Obituaries 4/15/21

Richard Curtis Allen

WATER VALLEY – Richard Curtis Allen of Water Valley died Tuesday, April 6, 2021, at his home, surrounded by the family that he loved. He was 81.

Richard was born December 11, 1939, in Water Valley to the late William and Emma Lee (Peacock) Allen. After school, Richard was drafted into the United States Army, where he made a perfect score on his entrance exam, and served two tours in Germany, working in the motor pool. After returning home from Germany in 1969 (with his excellent mechanical knowledge), a number of different companies tried to get him to work for them, but Richard decided to “stay home,” where he started and operated his own successful painting business. Richard enjoyed the simple pleasures in life including hunting and crappie fishing. He was a member of First Baptist Church.

Visitation was held Thursday, April 8, 2021, in the Gardiner Room at Seven Oaks Funeral Home from noon until 2 p.m. Services followed at 2 p.m. in the Henry Chapel of Seven Oaks with Bro. Brennan Allen officiating. Burial was in Oak Hill Cemetery.

Richard is survived by his wife of 49 years, Vicky Allen; two sons, Robert Allen and  Jamey Allen; and two daughters, Tina Allen and Bridget Trusty, all of Water Valley; one adopted son, Ronnie Allen; a special nephew, David Mooneyham; and niece Regina Ashford (both of which he raised after their parents died); six grandchildren, Andy Emerick, Chelsea Thweatt, Chase Wilbourn, Britney Wilbourn, Cailee White and Hunter White; three great-grandchildren, Rivers, Kinley and Couper; one brother, Terry Allen, Sr. of Water Valley; and his mother-in-law, Bobbie Jean Allbritton.

Barbara Mueller James

HERNANDO – Mrs. Barbara Mueller “Barbie” James, 55, died Tuesday, April 6, 2021, at her home in Hernando. The funeral service was held Saturday, April 10, at 2 p.m. in the Chapel of Waller Funeral Home. Rev. Gary Mills officiated. Visitation was held prior to the service at the funeral home, with burial following  in Pine Flat Cemetery.

Barbie was a tender light in the life of anyone she knew. She was a loving and devoted wife and mother, but was, above all, caring and nurturing in a way that came to her as naturally as breathing. While raising her daughters, she was affectionately known by their friends as “Mama James,” as she welcomed everyone into her home, which became the hub for her daughters and their friends to gather, relax and hang out.

Barbie was a beloved second grade teacher’s aide at Walls Elementary and found great joy in caring for “her kids,” missing them when the day ended and eager to return to see their sweet faces the following morning. She dedicated herself to caring for her husband following his heart surgery, and her family smiles remembering the pride she felt as she was entrusted with his care. Barbie was an avid collector of all things angelic and found great solitude spending time swimming in their new pool. She used swimming as her primary form of exercise in reaching her health goals following her tremendous weight loss and was truly in a happy phase of life and health. She is now reunited with her precious third child, her much-loved dog, Bebe.

Survivors include her husband, Tracy James of Hernando; two daughters, Nikki Chrestman and her husband, Ryan of Byhalia, and Kayla Carmon and her husband, Devon, of Olive Branch; her parents, Ernie and Kylene Mueller of Southaven (formerly of Water Valley); three brothers, Ernie Lynn Mueller of Eudora, Dennis Mueller of Seymour, Tenn. and Mike Mueller of Arkabutla; and  numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Verna Joyce Sparks

NEW ALBANY – Verna Joyce Sparks, age 63, of New Albany died unexpectedly Wednesday, March 7, 2021, at her home. She was born July 31, 1957 in Nicholasville, Ky. to Rosie Lee (Huddleston) Hurt and the late Homer Hurt.

Verna worked a number of jobs early in her life including as a house keeper at a hotel, waiting tables at Jerry‘s Restaurant and at the Blue Grass Army Depot. Later, she found joy in serving her family as a homemaker. She loved her flowers, coloring in adult coloring books and collecting “what-nots” of all types – like her stuffed animals.

The family has chosen to have a memorial service at a later date. Seven Oaks Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Verna is survived by her husband of 35 years, Everett Sparks; her mother, Rosie Lee Hurt; three sons, Jeffery Hurt, Shannon Hurt and Jon Sparks (Jessica); seven grandchildren; and six brothers and sisters.

Along with her father, Verna was preceded in death by one sister, Debbie Johnson; and one grandson, Cody Ray Sparks.

Bettye Sue Bell Stevens

DREW – Bettye Sue Bell Stevens, 90, passed away Saturday, April 10, 2021 at her home in Drew surrounded by her family.

Graveside services were held Tuesday, April 13, at Carson Ridge Baptist Church near Ethel.  Rev. Rick Milan, Rev. Matthew Stevens and Taylor Porter officiated. Visitation was held from 10 until noon on April 13 at Greenwood Delta Funeral Home. Pallbearers were Matthew Stevens, Taylor Porter, David Stevens, Robert Stevens, Terry Hubbard and Tim Taylor. Honorary pallbearers were Bill Russell, Floyd Burchfield and Ray West.

Bettye Sue was born and raised in Ethel.  She married Raymond Stevens, and they made their home in Drew beginning in 1950.  She had worked as a receptionist at a local doctor’s office, was a secretary for the Drew Elementary School and later taught in the Head Start Program.  Mrs. Stevens was a member of the West Drew Baptist Church, where she served as the church pianist and also played piano for St. John’s A.M.E. Church.

Bettye Sue was an avid reader, enjoyed bird watching, working crossword puzzles and was a family historian.  She was also an avid New York Yankees fan, but most of all she enjoyed raising her family and attending various activities, including ballgames or any other activity her “boys” were involved in.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Hugh E. and Margie Oliver Bell; and her husband, Raymond Stevens.  Survivors include four sons, Butch Stevens (Verna) of Water Valley, Charley Stevens of Drew, Ricky Stevens (Dawn) of Arkabutla and Keith Stevens (Jenny) of Greenwood; a sister, Mary Pernod of Rantoul, Ill.; a brother David Bell (Nancy) of Ridgeland; seven grandchildren, Amy Tindle, Lee Stevens, Matthew Stevens, Meredith Capell, Robert Stevens, David Stevens and Olivia Stevens; and 10 great grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to West Drew Baptist Church, Carson Ridge Baptist Church Cemetery fund or the charity of donor’s choice.

Greenwood Delta Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

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