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Obituaries 08/17/2023

Richard Murray Baird

WATER VALLEY – Richard Murray Baird, age 96, went to his forever home Thursday, August 10, 2023 in a Huntsville, Ala. hospital. He was born July 4, 1927, in Oxford to the late Glenn and Laura (Thompson) Baird.

As a young lad, Richard launched his career working at a service station across the street from their home and at People’s Wholesale as a shelf stocker. He served in the United States Navy in World War II. Shortly after he and Maxyne married, they moved to Jonesboro, Ark. and later to Greenwood, Mississippi where he worked as a traveling salesman for Proctor and Gamble. He was recruited by National Gypsum Company (Gold Bond) to sell building products. He received many sales awards and over the next 28 years with the company and his career flourished as he was promoted step by step in management. He spent his final years in senior management of the company in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Upon retirement in 1988, he and Maxyne moved back home to their beloved Water Valley. Gold Bond contracted with him to serve as a consultant for a building facility project in Sardis. During this time, he also opened a siding business locally and bought local homes. He restored and renovated the homes and built a rental business. Water Valley city departments also sought advice from him on local issues and projects. He was probably most known for growing the best tomatoes in town which he gladly shared under the large magnolia tree in front of their home on Market Street.

He was an excellent golfer and playing golf with his best local friends from childhood was the only daily appointment. He and Maxyne were also involved in numerous community projects. Following her death, he began spending more time in the homes of each of his daughters. He was blessed to spend enormous time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He was a husband and dad who set standards and provided for his family. He was also a son, a brother, a gentleman, a patriotic veteran, successful businessman, and truly a loyal friend. He loved God, family, friends and his country.

Visitation is scheduled Wednesday, August 16, at Seven Oaks Funeral Home from 10 until 11 a.m. The funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. with Dr. Randy Bain officiating. Burial will be in Oak Hill Cemetery.

Richard is survived by four daughters, Xandra (Rod) Beard, Veverly (Jim) Arrington and Laurali Hollister, all of Toney, Ala. and Melody (Wayne) Roberts of Thomasville, Ga.; nine grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and one brother, Frank Baird of Florence, Ky.

Along with his parents, Richard was preceded in death by his wife, and the love of his life, Marjorie Maxyne Morgan Baird; one grandchild, Morgan Roberts; one brother, Charlie Baird; and one son-in-law, Phill Hollister.

Dewitt Clinton Kehoe

WATER VALLEY – Dewitt Clinton Kehoe, age 78, of Water Valley, went to his forever home Sunday, August 13, 2023 at the Yalobusha County Nursing Home in Water Valley. He was born November 30, 1944, in Water Valley to the late Curtis and Clyde (Hollinger) Kehoe.

Dewitt was a very quiet, humble, and down-to-earth man who was happy living a simple life. He lived his entire life in Water Valley. He began his career at Kellwood Manufacturing Plant in Coffeeville and worked there for 20 years and became an inspector.

In 1973, Dewitt married the love of his life, Vivian Louise Davis. They spent 42 wonderful years together before her passing in 2015. Dewitt was a piano player and loved to share his talent whenever he could, especially with his church family at Mt. Liberty. He also enjoyed singing, oil painting, and spending time with his beloved dog, Dolly. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Visitation is scheduled from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, August 19 in the Gardiner Room at Seven Oaks Funeral Home. The funeral service will follow at 1 p.m. with Bro. Michael Hass officiating. Burial will be in Mt. Liberty Cemetery.
Dewitt is survived by his daughter, Iris (Cameron) Surrette of Water Valley; and three grandsons, Jon, Matthew and Benjamin Surrette.

In addition to his parents, Dewitt was preceded in death by his wife, Louise Kehoe; five brothers, George Kehoe, Earl Kehoe, Ben Horan, Jack Curtis Kehoe and James Kehoe; and five sisters, Elizabeth Potts, Betty Dee Melton, Hattie Mae Mathis, Wilma Sartain and Frances Vaughn.

Elsie Ruth Lewis

WATER VALLEY – Elsie Ruth Lewis, age 90, of Water Valley, passed away from this life August 12, 2023 peacefully at her home. She was born October 3, 1932 in Waterloo Alabama to the late Oscar and Lillian White of Savannah Tennessee.

Ruth was united in marriage to the love of her life, J.D. Lewis, for 55 years until his death. Ruth and J.D. lived in Savannah and had five children. She worked at Cliffton (a sewing factory) and was a Sunday School teacher for many years at the Savannah Church of Christ. In 1970 she and her husband decided to move to Water Valley to be closer to their best friends, Pete and Mildred Brown. Water Valley was a beautiful town that would be called their home. She and J.D. made their family home in the Pine Valley community and their neighbor, Mr. Griff Hardy, welcomed them. They had a loving home that was filled with love and memories for over 50 years.

Ruth worked at Big Yank and retired after 27 years. She then began greatly enjoying spending time with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was also fond of sewing and making quilts.

Ruth enjoyed taking the grandkids on vacation, shopping, going to Libertyland, picnics, and having the children over to spend the night and play Uno. She lived life to the fullest. Not only her grands but also their friends, cousins, nieces and nephews were welcomed with open arms and love. Most ( whether kin or not) called her Miss Ruth or Aunt Ruth. Her most remembered words were “Y’all better behave!” no matter who you were. She loved all the children in Pine Valley and her home was open with loving arms. Most of all she loved God. Ruth was a member of the Water Valley Church of Christ. She lived a Christian life and taught her family to let God be first in your life and reminded her family members how blessed they were to be a loving family.

Visitation was held Monday, August 14,, in the Gardiner Room of Seven Oaks Funeral Home from 5:00. The funeral service followed at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, August 14 in the Henry Chapel of Seven Oaks. Bro. David Floy officiated. Burial was in Oak Hill Cemetery.

Ruth is survived by two sons, William Lewis (Carlene) of Pensacola Fla. and Robert Lewis of Crump Tenn.; one daughter, Deb Peacock of Water Valley.; one son-in-law, Larry Cosby of Water Valley; one sister-in-law, Marie Duberry of Jackson, Tenn.; seven grandchildren, Chris (Donna) Lewis, April (Brian) Stricklin, Adam Peacock, Carl (Duck) Lewis, Carla Lewis, Phillip Lewis and Steven Lewis (Stacy); 11 great-grands, Brant (Lauren) Simmons, Logan McAlester, Analeese Peacock, Brody Peacock, Ben Cote, Paris Harrell, Caroline Lewis, Nathan Lewis, Callie Lewis, Hayden Stricklin and Lynnden Stricklin; and two great-great-grands, Bodie Simmons and River Lewis. She also leaves a host of loving nieces, nephews, longtime friends Tom and Lisa Baker and family; and her neighbor, Nancy Wootten.

Ruth was preceded in death by her husband J.D. Lewis; a son, Nicky Lewis; a daughter, Pat Cosby and a great-granddaughter Brittany Simmons.

Jason Michael Price

WATER VALLEY – Jason Michael Price, age 37 of Water Valley passed from this life Aug 2, 2023 at his home. Born Jan. 21,1986 in Jackson, Jason was a free spirit and lived life on his own terms. He loved fishing, hunting, golfing and also had a love of horses. He was loved by his friends and family and will be missed.

Jason is survived by two sons, Jayden and Lucas; his mother Tracy Ray; four siblings Adam, Nicole, Heather and Leslie; as well as his many aunts, uncles, niece and nephews.

Visitation was held Wednesday, August 9, in the Gardiner Room at Seven Oaks Funeral Home from 10 until noon. Services immediately followed at noon in the Henry Chapel of Seven Oaks with Bro. Donnie Williams officiating. Burial was in Pine Flat Cemetery.
Donations to help with final expenses are welcome and appreciated.

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