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Obituaries 06/30/2022

John David Avant Sr.

WATER VALLEY – John David Avant, 72, of Water Valley  went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on June 22, 2022.

John was born on January 12, 1950 to James Louis and Shirley Jenkins Avant. As a son, husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend, John spent most of his time caring for and serving those around him. He enjoyed baking for those he loved, and frequently filled his truck with pies and cookies to deliver to friends.

After graduating high school, John attended Northwest Community College, where he was a member of the track team as a pole-vaulter. Later, he spent time in the Pacific Northwest fighting fires before returning home to marry his high school sweetheart, Janice Whitten, and begin a career in construction.

In 1984, he founded Avant Construction, which allowed him to do one of the things he loved most – spend every day working alongside his best friend: his son. He endeavored to teach his daughter every skill he knew – instead of just taking care of things for her – in order to help encourage her independence.

As a grandfather, John was present in all of his granddaughters’ most precious memories. He bought his favorite law student her first suit, danced with his curly-headed granddaughter at her wedding to his new grandson, and delighted in every track meet and fishing tournament the youngest participated in. John loved his daughter-in-law like his own. He was also incredibly proud in the knowledge that he could beat his best friend, Bud Trout, in anything they did.

John’s example of love and service was a testament to his faith in Christ. He served as a deacon and Sunday School teacher at First Baptist Church in Water Valley, the church his family has faithfully attended as members for decades. He loved completely, served faithfully, and prayed constantly.

John is preceded in death by his parents, James and Shirley Avant; a brother, Jim Avant; and sisters, Freda Morgan and Doris Smith.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife of almost 52 years, Janice Avant; his two children, Johnny (Missy) Avant of Water Valley and Stacey Avant of Hoover, Ala.; and his three grandchildren, Ally Avant of Oxford, Anna Mills (Reed) Tyler of Jonesboro, Ark. and Parker Avant of Water Valley; and his brother, Tom (Margie) Avant of Navasota, Texas.

The funeral service was held at First Baptist Church of Water Valley on Saturday, June 25 at noon. The family received friends and visitation prior to the service  at the church.

Robert Wayne Gay

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – Robert Wayne Gay, 79, of Moncks Corner passed away on Sunday, June 19, 2022.He was the husband of the late Linda Gay.

Robert was born on November 9, 1942, in Water Valley, a son of the late William and Nellie Gay. He retired from the Navy after 20 years of service and over 20 years of civil service. After retirement, he enjoyed cruising with his wife and fishing.

The service is scheduled Thursday, June 23, at 1 p.m. at Carnes Crossroad Church of God in Summerville, S.C.

Survivors include his children, William Gay (Holly), Kimberly Branham (Dale), Linda Alvarado  and Christopher Gay; grandchildren, Raigan Gay, William Gay, Jr., Alexandra Gay, Nicholas Gay, Ira Branham (Amanda), Alexa Alexander (Jacobi), Christina Clark (Michael), Quentin Alvarado, David Alvarado and Alexander Alvarado; and three great-grandchildren. In addition to his wife of 57 years, Linda, and his parents, he was predeceased by his brother, James, and his sister, Ann.

Sonny Glynn McCullough

COFFEEVILLE – Mr. Sonny Glynn McCullough, 83, of Coffeeville, passed away Saturday, June 25, 2022.  He was born September 3, 1938, in Charleston to William E. and Frances Irene Scott McCullough.  Sonny had worked for a number of years for Sears Roebuck and, after moving to Coffeeville, farmed and had his own yard service.  He honorably served our country in the US Army and was a member of the Coffeeville Church of Christ.  An avid outdoorsman, Sonny enjoyed fishing and hunting at every opportunity.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 29, 2022 at First Baptist Church – Coffeeville.  Interment will follow in the Elam Cemetery.  The family received friends Tuesday evening at the church.

Survivors include two sons, Bryan McCullough (Amanda) and Jason McCullough (Rachel Hodum), both of Coffeeville; two sisters, Jean Jones of Washington and Joy Sumner (Leon) of Charleston; one brother, Jerry McCullough (Helen) of Purvis; and six grandchildren, Maeci Bowlin (Isaac) of New Orleans, La., Ben McCullough, Kamryn McCullough, Ab McCullough, Eleana McCullough and Lucy Bea McCullough, all of Coffeeville.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wives, Sue McCullough and Norma McCullough; a son, Sonny Glynn McCullough, Jr.; a daughter-in-law, Brandi McCullough; sisters, Ruth Dees and Norma LaRue; and a brother, Maynard McCullough.

Arrangements were  entrusted to McKibben and Guinn Funeral Service in Grenada. Isaac Bowlin, Randy Dees, Tim LaRue, Ab McCullough, Ben McCullough and Don McCullough will honor Sonny by carrying him to rest in the Elam Cemetery.  Kevin Dees, Bill McCullough, Scott Rodgers and Jeremy Sumner will serve as honorary pallbearers.

Camille Juree Rockette

LAS VEGAS, Nev.  – Camille Juree Rockette, age 17, departed her earthly body on June 10, 2022 in Las Vegas Nevada. She was born March 21, 2005 to Perry Rockette and Candace Morgan. While not attending to her studies, Camille enjoyed running her clothing and jewelry business, doing hair and bossing her brothers around. She was loved and will be truly missed by a host of cousins, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and friends.

Those she leaves behind to cherish her memory include her parents, Perry Rockette and Candace Morgan; one sister, Laquaysha Rockette of Overland Park, Kansas; two brothers, Perrion Rockette and her twin brother, Corey Rockette of Coffeeville; her grandfather, Darrnell White; and a loving supportive great-grandmother, Mary Ann Morgan of Water Valley.

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.                             – Psalm 30:5

A wake was held Thursday, June 23, in the Gardiner Room at Seven Oaks Funeral Home. Services were held at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 24 in the Henry Chapel of Seven Oaks. Elder Michael Randle officiated. Burial was in Oak Ridge Cemetery.

Susan Wells

SARAH – Susan Wells Tillman, age 67, passed away Thursday, June 23, 2022 at her home in Sarah.

Susan was born January 13, 1955, in Greenwood to the late Richard Lee Wells, Sr. and Vester Geraldine Rodgers Wells. For most of life, she worked as a bus driver. Susan had a special love for all animals and also enjoyed writing in her spare time.

The family left behind to cherish her memory include her children, Stacy Elizabeth Harris of Sarah, Thomas Jeremy Hickson, Sr. of Water Valley, Nathan Matthew Hickson of Como, and Ethan Lee Tillman of Sarah; four sisters, Linda Prosser, Sandy Buckner, Vicki Earl Mason, and Debra Ann Mabry; one brother, Richard Lee Wells, Jr.; seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Along with her parents, she is preceded in death by one sister, Mona Gail Davis.

Per Susan’s request, there will be no services held. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Humane Society of your choice.

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