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Obituaries – Jan. 22, 2009

Johnnie L. Houston

BATESVILLE – Johnnie L. Houston, 57, of Batesville, died in Tri-Lakes Medical Center at Batesville Monday, January 12, 2009.

  The funeral service was held at 2 p.m. Saturday, January 17, in New Hope M.B. Church, Batesville, with Rev. Richard Brown officiating. Interment was in the Eureka Cemetery at Batesville. Cooley’s Mortuary had charge of arrangements.

  Born March 17, 1951, in Batesville, Mr. Houston was a son of the late John David Houston and Mattie Lee Austin. He was disabled. Mr. Houston was a member of New Hope M.B. Church.

  Survivors include six sisters, Vergie Hamilton, Eunice Henderson, and Clotee Houston, all of Batesville, Annie Harris of Memphis, Sarah Houston and Shirley Pomlee, both of Water Valley; and two brothers, Robert Earl Houston and James Houston, both of Memphis.


Newman Merritt

WATER VALLEY – Newman Merritt, 85, passed away Thursday, January 15, 2009, at his home in Water Valley.

  Born October 13, 1923, in Wayne County, he was the son of Fletcher and Mamie Eplin Merritt. He was the Postmaster at Lundale, WV and was a painter. Mr. Merritt served during World War II in the United States Marines and was a member of the VFW in Man, WV. As a Scoutmaster, he attained the highest award and enjoyed hunting and fishing.

  The funeral service was held Sunday, Jan. 18, at 2:30 p.m. in the Henry Chapel of Seven Oaks Funeral Home, with Bro. William Milam presiding. The committal was held in Mt. Liberty Cemetery in Calhoun County.

  He is survived by his wife of 21 years, Christine Merritt of Water Valley; four daughters, Judy Bergeron of Washington, D.C., Sandra Oldaker of Chipley, Florida, Lessie Watts of Oxford, and Jo Ann Potts of Water Valley; a daughter-in-law, Amy Glasgow; two sisters, Violet Merritt of Newark, Ohio, and Shirley Merritt of Huntington, WV; four brothers, Edward Merritt of Fayetteville, WV, Chester Merritt of Newark, Ohio, Denver Merritt of Carmi, Illinois, Ted Merritt of Huntington, WV; seven grandchildren; and ten great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a brother, Clyde Meritt.


Evelyn Alice Stewart Tatum

OXFORD – Mrs. Evelyn Alice Stewart Tatum, 85, a retired cook at Crossroads Market, died Tuesday, January 13, 2009, in Graceland Care Center at Oxford.

  The funeral service was held Friday, Jan. 16, at two o’clock in the afternoon in Waller Funeral Home’s Chapel, with Rev. Richard Brown officiating. Burial followed in Browning Cemetery.

  Born in Pascagoula, Mrs. Tatum was preceded in death by her husband, Ira Edward Tatum, and also by her son, Larry Tatum, her daughter-in-law, Judy Waller Tatum, and sisters, Aileen McNeil, Joyce Allen, and Faye Tatum. Mrs. Tatum was a member of Union West Baptist Church, and formerly worked at Chambers Manufacturing. She loved taking care of the elderly and was a caretaker to many in their homes. She was devoted to her family and loved her pets, especially her dog, “Bear-Bear,” who also loved her dearly.

  She is survived by two daughters, Nancy Tatum Stiles, and her husband, Wayne, and Pamela Tatum Morgan, and her husband, Thomas, all of Oxford; daughter-in-law, Teresa Tatum of Abbeville; one son, Terry Lynn Tatum of Taylor; two sisters, Carolyn Vaughn of Southaven, and Nell Bell of Biloxi; one brother, Sonny Stewart of Saucier; six grandchildren, Lloyd McCullough, Chris McCullough, Kendra Ray, Brooke Tatum, Clay Tatum, and Will Stiles; seven great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.

  The family asked that memorial contributions in Mrs. Tatum’s memory be made to North Mississippi Hospice, 104 Skyline Drive, Oxford, MS 38655.


Velon H. “Bill” Taylor

WATER VALLEY – Velon H. “Bill” Taylor, 81, passed away Saturday, January 17, 2009, in Yalobusha General Hospital at Water Valley.

  Born March 23, 1927 in Calhoun County, Mr. Taylor was a son of the late Edward and Ellen “Tess” Black Taylor. He was a self-employed business owner and a member of First Christian Church in Water Valley. Mr. Taylor served in the United States Army.

  Graveside services for Mr. Taylor were held in Pinecrest Memorial Gardens, south of Water Valley, at eleven o’clock Tuesday morning, January 20. Dr. Joe Walker, M.D. officiated. Seven Oaks Funeral Home had charge of arrangements.

  He is survived by his loving and faithful companion, Dorris Massie of Water Valley; one daughter, Debra Iris Taylor of Amite, Louisiana; three sons, Ronald Burce Taylor (Elaine), and Billy Keith Taylor (Jeanann), both of Hammond Louisiana, and Edward Taylor of Memphis; one step-daughter, Belinda Patterson of Germantown, Tennessee; one sister, Ruby Nell Taylor Cardin (Harold) of Water Valley; one brother, James Taylor (Roma Dell) of Water Valley; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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