Nellie Joe Billups

GUNTOWN – Nellie Joe Billups, 67, passed away on September 21, 2020, at her residence in Guntown. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Agnew and Sons Funeral Home of Baldwyn.

Johnnie W. Miller

TUPELO – Johnnie W. Miller, 69, passed away Tuesday, September 22, 2020, at Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo.

Services will be on Saturday, September 26, 2020, at 1 p.m. at the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors. Visitation will be on Saturday from 12 noon to service time at the funeral home. A full obituary will follow at a later date. Condolences to the family may be posted at

Petoria N. O’Neal

AMORY – Petoria N. O’Neal, 32, passed away on September 22, 2020. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by N.L. Jones Funeral Directors.

Felton James Winsett Jr.

THRASHER – Felton James Winsett Jr., 78, passed away on September 22, 2020, at his home in Thrasher. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Kesler Funeral Home.

Marshall E. Leonard Jr.

CLEVELAND – Marshall E. Leonard Jr., 66, was taken to his eternal heavenly home on Sunday, September 13, 2020. A memorial was held September 17, 2020, commemorating the Savior’s blessings for Marshall at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. Tupelo Internment will be at Graceland Cemetery, Valparaiso, this Fall.

Donations may be made in Marshall’s memory to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1305 Lawhon Drive, Tupelo, MS 38804.

Martha Jetton

HOUSTON, TEXAS – Martha Carol (Smith) Jetton died on August 5, 2020, at the age of 85.

She was born to the late Sam and Sylvia Smith on February 7, 1935, in Houston, Texas. Her family moved to Marshall, Texas, and then later to Aberdeen, Mississippi. After graduating from Aberdeen High School, and following the death of her father, she moved with her mother and sister back to Houston where she received a nursing degree from the Lilly Jolly School of Nursing.

She married Richard Glenn Jetton in 1959, and then moved to Amarillo, Texas, soon after to start a family. Together, they raised three sons: Richard Glenn (deceased); Jonathan Kyle of Palmdale, CA; and Daniel Mark, of Pound Ridge, NY. In addition to her two sons and husband, she is also survived by two grandchildren (Jessica Sicard of Sacramento, CA, and Sam Jetton of Pound Ridge, NY); two great-grandchildren (Willow and Remy Sicard) and three nieces (Deborah Woolley, Rebecca Root and Amanda Root). She was preceded in death by her sister Marjorie Root and two daughters-in-law: Lori Fish and Alison Zingaro.

Martha always told her young boys that they were one or two inches taller and several degrees smarter than they were, as she believed their lives would expand to fill whatever limits they envisioned for themselves. Her life filled ours in ways she could never fully know, and she will be greatly missed.

The family asks that any donations in her name be sent to the American Cancer Society.”

Erica Laine Chism

UNION COUNTY – Erica Laine Chism, 22, passed away Monday, September 7, 2020, in Marshall County.

A Graveside Service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, September 26, 2020, at Locust Grove Cemetery. A procession to Locust Grove Cemetery will leave at 1:30 p.m. from New Albany Funeral and Cremation Care, located at the intersection of Hwy 30 and W. Bankhead. Visitation will be on Thursday evening, September 24, 2020, from 6 until 8 p.m. at New Albany Funearl & Cremation Care.

The staff of New Albany Funeral & Cremation Care invites you to share memories at

Quintin Earl Polk Jr.TIPPAH COUNTY – Quintin Earl Polk Jr., 42, passed away on September 21, 2020, at Tippah County Hospital in Ripley. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Ripley Funeral Home.

Opalean Murphy

AMORY – Opalean Sullivan Murphy, 99, met her Savior face to face on Sunday, September 20, 2020. Born on January 11, 1921, in Smithville, MS, she was a daughter of the late Carlos Edgar and Ovie Holloway Sullivan.

Opalean grew up in Monroe County, attended Pearce Chapel School, and later she graduated from Smithville High School. When World War II began, she went to work to help her country at the Munitions Plant in Prairie, Mississippi. After the war, she went to work at Amory Garment for over 40 years. She was a hard worker and always helped take care of her family.

She married the love of her life, Homer T. Murphy, and together they were blessed with a daughter, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Opalean loved the Lord and was a member of Free Will Baptist Church in Amory. When she was in good health, she enjoyed attending church. She was also a member of the Eastern Star.

In her free time, Opalean liked to quilt, sew, but most of all, she loved to grow day lilies. After retirement, she became an active member of the North Mississippi Alabama Daylilies Society. She liked to travel for club meetings and to see new varieties of daylilies. Opalean also liked to go to the coast and just spend time in her garden.

She lived out her faith by serving others and her gardening talents colorfully blessed others over the years. Her family is thankful for all the many years of love and memories.

She is survived by her daughter, Brenda Fears (Jerry), Amory; grandchild, Janet Stanford (Kent); great-grandchildren, Darren Kent Stanford, Jacob “Jake” Edward Stanford, Trey Murphy Stanford, Rose Lynn Stanford; and a great-great-grandson, Conner Edward Stanford; sisters, Reba Turner, and Laura Jean Wheeler; brother, James “Buddy” Sullivan; several nieces and nephews; special friends, Mildred and George Washington.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Homer T. Murphy; grandchild, John Allen Fears; great-grandchild, Sarah Ashley Stanford; sisters, Vernie Sullivan, Eloise Lindsey, Mildred Culverhouse, and Hazel Noe.

The family will have a private service.

Donations, in memory of Opalean, may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN.

You may share your condolences and memories with her family at

Thomas Cooper

NEW ALBANY – Thomas R. Cooper, 77, passed away on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, at New Albany Health and Rehab.

A drive-through visitation will be held at New Albany First United Methodist Church on Thursday, September 24, 2020, from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. A private family service will be held at 2 p.m. at the church with a public graveside service at 2:45 p.m. at New Albany City Cemetery.

A complete obituary will run in tomorrow’s paper.

United Funeral Service is honored to be entrusted with these arrangements. Condolences are welcome at

James Earl Snyder

BRUCE – James Earl Snyder, 87, of Bruce passed from this life on Sunday, September 20, 2020, at his son Jeff’s home in Saltillo. Born on January 29, 1933, in the Ellard Community, James was a son to the late Quinton Sellars Snyder and Dora Morris Snyder. James, an avid basketball fan, was a star forward during his grade school days at Ellard High School. When graduation came calling for James he found himself contemplating a fulleride basketball scholarship to Mississippi State University. Simultaneously, tragedy struck James’s family through the loss of his mother. With a heart for family, James declined the scholarship and stayed home to help look after those he loved and the farm that raised him. Though he missed a educational opportunity, an even better one came along in the name of love. Frances Jean Snellings caught the eye of this young farm boy. The couple would eventually marry and bless their matrimony with three children. Alongside his family, James found a longtime career with the E.L Bruce Company and later Memphis Hardwood as a foreman. Throughout his life, James kept his faith rooted in the Lord. His faith, evidenced by his willingness to serve others at First Baptist Church of Bruce as assistant Sunday School Director, as well as youth volunteer. James didn’t simply pass away; he held the cure to death in his soul, an active relationship with Jesus.

James leaves behind a loving family to carry his legacy in their hearts; two sons: Phill Snyder of Bruce, Mississippi; Jeff Snyder (Cary) of Tupelo, Mississippi; one daughter, Judy Snyder Swilley of Greenwood, Mississippi; four grandchildren: Kelly Swilley Rice of Greenwood, Mississippi; Megan Swilley Davis of Greenwood, Mississippi; Chip Snyder of Bruce, Mississippi; Alonna Frances Snyder of Tupelo, Mississippi; four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Frances Jean Snellings Snyder; parents, Quinton Sellars Snyder and Dora Morris Snyder; three brothers: Boyce Snyder, Rex Snyder, Rubert Snyder; two sisters: Faye Snyder Chapman, Shirley Maire Snyder Chapman.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, September 24, 2020, at Parker Memorial Funeral Home of Bruce from 12 until 2 p.m. The funeral service remembering James life will take place in the Chapel of Parker Memorial Funeral Home on Thursday, September 24, 2020, at 2 p.m. with Dr. Gary Roberson and Dr. Jay Stanley officiating. Parker Memorial Funeral Home of Bruce and Vardaman is honored to serve the family in helping make arrangements remembering James’s life. Online condolences may be composed at

Ernestine Hendrix

BALDWYN – Ernestine Hendrix, 92, passed away on September 22, 2020, at Traceway Manor in Tupelo. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Waters Funeral Home.

Mamie Lee Saxon

PONTOTOC – Mamie Lee Murphree Saxon, 98, went to be with her Lord Jesus Christ Sunday morning, September 20, 2020, at Pontotoc Extended Care. She was born on June 17, 1922, to Cleo Tab and Martha Jane Murphree in Pontotoc, MS. She married James Ottis Saxon on December 14, 1941, and raised a wonderful family. She was a Christian and a long time member of Midway Baptist Church in Pontotoc. Mrs. Mamie worked for many years at the Glove Factory in Houlka and Riviera Shirt Factory in Pontotoc. She was a wonderful homemaker who enjoyed her flowers, gardening, as well as sewing and cooking for her family. Her favorite pastime was attending gospel music singings.

A celebration of life service will be Thursday, September 24, 2020, at 3 p.m. at Baldwin Memorial Funeral Home with Bro. Jeff Walker officiating. Baldwin Memorial Funeral Home of Pontotoc is in charge of arrangements.

She leaves behind a daughter, Theresa Jane Kuzmin of Rockford, IL; two grandchildren, Dawn Moss (Randy) and Christy Saxon Salaya (Hosea) both of Pontotoc; two great-grandsons, Justin Moss (Megan) and Levi Salaya; a great-great-granddaughter, Maci Moss; and a sister, Pat Bailey (Jay).

She is preceded in death by her parents; husband; son, James Lee Saxon; son-in-law, Mike Kuzmin; two sisters, Shirley Stegall and Rachael Walker; and three brothers, Doc Murphree, Bill Murphree and Glen Murphree.

Mame Lee’s favorite bible verse: Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9

Visitation will be Thursday, September 24, 2020, from 1 p.m. until service time.

Joanne Coker Dugard

STARKVILLE – Joanne Coker Dugard, 83, of Madison, MS passed away on September 17, 2020, at The Terrace in Priceville, Alabama after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Joanne retired as a Nursing Instructor for Hinds Community College.

Joanne graduated from Southern Baptist Hospital Mather School of Nursing in New Orleans as a Registered Nurse. Joanne met her husband Al on the steps of First Baptist Church in New Orleans and was married there on December 5, 1958. They moved to Tupelo MS, where she started her career as a surgical nurse at Tupelo Hospital. This was the start of her passion for working in the operating room. After moving to Meridian MS, she gave up surgery and shared her passion for nursing in the classroom at Meridian Junior College. While living in Meridian, she went on to further her nursing career and received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Al and Joanne were active members of Highland Colony Baptist Church in Ridgeland for many years. Joanne prepared and delivered meals to those in need and was known for her “famous gumbo”. Joanne enjoyed tailgating in their motor home at Mississippi State, growing beautiful flowers, painting, cooking for friends and snuggling with her dogs. But most of all, she was a loving mother.

Joanne was preceded in death by her parents, Nathan and Inez Coker; her husband, Al Dugard 2014; her brothers: Johnny Coker, Robert Earl Coker, and James Donald Coker. She is survived by her daughter, Karen Lawler (Al), sister in-law, Peggy Lackey (Don) and three nieces and three nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donations to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Alzheimer’s Foundation.

You can leave the family a condolence at:

Dovie Pate

TUPELO – Dovie Pate, 73, passed away on September 22, 2020, at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by W.E. Pegues Funeral Directors. Expressions of sympathy may be left at

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