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Obituaries 09/07/2023

Brandy Michelle Baker

WATER VALLEY – Brandy Michelle Baker, age 46, of Water Valley passed away September 1, 2023, at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis.

Brandy was born on October 13, 1976, in Dallas, Texas. She was a 1995 graduate of Water Valley High School and attended Northeast Community College, where she was a member of the Tiger Dance team. She earned both her Bachelor of Psychology and Master of Counseling in Education at Delta State University and was a member of Phi Mu. Brandy was a National Board-Certified School Counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor. Brandy was presently serving as a high school counselor at Lafayette High School in Oxford. She was a member of First Baptist Church in Water Valley.

Brandy was a devoted wife and mother and loved cheering on her children at their various school activities and sporting events. She also was a champion for her students and showed that support every day.

The family will receive friends Wednesday, September 6 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Seven Oaks Funeral Home in Water Valley. Funeral services are planned for 1 p.m. in the chapel of Seven Oaks Funeral Home with Dr. Randy Bain and Dr. Glenn Kitchens officiating. There will be a private family interment service following the funeral.

Brandy is survived by her loving husband, Allen Boren Baker; a daughter, Madeline (Maddie) Michelle Vollbracht; and a son, John Slade Vollbracht, all of Water Valley; a daughter, Nicole (Reed) Davis of Oxford; her mother, Angela (Charlie) Thorn of Water Valley; her adopted father, Charles Thomas of Grenada; Royce (Patty) Newman of La Crosse, Wisc.; her brothers, Josh (Caitlin) Thomas and Jerrod (Bethany) Thomas, both of Water Valley; and one grandson, Baker Davis.

Brandy was preceded in death by her grandparents, Gaston and Madeline Slade of Dallas, Texas,

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorials may be sent to First Baptist Church of Water Valley.

Red Coleman

DIVIDING RIDGE COMMUNITY – It was with his faith in God, laughter, music, love for family and nature, and hard work, that Red Coleman fully lived his 92 years. On August 31 he died peacefully at home, in the company of his wife of 68 years and his beloved children. He is remembered for his exuberant personality, hospitality, keen sense of wonder, musical talent, and ingenuity.

Jessie Eldrege “Red” Coleman was born on October 1, 1930, in Calhoun County to Joe and Myrtice Landreth Coleman. His upbringing in rural Calhoun County with his five siblings nurtured his love of basketball, music, and the outdoors. On June 28, 1955, he made the very wise decision to marry Elizabeth Williams of the Dividing Ridge Community. Together they built their life on a small farm south of the Scuna River, where they raised five children, Sherry, Mike, Susan, Cathy, and Randy. Throughout his life, Eldrege’s faith was his guide, starting with his profession of faith in August 1949 at Ellard Baptist Church and continuing throughout his life as he served as a deacon and music leader of Dividing Ridge Baptist Church. He prayed daily that he would live long enough to see his grandchildren be saved by the grace of God.

Eldrege was an outstanding athlete and loved the game of basketball. His children and grandchildren loved hearing stories of how fast and far he could run. In fact, he claimed to have only been slower than one person, Charles Kimbrell. Red was the last surviving member of the starting line-up of his team. After playing ball in high school, Red attended East Central Mississippi Community College on a basketball scholarship. He loved the Boston Celtics and followed them through many wins and losses. His favorite players were Larry Bird and John Havlicek.

Eldrege was perhaps most well-known for his musical aptitude. He learned to play the fiddle by ear using his Uncle Jefferson’s fiddle and loved bluegrass music. He started playing for barn dances, where he met his beloved wife, Elizabeth. He and his siblings played for benefits, at churches and at friends’ houses sitting in straight chairs for hours. They were the house band at the North Mississippi Opry House in Banner. He was truly an entertainer and his favorite time of year to play was at “The Stew” as it is known far and wide. He and Elizabeth wanted to do something for the community so why not cook a Brunswick stew and squirrel dumplings and invite friends from the community? The first stew was October 1, 1971, and the tradition grew larger each year, continuing for 39 years. Estimates were that crowds ranged from 400 to 500 people that traveled from near and far for a wonderful time of bluegrass music, stew, and squirrel dumplings.

Eldrege’s love for nature and the outdoors was unparalleled. Quail hunting with his brother Wayne and brothers-in-law was his favorite, and through his love of hunting, he provided countless meals for his large family. He and Elizabeth planted a large garden every year and he proudly admired the progression of its growth, leaving the harvest to Elizabeth. He welcomed each new year of his life with a squirrel hunt and shared his love of nature with his children and grandchildren. In his later years, he eagerly awaited the arrival of the purple martins and loved watching them interact and forage over his hay patch. Though not formally trained as a naturalist, he had a vast knowledge of the native flora and fauna of the hills of Mississippi and is fondly quoted saying “Nature is smarter than Man.”

Eldrege was not shy about his love for his family. He was a pleasant, patient, and compassionate person and extended his love to others. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren were blessed to know and love their “Pap”. He was interested in the daily lives of each of them and taught them many lessons and skills they could never learn at school. One of his favorite hobbies was talking on the phone. His family could expect to wait hours to get a call through in the evenings. He loved his daily phone calls with Estha Mae, Wayne, his children, and grandchildren. If he went a day without talking on the phone, it was because the line was down, and he was not happy about it. Eldrege retired from Randall Textron, where he worked as a receiving inspector for 31 years. His career, like the rest of his life, was full of colorful stories of his interactions with his coworkers. His family loved hearing stories of the pranks and nicknames of his colleagues at “the plant”. His gift of storytelling and joking will truly be missed. Eldrege’s life was lived to the fullest – full of love, laughter, art, and the outdoors.

The funeral service was held Sunday, Sept. 3, at McKibben and Guinn Funeral Service in Grenada. Pallbearers were Tripp Pullen, Colby Pullen, Trent Coleman, Braxton Coleman, Keaton Sinquefield, Presley Coleman, and Dalton Coleman. Honorary pallbearers were Billy Rounsaville, Mark Hartley, Phil Coleman, Ricki Parker, Porter Parker, Spencer Williams, Fuzzy Clark, Billy Dean Fielder, Francis Williams, John Criss Williams, and Benny Stewart.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Dividing Ridge Baptist Church.

Red was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers (Riley Coleman and Russell Coleman); and one sister (Alma Townsend).

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Williams Coleman; five children, Sherry (Billy) Little of Senatobia, Mike (Mariana) Coleman of Coffeeville, Susan (Steve) Sinquefield of Senatobia, Cathy (Dewitt) Harrison of Coffeeville and Randy (Julie) Coleman, also of Coffeeville; 10 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; one sister, Estha Mae Parker; and one brother, Wayne Coleman. He is also survived by a host of nieces, nephews, and friends whom he loved dearly.

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