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Obituaries 04/03/2024

James Ray Bratcher

WATER VALLEY – James Ray Bratcher passed away on March 26, 2024. He was born July 14, 1944, in Bowling Green, Ky.
James was a proud Navy veteran who served his country with honor. Throughout his life, he was known for his strong work ethic, serving as a supervisor in the construction industry for many years, including owning a service station in Jonesboro, Ark., and working for J.O. Hooker Construction in Thaxton until his retirement in 2019.

Beyond his professional endeavors, James found joy in the simple pleasures of life. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and raising cows. Finding solace in nature’s beauty, his love for the outdoors was matched only by his love for his family. He was a devoted husband to Elsie, a loving father to his children, and a cherished grandfather.

The family received guests in the Gardiner Room at Seven Oaks Funeral Home on Monday, April 1, 2024, at 11 a.m. The serviced followed at noon. James was laid to rest at Oak Hill cemetery in Water Valley.

James is survived by his wife Elsie Bratcher; children, Billy R. (Margaret) Bratcher of Batesville, Michael (Donna) Bratcher of Courtland and Tanya (Kenith) Mooney of Batesville; seven grandchildren, Crystal (John) Red, Erica (Justin) Ramsey, Billy J.R. (Cayla) Bratcher, Christina (Jonathan) Moudy, Michelle (Nathan) Simmerman, Drew (Jessica) Mooney and Jeremy Mooney; 19 great-grandchildren; one great-great- grandchild; and a brother, Vernon (Donna) Bratcher of Batesville.
James was preceded in death by his parents, father Cecil Bratcher; Mother and dad, Pauline and Eddie Appleton.

Marcus Wayne Brown

OLIVE BRANCH – Marcus Wayne Brown, 65, passed away on March 22, 2024. Born to James and Lottie Pearl Brown on February 16, 1959 in Chicago, Ill., he was the eldest of six children and wore the “big brother” title with honor and pride.
After meeting in 1978, and many years of friendship, laughs, companionship and love, Marcus married his beautiful wife and forever best friend, Dorothy (Dot) Cain. He made his home in Milwaukee, Wisc. establishing a beautiful life with his wife Dot and daughter Rayna. Although settling in Wisconsin, it didn’t matter if it was a quick trip to Chicago or a stretch of 57/55 South to Mississippi, or anywhere in between, Marcus never let miles keep him from supporting or visiting family.

Marcus was known to be the life of the party – a very bright and fun person. He loved helping people. He would usher joy into any room by cracking jokes and putting a smile on others’ faces. He enjoyed renovating homes, doing yard work, and fixing (cleaning) vehicles. He seized every opportunity to take road trips, cook, and make his notorious lemon meringue pie. Marcus was always well dressed and was known for his dob hats, Stacey Adam shoes, nice suits, and jewelry. He enjoyed listening to music and his favorite genre was blues.

Marcus served in the U.S Army, later finding employment with Milwaukee Airport. He worked as a maintenance supervisor until he retired. Following retirement, Marcus and his family moved to their Olive Branch estate to enjoy life and retirement.

Once settled in Mississippi, Marcus joined Bayson Chapel Church in Water Valley where he served as a faithful, loyal and no-nonsense usher as long as his health permitted.

Marcus was well-liked and loved by his family, co-workers and friends, and will be greatly missed by everyone he has touched throughout his years.

He was preceded in death by his father, James Brown; and his beautiful wife, Dorothy Nell Cain-Brown.

He is survived by a loving and dedicated daughter, Rayna; a beautiful mother, Lottie Pearl Brown; an amazing sister, Lajoyce; best friends and brothers Jeffrey, Anthony (Yolanda) “Bear,” Greg and Oliver Brown; a beloved companion, Midnight; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, family, and friends.

Seven Oaks Funeral Home was honored to serve the family with arrangements.

William Baucum Chambers

TILLATOBA – William Baucum Chambers, 74, of Tillatoba, passed away Good Friday, March 29, 2024, at Baptist Memorial Hospital – North Mississippi in Oxford.

William was born December 13, 1949 in Tallahatchie County to Ben Frank, Sr. and Mary Elizabeth Ross Chambers. He was a retired heavy equipment operator and attended Tillatoba Baptist Church. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening and yard work. He also had a soft spot for animals and was a dog lover. Above all, he was a devoted family man who deeply cared for those he loved, especially his children and grandchildren.

A service to celebrate his life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 6, at Tillatoba Baptist Church with Rev. Rickey Harris officiating. The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until service time Saturday at Tillatoba Baptist Church. The family and out-of-town guests will gather in the church fellowship hall for refreshments immediately following the service.

Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Karen Chambers; daughter, Angel Pernell(Pete) of Holcomb; three sons, William Baucum Chambers, Jr.(Sherry) of Houston, TX, Christopher Frank Chambers(Angie) of Pope and Jeff Allen Chambers of Tillatoba; sister, Charla Campbell(David) of Carrollton; brother, Ben Allen Chambers(Debbie) of Batesville; nine grandchildren, Matt Chambers, Jessica Chambers, Hunter Chambers, Haden Franklin, Kevin Chambers, Bryer Cook, Drake Franklin, Parker Pernell and Aaron Pernell; two great-grandchildren, Ava Vest and Haven Chambers; lifelong friends, Bill and Joyce Doubleday; nephew and his namesake, Bill Wolfe along with a host of other nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents Ben Frank Chambers, Sr. and Mary Elizabeth Ross Chambers Tunnell; his stepfather, James Tunnell, Sr.; sister, Quay Wolfe and a brother, Ben Frank Chambers, Jr.

James M. Ward

WATER VALLEY – James Morris (Jim) Ward, age 93, went to his eternal home Monday, March 25, 2024 at his home. The son of Thomas Henry and Lucile Bell Ward, he was born in Dyersburg, Tenn., on August 10, 1930.

He obtained his early education in the public schools of Dyersburg, graduating from high school in 1948. He attended the University of Mississippi and later the University Center in Jackson where he completed courses in business administration, mathematics, and engineering. In 1965 and 1966 he completed studies in the fields of mathematics, electronics, and economics at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

Jim was employed in 1955 by the Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company (South Central Bell) as a lineman located in Jackson, Tenn. He worked on this and other jobs of increasing responsibility throughout west Tennessee until he was transferred to the engineering department in Jackson, Miss. in 1961. He was a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a professional engineering society. His hobbies were reading, hunting, fishing, and piddlin’ with wood. He enjoyed almost all sports, especially football and baseball.

Jim was a member and actively participated in the activities of Bethel Baptist Church, where he served as an active deacon.
Brother Ward received the sublime degree of Master Mason in Pearl Lodge No. 23 and after serving on various standing committees and in several offices was elected to serve as Master of this lodge in 1971. He was past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge in 1979, as well as past master of the Banner Lodge #329 and Water Valley lodge #402.

Visitation was held Thursday, March 28, in the Gardiner Room at Seven Oaks Funeral Home from noon until 2 p.m. Services followed at 2 p.m. in the Henry Chapel of Seven Oaks with Bro. Tom Cumberland officiating. Burial was in Bethel Cemetery. Jim is survived by his lifelong friend and wife of nearly 75 years, Jan Ward; one brother, Jere Ward of Texas; and numerous friends and acquaintances.

In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by one daughter, J. Katherine Ward; a brother; and a sister.

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