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Obituaries 12/22/2022

Jean Wells Arrington

COFFEEVILLE – Mrs. Jean Wells Arrington passed into the Glory of Heaven Sunday night, December 11, 2022, as her children and grands sang favorite hymns and Christmas carols to complete her journey.
Jean was born in Memphis, Tenn. on July 20, 1928, to William Ervin “Buck” and Ruth Wells Benoist.  She married her true love, Smiley Eugene Arrington, on December 19, 1948.  They were married 57 years, until his death in 2005, and they birthed four children.

Jean grew up in Coffeeville, graduating from Coffeeville High School.  As a young girl, she learned and mastered piano, organ and vocal music.  She was an education graduate from Delta State University.  She began a career teaching grammar school, where she made a lifelong impact on hundreds of children.  Jean taught in Hollandale, Grenada and Coffeeville school districts.  She and husband, Smiley, were always buying lunches, coats, shoes or whatever else was needed for a school child. Many grownups would still come to tell her that she was their favorite teacher of all time.

Jean served as the organist at Hollandale Baptist Church and later at Coffeeville First Baptist Church.  She was still playing the organ in her 80s.  She always gave the pay back to her church and said that was her service to the Lord.  She and Smiley served the church as youth Sunday School teachers.  A favorite time each year was to take the youth Christmas caroling.

Jean was a busy mom, not only raising her children, but also entertaining the whole neighborhood crew.  She treated them with love and care.
Jean was a faithful servant of the Lord and was always concerned about others.

She gave away 30-plus Jesus Calling books as a favorite project.  She spent much time reading, much time doting over her grands and great-grands, and much time shopping.  She never stopped going places, even at 94. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Smiley Arrington; two brothers, Max E. Benoist and Billy Benoist; and granddaughter, Julie Anderson.

She leaves to treasure many precious memories and carry on her legacy: four children, Joy (Jon) Anderson of Robinson, Ill., Jan Dean (Tyler) Wortham of Coffeeville, Jill (Hal) Clark of Water Valley and Smiley (Debra) Arrington of Coffeeville; seven grandchildren, Emily W. (Keith) Canterbury, Tyler (Dawn) Wortham, III, Jay (Trish) Anderson, Chessie (Lane) Clark Berg, Blayne Clark, Morgan A. (Anthony) Myers and Smiley (Whitney) Arrington, III.  She also leaves four great-grandchildren, Landon Wortham, Luke Anderson, Remington Wortham and Demu Berg, along with two great-grandsons on the way.
Funeral services were held Friday, December 16, from the Sanctuary of Coffeeville First Baptist Church with Rev. Craig Baker and Rev. Truman Scarborough officiating.  Interment followed in the Coffeeville Cemetery. Pallbearers were Keith Canterbury, Tyler Wortham, III, Jay Anderson, Blayne Clark, Landon Wortham, Smiley Arrington, III and Anthony Myers.  Honorary Pallbearers will be Tyler Wortham, Jon Anderson and Hal Clark. McKibben and Guinn Funeral Service in Grenada was in charge of arrangements.

The family expresses deepest appreciation to those who have helped make her days and years the best –  Rubie Brown, Betty Jean Lee, Whitney R. Crow, DNP, Dr. Paul Odom, Dr. Heidi Pratt and the staff of Yalobusha General Hospital. Memorials may be directed to Coffeeville First Baptist Church or the charity of your choice.

Zipporah Lloyd Jefferson Jones

WATER VALLEY – Zipporah Lloyd Jefferson-Jones of Water Valley passed away at her home, surrounded by family on Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Born Dec. 22, 1943, to the late Reedy Guy Lloyd and China Sylvia Daniels, she passed just days from her 79th birthday.

Zee, as she was affectionately called, accepted Christ as a young girl and joined Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church. She later joined Bayson Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, where she remained a faithful member until her health began to fail. She was educated in Yalobusha County and graduated in 1961 from Davidson High School.

Zee was united in holy matrimony to her high school sweetheart, A.T. Jefferson, and to this union four children were born, Gary, Marc, China, and Michael. The couple remained united until his death. She was later joined in matrimony to Willie Jones. She applauded herself for being one of the first people to integrate Big Yank Corporation. She was also the first African American female inspector to work for the United States Department of Agriculture.

Her memories will be cherished forever by her husband, Willie Jones of Water Valley; daughter, China (Willie) Carothers of Water Valley; three sons, Gary (Ava) Jefferson of Las Vegas, Nev., Marc (Phenesha) Jefferson of California and Michael (Kini) Jefferson of Oakland; two bonus daughters, Valeria Stewart of Virginia and Rolena Green of Louisiana; 13 grandchildren; 20 great grandchildren; two bonus grandchildren; one bonus great-grandchild; a sister,

Marty Shaw of Water Valley; three aunts, Essie DeVorse of St. Louis, Mo., Sadie Daniels of Memphis and Lottie Daniels of Louisiana; an uncle, L.C. Lloyd of Milwaukee, Wis.; and a host of sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Zipporah was preceded in death by her parents; grandparents, Fred and Gertrude Bishop Daniels, Elvia and Mattie Nevel Lloyd; and a brother, Anthony Steele.

Mary Jane Stewart

WATER VALLEY – Mary Jane Stewart, age 81, of Water Valley went to her eternal home on the evening of December 16, 2022. She was surrounded by her family. She was born November 14, 1941 in Water Valley, MS to the late Marvin and Alberta Wilbourn. Mary Jane loved her family deeply and enjoyed all her time surrounded by them.

Mary Jane is survived by her loving husband, Bill Stewart; three sons, Johnny (Paula) Blackwood, Craig Stewart, and Steven (Sarah) Stewart, all of Water Valley; one daughter, Pam (Terry) Williams of Courtland; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and one brother, Dale (Arlene) Wilbourn of Water Valley.


James Robert Townsend

WATER VALLEY – Rev. James Robert Townsend departed this life on Saturday, December 17, 2022. Born in Lafayette County on February 17, 1943, he was a son of the late Geneva Fondren Polk and Robert Lee Townsend.
Rev. Townsend confessed hope in Christ at Oak Grove C.M.E. Church in Water Valley under the leadership of Rev. Adam Tyson. He was married to the late Katie Lois Townsend for 50 years and to this union five wonderful children were born. He was an owner/operator, over-the-road truck driver for over 30 years and motivated his sons and grandchildren to become truck drivers.

Visitation is planned for Wednesday, December 21, in the Gardiner Room at Seven Oaks Funeral Home from 10 until 11 a.m. Services will immediately follow at 11 a.m. in the Henry Chapel of Seven Oaks. Burial will be in Oak Ridge Cemetery with Montrel Daniels, Danny Caldwell, Leon Harris, Michael Price, Isaiah Horton, Deon Hervey, De’Michael Hervey serving as pallbearers.

Rev. Townsend is survived by his daughters, Sandra F. (Eugene) Daniels and Casey R. (Shannon) Townsend both of Water Valley, Ann D. Townsend of Courtland; and one son, Danny Earl Townsend of Water Valley. He is also survived by three sons that he loved, cherished, and opened his home to after the passing of his late sister, Mary Price, Michael Price, Darren Price, and Derrick Price. He had 13 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, and other relatives. He also leaves a special friend Ms. Ella Bobo and a very special caretaker at Yalobusha General Nursing Home, Mrs. Annette Turner.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Mrs. Geneva Fondren Polk and Mr. Robert Lee Townsend; his brother, Mr. Raymond Charles Townsend; his sister, Mrs. Mary Townsend Price; his wife, Mrs. Katie Lois Townsend; and his son, Mr. James Lewis Townsend.

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