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Obituaries 12/16/2021

Leonard Wesley Blackwood

WATER VALLEY – Leonard Wesley Blackwood, age 58, of Water Valley, died unexpectedly on Monday, December 6, 2021, at his home. He was the son of Don Blackwood and the late Lettie (Redwine) Blackwood.

Visitation was held Thursday, December 9, at the First Presbyterian Church. Services followed at 2 p.m. at the church with Bro. Harold Sprayberry officiating. Burial was in Oak Hill Cemetery. Seven Oaks Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Wess loved to play basketball and while attending Yalobusha Academy he scored a school record of 42 points during one game. After finishing school, Wess worked numerous jobs including at M.S. Carriers, Blackwood and Howell and Dowdle Gas. Wess loved the outdoors, especially the lake where he enjoyed boating and water skiing. When not at the lake his passions included cooking and grilling out. Wess attended the First Presbyterian Church in Water Valley.

Wess is survived by his father, Don Blackwood (Debbie) of Batesville; one sister, Bonnie Blackwood Hill of Water Valley; two nieces, Peyton Hill Miller and Catherine Hill; and his companion of five years, Candy Rotenberry.

Wess was preceded in death by his mother, Lettie Blackwood.

Martha Carolyn Easley

WATER VALLEY – Martha Carolyn Easley of Water Valley passed from this life Saturday, December 11, 2021, at Yalobusha General Hospital after an extended illness. She was 74.

Born November 18, 1947, in Denmark, Miss., she was one of seven children to the late Rayford and Frances (Mooney) Ramsey. Upon finishing high school, Carolyn embarked on her lifelong journey by marrying John Easley. Her working career was spent at Holley Carburetor and Borg Warner, where she would retire after 34 years of service. Carolyn loved to live life to the fullest and filled her time with many passions including crafts, yard work, flower gardening, cooking and taking care of her family, especially her one year old grandson, Varian, who was the light of her life.

Visitation was held Tuesday, December 14, in the Gardiner Room at Seven Oaks Funeral Home. Services followed at 2 p.m. in the Henry Chapel of Seven Oaks. Burial was  in Camp Ground Cemetery.

Carolyn is survived by her husband of 54 years, John Easley; one daughter, Lani Easley (Thomas) of Slidell, La.; one brother, Richard Ramsey of Collierville, Tenn.; one sister Margie Pilcher (Billy) of Water Valley; and one grandson, Varian Paxton Ward.

Along with her parents, Carolyn was preceded in death by two brothers, David Ramsey and Lewis Ramsey; two sisters, Polly Lovelace and Mary Edna Leon; and two nephews, Charles Jaudon Jr., and William Pilcher, whom she loved very much.

Tracy Baggett Kane

WATER VALLEY – Tracy Baggett Kane passed away on November 23, 2021, at the age of 55. She was born in Water Valley on February 22, 1966 to Harold and Barbara Jenkins Baggett.

Tracy grew up in Water Valley and graduated from Water Valley High School. She continued her education, earning a bachelor’s degree from the Ole Miss School of Accountancy at the University of Mississippi. Tracy also received a Master’s Degree of Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling from Walden University.

Tracy was an accountant for over 25 years – working for different companies. Early in her career she worked for Motts and Conagra in Water Valley.  She also worked for Choctaw Maid, Peco Foods and Performance Food Group (PFG). Early in her career, employers recognized Tracey’s leadership abilities and she quickly worked up to the position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Later in her career she would land at Mississippi Industries For The Blind (MIB) to become Deputy Director/CFO. Before she was hired Tracy loved the mission of MIB and the people of MIB.  Tracy was part of the team at MIB to establish Mississippi Industries For The Blind Foundation, an organization that she was always proud to help start.

Tracy had plans for a “retirement career” in counseling. She even took the step to earn her Masters in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling from Walden University. She worked long and hard to complete her degree while employed at MIB.  Even though she wouldn’t get the opportunity to practice professionally, Tracy was always there to listen and give advice to those who came to her.

Tracy is survived by her husband of 13 years, Anthony “Andy” Kane of Brandon; her step-son, Jared Kane; her sister-in-law, Karen Kane Sebro (Joe) of Brandon; her brother-in-law, Alan Kane; her parents, Harold and Barbara Jenkins Baggett of Water Valley; her brothers, Bruce Baggett (Beth) of Monroe, Ga. and Brian Baggett (Wendie) of Duluth, Ga.; her niece, Valerie Baggett Capstick (Clayton); her  nephew, Josh Baggett (Erica); a great-niece, Harper Capstick, and great nephews, Turner Capstick and Hall Baggett, all of Nashville, Tenn.; her best friend, Jane Anderson Layne; and her cousin, Marsha Moore.

A memorial service is scheduled January 8, 2022, at 2 p.m. at First Christian Church located at 1020 N. Main St in Water Valley.

Debbie Mills

WATER VALLEY – Debbie Mills, 66, passed away Thursday, December 9, at her home in Water Valley.  Visitation was held Sunday, December 12, at Coleman Funeral Home of Oxford.

Debbie enjoyed being on the water at the lake. She also loved going to the beach whenever she got the chance. But above all, she loved being a grandmother to her grandchildren. She will be dearly missed by all that loved her.

Debbie is survived by her daughter, Lynn (Adam) Delaup, of Metairie, La.; her grandchildren, Jeremy Mills, of Abbeville, Troy Lemoine, of Metairie, Amber Lemoine, of Metairie, and Preston Marberry of Batesville; and her great-grandson, Dominic Williams, of Metairie.

Auda Leon McMinn

OXFORD – Mr. Auda Leon McMinn went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, December 7, 2021, at Yalobusha General Hospital in Water Valley. He was 94.

The funeral service was held Saturday, December 11, at 11 a.m. in the Chapel of Waller Funeral Home with Rev. Gerald Shook and Rev. Derrick Starnes officiating. Burial followed in McMinn Cemetery.

Leon was born in Panola County to the late Esker Rampy and Hassie Faye McMinn.  He was a former member and deacon of Pilgrim’s Rest Baptist Church in Batesville; and a current member of Anchor Baptist Church in Oxford.  Leon was a farmer and devout cattleman.  He loved riding his side-by-side in the pasture to see his cows, who he could call by name.  Above all else, Leon loved his family and cherished time spent with them.

In addition to his parents, Leon was preceded in death by his wife, Reba Joy Mills; a daughter, Laticia McMinn; and a great-grandson, Noah Smith.

Leon is survived by three daughters, Phyllis Anderson and her husband, Craig, of Oxford, Deniese Thweatt of Oxford and Cindy Fowler and her husband, Joe, of Centerville, Ala.; two sons, Craig McMinn and his wife, Sandra, of Cookeville, Tenn. and Steve McMinn of Oxford; as well as six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Martha L. White

WATER VALLEY – Mrs. Martha L. White, 83, passed away at her home in Water Valley on Tuesday, December 7, 2021.

Visitation was held Sunday, December 12, at Bayson Chapel M.B. Church. A graveside serviced followed in the church cemetery. Serenity-Daniels Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

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