WATER VALLEY—A beautiful life came to an end on the evening of February 9, 2014, as Paul Lincoln Parker, 98, passed away at his home in Water Valley.
He was born July 29, 1915, in Amite County, the third of four children, to Joseph and Susie Parker. His family moved from location to location during his childhood in search of the next best opportunity. Along the way, he attended grammar school in Pineville and high school at Long Beach High School, before graduating from Macon High School in 1933.
It was in 1936 that he became a businessman after leasing a storefront in the town of York, Ala. and opening a 5&10 cent store. A year later, a lost lease forced him to search out a new location for his merchandise business. It was that fateful event in 1937 that brought him to Water Valley to open a Ben Franklin 5&10 cent store, in the building that is currently the B.T.C. Grocery. This was the second of many profitable and successful business enterprises in his life. He operated his Ben Franklin store until he sold it in 1974, renting the space to the TWL discount store. He often spoke of missing his store, but he cherished the weekends he now had to spend with his family. He even once turned down an opportunity to join Sam Walton in a little business venture Sam was working on in the 60s, with zero regret.
He met the love of his life, Charlotte Todd, while in Water Valley. On a blind date, set up by a mutual friend, the evening began on a rocky note as they each got the pre-established meeting location confused and each thought themselves “stood-up.” But they soon found each other that evening and that was the beginning of their eight month courtship and 73 years of marriage before she preceded him in death on March 16, 2013.
Paul was a veteran of World War II, serving the U.S. Army in the 1390th Engineering Forestry Company in the European Theater. He made many friends within his unit, and each Christmas, until 2009, he wrote an annual letter to the surviving members of the 1390th. In the late 1970s he hosted a large reunion in Water Valley for the members of the 1390th. In 1979 he and Charlotte retraced his wartime movements in Germany, renting a car, and locating several of the “locals” he acquired as friends while stationed there during the war. Some of his most interesting and animated stories were of the war. But you could always tell he lost a small piece of himself while away, judging by the way his sparkling blue eyes would get softer and a little distant when he paused during the oral recollection.
He was Postmaster of the Water Valley Post Office from 1955 until he retired from the office in 1987. After retiring from the Post Office, he opened an office above the old Ben Franklin Store, where he was an investment consultant to some of the Water Valley constituents until he moved his office computer to his home on Dupuy Street in 2003, his home for over 75 years.
Paul was a Rotarian and holds the undisputed Rotarian world record for perfect attendance, attending weekly meetings for 77 years and nine months. In Paul and Charlotte’s many overseas travels, he kept up his streak of perfect attendance by visiting the local Rotary chapters in the countries they were visiting.
He was a member of Water Valley First Baptist Church, where he was a deacon, serving many rotations as Chairman of the Deacons, and as Usher Chairman until he stepped down in 2008. He was a kind and gently husband, a caring father, and a loving grandfather and great-grandfather. He will be truly missed by all who knew him.
Surviving relatives include two grandsons, John Parker Turnipseed of Chicago and Harris Todd Turnipseed of Louisville, and two great-grandchildren, James Brady Turnipseed and Anna Parker Turnipseed.
In addition to his parents and his wife, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Nancy Parker Turnipseed; two brothers, Joe and Ray Parker; and one sister, Helen.
Visitation was held February 14, from 1-2 p.m. in First Baptist Church, followed immediately by the funeral service, officiated by Dr. Randy Bain. Burial was in Oak Hill Cemetery, Water Valley. Seven Oaks Funeral Home of Water Valley had charge of arrangements.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, P. O. Box 1472, Water Valley, MS 38965.
Charles Wesley Tolliver
CLEVELAND, OHIO—Charles Wesley Tolliver, age 84, died February 4, 2014, in University Hospital, Cleve-land, Ohio.
The funeral service was held at 12 p.m. Saturday, February 15, in Bayson Chapel M.B. Church, Water Valley, with Minister Virginia Sutton officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery. Serenity-Daniels Funeral Home of Water Valley was in charge of arrangements.
Born September 6, 1929, in Water Valley, Mr. Tolliver was a son of the late John Wesley Tolliver and Clister Morgan Tolliver. Charles was also preceded in death by a sister, Ora Tolliver; and two brothers, Hullett (Harry) Tolliver, and William Tolliver. He accepted Christ at an early age in Pine Spring Church, Water Valley. Charles served his country in the United States Army from 1952-1954, during the Korean War. After completing his years of service, he relocated to Cleveland, Ohio. He was joined in matrimony to Mary Holley and to this union one daughter was born. He worked faithfully until he retired from McGean Chemicals. Charles loved too travel, spend time with his family, and share his expertise of history.
He leaves a daughter, Virginia (Thadonia) Sutton of Chicago; two grandsons, Isaiah and Jeremiah Sutton, both of Chicago; two brothers, James Willie Tolliver and R. V. Tolliver, both of Cleveland, Ohio; five sisters, Mary A. Person and Lena (Clyde) Mitchell, both of Water Valley, Bernice (Walter) Evans of Cleveland, Ohio, Anne Johnson of Alton, Ill., and Bettye (James) Nelson of Birmingham, Ala.; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and two special neighbors, Bernadette Pride and Gloria Grady of Cleveland, Ohio.
James Richard Webb
BATESVILLE—James Richard Webb, age 65, died Thursday morning, February 13, 2014, at Oxford in Baptist Memorial Hospital—North Mississippi.
Funeral services for Mr. Webb were held Saturday, February 15, in Wells Funeral Home Chapel, Batesville, with Mr. Michael Bates presiding. Interment followed in Forrest Memorial Park Cemetery with Hunter Hynum, David Polson, Morgan Montgomery, Reggie Herron, Terry Tutor, and Andy Smith as pallbearers.
Born January 3, 1949, in Lafayette County, Mr. Webb was a son of the late Richard Dulin and Evelyn Baggett Webb. He was of the Baptist faith and worked as a factory worker and also a contractor throughout his lifetime.
Survivors include daughters, Ella Larae Webb Davis of Jackson, Jodie Renee Webb Gaillard of Ripley, Tammy Lynn Gray of Oxford, and Marty Jean Gray of Strayhorn; one son, Richard MacDulin Webb of Sardis; two sisters, Becky Webb Keel of Water Valley and Linda Kay Webb Underwood of Batesville; 10 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Tracie Lynn Webb, and a sister, Patricia Webb.