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Obituaries – March 5, 2015

Babette “Babs” Chittom Cooper

MEMPHIS—Babette “Babs” Chittom Cooper, 72,  passed peacefully from the confines of this planet into the arms of her Heavenly family February 10, 2015, in The Highlands of Memphis, after a long illness.

  A special celebration of life to honor Babette will be held Saturday, April 11, from 6 to 9p.m. in The 5 Spot, located behind Ernestine & Hazel’s, 531 S. Main, Memphis.

            Memorial Park Funeral Home & Cemetery is handling arrangements.

            Babs was a wife, mother, sister, grandmother, friend, actress, singer, teacher, painter, musician, traveler, tennis player, and lover of all things fun.

            Babs was born June 26, 1942, in Little Rock, Ark., the first child of Louise and Brooks Chittom. She lived her early years in Toccopola, and later Water Valley, where she was active in all manner of school and civic activities, including the Beta Club, choir, and cheerleading.

            In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, James Cooper, and a brother, Lafe Chittom.

            She began singing at an early age, participating in talent shows and choral events. She started in junior high and continued through college at the University of Mississippi, where she majored in speech/theater and performed in numerous musical productions. She was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, president of the national honorary music fraternity, Sigma Alpha Lota, and a member of the University Signers. A participant in beauty pageants, starting in high school, she was Miss Ole Miss runner-up. She would go on to sing with Leon Kelner and His Orchestra at the Broadwater Hotel in Biloxi, under the stage name of B.B. Brooks, and acted in theaters in St. Louis, Manteo, North Carolina, and along the MIssissippi Gulf Coast with former husbands, Bob Macek and Richard Sheffield.

            She later taught music in public school systems in Biloxi, Oxford, and Shelby County, Tenn. In the late 1970s she co-founded the cover band Moonstone and for the next 20 years performed popular pop, rock, and country  throughout the Mid-South in country clubs and nightclubs, festivals and special corporate events.She and her  husband, Jim, spent the last 10 years of their 22-year marriage living primarily in the Seaside/Santa Rosa area of the Florida Panhandle playing tennis, taking walks on the beach, music, dancing and spending time with innumerable friends. She spent her last years in Memphis with old and new friends, her children, and grandchildren, enjoying what she could as Alzheimer’s disease gradually took her.

            Survivors include a son, Chris Sheffield (Suzanne) of Memphis; a daughter, Jennifer Vines of Scottsboro, Ala; one step-daughter, Candace Lockhart (Charlie); a step-son, Sloan Cooper (Jennifer); a sister, Daneise Burnette (David) of Germantown; a brother, Brooks Chittom (Faye) of Jackson; grandsons, Tyler Sheffield of Tupelo, and Carson Vines of Scottsboro. 

            The family asks that memorials be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.


William Pluett Denley

WATER VALLEY—William Pluett Denley, 85, passed from his life on earth to the greater glory of Heaven at 7:05 p.m. on March 2, 2015, in the Veterans Nursing Home at Oxford. His roommate was Darnell Howe, a friend and former coworker.

            Mr. Denley was born August, 14, 1929. He worked for Bruce Timber Company, Weyerhaeuser, Lyons in Grenada, plus 35 years for the Mississippi Forestry Commission. He had been retired for a number of years.

            Visitation will be Friday, March 6, from 9-11 a.m. in Pryor

Funeral Home at Calhoun City. The funeral service will follow visitation at eleven o’clock in the chapel of the funeral home with Bro. Wayne Gullett officiating. Burial will be in the Pittsboro Cemetery at Pittsboro. Pryor Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

            Survivors include his daughters,  Johnnye Denley Hughes (Larry) of Water Valley, who devoted loving years to his care, and Cathy Denley Nichols (Paul) of Pontotoc; two grandsons, Jason D. Hughes (Candace) of Water Valley, and Lt. Col. Paul Sheldon Nichols (Phakawan “Eve”) of Tokyo, Japan; two great-granddaughters; one great-great-granddaughter; and a host of nieces and nephews, and their children.

            He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Noble James Denley, on February 29, 2012; his parents, Jack and Beadie Shankles Denley; a sister, Elizabeth “Beth” Denley; and an aunt, Dona Shankles Austin


Kimberly Jackson

BATESVILLE—Ms. Kimberly Jackson, age 26, of Batesville died February 12, 2015, in Grenada Medical Center.

            Visitation was held at eleven o’clock in the morning Monday, March 2. The funeral service was held at noon March 2, in Serenity Daniels Funeral Home at Water Valley. Burial was in Long Creek Cemetery at Courtland. Bro. Daniel Beaver was the eulogist.

            Ms. Jackson was born October 19, 1988, in Clarksdale, to the late Charles Morrow and Tammy Bell.

            She is survived by her loving mother, Tammy Bell of Marks; one brother, Zack Varner of Batesville; three sisters,April McMinn of Florida, Crystal Rickard of Olive Branch, and Stephanie Lawson of Batesville; two nephews; two nieces; and many other relatives and friends.

Sheila Gregory Nelson

WATER VALLEY—Sheila Gregory Nelson, age 51, died Sunday, March 1, 2015, surrounded by her loving family at her home in Water Valley. She had had a long battle with breast cancer.

            Born September 21, 1963, in Oxford, Sheila was a daughter of Carolyn Hodge and the late Jimmy “Butch” Gregory. She was a member of New El Bethel Baptist Church, and a former Girl Scout leader. She loved riding motorcycles and was an active member of the Lake Trash Charity Riders, where she served as First Lady. She enjoyed working in her yard, working with her flowers, gardening, and taking care of her dog, Willie, whom she affectionately called her “fourth child.” Sheila was an excellent cook and enjoyed cooking large meals for all her family and friends. She loved everyone, and all who knew her, loved her. Sheila was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother, and loved spending time with her family and friends.

            Visitation will be held Wednesday, March 4, from 5-7 p.m. in Seven Oaks Funeral Home at Water Valley. The funeral service will be Thursday, March 5, at eleven o’clock in the morning in the Henry Chapel of the funeral home, with Chaplain Wayne Harlow and Pastor Bill Rutledge officiating. Burial will be in Walker Cemetery in Yalobusha County, with Steven Langham, Howard Brower, Craig Stewart, Robert Winters, Steve Baker, Paul Ferguson, and Danny “Dink” Perry as pallbearers.

            Survivors include her husband, Terry Nelson of Water Valley; two daughters, Sarah Nelson and Kristie Nelson, both of Water Valley; her son, Steven Brock Langham of Water Valley; her mother, Carolyn Hodge (Kenneth) of Oxford; a sister, Beverly Giles (Blake) of Oxford; a brother, Jimmy “Roe” Gregory of Oxford; her grandmother, Janet Kirby of Calhoun City; and one grandson, Bryson Wayne Nelson of Water Valley.

            She was preceded in death by her father, Jimmy “Butch” Gregory; her grandparents, Jimmy and Jonnie Gregory and her grandfather, Leroy Kirby.

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