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Obituaries 03/21/2024

Martha Sue Hill

WATER VALLEY – Martha Sue Hill, a beloved resident of Water Valley, peacefully departed this life on Tuesday, March 12, 2024, at the age of 82. Born on April 13, 1941, in Memphis, she was a daughter of the late Earnest Durell Wilson and Eura Mae Wilson.

Affectionately known as Sue, she was a gentle soul adored by all who had the privilege of knowing her. Sue commenced her lifelong career at Rice Stix Manufacturing, where she dedicated four decades of her life and witnessed its transformation into Big Yank. During her time there she crossed paths with her first husband, Martin Ragon, from which four children were born. After Martin’s passing, Sue met and later married Robert “Boot” Hill and shared many happy years until his passing.

A lover of nature, Sue’s interests spanned from fishing excursions with her children to nurturing her flourishing garden filled with vibrant flowers and bountiful vegetables. Her adventurous spirit led her to engage in hunting with her father and siblings, passing on her passion for the outdoors to the next generation.

Sue’s generous nature and caring personality shone brightly, as she constantly sought to alleviate the struggles of those around her, ensuring that no one went without. She found immense joy in gathering her family during holidays, fostering an atmosphere of love that filled her heart with contentment.

Visitation was held Saturday, March 16, in the Gardiner Room at Seven Oaks Funeral Home with the service following at 2 p.m. in Henry Chapel with Bro. Raymond Aven officiating. Burial was in Elam Cemetery.
Sue is survived by one son, Mark Ragon; two daughters, Saundra (Jeff) Lancaster and Dawn Ragon; step children Teresa Hill (Jeff) Pass, Sharon Hill Valient and Holly Hill (Timmy) Taylor; grandchildren Robert Griffin, Sha Ragon, Candi Ragon, Hali Ragon Miller, Steven Ragon, Justin Ragon, Greg Langham, Amber Payne, Hannah Ragon, Josh and Molly Winters, Kristy Allen, Shasta Whiten, Chevy Allen, Joey Chapman and Matt Taylor; great-grandchildren Tucker Martin, Beckett Miller, Sawyer Ragon, Finley Ragon, Christian Griffin, Deon Harris, Abreonna (Demond) Sherley, Bryon Garrett, Marell Garrett, Tylor Payne, Maleigha Payne, Mckenzie Brown and Zay Jenkins; and one sister, Jimmie Sholly.

In addition to her parents, Sue was predeceased by her first husband, Martin Lee Ragon; her second husband, James “Boot” Hill; one daughter, Anita Newman; and siblings Barbara Organ, Dorothy Emerick, Joan Downs, Buddy Wilson, Johnny Wilson and Brenda Henderson.

Tony Paul Provenze

OXFORD – Tony Paul Provenza, a devoted father, grandfather and husband, peacefully departed this world on Saturday, March 16, 2024, in Oxford surrounded by loved ones. He was born on September 12, 1925, in Greenville. Tony leaves behind a legacy of integrity and hard work.

Beginning his academic journey at St. Rose of Lima and later attending Greenville High School, Tony attended the University of Mississippi,where he obtained a master’s degree in accounting as well as a law degree. His thirst for knowledge and dedication to his craft propelled him to a successful career in the financial industry, where he made significant contributions as an esteemed accountant.

In a chapter of his life marked by bravery and sacrifice, Tony joined the US Marines in 1943, serving his country with honor during World War II. His valor was evident as he participated in pivotal battles including the invasion and capture of the Peleliu Palau Islands and Guam. His tour of duty concluded with the occupation of Tsing Tao in North China. Throughout his military service, Mr. Provenza distinguished himself as an expert marksman and adept radio operator, earning numerous commendations for exemplary service.

Tony will forever be cherished by one son, Tony Paul (Linda) Provenza; two daughters, Pat (Brant) Atchley and Karen (Rob) Cummings; three grandchildren, Lauren Gray, Lauren Atchley and Eli Cummings; two great-grandchildren, Adalyn and Aydan; as well as a wide circle of family and friends whose lives he enriched with his kindness and wisdom. A man of unwavering principles and steadfast commitment, Mr. Provenza’s presence will be deeply missed. Tony was preceded in death by his parents, Vincent and Camille Provenza; his wife, Ellie F. Provenza; four brothers; and three sisters.

An opportunity for all who knew him to pay their respects will be held during a visitation Saturday, March 23, in the Gardiner Room at Seven Oaks Funeral Home from 1:30 until 2:30 p.m. Services will immediately follow at 2:30 p.m. in the Henry Chapel of Seven Oaks with Bro. Billy Childs officiating. Burial will be in Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery in Dallas, Texas.

John Sossaman

COFFEEVILLE — John Henry Sossaman, age 76, passed away Saturday, March 16, at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford surrounded by his children.

A memorial service will be announced at a later day. Seven Oaks Funeral home has charge.

He was born September 3, 1947 in Hollandale to Oscar and Inez Bonner Sossaman, the second of 12 children.
Raised between the delta and the hills, he left school and began working very early in life and had numerous careers. A “jack of all trades,” among a few he held a tree surgeon’s license, was a mechanic, farmed, was a truck driver eventually owning his own trucking company, did dozer work for the government and private citizens, and most recently owned and operated a gravel pit in Tallahatchie County.

“Big John” as he was known by his friends, loved to work on old tractors and any sort of equipment, large or small. He also loved to dove hunt and spend time outdoors.

He was proud of all of his children, loved to play with his grandchildren and watch them become young adults, and adored his four great-grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his parents, his youngest daughter, Jeanna Sossaman Mills; and two brothers, Oscar Sossaman Jr., and David Sossaman.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Alice Jean Woods Sossaman of Coffeeville; a daughter, Krista (Clay) McFerrin of Charleston; three sons, Billy Sossaman of Water Valley, Johnny Sossaman of Coffeeville and Terry Sossaman (Theresa) of New Albany; a son-in-law, Kelly Mills of Cordova, Tenn.; four sisters, Ann (Richard) Woodard of Byhalia, Edna Woods (Charles) Cook of Marks, Louise (Roger) Richardson of Charleston and Linda (Marvin) Leake of Hattiesburg; brothers, Jim Sossaman of Batesville, Albert (Sarah) Sossaman of Coffeeville, Willie Sossaman of Moscow, Tenn., Robert Sossaman and Mike Sossaman of Teasdale; sisters-in-law, Joyce Sossaman of Coffeeville and Dorothy Rayburn of Sardis; four grandchildren, Brandon McFerrin and Kelsey (Ryan) Bright, both of Charleston, Addison Sossaman and Ethan Sossaman, both of Water Valley; and four great-grandchildren, Harper, Beckett, Baylor and Ryder Bright, all of Charleston, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

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