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Obituaries 08/22/19

William David Fly

SENATOBIA—William David “Coach” Fly, 86, of Senatobia, passed away August 10, 2019, in Baptist Memorial Hospital DeSoto.

Born November 5, 1932, in Coffeeville, David was the only child of Henry and Frances Walker Fly. He grew up in Water Valley and graduated from Water Valley High School. After gradating from Ole Miss (he dearly loved his Rebels) in 1955, he served in the U.S. Army in Germany and Colorado, where their only son was born. He became the first football coach at Independence High School in 1957 (13 years) before becoming the principal for four years. Other employment included working as an educational representative for Tayloe Paper Company in Memphis and Central School Supply (Centec) in Jackson. 

Later, he was an administrator for Tate County Schools and South Panola School Districts. David was honored to coach in the 1967 Mississippi High School All-Star Football Game. He was an active member of the Mississippi Association of Coaches, where he served as president in 1967. He was a lifetime member of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee. David became the first inductee of the IHS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016. He was married to Mae Bell Cook Fly for 63 years and was a member of the Senatobia Church of Christ.

Visitation was held  Tuesday, August 13, in the Chapel of Pate-Jones Funeral Home, with services commencing at 3 p.m. Burial followed in Senatobia Memorial Cemetery with Tommy Hill, Grant Shipley, Donnie Smith, Gary Walker, Darnell Dunlap, Jim Ferguson, Steve Shelton and Harry Lee Floate as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers were former IHS football players, Bob Tyler, Joe Pegram, Gaylon Booker, James Edwards, Paul Henry McCullar, Leaman Malone, James Knipple and The Coleman’s Coffee Club. Oscar Geeslin and Albert Wilkerson officiated the service. 

Survivors include his wife, Mae Bell Fly; a son, William Scott “Bill” Fly; grandchildren, William Theron Fly and Lindsay Fly Gober; brothers, Henry Dale Fly of Water Valley and Kenneth Fly of Tillatoba; and a sister, Virginia Woods of Duck Hill. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers, Benton Gale Fly and Richard Fly.


Tami Breana Gordon

OXFORD—Tami Breana Gordon, age 19, died Friday, August 16, 2019, in Lafayette County as the result of an automobile accident.

The funeral service was held Tuesday, August 20, at 11 a.m. in the Chapel of Waller Funeral Home with Rev. Fred Eakes officiating. Burial followed in Forrest Memorial Cemetery in Batesville. Visitation was  held  prior to the service, beginning at 9 a.m. in the funeral home.

Tami was a student in the Lafayette School System through junior high and then transferred to Gateway Christian in Sardis. She received her GED through the Win Job Center of Northwest Community College in Batesville. Tami was excited about starting school at Northwest Community College this fall. With her contagious smile, Tami was a great friend to many people. 

She enjoyed music, shopping and living life to the fullest. Born June 10, 2000, in Oxford, Tami was a daughter of Scotty Gordon of Coffeeville and Anita Tallent of Oxford. In addition to her parents, she is survived by her sister, Tina Gordon of West Monroe, La.; her brothers, Jodee Lenard of Derma, and Devan Scott Gordon of Oxford; her step-mother, Tammy Gordon of Coffeeville; her sisters by choice, Melissa, Melinda and Marsha Pierce of Oxford; her step-brothers, Dustin Welch of Koutx, Ind., Michael Ostrander of East Alton, Ill. and Sean Ostrander of Water Valley;  her grandparents, Joe and Norma Tallant of Bruce and Lynda F. Gordon of Coffeeville; her uncles, Donald Tallent of Tupelo, Jerry V. Gordon of Gainesville, Ga.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Tami was preceded in death by her grandfather, Robert V. Gordon, and her aunt, Tammy Tallent.


Tami Breana Gordon

CHICAGO—Willie Lee “Bilbo” Joseph died August 3, 2019, in Chicago.

Born October 26, 1939, in Water Valley, Willie Lee was a son of the late Willie and Viola Joseph. He was one of five children that included a sister, Mae Francis, and three brothers, Gene, Robert, and Sidney. Willie attended Water Valley High School, where he met and married Barbara Jean on November 22, 1958. While in high school they had a child, Pete Joseph, who attended their high school graduation in May of 1959. After graduation he worked at a service station in Water Valley until he moved the family to Chicago in 1966, where he and his family resided until his death. Bilbo retired from Allied Steel Mill in Chicago Heights in 2004, where he had worked as a burner for 30 years.

He loved his neighborhood and friends, but what was most dear to him was the love he had for his family and his hometown. Bilbo was happiest when he was in the company of family in Mississippi. Bilbo will truly be missed as a brother, father, and grandfather, but mostly he will be missed as a  historian. Bilbo had a great memory. If there was anyone you needed to know about in the family, either the year they were born or who they were married to, he could tell you. He had a great sense of humor and was a jack of all trades. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Mae Francis; and his wife, Barbara.

Survivors include his children, Pete, Frances, Carl, Al, Anita, and Buster (son-in-law), all who reside in Chicago; 12 grandchildren, Marquis, Tremayne, Allen, Antione, Tasha, Nay-Nay, Dominique, Mookie, Daryl, Jr., Terra, Binkey, and Lisa; 22 great-grandchildren; three brothers, Gene of Crenshaw, Robert (Pearlie) of Houston, Tex., and Sidney (Helen) of Chicago; honorary brother, Cleveland (Rosie) of Oxford; brother-in-law, Charlie of Rock Island, Ill.; a sister-in-law, Frances Moore of San Diego, Calif.; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and friends.

The funeral service was held at 11 a.m. Saturday August 10, in Sanders Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, with pastor Mitchell Steen officiating. The wake began at 10 a.m. Interment was in Sanders Chapel Cemetery with Eugene Joseph, Sidney Joseph, Cleveland Joseph and Barron Joseph as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers were Daryl Washington, Allen Moore, Carl Joseph, Antione Moore, Lee Joseph, and Marquis Joseph.


Ivy Allen Rucker

WATERLOO, IOWA—Ivy Allen Rucker died August 4, 2019. Born October 19,1963, in Water Valley, Mr. Rucker was a son of the late Allen and Mary Louise Rucker. In his younger years, he was a star left-handed baseball pitcher who would draw crowds to see him pitch. As he grew older, he began working in building and road construction.

He is survived by three brothers, Warren Clinton Rucker (Greta) of Iowa, Andrew Rucker of Como and Frank Allen Rucker of Water Valley; four sisters, Dorothy Louise Stafford (Richard) of Water Valley, Ann Marie Rucker of Waldorf, Md., Martha Jean Montgomery (Ralph) of Aurora, Colo., and Katrina Baker (Jai) of Gibsonville, NC; and a very dear friend, Dawn Reed. Ivy is also survived by a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by  his wife, Marbell Reed Rucker.

The funeral service in Waterloo, Iowa was held Saturday, August 10, at 1 p.m., with Rev. Joseph Polk of Christian Fellowship Baptist Church officiating.

A local memorial service was held Saturday, August 17, beginning at 1 p.m. in the House of Prayer Church of God In Christ on Mill Street with Supt. Moses Wright officiating.


Barry Jones Schmitz

WATER VALLEY—Barry Jones Schmitz, age 53, of Water Valley died Thursday, August 15, 2019, in Baptist Memorial Hospital—North Mississippi at Oxford.

Born September 10, 1965, in Water Valley, Barry was a son of the late Whittaker and Ann Jones Schmitz. He worked at many different jobs during his career, including being an EMT, and also a school bus driver.

Visitation was held Sunday, August 18,  in Seven Oaks Funeral Home from 5-7 p.m. The service began at 11 a.m. Monday, August 19, in the Henry Chapel of the funeral home, with Bro. Stoney Moorhead officiating. Burial was in Elam Cemetery in Coffeeville, with Gregory Schmitz, Jackson Schmitz, Samuel Schmitz, Josh Snider, Brian Schmitz, and Allen Schmitz as pallbearers.

Survivors include three daughters, Katllin Smith (Jon) of Grovetown, Ga., Meagan Schmitz of Martinez, Ga., and Brittany Green (Devin) of Water Valley; three brothers, Calvin Schmitz (Joyce) and Michael Schmitz (Gina), all of Water Valley, and Jerry Schmitz of Pontotoc;  one sister, Jane Snider (Gary) of Water Valley; and three grandchildren, Parker Smith, Cooper Smith, and Easton Green.

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