Panola County NAACP. Ms. Toliver was a member of the Homemaker Club, was 4-H Club Director and was on the Christian Committee. She served on the Panola County and State Democratic Executive Committees.

  Survivors include: two daughters, Janice O. Tidwell of Water Valley and Mary Catherine Jones of Memphis; a son, Chancie Eugene Toliver of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; a sister, Juanita Bishop Cox of Water Valley; two brothers, John W. Bishop of Memphis and Leslie Bishop of Water Valley; seven grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Kathryn J. Wilkey

OMAHA, NE – Kathryn J. Wilkey, 78, of Omaha, Nebraska, died Thursday, August 7, 2008, at the Hospice House in Omaha.

    A memorial service was held at The Church of Omaha Saturday, August, 9,  with Pastor Jimmy Toney officiating. The funeral service was held on Tuesday, August 12, in Dahlgreen, Illinois.

  Mrs. Wilkey was born in Ponca City, Oklahoma on January 2, 1930. She was preceded in death by her parents, Luther and Ada Bonham of Kansas; her husband, Fred V. Wilkey, Sr., formerly of Water Valley; her eldest son, Fred V. Wilkey, Jr. of Illinois; and two brothers, Earl and Roy Bonham.

  She had been very active in two churches, First Pentecostal Church of Arkansas City, KS and The Church of Omaha in Omaha, NE, where she had a host of friends.  She also served as a foster grandparent for six years at Francis Willard Elementary of Arkansas City, KS. She is a retired employee of Big Yank Corp. of Water Valley. She fought a courageous battle with cancer and touched many lives during this time, especially children she came in contact.

    Survivors include: five children, Nathan Wilkey of Nesbit, Jeff Wilkey of Alpena, MI, Jack Wilkey of Charlotte, NC, Vickie Godwin of Water Valley, and Debbie Lockwood of Omaha NE; one brother, Bill Bonham of Witchita, KS; 16 grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren.

     In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to The Church of Omaha or The Hospice House in Omaha.

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