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Obituaries 8/17/2017

Dr. Rayford Norman Edgar

WATER VALLEY—Dr. Rayford Norman Edgar, 91, died Tuesday, August 8, 2017, in Baptist Memorial Hospital—North Mississippi at Oxford. 

The funeral service was held Friday, August 11, at 11 a.m. in Water Valley First Baptist Church, with burial to follow in Oak Hill Cemetery. Visitation was held Thursday, August 10, from 5-7 p.m. in Seven Oaks Funeral Home, which had charge of arrangements.

Survivors are his wife, Teresia Bagguley Edgar of Water Valley; one daughter, Jayne Edgar River (Keith) of Water Valley; two granddaughters, Heather River McLellan and Steffi River Larson; and three great-grandchildren.

A lifelong resident of Water Valley, he was born September 15, 1925, and is the son of the late William Bryant Edgar and Lucy Belle Ware. He graduated from Water Valley High School, attended the University of Mississippi, and graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis. He served in the United States Navy in World War II aboard the USS Ainsworth in the South Pacific Theater and achieved the rank of Petty Officer First Class.

Dr. Edgar began his practice in Water Valley in 1950. From then until his retirement in 1995, he helped thousands of people with their vision. He performed far more than eye examinations and writing prescriptions, always taking time to get to know each and every patient. He was a member of the State Board of Optometry and served on the National Board of Examiners. He joined the Lions Club in 1950 and helped them fulfill their mission of sight conservation. He received the Melvin Jones Fellow Award, the highest honor bestowed by Lions Club International. He also received the State Department of Optometry Lifetime Member Award in 2013.

He was a member and director of the VFW and American Legion, served on the Board of the Mississippi State Department of Health, Water Valley Housing Authority Board, Yalobusha County School Board, was a charter member of the Water Valley Chamber of Commerce, was a member of the Casey Jones Museum Committee and was a Board Member, and was a Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board member. 

Dr. Edgar was an accomplished percussionist, having played the drums in many bands and combos. He loved music, especially Big Band and gospel, and enjoyed the friendship and camaraderie of his fellow musicians. He was an outdoorsman, enjoying fishing and especially bird hunting, along with his love of sports He was an accomplished athlete, and played football tennis, golf, and baseball.

He was a member of First Baptist Church in Water Valley, where he served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher, adult choir member, and served on the Youth and Finance committees. He loved his church and her people, where he gave of his time and talent unselfishly. He loved his community and Water Valley, where he spent his whole life making it a better place to live and grow up. He loved his family and gave his all to be the best husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

Memorials may be made to: Lions Club International Foundation, Department 4547, Carol Stream, IL 60122; or First Baptist Church, P. O. Box 1472, Water Valley, MS 38965.

William Floyd “Billy” Miller

WATER VALLEY—William Floyd “Billy” Miller, 70, of Water Valley, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Monday, August 14, 2017, in Baptist Memorial Hospital—North Mississippi at Oxford.

The funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, August 16, in the Henry Chapel of Seven Oaks Funeral Home at Water Valley with Bro. Bill Forsyth officiating. Visitation will be from 11 a.m.until service time at the funeral home. Burial will be in Forrest Memorial Park in Panola County, with Donovan Freeman, Dalton Freeman, Corey Hopper, Christopher Hopper, Michael Cosby, Michael Haas, Robert Reeves and Barry Griffin as pallbearers.

Born December 9, 1946, at the family home on Lafayette Street in Water Valley, Mr. Miller was a son of Edith Harmon Miller and Theo Miller. Billy attended Water Valley Schools. He served his county in the United States Army during which time he rose to the rank of Specialist 5 and earned the National Defense Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. He was a mechanic for Big Yank Corporation for many years before semi-retiring. He was also an avid classic car and truck enthusiast, often participating in local parades, car shows, and in  his younger days, even a few drag races.

He is survived by his wife, Diana Miller of Water Valley; a sister, Sarah Miller of Memphis; three daughters, Kimberly Miller of Huntsville, Ala., Samantha Baltazar of Red Banks, and Kimberly Jarrell of Grenada; two sons, Steve Massey of Batesville and Brad Hudson of Sardis;  seven grandchildren, Donovan Freeman, Dalton Freeman, Preston Franklin, Brandon Cosby, Victoria Hopper, Corey Hopper and Christopher Hooper; and two great grandchildren.


In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Brian Hudson, and a brother, Bobby Miller.

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