Billie J. Bethay

BOONEVILLE – Billie J. Bethay, 71, passed away Wednesday, October 7, 2020, at Landmark Community in Booneville. Services will be on Sunday, October 11, 2020, at 2:00 PM at Booneville Funeral Home. Visitation will be on Sunday from 11:00 am until service time at Booneville Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Pleasant Grove Cemetery.

Clovis Guy Yates

BOONEVILLE – Clovis Guy Yates, 91, passed away Saturday, October 10, 2020, at Landmark Nursing Facility in Booneville. Services will be on Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 2 pm at Kesler Funeral Home – Baldwyn Chapel with private family services only. Burial will follow at Jumpertown Cemetery. Condolences to the family may be made online at

Costa Hill

TUPELO – Costa Hill, 82, passed away on October 10, 2020, at Baldwyn Nursing Facility. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by W.E. Pegues Funeral Directors.

Nancy Evans Fly

UNION COMMUNITY – Nancy Evans Fly, 77, died Friday morning, October 9, 2020 at Sanctuary Hospice House. Nancy had courageously struggled with cancer for several years. Born to the union of J.C. Evans and Annie Lou Payne Evans on May 29, 1943, Nancy was proud of the pioneering role her family played for generations in the development of Lee County and this area. She was born and lived most of her life on the Evans family property in the Union Community south of Plantersville. Nancy married Donald Fly on July 4, 1961, a marriage of 59 great years, immediately after graduating from Nettleton High School. Nancy attended Itawamba Community College and studied nursing. She worked over 20 years at the North Miss. Medical Center primarily on 5 West. Nancy was foremost a beautiful daughter, wife, mother and grandmother who doted constantly over her family. She was a longtime member of First United Pentecostal Church in Tupelo where she constantly strengthened her faith and found comfort. Nancy loved flowers, scrapbooking and tanning by her pool and in her garden.

A private family service celebrating her life will be held at 11 AM Monday in the Evans family plot with Bro. Larry Hill officiating. Sis. Charlotte Raper will sing Beulah Land. Holland Funeral Directors is honored to be serving their neighbors and friends. There will be no visitation.

Nancy is survived by her husband, Donald; her children, Missy Fly Bristow (Robert) of Tupelo, Mitch Fly of Tupelo, and Michael Fly (Nikki) of Nettleton; her grandchildren, whom Grandmomma loved: Alex Bristow, Anna Evans Bristow, Jeb Bristow, Maverick Fly, and Abigail Fly; her siblings, Shirley Hill of Wren and Elizabeth Graham of Union; and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, J.C. and Annie Lou Evans; her brothers, Wayne Evans, Jimmy “Peanut” Evans, and Roger Evans; and son, Donald Coleman Fly Jr. Olva Jean Scott Bartlett

TUPELO – Olva Jean Scott Bartlett died Thursday October 1, 2020 at Sanctuary Hospice House. She was 75. Born in Mulga, AL on June 23, 1945, she was the daughter of Walter Sidney Scott and Ethel Dobbs Scott. She married John Bartlett in July 1970 and they raised three children together. Jean had a big spirit and an even bigger heart. She will be greatly missed by so many people who knew and loved her.

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, no memorial or funeral services are planned at this time. Holland Funeral Directors – Tupelo Chapel is honored to serve their friends.

She is survived by her husband of 50 years, John Bartlett; 3 children, Valerie Clark, Joshua Bartlett and Scott Bartlett; and 3 brothers, James Scott ( Shirley), Clyde Scott (Clytee) and Walter Scott (Kay). She was preceded in death by her parents.

In lieu of flowers or food, donations may be made in Jean’s name to a favorite charity, or to the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society, PO Box 2143, Tupelo MS 38803, or Gum Tree Museum of Art and Gallery, 211 West Main Street, Tupelo MS 38804.

Rev. Lawrence Ulish McKinzie

BLUE MOUNTAIN – Reverend Lawrence Ulish McKinzie, 86, passed away Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at the Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo, MS. He was born October 8, 1933 to the late Ray McKinzie and Rosie Lee Cook in Duck Hill, MS. His family later moved to Cotton Plant, MS. He graduated from Antioch High School in Blue Mountain, MS and served in the United States Army. Upon his honorable discharge in May, 1956, Rev. McKinzie attended the Mississippi Industrial College in Holly Springs, MS. On December 24, 1956, he married the late Beatrice Smith. They were married for fifty-seven years before her death, and to their union four children were born with two children departing life after birth.

He professed a hope in Christ at an early age. He joined Mosley Chapel C.M.E. Church in Blue Mountain, MS and became a Steward in the church. He managed a gospel singing group called the Magnolia Jubilees for several years and traveled in and out of the state to gospel singing programs. He was called into the ministry by God and preached his first sermon in September, 1973. Rev. McKinzie received his local preacher’s license from the Oxford District of the East MS Annual Conference of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church on November 11, 1973 and has served forty-two years as pastor to twelve different C.M.E. churches in seven counties in Northeast MS. He saved souls, married many couples, and touched the lives of so many. He was a full time worker at American Biltrite Corp for thirty-five years before retiring at the age of sixty-five.

A walk through visitation will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at the Serenity-Simmons Funeral Home Chapel in New Albany, MS. Family hour from 6 to 7 p.m. Face coverings are required. Committal Services will be held Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at the Veteran’s National Cemetery, Corinth, MS at 11:00 a.m. Face covering are required.

Rev. McKinzie leaves to cherish his countless memories two children; Deborah (David) Cooper of Blue Mountain, MS and Michael (Kathryn) McKinzie of Baton Rouge, LA, two sisters-in-law; Bessie Bell McKinzie of New Albany, MS and Jimmie Dale Smith of Ripley, MS, one brother-in-law; Harvey Lee Knox of Blue Mountain, MS, three grandchildren; Adriana Cooper and Brandon McKinzie of Blue Mountain, MS, and Mikayla McKinzie of Baton Rouge, LA, a special dear friend of the family; Sis. Anner Gatewood of Byhalia, MS and a host of loving nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife; Beatrice McKinzie, two infant children; Sharon and Robin McKinzie, his parents; Ray and Rosie McKinzie, his siblings; Samuel Adam McKinzie, Pearline Townsend, Jessie Sherman and Floyd McKinzie. For further information please visit

James Henry

BALDWYN – James Henry, 68, passed away on October 10, 2020, at his home in Baldwyn. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Kesler Funeral Home.

James Holland, Jr.

BRUCE – James Holland, Jr., 87, passed away on October 9, 2020, at Bruce Community Center in Bruce. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Belle Memorial Funeral Home-Bruce.

Neal Sexton

TIPLERSVILLE – Neal Sexton, 80, passed away Wednesday, October 7, 2020, at Magnolia Regional Health Center in Corinth, MS. Services will be on Monday, October 12, 2020 11:00 AM at Tiplersville Cemetery. McBride Funeral Home of Ripley, Mississippi is in charge of arrangements.

Ricky Len Palmer

RIENZI – Ricky Len Palmer, 61, passed away Thursday, October 8, 2020, at Magnolia Regional Health Center in Corinth. Services will be on Monday, October 12, 2020 at 11 am at Kesler Funeral Home – Booneville Chapel. Visitation will be on Sunday, October 11, 2020 from 5-8 pm at Kesler Funeral Home – Booneville Chapel. Burial will follow at Sardis Cemetery. Condolences to the family may be made online at

Basil Earnest

FULTON – William Basil Earnest whose love of God, family, and community guided him throughout his life, passed away on October 8, 2020. He was born September 27, 1924 to Pearl Brown Earnest and Oscar E. Earnest in Hackleburg, Alabama. Oscar was the Superintendent of Itawamba Agricultural High School from 1931-35 and the Caledonia School System Superintendent from 1935 through the mid-1940’s. To the delight of his wife, Oscar decided the family should return to Fulton in the 1940’s. The daughter of Tobe and Bettie Brown, Pearl had a large family in Itawamba County. Both Oscar and Pearl’s families had settled in Itawamba County in the early 1800’s giving them deep ties to the community.

Basil was educated at Guin Elementary School, Fulton Grammar School, Caledonia High School, The University of Vermont, and The University of Mississippi. He was president of his high school senior class, attended The University of Vermont as part of his military service and Army Air Corps training, and attended Ole Miss beginning in 1946 on the GI Bill after his military service.

Basil was a World War II veteran having served with the 10th Army in Okinawa. For the rest of his life, Basil was interested in Okinawa and concerned for the Okinawan people. He was an American Legion member for 72 years.

On December 30, 1951, Basil married the love of his life, Annie Stone Robinson. Annie Stone’s family in Tremont had also settled in Itawamba County in the 1800’s. Basil and Annie Stone owned Earnest Ace Hardware and Earnest Furniture and Appliance in Fulton for 35 years. Basil operated the businesses and was also a Rural Mail Carrier on Routes 1 and 2 in Fulton for 27 years. He served as President of the Mississippi First District Rural Letter Carriers Association. Basil was very proud of his wife, Annie Stone, who “did the books” for the businesses and taught at Itawamba Agricultural High School.

Basil served his Lord faithfully. He was a member of the Fulton United Methodist Church and was Chairman of the Administrative Board, Lay Leader, Lay Speaker, Sunday School Teacher, and on the Sanctuary Building Committee.

A man who cherished his hometown of Fulton and all of Itawamba County, Basil considered civic duty a privilege and made it a priority in his life. He enjoyed supporting and promoting the City of Fulton and Itawamba County. As President of the Itawamba County Development Council, Basil was one of the ICDC leaders instrumental in bringing Mueller Brass to Fulton. Basil served as Fulton Rotary Club President and Lions Club President. Basil was honored to receive the Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow recognition and was a member of the Bancorp South Community Board of Directors for 31 years.

The proud parent of two girls, Basil frequently commented on the joy of having girls. He is survived by his daughters Terri (Jimmy) Chism of Lakeland, TN and Tina (Mark) Myers of Memphis, TN. Basil is also survived by his grandchildren, Anna (Phillip) Jordan, Katie (Jeff) Sendelbach, and David Ursic. He is survived by his great grandchildren, Ray Chism Bright, Ella Leigh Jordan, Tucker Jordan, Parker Sendelbach, and Corrine Sendelbach. He is preceded in death by his wife, Annie Stone Earnest, his grandson, Jim Chism, and his parents, Oscar and Pearl Earnest.

A private graveside service will be held at Itawamba Memorial Gardens on Sunday, October 11, with McNeece-Morris Funeral Home in charge of the arrangements. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Fulton United Methodist Church or Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Online condolences may be shares with the Earnest family at

John Marion HOLLY SPRINGS – John Marion, 73, passed away on October 7, 2020, at Baptist East Hospital in Memphis. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Serenity Autry Funeral Home. Otis Ray George

GOLDEN – Otis Ray George, 69, passed away

Thursday, October 8, 2020, at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, MS. Services will be on Sunday, October 11, 5 p.m. at Golden Central Baptist Church, Golden, MS. Visitation will be on Sunday, October 11, 2-5 p.m. at Golden Central Baptist Church. Burial will follow at Belmont Memory Gardens, Belmont, MS. Deaton Funeral Home, Belmont, MS will be in charge of arrangements. James Thomas Smith

UNION COUNTY – James Thomas Smith, 59, passed away on October 7, 2020, at Baptist Memorial Hospital in New Albany. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by New Albany Funeral and Cremation Care.

Wayne Butler

MOOREVILLE – Wayne Butler, 61, passed away Saturday, October 9, 2020, at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. No formal services will be held. Expressions of sympathy may be left at

Sky Alexis Pettit Vyas

MANTACHIE – Sky Alexis Pettit Vyas, 21, died Friday, October 9, 2020, as the result of an automobile accident on Hwy 371 north of Mooreville in Lee County. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by Holland Funeral Directors – Tupelo Chapel.

Jerry Burgess

NETTLETON – Gerald Lee “Jerry” Burgess, 67, a wonderful son, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and the “people’s banker” in Houston and Nettleton for many years, departed this life unexpectedly on Wednesday afternoon, October 7, 2020 while visiting his brother in Siloam Springs, Arkansas – of an apparent sudden heart attack. Jerry was born in Greenville, Mississippi, the son of the late Albert Asa “Bones” Burgess and Emma Katherine White Burgess, who survives. Jerry married Carol Ann Thompson Burgess on Aug. 8, 1976. He graduated from Greenville High School in 1970. Jerry was a patriotic American and served in the U. S. Marine Corps from 1970-1974. He received his college education at Delta State University in Cleveland. He chose the field of banking and spent much of his distinguished career with Sunburst Bank in Houston, Mississippi. Jerry furthered his banking education at the LSU School of Banking and Vanderbilt School of Banking. Jerry began his banking career as an Outside Collector at First National Bank in Greenville. Jerry moved to Houston in 1985 and worked there for twenty years. He moved to Nettleton and worked at Bancorp South until his retirement in 2015 as President of Bancorp South-Nettleton. He was known as a “down home, up close and personal banker” whose people skills and grand personality endeared him to hundreds of customers over the years. Jerry loved the outdoors, golfing, and any college sport, but was an avid Ole Miss Rebel Football fan. Jerry was completely devoted to his family, his mother, siblings, his wife, his two sons and grandchildren. He was a member of the Nettleton United Methodist Church. He was active in the community.

A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held at 2 PM Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020 at the Nettleton United Methodist Church with Rev. Cecil Locke, his pastor, officiating. Visitation will be from 1 PM-service time Sunday only at the Church. Holland Funeral Directors is honored to be serving their friends. Condolences may be emailed to

Jerry is survived by his wife, Carol of Nettleton; his sons, Matt Burgess of Nettleton and Jeff Burgess and his wife, April of Santa Rosa Beach, FL; his mother, Emma Katherine Burgess of Greenville; his grandchildren, Ragan, Gavin and Ethan; his great-grandchildren, Presley, Blake, and Riley; his siblings, Buddy Burgess (Carolyn) of Siloam Springs, AR, Steve Burgess (Linda) of Greenwood, Ernie Burgess (Shelley) of Quitman, MS, Evelyn Homan (Joe) of Knoxville, TN, and Beverly Williams (Mike) of Greenville; and numerous nieces and nephews and his many friends across the Mid-South.

Memorials may be made to Nettleton United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 1114, Nettleton, MS 38858, or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 232 Danny Thomas Way, Memphis, TN 38105.

Yvon Joseph Godin

RANDOLPH – Yvon Joseph Godin, 74, passed away Saturday, October 10, 2020, at home in Randolph. Services will be 4 PM, Monday, October 12,2020 at Tutor Memorial Funeral Home. Visitation will be 3 PM Monday, October 12, until service time at Tutor Memorial Funeral Home.

Nell Palmer

PONTOTOC – Nell Hobson Palmer, 86, passed away Thursday, October 8, 2020, at Pontotoc Health & Rehabilitation in Pontotoc. A life long resident of Pontotoc, she was the fourth and youngest daughter of George F and Helen Lilly Hobson. She was born April 14, 1934. She was a 1952 graduate of Pontotoc High School, where she was active in the band, basketball and several clubs. She was married to Carrel Palmer and to this union was born three sons, David, Paul and Tim. She was a member of Pontotoc First Presbyterian Church. She was employed at the Pontotoc Progress for many years, working along side with the late Bob Cook. Later she worked with the late Russell Cook at Pontotoc Printing, where she retired. She also served on the Election Commission for several years. She enjoyed her flowers and working in the yard.

A graveside memorial service will be held Monday, October 12, 2020, at 10 AM, at the Pontotoc City Cemetery. Rev. Sherry Horton will officiate. Tutor Memorial Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Survivors-two sons-Paul Palmer of Pontotoc and Tim Palmer of Ecru; two sisters-Georgia Helen Edwards of Memphis, TN and Elizabeth Cook of Pontotoc and a host of close relatives and friends.

Preceded in death by-parents; her husband; son-David Palmer; and sister-Evelyn Hobson Smith.

In lieu of flowers, Memorials may be made to the Pontotoc Bible Teacher’s Fund, c/o First Choice Bank, P.O. Box 29, Pontotoc, MS 38863, or to a charity of your choice.

The family would like to express appreciation to the staff of Magnolia Manor Assisted Living for such wonderful care. Also, to the Pontotoc Health and Rehab for the care and compassion expressed to Nell over the last several months.

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