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Obituaries 11/14/19

Grace Lynn Beasley

JACKSONVILLE, FLA.—Grace Lynn Beasley, 94, of Jacksonville, Fla. passed away October 31, 2019.

She was born in Water Valley and graduated from Water Valley High School. She was married to Donald Beasley on December 20, 1944. Grace worked as a quality control specialist in the labs of Kellogg’s Cereal Company and her favorite of the cereals she tested was Raisin Brand. Grace was a Grande Belle of the South and was Queen of the Jazz & Blues Festival in Memphis. She was a member of the Red Hat Society, Jazz and Blues Club, and East Frayser Church of Christ. She was a world traveler, going on 24 cruises, including visiting the Great Wall of China, Australia, Paris, and all over the U.S. She had a passion for dancing and her family. 

She was preceded in death by her husband and siblings, Nellie Mae McCulley, Alonzo Harding and Norris Harding.

She will be remembered as a loving mother and grandmother to her son, Don Beasley (Linda); daughter, Donna Lynn Van Houten (John); grandchildren, John D. Van Houten, II, Don Beasley, Jr. (Misty), Mark B. Beasley, Chris Van Houten; and six great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life service for Grace was held at 2 p.m. Sunday, November 10, in the Chapel of Hardage-Gibbens Funeral Home in Jacksonville Beach, Fla. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, contributions are made to Community Hospice.


Shirley Swindoll Kennedy

EADS, TENN.—Shirley Swindoll Kennedy, age 82, of Eads, Tenn. passed away Saturday, November 2, 2019, near Batesville.

The funeral service was held at 1 p.m. Saturday, November 9, in Fisherville Baptist Church in Eads with interment following in the church cemetery. The family received friends Friday evening, November 8, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in Wells Funeral Home at Batesville and also Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until  the service in Fisherville Baptist Church.

Born October 10, 1937, in Water Valley, Shirley was a daughter of the late Hubert Woodward and Ethel Bolen Swindoll. Early in her career, Shirley was a secretary, but retired early to become a full-time homemaker and devoted mom to her children. She was a member of Enon Baptist Church of Batesville/Fisherville Baptist Church of Eads, Tenn. She loved teaching the Bible from CDF Good News Clubs to her Women’’s Sunday School Class at Fisherville Baptist Church. From an early age, she loved to travel, especially to the mountains of Colorado. Shirley had a great passion for her mission work on the Navajo Reservation and traveled there with her husband to Arizona several times a year. Her love for her husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren was abounding and unwavering.

Survivors include her husband of 57 years, Rev. Gene  Kennedy of Eads, Tenn.; a daughter, Mechel Kennedy Frost (Mark) of Nasvhille, Tenn.; a brother, Hubert Birlon Swindoll (Sandra) of Batesville; four grandchildren, Riley Frost, Bailey Frost, Michael Kennedy (Kayla), Rheanna Kennedy; three great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Besides her parents, Shirley was preceded in death by her son, Michael Alan Kennedy; her sister and brother-in-law, Robert F. and Betty Swindoll Bailey; and her brother Jack “Jay” Claude Swindoll (Kathe).

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Enon Baptist Church, Missions Fund, 7216 Dummyline Rd., Batesville, MS 38606.


Carl Edward Polk

WATER VALLEY—Carl Edward Polk, the son of the late Willie Winfield and Sallie Ann Polk, was born May 31, 1942. He was the sixth child of ten children, and was always known to keep those around him laughing.

Carl accepted Christ at the age of 13 in Bayson Chapel Missionary Baptist Church and remained a faithful member his entire life. Through the years, Carl continued to grow in Christ and developed a passion for serving others. He served in numerous aspects of the church, including serving as a deacon for over 40 years.

On June 29, 1974, Carl was united in holy Matrimony to Ora Fay Willingham and to this union four children were born, Rochelle, Reggie, Ricardo and Rico. He was a hard worker and retired from BorgWarner in 2007 after 34 years of employment. He sincerely enjoyed retirement and the additional time it allowed him with the ones closest to him.

On Monday, November 4, 2019, while surrounded by his family, Carl transitioned from this earth to a place of peace to meet those who preceded him in death: his father, Willie; his mother, Sallie; his brothers, Winfield and Lawrence, his sister, Onia; his sons, Delight and Rico; his father-in-law, James; brothers-in-law, James and Joe; and his sister-in-law, Eva.

Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Ora Fay Willingham Polk; four children, Bobby Taylor of Coffeeville, Rochelle Polk Southern (Eddie) of Abbeville, Reggie Polk of Starkville, and Ricardo Polk (Zainora)  of Memphis; one brother, Willie Polk (Sandra) of Oakland; five sisters, Ora Lee Phillips (Raymond) of Water Valley, Elnora Kyles of Chicago, Inez Turner of Water Valley, Juanita Fleming (Jesse) of Sallis, Earnestine Matthews of Coffeeville; one aunt, Chaney Winters; mother-in-law, Reba Willingham; and sisters-in-law, Valerie Morgan (Elzie) and Maxine Polk; brothers-in-law, Ronald Anderson, William Willingham and Howard Willingham; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a  host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Special acknowledgment to his friends/“uncles,” the Booker brothers.

Services were held on Saturday, November 9, at 11 a.m. in Bayson Chapel MB Church in Water Valley. Arrangements were entrusted to the professionals of Serenity Daniels Funeral  Home.


Johnnie L. Weeks 

WATER VALLEY—Johnnie L. Weeks, age 75, of Water Valley died Friday, November 1, 2019, in Yalobusha County Nursing Home at Water Valley.

Born July 13, 1944, in Lambert, Mrs. Weeks was a daughter of the late Willie and Corin Berry. She dedicated her life to her family as a homemaker. She enjoyed working puzzles and her dogs, Little Girl and Skipper. Johnnie was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary at VFW Post 3978.

A graveside service was held on Tuesday, November 5, beginning at 2 p.m. Seven Oaks Funeral Home was entrusted with arrangements.

Survivors include her husband of 49 years, Delmer Weeks; two sons, Ronnie and Rickey Hopper; one daughter, Ruth Ann;  four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.


Bobby Lee Williams

WATER VALLEY—Bobby Lee Williams, age 69, of Water Valley died Saturday, November 2, 2019, in Yalobusha General Hospital at Water Valley.

Born June 4, 1950, in Water Valley, Bobby was a son of the late Eldridge and Lula Williams. He worked as an equipment operator for Yalobusha County and he enjoyed fishing, coon hunting, and tinkering with old Farmall tractors.

Visitation was held Wednesday, November 6, in Seven Oaks Funeral Home from 1 to 2 p.m. The funeral service followed at 2 p.m. in the Henry Chapel of the funeral home with Bro. Billy Childs officiating. Burial was in Bethel Cemetery.

Bobby is survived by three sisters, Juanita Bower of Coffeeville, Dorothy Golden of Russellville, Ark. and Susan Massey of Mountain View, Ark.; and many dear and close friends.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, David Williams, and one sister, Louise Vickery.

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