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07/09/2020 Obituaries

Amanda Faye Dolden

WATER VALLEY—Amanda Faye Dolden, age 34, passed away Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in Water Valley.

A memorial service was held at 2 p.m. on Monday, July 6, in the Martin Willingham Memorial Chapel of Wells Funeral Home in Batesville. The family received friends prior to the service.

Amanda was born July 19, 1985, to Kevin D. Dolden and Barbara Maynard Hollinsworth in Clarksdale. She was a stay-at-home mom and attended Crowder Baptist  Church.

In addition to her parents, the family she leaves behind include her six children, Dawson Dolden of Teasdale, Joseph Dolden of Crowder, Bryan Austin, Braxton Ware, Ryder Ware and Alexis Ware, all of Locke Station; one brother, Adam Dolden of Georgia; one sister, Katrina Beaumont of Indiana; paternal grandmother, Nell Dolden; great-maternal grandmother, Irene Burt; and one granddaughter on the way, Grayson Faye Dolden.

She was preceded in death by her maternal grandmother, Sherry Jean Marberry; maternal grandfather, Edward Maynard; and paternal grandfather, Joe Dolden.


Thomas Shields Mays

WATER VALLEY—Thomas Shields Mays, age 82, of Water Valley, died peacefully Sunday, June 28, 2020, at his home.

He was born March 31, 1938, in Memphis. Thomas received his early education in the Clarksdale public schools, where he graduated in 1957. He then attended Wood Community College, Millsaps College, and received his B.S. degree in Education from Delta State in 1963. In 1969, he earned his Masters of English degree from Delta State University.

He began his long teaching career at West Tallahatchie High School in Webb, where for 13 years he taught 11th and 12th grade English. He was chairman of the English department and was one of the senior class sponsors. After 10 years of employment with the mental healthcare in Greenwood, he returned to teaching English at Greenwood High School.

Visitation was held Wednesday, July 1, from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Sumner. The funeral service followed at 11 a.m  with Rev. Jennifer Southall officiating. Burial was in Oakridge Cemetery at Clarksdale.

Thomas is survived by his partner of over 40 years,  Bob Coker; as well as numerous cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his mother, Leathie Ann Swindoll; his step-father, Russell Swindoll; two step-sisters, Mary Swindoll and Betty Graves; one step-brother, Harold Swindoll; and an aunt, Pauline Austin.

The family request any memorial gifts be sent to the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Sumner, or to the music or English departments at Delta State University.


Raymond Hall Pullen, Jr.

WALLS—Raymond Hall Pullen, Jr., better known as “Tinker,” died Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in Baptist Memorial Hospital—North Mississippi at Oxford. A resident of Walls, he was 73.

Born April 25, 1947,  in Water Valley, he was a son of the late Raymond, Sr. and Vera Wilbourn Pullen. After graduating from  high school, Tinker embarked on his career, working on the railroad. He began as a brakeman and worked his way up to engineer. A couple of the famous runs he engineered were the Panama Limited, as well as the City of New Orleans. In 2009, Tinker retired from  Canadian National (CN) after 40 years.

People who knew him, knew that even in his “off” time, he loved to work. He sold used cars, installed siding and had rental property. But when he did take leisure time, he took his family traveling to see the beauty of our nation’s national parks. When it was said and done, he was able to say that he had traveled all 48 of the continental states.

Visitation was held from 11 until noon, Monday, July 6, in the Gardiner Room of Seven Oaks Funeral Home. The funeral service followed immediately in the Henry Chapel of the funeral home with Bro. Shane Crawford officiating. Burial was in Oak Hill Cemetery. 

Tinker is survived by two sons, Andy Pullen of Clarksdale and Dennis Pullen (Rhonda) of Dallas, Texas; one daughter, Teresa Ohler of New Albany; a brother, Paul Pullen (Sarah) of Coffeeville; two sisters, Linda Byers, and Mary (Cubelle) Chandler, both of Water Valley; and two grandchildren, Meredith and Emily Ohler.


Ernestine Rodgers

WATER VALLEY—Mrs. Ernestine Rodgers departed this life on Sunday, June 21, 2020 in her home in Water Valley. Born May 30, 1933, in Canton, Mrs. Rodgers was the daughter of the late Henry Johnson and Marie Hodges. She was a member of Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in East St. Louis. Ill. She worked many years as an EKG Lab Supervisor at St. Mary’s Hospital in East St. Louis. She was a very loving person with a very sweet spirit.

To cherish her memory she leaves one daughter, Lorna (Quentin) Barry of Water Valley; three sons, Kevin Johnson (Lenance) of Chicago, David (Paul) Rodgers of St. Louis, Mo., and Dennis (Dierdre) Rodgers of O’Fallon, Ill.; six grandchildren;  eight great-grandchildren; and a host of family and friends.

A memorial service was held July 5, at 1:30 p.m. in Serenity Chapel, 10101 West Main, Belleville, Ill. and burial was in Mt. Carmel Cemetery. Serenity-Daniels Funeral Home of Water Valley was in charge of arrangements.


 Mary Janet Stark

WATER VALLEY—Mary Janet Stark, age 73, of Water Valley, died peacefully Saturday, July 4, 2020, in Yalobusha County Nursing Home. 

Born January 25, 1947, in Vardaman, she was a daughter of the late Everett and Donie Reedy Akins. After graduation from high school, Mary started her work career at Kellwood Manufacturing in Coffeeville. She later worked at Holley Carburetor in Water Valley, where she eventually retired. She enjoyed flowers, sewing, and painting scenery, as well as still-life. Mary was a member of Calvary Baptist Church.

Visitation was held Tuesday, July 7, from 10-11 a.m. in the Gardiner Room of Seven Oaks Funeral Home. The funeral service followed at 11 a.m. in the Henry Chapel of the funeral home with Bro. James Taylor officiating. Burial was in Haven Hill Cemetery in Coffeeville with Perry Arbuckle, Roger Arbuckle, Jeff Arbuckle, Matt Arbuckle, Michael Operie, Andy Fly, Robert Caulder and Justin Haire as pallbearers.

Mary is survived by her husband of 56 years, Charles Stark; three sons, Phillip Stark (Carla) of Horn Lake, David Stark of Oxford, and Tracy Stark (Richelle) of Corinth; one daughter, Tammy McGovern (Martin) of Rockwall, Texas; two brothers, J. W. Akins of Mantee and Tony Akins of Coffeeville; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, Mary was preceded in death by one brother, Kenny Akins.


Cecil Rhodes Walley

OXFORD—Cecil Rhodes (Buddy) Walley, age 74, passed away peacefully on July 2, 2020, at Oxford Health and Rehab in Oxford.

Born December 27, 1945, Buddy was the son of Dr. and Mrs. Cecil Walley. He was raised in Jackson, and graduated from Provine High School. After graduating from the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, he owned pharmacies in Coffeeville and Water Valley. Buddy was an avid hunter, horseman, and loved his Ole Miss Rebel football, basketball, and baseball teams. His kind and loving spirit will be missed dearly by all who knew him.

He is survived by his wife, Maretta McLeod Walley; two sisters, Rosie Walley McDade and Betty Walley Piner; a brother, Luther Rhett Walley; two daughters, Amy McClain (Carl) and Laura Beth Hodge (Scott); four stepsons, Charles McLeod, Martin McLeod, Scott McLeod, and Bren McLeod; grandchildren, Logan Brewer, Will Collins, and Ashleigh Kate Hodge; step-grandchildren, Elle McLeod, Brendon McLeod, Isabelle McLeod, Eugene McLeod, Leighton McLeod, Hadden McLeod, Romney McLeod, Colleen McLeod, Rylan McLeod, and Thomas McLeod; and a great-grandchild, Katie Brower.

A private funeral service was held Monday, July 6, at 2 p.m., in the Lakewood Memorial Park in Jackson. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association.

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