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Obituaries 07/08/21

Peggie Ann Basinger

OLIVE BRANCH – Peggie Ann Basinger of Olive Branch went to be with Jesus on June 17, 2021.

Peggy was born July 31, 1932 to William and Beulah Taylor of Water Valley. She was an avid mystery admirer and always ate her dessert first, but most of all, she enjoyed spending time with her beloved family.

Peggy was preceded in death by her husband, Hugh Basinger of Olive Branch. They were married 66 years.

She is survived by a sister, Dot Taylor Trusty of Water Valley; sons Bill Basinger and Rusty Basinger; grandchildren Betsy Basinger Miller, Tammie Basinger, William Basinger II, Heather Basinger, Alexa Basinger, Lori Shackleford, Cristan Basinger-Fite and Clint Basinger; great-grandchildren Elizabeth Paige Dougher, Alyssa Shackleford, Bradley Shackleford, Bryanna Basinger, Ryder Basinger and Brayden Basinger; and many nieces and nephews.

A graveside service was held Sunday, June 27, at 11 a.m. at Memphis Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens.

Memorials in memory of Mrs. Basinger may be offered to Northwest Mississippi Community College Foundation, 4975 Hwy. 51 North, Senatobia, MS 38668.

BB Billingsley

COFFEEVILLE – Mr. BB Billingsley, Jr., 82, of Coffeeville, passed away Friday, June 25, 2021 at Baptist Memorial Hospital – North Mississippi in Oxford.  He was born March 29, 1939 in Lafayette County to BB, Sr. and Eunice Mae Brown Billingsley.  

Mr. Billingsley earned both a Bachelors and Masters of Science Degree from Mississippi State University.  He enjoyed a 29 year career with the USDA Soil Conservation Service retiring as Plant Manager of the Jamie L. Whitten Plant Materials Center in Yalobusha County.  He was a member of First Baptist Church in Coffeeville.  An avid outdoorsman, BB enjoyed fishing and duck hunting.  He also enjoyed collecting coins, Civil War memorabilia, arrowheads and antique bottles.  In retirement, he and Carolyn enjoyed traveling the United States from coast to coast.  BB will be remembered as a soft-spoken, kind and highly intelligent man. 

A service to celebrate his life will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, July 16, at First Baptist Church in Coffeeville with Rev. Truman Scarborough and Rev. Craig Baker officiating.  Family and friends will gather one hour prior to the service at the church. McKibben and Guinn Funeral Service in Grenada is in charge of arrangements.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Carolyn Billingsley; a son, Todd Billingsley (Christy) of Plano, Texas; a daughter, Kimberly Pilkington (Daniel) of Wentzville, Mo.; a sister, Elizabeth Tomlin (Len) of Harmontown; four grandchildren, Ben and Luke Billingsley and Hasten and Hadley Pilkington; and a host of nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents, a grandson and nine siblings. 

Janie Ruth Helton

SOUTHAVEN – Janie Ruth (RuRu) Helton (Edwards) of Southaven, age 85, died Friday, July 2, 2021, at Baptist Memorial Hospital surrounded by her loving family. She was born January 24, 1936 in Coffeeville to Charlie and Dona Anne Edwards. 

Ruru began her working career as a nurse at John Gaston Hospital in Memphis (now the Med) as an operating room nurse and finished as a labor and delivery nurse. She shared her love and care for people as a nurse, family member and friend. Ruru was passionate about her family, her friends and neighbors, her work as a nurse, her flowers, her fig trees, her birds, her grandchildren and her sweet dog, Jenny. She often shared how happy she was when others complimented her flowers and thought she had the prettiest yard at Wesley Meadows.

Ruru’s family describe her as a faithful follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, a kind soul who was strong and courageous in every way. She was a mother and father to her children and was loved dearly by them and many others. Her greatest joy and prayer in life was for her family come to know the Lord.

In her last days, she was most excited to be reunited in heaven with her brothers, sisters, parents and friends who have gone before her. Her final words to her family were “Stand Strong” and “We Will.” She taught her family to survive and thrive and they will now make her proud by doing just that.  One of the many verses she would quote to family was Philippians 4:6-7: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, let your request be known to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Ruru is preceded in death by her parents and five siblings, Charlie Edwards, Jewell Murphree, Nina Walton, Beth Brown, and Howard Edwards. Visitation was held Monday, July 5, in the Gardiner Room at Seven Oaks Funeral Home. Services followed in the Henry Chapel of Seven Oaks with Bro. James Edwards officiating. Burial was in Broad Street Cemetery in Coffeeville.

Wesley L. Nicholas

OXFORD – Wesley L. Nicholas, age 92, of Oxford died June 30, 2021. He was born June 25, 1929 to Charlie and Eutha Nicholas. 

Brother Nicholas surrendered his life to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ on January 6, 1957 at North Oxford Baptist Church. He was licensed to the ministry by North Oxford Baptist Church on June 30, 1957 and ordained to the ministry on October 25, 1959. Brother Nicholas faithfully preached God’s word for 63 years until he was just physically unable to continue. He attended and graduated from Clarke Memorial College, then went on to attend Union University in Jackson, Tenn. and ultimately graduated from Ole Miss.

He was loved by his family, friends and many church members he ministered to during 63 years of ministry.  Survivors include his children, Susan Blanchard (Paul) of Louisville, Robert Nicholas (Janice) of Winona, Ray Nicholas (Celeste) of Oxford and Roger Nicholas (Margaret) of North Richland Hills, Texas; six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Brother Nicholas’ ministry was one of faithfulness.   Having served churches in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama, he touched the lives of countless families and individuals. Only heaven knows how many individuals have come to know Jesus as their personal savior and Lord through his faithful witness and ministry.

Listed are the churches he served as pastor, interim pastor, and long term supply.

• The Country Church – Benton County, Miss. (1958);

• Matthews Baptist Church- Sardis (1960-1962);

• Hickory Grove Baptist Church – Tate County, Miss. (1962-1966);

• Friendship Baptist Church- Tenn. (1967);

• Bethel Baptist Church -Henderson, Tenn. (1967-1969);

• Bethel Baptist Church – Oxford (1969-1971);

• Shady Grove Baptist Church- Batesville (1972-1974);

• First Faith Baptist Church- Batesville (1975-1981);

• North Oak Grove Baptist Church- Millry, Ala. (1981-1983);

• Cherry Street Baptist Church- Clarksdale (1983-1994);

• Interim Pastor at Elam Baptist Church- Coffeeville;

• Calvary Baptist Church- Coffeeville (1996-1999);

• Hopewell Baptist Church- Yalobusha County (2005); and

• Preached at Sand Springs Presbyterian Church until 2019.

After retirement, he maintained his church membership at the Clear Creek Baptist Church of Oxford. The family request that memorial contributions be made to Mission Dignity,  PO Box 819109, Dallas, TX 85381-9957

The family would also like to extend heart-felt thanks and appreciation to Unity Hospice, Erin Sauceda, Hannah Whitt and the staff of Yalobusha General Nursing Home.

Brady Lynn Savage

WATER VALLEY – Brady Lynn Savage, age 28, of Water Valley died unexpectedly Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at Baptist Memorial Hospital after a short illness. 

Brady was born October 2, 1992 in Oxford to Christopher Savage and Felicha Cristole. He was a fun loving young man that didn‘t let life get him down. After graduating from high school, he pursued his passion for cooking. He took what he learned and became a chef and cooked at Locals Bar and Grill in Oxford, as well as two of the prestigious fraternities at Ole Miss. 

Described as “the ultimate handy man,” Brady began doing construction work. He also used those skills working on cars and other things that challenged his abilities. His hobbies revolved around Marvel Comics and their characters –  his favorite being Batman. He also loved collecting miniatures, especially cooking related items, but what he enjoyed most was spending time with his wife, Lauren, watching movies.

Visitation was held Thursday, July 1, in the Gardiner Room at Seven Oaks Funeral Home. Services followed at 7 p.m. in the Henry Chapel of Seven Oaks with Bro. Jerry King officiating.

Brady is survived by his wife of four years, Lauren Holloway; his parents, Christopher Savage and Felicia Cristole; two brothers, Kirkland Spencer and Kolton Savage; his paternal grandmother, Sherron Savage; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Brady was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, Jerry Savage; maternal grandparents, Billy and Martha Corlew; his aunt, Regina Savage Taylor; and his step-father, John Cristole.

Charles H. Wright

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Charles H. (Chuck) Wright died at home of congestive heart failure on Memorial Day, 2021. He was born on October 21, 1928 in Water Valley to Howard and Cecile Wright.

Chuck grew up in Water Valley and graduated from Water Valley High School in the late 1940s. His only sibling, Leon, remained in the area until his death. He married Patricia Person in 1954.

Former Congressman Jamie Whitten appointed Charles to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., where he was commissioned an  ensign in 1953. He served aboard a destroyer and later went to submarine school. He retired as a Commander in 1977.

During his active duty career spanning 24 years, Commander Wright served on five diesel-electric submarines, including a tour as Commanding Officer of the USS Char. He also served as NROTC Instructor at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, technical officer at the Naval Undersea Center, and a final tour as a Navy Instructor for U.S. Army officers at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Following retirement from the Navy, Chuck earned a Masters of Public Administration at National University and worked for a few years in personnel management. He then retired full-time in personnel management. He then retired full-time to a life of racquetball, squash, volunteering and attending Padres games. After his own kids were grown, he became a friend to neighborhood children and attended many of their sporting events.

Chuck was a kind, gentle man with a dry, subtle sense of humor. He dearly loved his family, his friends, his country and the Lord. He was an active member of the Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church, where he served three terms as a deacon and helped with Vacation Bible School. He was also a volunteer driver for the Peninsula Shepherd Center and was particularly proud to be a longtime blood donor.

Commander Wright is survived by his beloved wife, Kathy, whom he married in 1977. He is also survived by his children, Christopher Wright, Suzanna Flock (Robert) and Timothy Wright (Laura); their mother, Patricia Person Hawkins; and granddaughters Shailen Flock, Jonell Flock and Sarah Wright. He is preceded in death by his parents and son, Jonathan.

A celebration of life service will be held at Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church on July 10 at 10 a.m. Private burial services will be held at Miramar National Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church Endowment Fund or the charity of your choice.

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