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Obituaries – Aug. 22, 2013

John Henry Ashford

WATER VALLEY—John Henry Ashford, age 87, died Monday, August 12, 2013.
  Born in Water Valley, March 8, 1926, Mr. Ashford was a son of the late Charles Young and Minnie May Barber Ashford. John served in World War II in both the United States Army and the United States Navy. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture from Mississippi State University in 1951 and served as  a Governor’s Colonel in 1956. John loved the Lord and his church family and was an active, faithful member of First Presbyterian Church of Water Valley, where he served as an elder. He loved his community and was one of the founders of the Jeff Davis Water Association and a member of Rotary. John worked in insurance sales for Mississippi Farm Bureau Insurance Company until his retirement after 43 years of service.
    One of the highlights of his career was helping and serving families in Water Valley after the tornado of 1984. He enjoyed forestry and agriculture, gardening, was an avid Mississippi State fan, and loved watching college football and baseball games.
    Visitation was held Thursday, August 15, from 5 until 7 p.m. in First Presbyterian Church at Water Valley. The funeral service was held at two o’clock in the afternoon Friday, August 16, in the church, with Rev. Harold Spraberry officiating. Burial was in Oak Hill Cemetery at Water Valley, with Paul Baham, Dennis Welch, Donald Gray, Robert Jackson, Coley Little Bailey, and Daryl Burney as pallbearers. The Elders of First Presbyterian Church were honorary pallbearers. Seven Oaks Funeral Home of Water Valley had charge of arrangements.
    Survivors include a daughter, Christy Ashford of Nashville, Tenn.; one son, Clay Ashford of Water Valley; and one sister, Vivian Grachen (George) of Evergreen Park, Ill.
    In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Katherine Nell Wells Ashford; six sisters, Jewell Barber Ashford, Mary Hellon Ashford Gean, Nell Ashford Sallis, Minnie Ashford Littleton, Katie Mae Bentley, and Evelyn Ashford; and four brothers, Paul Clinton Ashford, Charles Joseph Ashford, Tomie Robert Ashford, and James Lewis Ashford.
    The family requests that memorials be made to First Presbyterian Church of Water Valley, P. O. Box 590, Water Valley, MS 38965.

David Bland

WATER VALLEY—David Bland departed this life on the morning of August 10, 2013, at his home in Water Valley.
   Born August 28, 1943, in Yalobusha County, he was a son of the late Willie and Sylvia Torrance Bland of Water Valley. To this union six children were born. Two brothers, Willie Torrance and William Bland, preceded him in death.
    He was married on July 5, 1961, to Flora Bell McGee Bland, and to this union three children were born. He was retired from BorgWarner of Water Valley, after many years of loyal service. He was employed as a security guard in  Oxford at the time of his death.
  Visitation was held Saturday, August 17, from noon until 2 p.m. in the Water Valley City Auditorium. The funeral service followed visitation at two o’clock, with Rev. Phillip Brackett, Rev. Amos Sims, and Rev. Eugene Walker officiating. Burial was in Oak Ridge Cemetery, with Bro. Willie Pulley, Bro. Larry Townes, Bro. Raymond Carr, Bro. Joe Tuner, Bro. James Ownes, Bro. Stacy Johnson, Bro. John Reed, Bro. Eugene Joseph, and Bro. Roger Mayes as pallbearers. William Campbell, Tyrone Campbell, Bobby Sims, Jr., Gerric Sims, Brandon Torrance, Lyntonio Bland, Antonio Bland, and Exavier Bland were honorary pallbearers. Seven Oaks Funeral Home of Water Valley was in charge of arrangements.
    Survivors include one daughter, Linda Torrance of Water Valley; two sons, David Lynn Bland and Jason LeShun Bland, both of Water Valley; five grandchildren, Brandon Torrance, Jaleesa Torrance, Lyntonio Bland, Antonio Bland, all of Water Valley, and Exavier Bland of Smithville; two sisters, Catherine (Ed) Wright of Water Valley, and Bonnie (Bobby) Sims of Clarksville, Tenn.; one brother, Benjamin Bland of Oklahoma City, Okla.; and a host of nephews, cousins, relatives, and friends.

Betty J. Bowman

HESPERIA, CALIF.—The season and the time came for Betty J. Bowman on July 29, 2013, at her home.
   Born January 8, 1941, in Water Valley, Mrs. Bowman was a daughter of the late Cleveland Belcher, Sr. and Ivory Woodard Belcher. At an early age she became a christian and joined Sanders Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, where she was a faithful member until she moved to California.
    She was employed as a patient supply technician. In California she met Andy Bowman and they were married April 7, 1979. Andy and Betty became members of First Baptist Church, Hesperia and she faithfully attended until her illness prevented her from doing so. Betty was ill nine years, before God called her home.
    Survivors include her faithful husband of 34 years, Andy Bowman; three brothers, Cleveland Belcher, Jr. (Marva) of California, Frank Belcher of Water Valley, and Randy Belcher (Zandra) of Brookhaven; three sisters, Dorothy (John) of Memphis, Linda (Charles) Cox of Water Valley, and Ruby (Joe) Turner of Oxford; two daughters, Andrea Bowman of Georgia and Jackie Hillard of Pasadena, Calif.;  five grandchildren; three aunts and three uncles; and a host of nieces and nephews, family and friends.
    Betty was preceded in death by  her bother, Danny Belcher, and two sons, Kenneth Bowman and Terrance Washington.

Eleanor Leverette Evans

WATER VALLEY—Eleanor Leve-rette Evans, age 86, died Friday, August 16, 2013, in Baptist Memorial Hospital—North Mississippi at Oxford.
  Born April 29, 1937, in Duck Hill, Mrs. Evans was a daughter of the late James Clifford and Lena Heath Leverette. Eleanor was a member of First Baptist Church of Water Valley and worked there for many years as a secretary.
    She was later employed as a teller at Mechanics Bank in Water Valley until her retirement. She dedicated most of her life to caring for her invalid daughter, Lee Ellen Evans, until her death in 2003. She enjoyed cooking and sewing, but her world revolved around her grandchildren.
    Visitation was held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, August 18, in Seven Oaks Funeral Home at Water Valley. The funeral service followed at 3:30 p.m. in Henry Chapel of the funeral home, with Dr. Randy Bain officiating. Burial was in Oak Hill Cemetery at Water Valley with Jesse Leverette, Sid Leverette, Cliff Leverette, Lane Leverette, Eddy Creekmore, and Larry Evans as pallbearers.
    Tommy White and Roy Bennett Stevens were honorary pallbearers.
    Survivors include her son, Dr. Frank Evans, Jr. (Sherry) of Calhoun City; three sisters, Jeanine Bradshaw of Jackson, JoAnn Finn of Memphis, and Betty Minton of Rutherford, Tenn.; her brother, Jesse Leverette of Madison; three grandchildren, Larry Howell Evans, Jennifer Leigh Evans Chandler, and Taylor Brooke Evans; and two great grandchildren.
    In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Frank Evans, Sr.; her daughter, Lee Ellen Evans; and her son, Larry Leverette Evans.

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